VoIP call centers have evolved from an infancy of simple interactive voice response units to complex communications platforms that enable customers to communicate with customer service through a variety of devices and networks. These days, VoIP call center platforms are using social media as a solution to better interact with clients via voice, IM, chat, or social networking.
New social-media features and functions are being added by makers of the platforms in order to draw on social networking benefits and to support the move toward mobile devices in the call center. Some companies are increasingly looking at VoIP call centers as revenue-generating profit centers and not only as customer-support tools.
A report called "VoIP Call Centers Adapt to a BYOD World" from Heavy Reading IP Services Insider, a subscription research service of research firm Heavy Reading, analyzed several companies including Aastra Technologies, Avaya, Enghouse Interactive, Interactive Intelligence, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, M5 Networks, VisionOSS, and Voxeo (News - Alert) Corp.
VoIP call centers have evolved from an infancy of simple interactive voice response units to complex communications platforms that enable customers to communicate with customer service through a variety of devices and networks, noted Culver.
An IP-enabled contact center leverages VoIP technology to extend contact-center functionality to branch offices, satellite locations and agents anywhere, anytime.This real-time communications system converts voice traffic into digital packets that travel over networks via Internet protocol.
Key Features of an IP-Enabled Contact Center
Some important features of an IP-enabled contact center include:
Screen pops to expedite caller inquiries
Advanced routing based on customer-database information
Call transfers among geographically scattered sites
Skill-based routing, so that callers speak with those agents best qualified to address their needs A console for centrally managing multiple locations and agents
Adaptable call handling to customize call routing and treatment
Real-time displays of call-center activity to chart performance and respond quickly to changes
Customizable reports chronicling call history and forecasting staffing needs
Configurable telephony user interface
Unified business-VoIP messaging tools
What to Consider When Deploying an IP-Enabled Contact Center
Unfortunately, sharing IP contact-center technology resources across multiple locations can give rise to security concerns. Whether issues revolve around communication between business units or the ubiquitous threat of network intruders, securing an IP-enabled contact center calls for important security measures. Companies need to safeguard against DoS (denial-of-service) attacks, unauthorized access to the VoIP network, computer viruses, identity theft and eavesdropping.
Call center software has come a long way. Once upon a time, it did very little. It allowed you to keep track of your agents' schedules, it let you know how big your queues were, and it let you know weeks after the fact where you went wrong.
Today, you can find call center software that does a little bit of everything. Sometimes, a little bit too much of everything, resulting in a confusing, patchwork of functionality that you neither need nor want. It litters up your agents desktops, it adds complexity to your training process that keeps your agents permanently confused, and it gives your IT department a migraine headache. In the confusion, it's easy to lose track of the types of call center software you really need so you can help pare out the rest.
Customer communications tracking. When your customers call, you need to know who they are. You need to know who they've been to your company in the past, and you need a heads-up on why they are probably calling. The critical point is that this tracking solution must be fully multimedia, and allow you to track everything from phone calls to social media posts.
Ideally, a call center solution may be able to offer all of these features in the same package, be easy to use, easy to interpret, and easy to deliver to agents' desktops. Today's call center software solutions have come a long way from days past, and multiple delivery options mean that you can often configure your call center software solution to meet your needs precisely.