Contact Center software – This is the main technology tool that enables your contact center to operate productively by providing all the necessary features to manage inbound and outbound contacts as well as agent performance. On-premises or in the cloud, it core functions include call distribution and routing, call recording, quality monitoring, analytics and script design.
ACD: Automated Call Distribution – It´s the system that manages the incoming calls and routes them to the next available agent based on a set of skills that you decide. For example, if your caller has selected an option in your phone menu to subscribe to a new service, the ACD function will route them to the next available sales agent. Of course, you can apply multiple skills to a single agent and define priorities so that the call is answered based on other criteria such as call overflow.
CTI: Computer Telephony Integration – This feature allows your computers to interact with your phone system. It can do a lot of things, here are the main ones:
- Identify the caller based on their call data and what information you hold in your system, e.g. phone number.
- Automatically dial a number
- Answer calls, place them on hold, perform a call transfer etc.
- Record calls in your CRM
- Allow you to monitor calls that are waiting to be answered
ACW: After Call Work – These are the tasks that your agents will perform after a contact has ended. Of course, they will leave notes in the customer´s file but there may be other work required. For example, they may need to send a request to a different department. ACW is just as important as the duration of the call and needs to be taken into account when doing resource planning to ensure there are enough agents ready to deal with contacts.
PBX: Private Branch Exchange – It´s the system that connects your internal phone systems to the actual public phone network. Typically, it allows people to contact you on multiple phone lines using a single phone number. PBX systems also provide call transfer, call recording, voicemail and vocal server functionalities. At ICR evolution we´re happy to integrate our contact center software with your PBX but if you don´t have one, we recommend Asterisk which can be used for free and is easy to implement.
IVR: Interactive Voice Response – it´s the automated server that enables your callers to navigate to the agent who is best placed to deal with their query. Originally, it was structured as a simple menu where the caller would press the relevant button on their phone. It then evolved to becoming an automated self-service function that would be aimed at deflecting calls. More recently, it has incorporated Natural Language Processing and speech recognition to improve user satisfaction and reduce the time callers are spending pressing buttons before they can reach a human. These days, real time contact channels and chatbots are starting to take over the IVR service.
Predictive dialer – If your company does outbound calling campaigns, using a predictive dialer is a huge time saver when used appropriately. It´s an automated system that dials the numbers you want to call and looks for no-answers, voicemails, busy signals etc. so that your agents only get calls that are ready to be attended. By dialing multiple numbers at the same time and using call metrics to predict when the next agent will become available, it reduces the time agents are left waiting for a useful contact as well as ensuring customers receiving calls are not waiting either for an agent to become available. Our predictive dialer is easy to use and effective, supporting maximum agent productivity.
Intelligent Contact Routing – This feature, included in ICR evolution contact center software, assigns a contact to the best possible agent depending on the criteria you´ve set. These can be for example the reason for contact, the type of person contacting e.g. a VIP, their lifetime value, the current wait time for the agent etc.
The system then looks for the next available agent who is the closest match to the skills needed to deal with the contact.
Omnichannel versus Multichannel – A brand will usually serve customers through multiple channels such as phone, email or even in-store. The availability of several care channels is a multichannel approach. Traditionally these channels didn’t necessarily interact with each other to provide a seamless customer experience, meaning the customer who had been in store explaining an issue and was told to contact over phone would have had to explain their issue all over again. Enter the omnichannel approach, which we particularly value at ICR evolution, and which regroups all channel interactions into a single system to have a single view of the customer, providing a superior experience.
WebRTC: Web Real-Time Communication – It´s a free technology that enables customers to engage with your brand directly via modern channels such as click-to-call, video sharing or chatbots, while maintaining a seamless omnichannel experience. WebRTC is an essential component of an omnichannel contact center strategy and promotes unified communications which improve customer experience. The latest version of our contact center software integrates WebRTC.
Looking for advice on how to measure the performance in your contact center? Download our ebook on KPIs here. Do you need a personalized consultation on your contact center needs? We´re here to help, so drop us a line and we´ll be in touch.