If your business has to take high daily call volumes, call center software features can help you streamline and automate your processes.
But what features should you look for in a call center software?
In this article, we’ll look at a comprehensive list of 28 useful call center software features and how they can improve your organization’s efficiency.
This article includes:
(Click on a link below to jump to a specific section)
- 28 Must-Have Call Center Software Features
- Interactive Voice Response
- Automatic Call Distribution
- Call and Screen Recording
- Computer Telephony Integration
- Desktop notifications
- Power dialer
- Customer Relationship Management Integrations
- Call Whispering and Live Coaching
- Warm Calling and Transfer
- Call Center Analytics
- Omnichannel Support
- Call Scripting
- Cloud-Based Calling
- Mobile Apps
- Call Presence
- Natural Speech Recognition
- Configurable Dashboards
- Simplified Coaching Process
- Employee Engagement
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
- Toll-Free Phone Numbers
- Follow Me
- Hold Music
- Call Notifications
- Workforce Management
- Technical Support
Let’s get started.
28 must-have call center software features
Before choosing a call center software, make sure you assess your business requirements.
You should then select software from a credible service provider that can offer you the most value for your money.
Here are 28 useful call center software features to help you decide what you need:
1. Interactive voice response (IVR)
Interactive voice response is a set of electronic telephony systems that help customers input the nature of their inquiry without any agent intervention.
Depending on how you set up the system, callers can listen to a recorded voice memo or navigate various options by pressing the right buttons.
One of the benefits of an interactive voice response or IVR system is that you won’t have to connect calls manually. It’s also intuitive and straightforward for a customer, thereby encouraging self-service.
2. Automatic call distribution (ACD)
An automatic call distribution system kicks in when a caller chooses a preferred option from the IVR menu. Based on the customer’s request, ACD carries out intelligent routing to connect the customer to the right agent or place it in the call queue.
A call center software ACD program will consider the caller’s ID, available agent, and knowledge to determine which representative handles a call.
ACD routing will help reduce callers’ frustration when they cannot speak to a representative who has enough knowledge or ability to help out.
The automatic call distributor will ensure skills-based routing, i.e., the most suitable agent takes the call.
Bonus: check out the 8 best contact center software available today.
3. Call and screen recording
Most call center software supports phone call recording features to help train agents, improve their productivity, and enhance customer satisfaction.
Additionally, screen recording can provide greater insight into what the agent experienced and their actions while assisting the customer calls. It also helps to bring about improvements in the process by understanding the gaps.
4. Computer telephony integration (CTI)
The best call center software has a fully integrated computer telephony integration (CTI.)
It connects the functions of your phone system or Private Branch Exchange (PBX system or business phone system) with that of your computer.
With CTI technology, you can access all your telephone services via a computer. You can also monitor your phone, fax, voice mail, hourly call volume, and agent performance.
This feature also ensures that you can have centralized control over all your business communications.
5. Desktop notifications
In a call center, agents handle a high volume of calls. Enabling desktop notifications will help them cut through data clutter by providing helpful information at the right time.
Desktop notifications provide both a visual and audio alert of an inbound call.
They also help sales agents screen calls to identify customers who need immediate help and prioritize them. It’s also useful for keeping agents informed about essential updates without affecting their current work.
6. Power dialer
It hardly takes more than a few seconds to dial a phone number. But if an agent makes thousands of calls each week, this can turn into hours.
A power dialer or auto dialer automatically dials phone numbers to reduce the time spent on making calls. Over time, this auto dialer will also help reduce labor costs.
Power dialers often come with a preview dialer feature. It allows agents to see which customer record will come up next, helping them prepare for the call.
Similarly, you can also use the predictive dialer feature to dial a list of phone numbers simultaneously. With predictive dialing, operators are connected to a caller only when the caller picks up.
7. Customer relationship management integrations (CRM software)
Most call center software integrates with CRM (customer relationship management) and help desk software to allow your support team to work faster, better, and more efficiently.
An intelligent CRM integration offers call center agents the correct information to respond to their customers. They can do so quickly without logging out of the CRM, which can help them service a customer more efficiently.
8. Call whispering and live coaching
There will be times when front-line agents will need some help during a call. Having some backup from a colleague or manager can save the day.
With live coaching, you can join a call without the customer noticing. And with the whisper feature, you can send your colleague a message to ensure they don’t get stuck during live calls and provide optimal customer service.
9. Warm calling and transfer
Warm calling is an effective way to reach out to new customers for your business.
It involves reaching out to a potential customer who has already shown interest in your product or service offerings.
In a warm-transfer situation, a representative at the call center will collect information from the customer. Based on the customer’s needs, the representative can use the warm transfer option to talk to their colleague before transferring the call their way.
This feature ensures you get them up to speed on the information they need to know to have a successful customer call.
10. Call center analytics
Analytics are crucial for providing real value with your call center software. By monitoring and measuring your metrics, you can optimize operations and increase agent efficiency.
Depending on your industry or sector, you should be able to analyze a host of metrics like missed calls, processing time, the average speed of answer, first call resolutions, and many more with the analytics functionality.
It’s best to choose an analytics software that measures and tracks these metrics in real-time to help you make data-driven changes to workflows and processes.
11. Omnichannel support
If you’re looking for a contact center software solution, it’s crucial to understand what communication channels (like SMS, email, live chat, or social media) it supports.
With the omnichannel feature, a customer service representative can see the history and context of prior customer interaction with a customer, regardless of the channel.
This unified customer service experience reduces friction and customer issues and increases front-line efficiency.
12. Call scripting
If you’re receiving many calls based on similar problems, consider software that offers call scripting features.
This feature allows the software to pick up keywords in your customer interaction and provide troubleshooting instructions based on a standard answer, much like a chatbot.
It can also help you create scripts that your agents can use for specific scenarios. This can help provide a consistent experience for your customers.
Learn how to write winning call center scripts with this comprehensive call scripting guide.
13. Cloud-based calling
Cloud-based or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a phone system that allows call centers to connect with online databases through the internet.
VoIP can be installed and maintained for much lower pricing than regular landlines because it doesn’t require traditional hardware.
With a VoIP phone system solution, you can usually get much cheaper rates for international calls. These low tariff rates can prove especially beneficial if you handle a high volume of international calls.
VoIP also offers the functionality of high-definition conferencing calls. This usually makes the call faster and clearer than a landline. And it travels through fewer hops, so the call is more reliable.
14. Mobile apps
Many contact center software offers mobile apps for smartphones and tablets that allow employees to access call center software features on the go.
A call center or contact center solution with apps for Android and iOS usually gives you access to calls, emails, detailed reports, and all the other features you’d find in the desktop version of your favorite services.
15. Call presence
Despite all the smart software solutions deployed in your call center, callers could sometimes end up with the wrong agent.
Fortunately, the call presence feature can help solve that. It helps managers know the current status of all representatives and customer support staff, allowing them to route calls to available representatives.
This way, you can decrease wait times for callers while streamlining customer service.
16. Natural speech recognition
Natural speech recognition helps a machine or program identify words or phrases in spoken language and convert them into a machine-readable format.
Call-center representatives can use this speech analytics call center software feature to quickly and accurately enter data into the computer.
A call center system with natural speech recognition can provide a better customer experience
by eliminating the need to push buttons or say specific words or phrases.
17. Configurable dashboards
Call center software with a well-designed dashboard is essential to understand how your call center is performing.
It lets you monitor different KPIs and issues that need immediate attention, including staffing patterns, volume, and others.
18. Simplified coaching process
Call center coaching is a quality management activity to provide call center agents with feedback, examples, performance assessments, and establish best practices.
Experts agree that coaching is essential for customer experience improvement. The best software has workflows that streamline the coaching process, making it more likely to happen.
Moreover, it provides ways to measure results by tracking coaching sessions and managing agent development, engagement, and retention.
19. Employee engagement
As the manager of a contact center, one of the biggest challenges is keeping staff motivated and engaged while maintaining call center metrics and efficiency.
An effective way to sustain employee engagement is using software that supports gamification.
Gamification helps motivate agents by setting targets, offering rewards, and incentivizing better performance. By monitoring an agent’s performance, you can also provide them with instant feedback.
For example, when the agent completes calls within the benchmark AHT, they instantly get recognized. They can track their progress against other agents at any time through a leaderboard.
20. Robotic process automation (RPA)
RPA provides an intuitive approach to simplify workflow and data integrations that combines efficiency with customer satisfaction.
With RPA, you can streamline agent tasks to eliminate repetition and decrease response times. It can also perform routine tasks on your behalf, like loading customer profiles and opening relevant applications.
RPA technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can benefit an inbound call center. They can help automate high-volume tasks which follow clear rules and do not require any complex decision-making.
21. Toll-free phone numbers
A toll-free number is a phone number that doesn’t charge the customer, enabling them to get free help with their product.
If you run a small business with no physical presence, the toll-free number option saves you money. It also enables customers to reach you without incurring long-distance charges.
22. Follow me
Follow Me is a call forwarding or call routing service to reach a specific agent or representative. It makes all of your phone numbers accessible with a single call from the customer.
For example, when an agent receives an inbound call, Follow Me will try to reach out to all their registered devices – mobile, office, home, or whichever order is pre-decided. The caller just has to dial one number instead of trying out different numbers to reach an agent.
The Follow Me system knows exactly which number to call and in what order without dropping the caller as the system tries one number after another. With this call center solution, callers can be reverted to an operator or voicemail if the line is busy or if the call is not picked up.
23. Hold music
Hold music is simply a feature that plays music to the caller when they get on hold for a better customer experience.
Calls can get put on hold for a few different reasons. Music can make a caller feel more comfortable when waiting to talk to a customer service representative.
24. Call notifications
Call notification is a call center software feature that triggers an email alert during outbound calls or incoming calls from a specific number.
With the help of this feature, you can set up call notification rules by category, so you know who is calling before you even pick up the phone.
For example, you can create an inbound calls category for your high-value customer and be notified to prioritize them each time they call your company.
25. Workforce management
Workforce management uses historical data to automate staffing requirements and help ensure there is enough staff.
It allows you to automate workforce scheduling while ensuring that the right number of skilled people and resources are in the right place at the right time to meet the desired service levels.
For example, using the forecasting feature of workforce optimization software, you can analyze past data to forecast your future contact volumes and required headcount.
26. Technical support
Technical support is a given if you use software hosted by a third party, but it’s usually limited. Before purchasing call center software, understand what kind of technical customer support is available if anything goes wrong.
Your call center software should be able to help you track compliance with government regulations. It should also help monitor compliance within your call center as part of monitoring agent behavior.
Some features to look out for in your call center software include instant compliance breach alerts and reasons for compliance failure.
Data breaches occur frequently, and almost no company is immune.
Your software solution should have excellent security features like advanced encryption, intruder detection, firewalls, and vulnerability management systems to protect your customer.
With the right call center software features, you can provide better customer service, remain responsive to client queries, and increase accessibility. It will go a long way in improving your key performance indicators, giving your business an instant competitive advantage.
Use the information we covered here to understand what features you should look for when choosing a call center software.
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.