These Call Center Technologies Will Save Your CX

The modern call center is awash with incredibly sophisticated technology.

In fact, ‘lack of tech’ is hardly ever the problem these days. You might even be burdened with too many options.

But don’t worry – we’re going back to basics with a few must-have call center technologies for you…

The call center technologies we’ll look at:

  • APIs
  • Automated SMS
  • Integrated Auto Dialers
  • IVR
  • The Cloud

#1 Let’s start with APIs

What are APIs?’

That’s the response I get surprisingly often when I mention APIs.

API stands for Application Program Interface. (We’ll skip over the detailed technical explanation for now.)

Here’s what you need to know: APIs are like universal translators that let different systems collaborate and share data. Those ‘systems’ could be your core tools, like IVR and CRM, or your Helpdesk. They could also be vital cloud resources like AWS or Google cloud.

Deeper integration means fewer data silos. But even better – it means you can easily create automated work and process flows across those systems. 

I won’t lie; this is probably the most game-changing tool on this list. 

Use cases include:

  • Updating customer records across every system by editing just one system
  • Intelligent routing based on customer data, Helpdesk tickets or any other data
  • Creating a true multi/omnichannel experience,  with data shared easily across each channel

Source

#2 Get Automated SMS

‘Good’ call center technologies don’t have to be ‘new’ call center technologies.

A lot of very successful businesses still swear by this 25-year-old tech.

Why?

There are two good reasons to stick with SMS:

  1. It’s still accessible from virtually every cell phone in the world
  2. It’s had 25 years to build trust

The open rate for SMS is a staggering 98%. That’s compared with just 20% for email. 

It’s also very easy to automatically trigger outbound SMS from virtually any stage of the customer journey.

A lot of marketing teams already embrace SMS. But don’t overlook the customer service potential – SMS is simple, trusted and instant.

Use cases include:

  • Surveys; just send out a URL link to online forms
  • Confirming orders or the outcomes of interactions
  • Sending out promotional offers and incentives

#3 Integrate your auto dialer

If your contact center is blended or outbound, you probably have some kind of auto dialer

But have you integrated it with other systems?

It’s simple to do. (See #1 on APIs…)

Here’s why it’s worthwhile.

Your auto dialer is all about reducing manual work,  especially manual dialing. 

Eliminating manual dialing is a great start, but there’s a lot of other manual work you could get rid of.

For example: how are your call lists created? If it involves manual labor, that’s a candidate for automation too. You only need to integrate your dialer with your lead generation tools, CRM or Helpdesk.

Then, any customer you need to call – based on any trigger – goes directly onto an automatically generated call list.

Use cases include:

  • Rapid response to fresh leads (35-50% of sales go to the first vendor to respond to an enquiry) 
  • Zero waiting – automated callbacks for customers who don’t want to queue
  • Proactive customer service – outbound calls triggered by complaints or queries

Source

#4 How’s your IVR?

As call center technologies go, IVR is pretty commonplace.

It’s been around forever. It’s present in almost every inbound call center

But how often is it used well?

There are some common problems with the typical IVR system:  

  • It’s set up to deflect calls rather than solve problems
  • It asks irrelevant questions
  • It doesn’t know anything about the customer
  • There’s no route to an agent or different channels

…and more besides.

Some of these problems could be solved by simply sitting down to change what needs changing.

So why doesn’t that happen? Well, we’re all busy people. If you’re running a call center you have other things to do. What’s more, some IVR systems make it very tough to actually change anything.

If that’s the case, you may just need a better IVR system. (You can also read Your Guide to Automating SMS and IVRhere.)  

Use cases include:

  • Self-service, especially for simple issues
  • Customer surveys, especially post-call interaction
  • Scheduling, for appointments visits, callbacks etc.

Source

#5 The Cloud!

Now’s the time to move more or less everything to the cloud.

There are a lot of reasons to move to a cloud-based contact center, which we’ve talked about before.

It boils down to this: your setup can be cheaper, more reliable and achieve better quality.

And, crucially, the cloud can mean a lot more flexibility. Vendor lock-in and over-investment in legacy solutions have been big issues for the call center for a long time.

That flexibility is, we think, the main benefit of cloud services. You can use any number of providers for different elements of your service, linking them up with APIs. 

That, plus a simple automation platform, opens up an unprecedented level of customization – without coding.

Use cases include:

  • Anything
  • Everything

Start with API integration and link up every tool that you rely on. After that, automating your call and process flows is simple – probably simpler than you’d think. 

Further reading: Your Guide to Automating SMS and IVR