A call center can greatly benefit business communications. A call center refers to a centralized office that processes a wide volume of telephone or virtual requests. A call center may inbound or outbound.
A call center that is inbound is operated by a company to relay incoming calls or virtual requests. This may be for product support, general customer service inquiries and shipping information. A call center that is outbound is reaching out to potential and current customers through telemarketing, solicitation, debt collection, research and more.
The way that a call center is organized varies, but the most common layout has individualized computer work stations for each agent. This workspace is completed with a telephone, headset and computer for call center agents to either intake calls or call out. Call center agents will be closely supervised either by recording their calls or by a supervisor. Most call centers will use new technologies including computer telephony integration. Many call centers will also have a contact center in which customer contacts and information is managed and tracked.
Call Center Software & Management
Call center software can completely transform the efficiency and ability of your call center. There are four commonly used types of call center software and management available including:
On-premise call center software
- On-premise call center software will have the call center hardware and infrastructure all installed locally. The software will also be deployed locally. It will be maintained by an outside IT service provider or your own internal staff. This is an ideal solution for those who need to access their data and need to have control over integrated systems and data solutions. You will need to purchase all of your hardware, software, licensing and required infrastructure upfront. This can be quite expensive. Typically an on premise call center solution will not provide the same amount of security and privacy as other solutions, including cloud-based and browser-based.
Hosted call center software
- Hosted call center software is accessed through a network connection (possibly internet) to an off-site software. This hosted solution can allow call centers to have their entire infrastructure hosted offsite. A hosted call center software solution is often an affordable choice. It is also maintained by the service provider. A hosted call center software solution does not generally offer the same level of security as other options including cloud-based and browser-based.
Cloud-based call center software
- Cloud-based call center software is hosted online. This software is a great solution for those who need to have easy access to their call center information. It can be accessed through an installed application. The application may be installed on your mobile device, laptop and desktop computer. The call center software will store all of the call center’s data in the cloud. This type of software allows for users to share resources and is managed by the service provider, which allows you to increase efficiency. It also requires a minimal investment upfront and can provide a very high level of security.
Browser-based call center software
- Browser-based call center software is very advanced. It provides an all-encompassing solution including software, telephone and other features in your computer’s browser. You can access all of this over the internet. Browser-based call center software allows for teams to access it from anywhere there is an internet connection. It is also a very cost effective solution because there is no dedicated IT staff required because it is completely managed by the service provider. Browser-based call center software does not require upfront payments for infrastructure. This type of solution can be easily customized and up and running within a few minutes. This solution also offers the latest features, can be updated routinely, and can provide the highest level of security.
The right call center software solution can increase business and decrease expenses. It is always changing due to new technologies and innovations. Do your homework on the various call center software solutions available including comparing costs, features available, scalability and accessibility.