In today’s era, providing excellent customer service is a hygiene factor for all businesses. Its presence may not guarantee success, but its absence will certainly fail. To ensure impeccable customer service, enterprise-level organizations spend large amounts of money on equipment, infrastructure, human resource, and technologies.
Small businesses, however, cannot afford to spend that kind of money on customer service. But they can invest in a cost-effective solution, which can massively reduce their communication costs and give them a massive competitive advantage to compete with giants in their industry.
The name of the affordable solution is call center software. Since its invention, call center software revolutionized the call center industry. This blog post details the factors that make call center software extremely cost-effective and feasible for small businesses and how you can find the right call center software for your business. Read on and thank us later.
Things that make call center software extremely cost-effective
As per industry research, small businesses can register cost savings in the range of 15-20 percent by using call center software instead of traditional phone systems. The following attributes and features of call center software make them extremely affordable and practicable for small businesses.
1. No installation and maintenance costs
One of the most significant costs in traditional telephone systems is the installation and maintenance costs. But call center software need no installation and maintenance costs as users can access the software through a web browser. You just need a laptop, headset, and a stable internet connection to get started with the calls.
2. Flexibility and scalability
Previously, when call centers used traditional phone systems, they had to bear costs if they increased their seating capacity. The addition of one more agent means more costs. Sophisticated call center software enables businesses to effortlessly adjust their operations as per demand. During peak seasons, call center software can enable small businesses to add more agents with minimal additional costs. They can also scale down their operations as per their needs.
3. Least cost routing
Sophisticated call center software comes with a feature called least cost routing, which looks for the least expensive route to handle all incoming and outgoing calls. Even if a small business saves a fraction of a dollar per call, then imagine how much money it can save if it handles hundreds or thousands of calls per year.
4. Self-service and automation
Call center software automates many manual tasks and that translates into huge cost savings. Apart from that, Call center software also comes with many self-service features such as interactive voice response (IVR) systems, AI-powered chatbots, knowledgebase and FAQs, and more. The self-service and automation features in call center software can also significantly improve agents’ productivity, which can improve the company’s bottom line.
5. CRM integration
Advanced call center software can integrate effortlessly with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, which enables agents to access relevant customer data and take away all the pressures of managing customer relationships. With effective CRM integration, call centers can enhance customer satisfaction, decrease call handling time, and save a lot of costs.
6. Call analytics and reporting
Cutting-edge call center software with advanced analytics and reporting can help a lot in optimizing performance, identifying inefficiencies, making data-driven decisions, and more. All of these can help call centers in reducing costs and offer valuable insights into call center operations. Apart from that, analytics and reporting tools can help in pattern recognition, which can help call centers be proactive.
7. Call quality monitoring and training
Call center software comes with call quality monitoring and training tools, which enable call center managers and supervisors to assess agent performance and provide them with the right training. This feature can also save training costs by assessing training needs of specific agents and providing them with on-the-job training.
How to select the right call center software?
As a small business, you need to be extremely proactive and resolute while looking for call center software. That’s because handpicking the right call center software can have long-standing benefits. Conversely, selecting the wrong software can be extremely expensive and detrimental in the long run. So, here are some tried and tested strategies to help you select the right call center software.
1. Define your purpose and set a budget
First of all, you need to have a definite purpose of investing in call center software. Different businesses have different reasons to use call center software. Some leverage it to provide superior customer service. Some use it to reduce their communication costs. Some invest in it to enhance their agents’ productivity.
You will need to figure out what you want from the call center software. What do you look for the most in call center software—price, features, rating, or any other factors? Also, make sure to list out the key features you want it to have so that it can help you with your objectives. Answering these questions will not only give you enough clarity to select the right call center software but also set aside a reasonable budget.
2. Use the internet to look for reliable and high-quality call center software
After setting a reasonable budget, it’s time to look for call center software. The Internet is the best place to do window shopping! Type some high-intent search terms such as:
“best call center software for small businesses”
“low-cost call center software for small business”
“affordable call center software for small business”
“small business call center software”
After pressing the enter button, you will get a dozen results. While many websites will belong to software providers, you may find some websites belonging to aggregators such as G2, Software Suggest, GetApp, Capterra, and more, which compile a list of 10 to 20 software providers along with their features, prices, ratings, reviews, and more.
3. Visit top software providers’ websites and look at features and testimonials
The next step is to visit the top five to six websites of software providers and aggregators. Those websites on the first search engine result page can provide you with a wealth of insights regarding call center software. More often than not, the top rankers not only rank on the top due to excellent search engine optimization but also due to their brand names and the value they provide to their clients.
After visiting every website, check out all the relevant information such as prices, ratings, reviews, and more. If you are on a software provider’s website, visit their ‘Home’ and ‘About Us’ pages, to know more about their story and track record. Many reputable software providers display their customer testimonials on their Home page or a separate ‘Testimonial’ page. Check out what their customers say about them. Many software providers also mention if they provide free demos or not on their websites. Finally, go to their ‘Contact Us’ page and collect their phone numbers or email address to connect with their sales team.
If you find the website of some aggregators listing ‘Top 10 (or top 20) call center software for small businesses,’ feel free to visit their websites as well as you will get a lot of information from one place. That will enable you to have a bird’s-eye-view of some of the best call center software providers, after which you can visit their websites to do your research.
4. Contact the software providers and ask them for a free demo
After reading the relevant details about the software providers, you can make up your mind about which one to contact for more information and which one to pass on. You have also noted down their phone numbers (or email addresses). The next thing you must do is to schedule a call with the software providers’ sales team to know more about their products and ask them about a free demo.
While many software providers mention free demos on their websites, some don’t mention on their websites even if they provide free demos. While speaking to the sales team, ask them categorically if they provide a free demo. If they deny, move on to the next software provider till you find the one that meets all your criteria.
5. Introduce the software to your team and seek their feedback
Last, but not least; after the software provider agrees to a free demo, introduce the call center software to your team and ask them for their feedback. You should do this to ensure that your customer service team can use the software as effectively as they can. If the call center software is user-friendly and easy to use, then it can enable your agents to be productive and ultra-efficient at their work. Ask your customer service team to provide regular feedback on the call center software. If they are happy with the software, consider buying it.
Taking everything into account,
Call center software can be extremely powerful and cost-effective for small businesses. When you invest in the right call center software, you not only manage to save on communication costs but also delight your customers and enhance your revenue.