We’ll jump into what makes a cloud call center software great, but first, let’s set up the conversation with a little background on cloud call centers and why they increasing in popularity. What makes a cloud call center an improvement over traditional call centers? In general, cloud call centers do not require the same up-front costs required by old-school call centers. The setting up of a cloud call center requires no additional hardware and no additional staffing to set up or to maintain it (those are done by the cloud service provider). Those are two major expenses that a cloud call center saves you. The cloud call center easily wins in the conversation of system features as well. There are a multitude of features and information at the operator’s fingertips that previously were not available with traditional call centers. These include: Predictive Dialer Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) Social media integration Enhanced quality control More real-time interactions and analytics In fact, with advantages like these, it’s no wonder that call centers that operate with cloud capability and technology are replacing traditional call centers. Show Me the Features! You’ll be provided with an exciting slate of new features with a web-based connection. Flexibility: You can work across all devices because your call center is mobile when connected to the cloud. The features listed below can be used not just from your office computer, but from your cellphone or tablet device from anywhere. If you’re a manager, it’s a great advantage to follow things when you’re not in the office. If you’re an operator, you can work remotely when the need arises. Interface: You’re equipped with an easy to read, easy to navigate interface. Omnichannel Support: Your customers interact with you in numerous ways, whether it’s by phone, your website (which can be accessed by mobile and desktop), or via different applications on the web such as social media sites. The best call center softwares will allow you to communicate with your customers across all of these channels. Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS): This is information that is accessed on the internet during the phone call, including when an operator sees a caller’s Facebook page or finds online articles on the topic that the caller is calling about. KCS is more than just a name for a practice. It’s a methodology and a certification. KCS was developed by the Consortium for Service Innovation (CSI) and is meant to be not just an attitude, but a method of discovering and saving knowledge in order to help future callers and operators. It’s a method of creating a knowledge data base. It places useful information at your operator’s (and thus your customers’) fingertips. Predictive Dialer: The advantage of a predictive dialer is that it cuts down on operator dialing time by pre-dialing the next customer on the call list. The operator downtime is reduced from 20 minutes an hour to 3 minutes per hour! Text-to-Speech: Do you want to check your e-mails while driving? You can with text-to-speech capability. How handy would it be to have your text messages read to you while you were driving back to the office or otherwise occupied with something else? You’ll save a ton of time and be that much ahead of your day. Enhanced Real-Time Interactions: This includes analytics, call barging, and call recording. You’ll have access to real-time analytics and see how your call center is performing at that very moment. In utilizing Call Barging, call center managers can speak (and thereby guide) an operator through their call. It’s helpful to all parties, including the consumer. You can also use Call Recording as a way of recording calls for training purposes. Third-Party Integration: This includes CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and social media. In addition to integrating with AdWords, Bing ads, and other marketing applications, a good call center software will integrate with your CRM and social media channels as described above. If you have third-party applications that are important to your business, make sure that your call center software will integrate with them. Analytics: You can make knowledgeable decisions and changes to your call center, not to mention your marketing campaigns, when you have great analytics and data to see what really transpired. The package includes operator downtime, caller demographics and location, call origin, and more. Interactive Voice Recording (IVR): The use of computerized intelligence to help filter phone calls and gather information from callers is not new for many large companies, but its use is being adopted by smaller ones as well. IVRs keep improving and thus creating a better customer experience. Desktop Sharing: If you’ve called for service regarding some aspect of your computer, whether it’s a hardware issue or an application, such as QuickBooks, you may have experienced desktop sharing. This gives the service representative limited access to your computer (you can see everything they are doing) in order to help you work through the problem you are having. Skills-Based Routing: This is the process of routing incoming calls to the most knowledgeable agent, not just the next available one. It’s clear that cloud call center softwares are changing the call center from a clunky dinosaur of sorts to a more streamlined operation that puts caller’s need first.