With quotas to meet, targets to hit, and bonuses to earn, call center agents and managers want to be as productive and profitable as possible. They also want to focus their time on the best part of their job — connecting with people, whether fostering new leads or nurturing existing customer relationships.
But that’s sometimes easier said than done. When representatives are stuck dialing phone numbers, listening to ringtones and busy signals, and encountering voicemail and not-in-service messages, productivity and momentum decreases. And when your team’s morale suffers, the company’s bottom line suffers.
In this business, there’s no time for downtime. Let’s take a look at the three technologies call centers need to connect the right agents with the right leads, raise conversion rates, and increase revenue.
Three call center technologies, one stack
To maximize efficiency, your call center technology stack needs three core components:
- A predictive dialer that can automate the time-consuming process of manually making calls and dial multiple numbers simultaneously.
- An automatic call distribution (ACD) system that immediately connects prospects and customers who answer to an available agent.
- A customer relationship management (CRM) platform that collects and analyzes data across all touchpoints, while also tracking and recording calls in real time.
These three solutions need to complement one another and function in tandem. If you optimize your capacity to place outbound calls, but your ability to allocate inbound traffic can’t keep pace, you’ll only create frustration for your customers and your agents. And if you’re not leveraging analytics to help management measure success, target leads, and identify areas of improvement, it’s a missed opportunity for the whole organization.
That’s why today’s call centers are parting ways with their disjointed legacy systems and investing in powerful, cloud-based solutions. When you have a complete call center technology stack hosted on the cloud, you don’t have to download or maintain software on your own servers, or worry about installation and integrations. Best of all, you can scale your operations as needed.
Keep talking: The power of predictive dialing
Call centers often suffer from the same problems: capped lines that constrain outreach, slow routing and limited rules, suboptimal scheduling and lead targeting, and an inability to scale. While there are many tools designed to solve these challenges individually, they don’t work across platforms and providers to deliver a single, streamlined solution — and this piecemeal approach to adoption leads to rising costs as licenses have to be constantly renewed.
An intelligent predictive dialer is the most efficient and cost effective option on the table.
Why is that, exactly? For one, a predictive dialer can be programmed to make multiple calls at the same time. In addition, a predictive dialer can adjust to agent availability in real time, connecting live answers to reps based on pre-set, customizable controls and calls-per-agent ratios. The right solution can triple agent talk time and increase conversions by as much as 300%.
With all the offerings on the market, there are a few call center software features in particular that you should look for in your predictive dialer:
- Dynamic lead targeting is a huge value-add, allowing you to input custom criteria that includes things like lead data and lead status, so that you’re prioritizing your most promising prospects.
- Customizable Do-Not-Call (DNC) lists ensure comprehensive telemarketing compliance, so choose a solution that lets you import and export your existing lists, as well as filter and edit them.
- CRM dialer integration that gives managers access to detailed reporting metrics, stats, and analytics for each call and campaign, as well as the ability to monitor agents from a single, centralized dashboard.
- Live floor monitoring capabilities so managers can listen, whisper in, and take over calls in progress.
Since predictive dialers are cloud-based, reps can make continuous calls without needing landlines or cell phones — and without needing time-consuming downloads or additional fees. A predictive dialer that lives on the cloud can also work side-by-side with a CRM system on the same platform, providing a seamless and complete call center integration.
Never leave a call hanging: Why you need ACD
As mentioned before, there’s no point in optimizing your ability to make outbound calls if you don’t have what it takes to intelligently allocate inbound traffic at the same time. That’s where automatic call distribution comes in.
This is a core component of an effective call center technology stack, alongside a predictive dialer and CRM integration. An advanced ACD solution doesn’t just connect calls to available agents — it connects them to the best available agent. Flexible queue strategies allow you to prioritize agents based on their skill or past success, rather than simply sending calls to the next free rep. You can also make sure inbound numbers from known leads are routed to the agents they previously spoke with, ensuring continuity of sale. This creates a more personalized marketing experience, which could be the deciding factor for potential customers.
Along with setting skills-based, availability-based, and campaign-based routing systems for inbound calls, your ACD system should offer a range of other queue strategies. Here are four that are especially useful:
- “Ring all” means that each call can be answered by any available agent, and the first to answer will receive the call.
- “Random” will route inbound calls to reps in the queue in no particular order, so that everyone is equally active.
- “Least recent” automatically sends the incoming call to the agent that hasn’t been on a call for the longest time.
- “Round robin” lists all agents in the queue, and routes inbound calls to them in a circular order based on their availability.
An ACD system can even take this a step further by making sure agents are included in the queue whether they’re located in a main call center, another branch, or at home. This is especially important as workforces become increasingly remote — but also offers long-term benefits, including reduced overhead and increased agent morale. Other key features to look for in a user-friendly ACD platform include unlimited inbound queues, interactive-voice response (IVR) capabilities, and API integrations with live-transfer lead sources.
This blended inbound-outbound model — being able to make multiple simultaneous outbound calls, while also having automatic queues for inbound call distribution — is critical to achieving success and scale for modern call center operations.
Tie it all together: An intelligent CRM system
A predictive dialer and ACD solution empower agents to engage more leads, close more deals, and spend as much time as possible having actual conversations with prospects and customers. But a CRM is what gives agents and managers a panoramic view of this process, making the most of insights and data to drive value where it matters most.
If used properly, a CRM should provide an intuitive dashboard that allows sales teams to accumulate data on their leads and customers. You should be able to:
- See your customers’ disposition, contact history, and unique needs and pain points on their individual profiles.
- Leverage tools such as robust calendars and data analytics to provide service, insight, and support throughout their journeys.
- Understand how and when to drive upsells and conversions along the way.
However, it doesn’t stop there. A CRM with powerful call center integrations shouldn’t just provide reporting metrics and analytics after the fact. It should also be able to monitor conversations, agent productivity, talk time, and campaign results as they occur. All calls also need to be logged and recorded for quality assurance and compliance.
There’s a lot of information that needs to be securely stored in a CRM. That’s why it’s increasingly critical for companies to invest in a cloud solution. Today’s top CRM systems let you track leads, metrics, and sales floor activity from a single interface, so that all the information you need is in front of you — which means no more toggling between multiple screens. And of course, a cloud-based CRM delivers the features and integrations that maximize compatibility with your predictive dialer and ACD to create an all-in-one solution.
The Triple Crown of call center technology
A predictive dialer, ACD, and CRM support one another in a continuous flow:
- The predictive dialer drastically cuts down on agent downtime so that they’re empowered to field more inbound calls.
- The ACD ensures that inbound calls are reaching the right sales and campaign reps as efficiently as possible.
- The CRM tracks all the data, so that inbound calls can be connected to the most suitable agents and outbound calls can be strategically optimized to convert leads and meet sales targets.
When all three components of this call center technology stack come from the same provider, they’re much more likely to function together as an integrated unit.
That’s ReadyMode’s speciality. Our predictive dialer and automatic call distribution software combine with our category-leading CRM to bring you a holistic, scalable, and complete technology stack for your call center. And because our best-in-class solution is based in the cloud, there’s no costly downloads, add-ons, or contracts. Sign up for a free demo, and see the difference ReadyMode makes.
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