What is Call Center Software and why?!?
When I speak with friends, family members, potential clients, or surprisingly enough — potential employees, I often find myself answering that age-old question: “What does your company do?”
Usually, I launch into my elevator pitch, but about the time the words “Call Center Software” pass my lips, my victim’s eyes are scanning the ceiling tile trying to find a pattern that looks like an elephant. This is followed up by the old ‘nod and smile’ or that ‘say what?’ look. You know that look…
I’ve learned to tailor my pitch to my audience. We need to get rid of that ceiling tile.
Call Center Software, Contact Center Software, Customer Engagement Software, Omni / Multi-Channel Software, Unified Communication Software, etc. — it’s all very similar, it’s more prevalent than ever, more complex than ever, and absolutely necessary for any sort of business to succeed. A businesses’ survival depends on customer retention, engagement, and acquisition. These products are supposed to facilitate that. Too often their complexity outweighs their usefulness. It is important for all levels of employees to understand the importance of this technology, but it is just as important for them to be able to use the technology.
I heard this great quote once “We’re drowning in information, but we’re starving for wisdom” (- Tony Robbins, but based on Google, he’s not the first to say it). Hopefully, this article will impart some wisdom that stands apart from the sea of information that’s out there. I am going to break down what Call Center Software is, the challenges that businesses face setting up and using the different tools, and carve out a road ahead. Get ready…
Let’s get REAL basic.
Companies provide goods and/or services to customers. Companies need to communicate to get new customers, retain current customers, and bring back old customers. Customer communication is split between:
1) Reaching out to customers (a.k.a. outbound communication).
2) Customers reaching out to businesses (a.k.a. inbound communication).
There are many ways for this to happen. I’m not going to list them all; there are just too many and it’s not relevant right now. But I’m talking about phone calls, email, chat, Facebook, Twitter, blah, blah, blah… Let’s call these ‘Communication Channels’. These are the various ways businesses and customers talk to each other.
So what is Call Center Software (CCS) exactly? CCS is meant to efficiently facilitate a company’s communication efforts for customer retention, engagement, and acquisition. CCS evolved from a hodgepodge of different technologies that was offered as a service by ‘Call Centers’. They would route calls to an appropriate agent while optimizing the time spent making calls. The service also included a form of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and manpower to handle the calls. More on the history of Call Centers in my next article.
Sourcing the right tools that can satisfy a business’ communication needs can be cumbersome. At some point though, companies settle on a few (3–5) tools that work for their business, sort of. Getting these tools to ‘speak’ to each other the right way is another mess. Most software-as-a-service (SAAS) tools require some sort of integration, think CRM+voice+chat+fill in the blank. This prompts help from developers (for you old school folk: ‘IT specialists’) which is a whole project in and of itself, trust me.
So what’s the problem? If you haven’t guessed… getting all of this setup and handled correctly can take a lot of time and money. And for a startup or any company on a budget, that’s looking to make a dent in a competitive industry — this may not be possible. Companies should focus on their product or service, not the endless abyss of vendors and software available to handle each communication channel efficiently. You want to mitigate that as much as possible. That’s where Call Center Software is valuable. But..
To have the perfect combination of easy-to-use software and reliability at a good price is almost impossible to come by and only half the battle. You still need to hire and maintain your communication specialists. Ahem… with Overpass you’ll avoid the battle completely (shameless plug, absolutely.) So what do you do…
As someone who has been building and growing companies for 12+ years, I can assure you that customer communication is key to a business’ success. Being able to react at a moments notice is crucial and one of the great gifts that modern communication software provides. The technology that’s offered by SAAS companies is game-changing, but they fall short. At Overpass, we focus on usability, value, and building modern communication systems that adapt with the times. And for us, it doesn’t stop there. When running a business, you need to be fully aware of what’s happening with your front line. I’m talking about your Customer Service and Sales Team. These are your brand ambassadors. Having the ability to recruit a great team on the fly and coupling that with powerful technology that gives you the control and transparency to get you where you need to be is a must have. That is one of the main reasons we started Overpass. And this is what my team and I have built.
Remember, as a business your focus should be to sell or service your customers the best way you can. Let our Call Center Marketplace take care of the rest.