What are some technology "must haves" for your call center?

What do you consider to be 'must haves' for call centers? Auto dialers? IVRs? SIP?

Answer

David Filwood (Principal Consultant, TeleSoft Systems)
I’m sure you’re going to receive all sorts of Hardware/Software advice for what you ‘must have’ in your Call Center – just don’t lose sight of the fact that fundamentally it’s all about the quality of the ‘Humanware’ you deploy to begin with.

While most everyone can use a telephone - not everyone is cut out to work in a Call Center environment. Someone may have “The Right Stuff” to be a great Customer Service & Support CSR – it doesn’t necessarily follow that the same individual is also a good fit for the more demanding & sales-oriented requirements of Up-Sell/Cross-Sell/Customer Win-Back – let alone Inside Sales, TeleSales or TeleCollections.

Hiring the wrong Agent to begin with is the Root Cause of most Call Center Performance Issues. It’s also a significant drain on your Budget & Bottom Line – on Customer Satisfaction - and on Revenue. Every failed hire represents wasted dollars down the drain. Not to mention the Lowered Productivity, Poor Morale & Higher Absences associated with a Poor Job Fit.

Typically there are 3 grades of Agents found in a Call Center: (Above Average), (Average), and (Below Average).

(Above Average) Agents seem to have “The Right Stuff” that pushes them to succeed & a natural compatibility with the duties of the position. They work hard - exceed expectations - do more than asked - achieve high-quality consistent results - can always be counted upon - need little direction & work extremely well with everyone.

(Average) Agents perform their duties adequately enough “to get by” - but no better. They are the partially competent. Generally they’re strong from a Skills standpoint but missing a key ingredient or two from a Job Fit standpoint.

(Below Average) Agents are the people who just don’t fit somehow. Sometimes they’re good people in the wrong jobs. They need extra coaching & supervision just to achieve average results. Often they cause unnecessary conflict. (Below Average) Agents have the Highest Levels of Absenteeism, Lowest Levels of Productivity & Sales, Poorest Performance & Customer Satisfaction Ratings, and generally have a Negative Impact on Team Morale. They represent the real problems in a Call Center workforce. While (Average) & (Below Average) Agents may seem fully qualified at the Interview Stage – they’re a Poor Job Fit – the cost of hiring them is enormous – with little value add to an organization.

Top performing Call Centers drive their Revenue & Performance through superior hiring tactics. We help employers gain better insight & more accurate predictions as to which applicants from a pool of Candidates would perform up to, or beyond their established standards. You can find out about a Free Trial of SPAS Call Center Agent Pre-Employment Screening Software at http://www.telesoftsystems.ca/64201.html
1 Additional Answer
Aymen Ismail (Customer Experience Specialist, National Health Insurance Company-Daman)
In my opinion, any call center should contain the following systems:

- CRM system
- Workforce Management system
- Call Recording system

Along with the basic systems, such as 'Automatic Call Distribution', 'Interactive Voice Response', and 'skills-based routing'.

i think the above are the most important to be able to run the call center efficiently.

other software & systems, will increase the value & performance, but of course the above needs to be available.
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