Customer support has always been put on the first pedestal in any product or service-based organization. A study done by CFI group has concluded that 76% of customers prefer calling the executives. Companies need to make this entire communication as seamless as possible and call center on the cloud has made this easier.
Being available for them and always ready to get on-call is an indication of better customer relationships. A proper call center software can be your partner in this. Automate the call recordings, routings, and many more.
But what is this call center software? What is a cloud call center setup? And you may have many other questions lingering in your mind. This blog is going to address all of them. Make sure to read till the end to know everything about virtual call center software.
What is a Call Center Solution?
A call center solution can also be termed as call center software. It is a program that will help organizations in landing large volumes of calls be it inbound or outbound. With this software, organizations can route these calls to the desired numbers, trigger the pre-recorded messages, record calls, gather customer information, and conduct various other actions with ease.
The new generation of consumers are expecting a lot when it comes to support from the organizations. They are expecting the calls to be answered in very little time and want executives to solve their issues even quicker.
With the proper cloud call center software in place, the agents will get to meet all of these requirements with minimal effort. All they have to do here is to understand the features and benefits of the software and how they can make the most out of it.
The best thing about this call center solution is that you can integrate it with multiple channels-
- Live chat
- Social media
- SMS messaging
Once the software is integrated with different channels, customers can contact the call center directly by clicking on the number shared with them.
Different Types of Call Centers
Call centers offer a wide range of services and different call centers are providing various types of services. It is important to understand which type of call center offers what service. You should be aware of the strengths of each of these to pick the best one out of them for your company.
Inbound Call Center:
Inbound call center, as the name suggests provides incoming call services to the companies. This service is useful to the already existing customers, new customers, or even for the staff of an organization. There is a multitude of services that companies can provide using this inbound calling feature.
Some of such services are
- Order Processing: Clients can call an organization and place an order for their products. The executives can then process these orders and provide them with various other products as needed along with recording the order information and collecting payments.
- Offer Help Desk Support: This is another important application of inbound calls. When a customer has an issue with the product or service, has any query related to them, then they can get on a call with a representative and sort out the issue. They can also call in service requests if needed.
- For Logistic Services: Customers can contact logistics companies to know where their parcel is when they can get it and monitor the shipping. This is an added advantage with the inbound calls.
- Addressing the Calls: A call center can work as an answering service where representatives will take the calls from customers, know the issue and then transfer the call to the respective department where experts will solve the problem.
- Emergency Response: These are the helplines that customers can contact whenever there is an emergency. For example, ambulance services, hospitals, police officers, etc.
Outbound calls are an effective and affordable way to reach out to your prospective customers. You can get your representatives to get on the call with the leads and market your product or service to them.
The common application for outbound call centers are
- Expand the Sales Reach: The executive can reach out to your already existing customer to know about the feedback of your product or they can reach out to the potential customers to know whether they are interested in your product or not.
- Sell the Product/Service: You can hire marketing professionals who will reach out to the provided leads that are gathered with marketing techniques. They will pitch various products or services that the company is dealing with and build a sales funnel.
- EMI Reminder: This service is especially for banking, fintech, and financial service providers. They can get their executives to reach out to the customers who have existing loans and remind them about the pending EMI.
These are just some of the services. There are many more that executives can do with outbound calling features.
The customer service process isn’t limited to calls alone. There are various other forms of communication and interactions that can be done with the customers. Most modern-day call centers are offering communication, emails, faxes, and various other services for clients across the world.
Automated Call Centers
Automated call centers will help in reducing the call management cost with the help of computer-based systems. These computer-based systems will take care of many caller responsibilities. When it comes to automated call centers, the manpower requirement is less compared to normal call center companies.
These centers just need an operator who will take care of the systems. The automated call center is used mostly for
- Managing the Voice Mails: Companies enable this voice mail system to take messages from anyone who calls in. The automated call center will receive all of these messages on behalf of the company.
- Interactive Voice Responders: Interactive Voice Responders is in short termed as IVR. When a customer calls a company, the IVR will offer them a menu, and depending upon their selection next discussion will go on. The calls are routed to executives whenever needed or customers can solve their issues with the help of IVR itself. IVR service providers offer different types of features with the service.
- Schedule Reminders: The companies can use this automated call service to call customers and remind them about their schedules, appointments, etc.
Omnichannel Call Center
Customers love having a personalized experience. You can offer this using an omnichannel call center. These contact centers use all the channels that are available to communicate with the customers. With people expecting a customized and better experience, providing them with an omnichannel service is always a good idea.
Virtual Call Centers
Pandemic has changed the way the world is working right now. Many organizations have opted for a virtual working environment. With virtual call center software, it becomes quite easy and simple for organizations to handle calls from anywhere at any time.
This virtual call center is quite affordable as there are no operational costs that the company has to bear. Companies can mint more profits this way.
What is Cloud Telephony?
Lately, everything is moving to the cloud then why not your PBX system? Yes, cloud telephony means hosting your PBX on the cloud itself. The service will be based on VoIP. Cloud telephony is quite flexible and can scale along with your business without any hassle.
No matter how you are expanding, be it opening new offices in different locations, expanding your in-house teams, or hiring remote workers, you can do everything with ease using cloud telephony. The entire expansion is effortless and quite affordable as you don’t need separate hardware for hosting.
Cloud telephony is a part of UCaaS. UCaaS refers to Unified Communications as a Service. It is a model which brings various collaboration tools and communication systems together. You can connect your phone system with other messaging services, video meetings, CRM, and many more.
With this communication model, you can connect with your teams, communicate with them, and make employees more focused. Cloud telephony works with the help of the internet. Whenever you place a call, it is routed to the required number by your service provider.
The analog signals are converted into digital packets, and then they are transmitted via your internet connection. You can connect a desk phone, mobile or a softphone, any preferred device of your choice. Apart from helping organizations with internal communication, businesses use it for making inbound and outbound calls too.
The entire communication system runs on the cloud and you will have a dashboard with complete control over the phone numbers, adding new users, call forwarding, and more. Cloud telephony services are opted by many organizations because of the flexibility they offer.
Features of Cloud Telephony Services
Cloud Telephony comes in handy for businesses in more than one way. Apart from lowering business costs, its amazing features can help businesses thrive. Here are some of the most important features of cloud telephony services.
This is a very important feature in the business. You can eliminate all the missed call situations with this one call forwarding feature. If a customer calls you on one number and the agents are not available in the office, in a general scenario the call will be registered as a missed call. But with this call forwarding feature, the call will be redirected to the required number. This way you won’t miss any call from hereafter.
Checking Live Calls
It is important for you to know with whom your agents are speaking, how many incoming and outgoing calls are active at present, and many more. All of this is possible with the live call option. This way you will get to know which of your agents are engaged on calls and who is free.
There will be a clear dashboard that will provide you with all of the details that you need to know. The agents that are idle, calls that are unanswered, answered calls, and many more.
Listen to the Calls
The reporting manager or team lead can hear the live calls. They can whisper to their agents without letting the caller on the other side know and also can directly speak to the callers whenever there is a necessity.
Queueing the Calls
It happens rarely for some businesses and often for others. The influx of calls increases and with all the agents being busy, it becomes tough for companies to answer all the calls. In such situations, the companies can place these calls in a queue and play some pleasant music.
The agents will also be notified about the calls that are in queue so that they can wrap up the call quickly. If the call queue is long and agents are all occupied, the calls can be redirected to voicemail where customers will let you know about their query and your agents can answer it whenever they are done with the calls.
For any business, communication is the key. With a remote workforce, staying in touch with all of the employees is not an easy task. However, you will have the call conference feature in cloud telephony services and you can make the most out of this. With one platform you can talk to all of your employees without any hassle.
Interactive Voice Response System
IVR service is a great option for all inbound calls. It provides a one-on-one option for customers, they can interact directly with computers with voice configuration and with DTMF inputs. The callers can route themselves with an intelligent routing system at their convenience.
You can start with a welcome message followed by queue management, automatic call distribution, and many more.
Apart from this, there are some repetitive tasks that customers can do by themselves. For example, they can book a demo, change their password, and many more with the help of an IVR call. You can contact IVR service providers to avail all of these features.
Customer interactions, be it on phone, are quite similar to face-to-face interactions. In most situations, your customers get accustomed to one agent and they prefer to interact with them given that the agent knows the history of the customer and has a fair idea about them.
With cloud telephony, the organization can allot sticky agents to customers. This way whenever that particular customer calls, it will be automatically redirected to their agent only.
Call recording is one such feature that companies often overlook. With call recording, the companies can understand what customers are expecting from their end. Apart from this, they will always have a repository of conversations that happened which may come in handy in the future.
Analytics and Reporting
With call analytics and reporting in hand, companies can analyze and understand agents’ performance. The details of each and every call, dropped calls, agent call logs, connected and missed calls, everything will be available in one place. All of these will be put in a comparison table which will make it easy for the manager to see.
The best part about this is the caller database will be automatically generated and integrated with the CRM if you are using any.
Having different platforms for your support tickets, customer calls and lead information can be tiring for businesses. However, culminating all of them in one place will ease things. With cloud telephony, you can integrate all of these services in one place. With APIs, you can integrate different tools and make customer service even easier, better, and more efficient.
Blended Call Center
Some businesses have different teams for their inbound and outbound calls. There is a myriad of reasons for this. In such cases, the blended call center is something that companies can make the most out of.
With this, you can have both inbound and outbound call features in one place itself. The agents can actively receive calls from customers on one hand and approach the prospective leads on the other.
Easy Transfer of Calls
There are at times when your agents are stuck while answering customers. When an agent is talking to a customer on call, there is no time to pause and frame answers. If they don’t have a proper idea about the issue raised by the customer, agents can transfer it to the right people who have all the necessary information required.
With cloud telephony, agents can transfer the calls with just a click making it easy for both customers and agents.
Business Benefits of Adopting Cloud Telephony
Before the pandemic, cloud telephony was an underdog with very few people knowing and adopting it. But things changed in 2020 and people started realizing the importance of this technology. It brings a lot of benefits to the table and we are going to cover them in this section.
Control the Business Communications Efficiently
Even now, most of the support calls land directly to the desk phones only. There are various ways customers can contact a business and resolve their issues but most of the customers prefer to call.
This is the reason why businesses should have better control over communication. With cloud telephony, you will get this control. You will get information on all the calls, be it inbound or outbound, the call recordings and logs. This will help in improving the business communication in your organization.
Simpler than the PBX System
The PBX system has been incorporated in the offices for some decades now and people got used to it. However, the setup and maintenance of this entire system is so tiring. The tangled wires, telephones, routers, and whatnot have been a hassle to work with.
You can eliminate all of it by just switching to the cloud telephony service. All you need is an internet connection and you set it up with the existing mobile devices or landlines. The entire setup won’t even take up more than an hour of your time.
The best part about this is that you can integrate it with other tools and software with ease. If you are using a CRM already, you can integrate both of them using APIs. Apart from that, the reporting managers can add or remove agents on the go as and when they seem fit.
Completely Mobile and Flexible
Mobility and flexibility are the two things that modern-day businesses need and you will get both of them with the cloud telephony system. With this technology, businesses can let their employees work from anywhere at any time while staying in touch with them whenever required and them being accountable for the work.
This will reduce the operational costs drastically for an organization.
This is the expansion of the last point in the earlier benefit. Every company aims at reducing its operational costs and there is no doubt about it. Cloud telephony services will help cut down the business costs on a large scale. You do not have to worry about purchasing any infrastructure.
Apart from that, you don’t have to worry about installation and maintenance costs either. Everything can be done through a laptop, tab or just a mobile too. This way there is a massive reduction in the entire business costs of an organization.
Notable Business Features
It is important for every business to constantly evolve and become better. The one thing that is needed for this is insights. Cloud telephony service will help in gathering these insights. The software will generate real-time analytics along with bulk SMS automation, post-call surveys, call schedulers, and various other features.
With this automation of reporting, various monotonous works are automated making it easy for the employees.
It Isn’t Just Calls Anymore
Cloud telephony goes beyond the calls. It supports various marketing initiatives like SMS marketing, missed call campaigns, etc.
Cloud telephony service is quite efficient in capturing operational data like call volumes, call timings, the response time of each agent, call durations, various channels related to inbound calls, the average number of calls each of your agents is making in a day, call recordings, etc.
The reporting manager can take all of these into consideration while making any decision. They can also monitor the employees at every step, train them according to the requirement, and maintain records for future reference as well.
All of these are stored directly in the cloud and can be automatically accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and a mobile or laptop.
Resilient Phone Service
In case there are floods or an earthquake in your business area, the desktops and hardware systems will be destroyed or at least affected. Wiring will be damaged which also hampers communication. This will lead to loss of data, affect the entire communication system, etc.
But if you opt for a cloud telephony service, all of your data is stored in the cloud and won’t be affected despite what happens to any of your hardware devices. Moreover, you can access the data and make calls using any device. All you need is a proper internet connection.
Cloud telephony is quite reliable and resilient.
Completely Scalable According to Business Requirements
Any organization owner would want to scale and become bigger, better at the business. When a business grows, the manpower grows, the equipment required for them will also grow and all in all scaling would come at a cost.
However, with cloud telephony, scaling your agents and increasing business operations on the communication end is simpler. You can just add another user to your software and continue the business operations as usual.
What is an On-Premise Contact Center?
On-Premise as the name suggests will be operated in a particular business area alone. The companies have to invest in hardware and software which will be located in one place and must be operated from there itself. These on-premise contact centers are also called legacy contact centers.
These contact centers are based on platforms provided by Avaya, Cisco, and Genesys. All of these platforms are completely inflexible. However, there are various companies to date that are relying on these types of contact centers alone.
The on-premise contact centers are outdated technology and are not suitable for disruptive changes in customer behavior. The setup of an on-premise contact center takes 7-24 months and any up-gradation of systems will take 9-12 months.
Most of these contact centers are now running on outdated data and technology. This impacts the overall performance of an organization. Because of various drawbacks that are present in on-premise contact centers, organizations are moving towards the cloud.
Difference between Cloud and On-premise Voice Services
Cloud and On-Premise voice services have their own set of advantages and setbacks. It is important for you to understand all of these before making a decision for your business. Here we are listing out all the key differences that are present between both of them.
- On-Premise: In an on-premise voice service, the hardware and software are deployed in the client’s premises. The organization will have to bear the entire setup cost and are responsible for the maintenance. This can be quite hectic and organizations should have a team of experts available all the time.
- Cloud: There are different types of cloud setups- private, shared, hybrid, etc. All of these are preferable for businesses according to the requirement. Businesses should just pay and access these resources at any given time.
- On-Premise: In an on-premise setup the organization will have control over all the data. It can be for good or worse. This is the reason why most of the organizations that are highly regulated and have privacy concerns are hesitating to move to the cloud.
- Cloud: In the cloud, there has always been a struggle to understand who will have control over the data. Even vendors are troubled with this question. Although there are encryption and third-party keys that are available, relying on them alone is not easy. Apart from this if there is any downtime of the cloud due to any situation, it can become a hassle.
- On-Premise: The organizations are responsible for all the ongoing costs that are related to hardware, software, space, and power consumption. The cost has always been a big drawback on-premise setup.
- Cloud: The businesses that opt for cloud telephony should spend money on the resources that they are using and nothing else. They don’t have to worry about maintenance or any other issue. The pricing can decrease or increase, depending on the usage of resources.
- On-Premise: There are some businesses that deal with extra-sensitive information and need high-end security. For such companies, an on-premise setup offers great security compared to the cloud. Here they have the entire data stored in their device which cannot be accessed by any third party person without permission.
- Cloud: The cloud setup has some security issues no matter how effective the encryptions are. There are so many instances where a lot of data has been leaked and put into the public domain. Although the IT people are struggling to protect data, there is still no guarantee for complete security in cloud yet.
- On-Premise: In an on-premise setup, scalability is not easy. Adding extra devices, deploying software, etc. is going to consume a lot of time and comes at a heavy price too.
- Cloud: Scalability is a great advantage when it comes to the cloud. Businesses can just use extra resources and pay for it. The setup is so simple and efficient.
What is a Virtual Number? How does it work?
Virtual phone numbers aren’t limited to a fixed location. With this number, users can connect to anyone at any time with the help of VoIP. Users can deploy desk phones, softphones, mobile, etc. for communication.
The virtual number acts as a mask for the original phone number and businesses can use it to receive both inbound as well as outbound calls. They provide great anonymity despite looking like a real number.
Let us take an example of Office24by7 virtual number India. We give you a number with a prefix of either Hyderabad, Bangalore, or Mumbai. All of our numbers look like landline numbers and you can market these numbers for communication purposes. By having the local prefix, companies can use our toll-free virtual number to reach out to customers with outbound calling services.
Working of a Virtual Number
Now that you know what a virtual number is, let us see how it works. The virtual numbers don’t have any SIM or wired connection. They are provided by the operator in the cloud and when a customer contacts this number, the call will land in the preexisting mobile/telephone number. This is the reason why the virtual number can also be called cloud telephony.
The virtual numbers don’t need any specific device to receive calls. The calls can be rerouted to any required number and agents can lift the call without any hassle.
VoIP plays an important role in this. VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. This service makes it easy for everyone to make calls with the help of the internet. This service is quite resilient and unless the internet goes down, there is no other way for the number to not work.
Advantages of Virtual Number
Virtual phone numbers have so many benefits. In this section, we are going to list out all of these advantages in detail.
Not everyone would be fine to get in touch with customers using their personal number. There are instances where contacting customers from personal numbers has created some issues for the agents too. With a virtual number, all such issues can be toppled.
The fact that this virtual number will route calls directly to personal numbers but still the person on the opposite side won’t be able to see it is a great feature. It eliminates various kinds of issues and maintains a good level of privacy among customers, agents and managers.
The amazing advantage of virtual numbers is that you can sync the number with any device that you prefer and are reachable. You can communicate using any of the internet-enabled devices with ease. With so many people working out of the office, having a virtual number will make communication uninterrupted.
Saving money is one of the top priorities for any business. Having virtual numbers can help businesses with cost-cutting and also makes it easy for them to scale and grow. With an online number available, there is no need for companies to invest in expensive hardware. All of these make virtual number service a go-to option for organizations.
Types of Virtual Numbers
Right now in India, there are four types of virtual phone numbers India available- landline number, mobile number, toll-free and local number.
The virtual landline numbers are quite similar to the usual landline numbers with an eight-digit number with STD code as a prefix. This number is used for intra-organization communication. Most of the small businesses also opt for this virtual landline number as their official contact number.
This is a ten-digit number that actually looks like a mobile number. Most of the field agents have this number to contact their customers. One thing about these virtual numbers is that they must be integrated with a CRM to use them.
The toll-free number is a free calling number for customers and businesses incur the costs. Businesses incorporate this toll-free number when they need customers to contact them. The virtual toll-free number will be attached to multiple channels so that any agent who is not on call can respond to customers without making them wait in a queue.
Virtual local numbers are another great option that companies can make the most of. Most people are skeptical when they receive calls from new numbers but that won’t be the case when they see the STD code of their locality. With virtual number India, you can get a local number visible on the customer screen.
How is Domestic calling different from International call centers?
In domestic calling services, the inbound and outbound calls are made across a specific country only. For example, if the business is operated in India alone, then the domestic calling facility will be offered in that country only.
For domestic calling services, companies can opt for local, mobile, or landline virtual numbers. The agents must be proficient in the local languages so that they can communicate with the customers in a better way.
In international calling services, the calls are placed for people present all over the world. The agents address customers and clients from various countries. For international calls, it is better to have a local number as it will prompt them to lift the calls.
Call Center Software Use Cases
We are going to discuss multiple situations in which call center software can be used effectively.
Debt Collection Calls
The companies present in BFSI have been suffering to make their agents manually call and remind customers about their EMIs and payment collection. With so many customers to call and very less number of agents available, this process used to take up most of the time of agents.
This is where we can employ Voice Broadcasting. An automated message can be sent to bulk people at once. This automated message can be a similar one or you can personalize them according to the requirement. The voice bot will take care of reminding all of the borrowers about their due dates without any hassle.
This will remove the monotonous work pressure from agents and free their time.
Decrease Call Abandonment
One of the biggest hassles in call center services is call abandonment. Most of the customers don’t have enough time or patience to wait for their call to be picked up by agents in the queue.
On the other hand, companies cannot accommodate more agents because of manpower and infrastructure costs. A reliable call center system can address all of these issues with ease
The software can redirect the customers to another customer service platform where the respective agents can solve the issue, for example- WhatsApp or Facebook. Or else, they can also request customers to place the callback request which agents will address when they are free.
Although these are good options, there is another interesting self-service-enabled option- IVR service. This will help customers with automated voice messages that will direct them and with these instructions, they can either get their issue solved or the call will be redirected to relevant experts.
You just have to contact the right IVR service provider and you can reap so many benefits from this service.
The reporting managers have to check the calls and discussion that is happening between customer and agent by going through the call recordings. This has become a hassle. There are times when reporting managers want to drop in just to listen to the conversation between agents and customers.
Office24by7 call center can reduce this issue and make it quite easy for the reporting managers to hear any live call that they want at any given time. They can also whisper to the agent whenever required and directly interact with the customer if needed.
Best Call Center Software in the Market in 2022
Using the right cloud call center software is quite important for any organization. Today, we are going to discuss the top 10 call center software that is present in the market right now. After comparing all of them, you can make your choice.
Not to brag but Office24by7 has been one of the most preferred call center software options out there right now. There are some others on the list, make sure to check out all of them and make an informed decision.
If you are looking for software that is quite easy to learn and work on then Nextiva should be one of your go-to options. This software comes with a multitude of features and users can pay and use the ones that they need. They don’t have to invest in the entire suite.
The usage of this software is quite simple and it doesn’t need any specific infrastructure either. Agents just have to log in to the system and start working on their calls without any limitations.
They have multiple package options and businesses can pick the one that matches their requirement.
Office24by7 is one of the most popular 360-degree automation service providers in India. You will get a CRM that offers communication, marketing, and sales features. However, if you need only one of them, you can opt for that too. The brand has been trusted by so many popular enterprises all over.
Their communication CRM provides everything that your agents need. Right from CTI option to IVR, missed call, the CRM has all the features that will ease the work of agents.
Apart from delivering great customer service, the organizations will get a chance to monitor their employees from time to time. Check how many calls they have made, the duration of each call, and many more can be analyzed by the CRM itself.
The pricing of this CRM is quite affordable. From small businesses to enterprises, any organization will be able to opt for these services without any hassle.
Cloudtalk is another cloud telephony and IVR service provider that has become quite popular in the market. Businesses can run their virtual call center from any part of the world. Similar to the name, it leverages cloud technology to provide a secured calling experience.
The platform comes with a great dashboard that is quite user-friendly. The businesses will get to choose their preferred language with CloudTalk.
Five9 is an all-in-one cloud contact center. With this, the customer service executives can work from anywhere without any hassle. They don’t need to set up some modern infrastructure or software. Five9 is completely customizable and is focused on meeting business requirements irrespective of size.
Five9 is one of those contact center software that is quite fast, reliable, easy to use, and affordable.
Zendesk Talk is a call center that is completely based on the cloud. They are quite reliable IVR service providers with advanced features and technology. It is built into the cloud ticketing system for Zendesk support. The agents will have access to the call logs of customers and various additional features like call recording, automated ticket creation, etc.
Zendesk offers various plans for organizations and business owners can choose the right one according to their requirements.
Wrapping it Up
In this article, we have covered all the required details related to the call center on the cloud. Most businesses are moving to the cloud because of the flexibility and resilience it is offering. However, when you are making such a huge shift, it is important to make sure that all the bases are covered.
When talking about bases, we are talking about all the required features, security, data accessibility, and ease of operation. You can get every one of these with Office24by7. There is no denial in saying that communication is the key for every organization. Be it internal communication, or external, an organization requires proper communication setup and Office24by7 is here to offer the same. There is no denial in saying that Office24by7 is one of the best cloud telephony and IVR service providers.
With different cost-effective packages, you can enable the transformation without burning a hole in your pocket. If you are looking for a great product with amazing after-sales support, then Office24by7 is the only thing you need.