Is Your Cloud Call Center Solution Missing These 7 Must-Have Features?

A robust and adaptable cloud call center solution is an essential tool for any customer service operation. But – not all solutions are built equally! 

If you choose the wrong one, you’ll miss out on a whole range of features that could benefit your agents and customers, now and into the future. 

In this article we’ll take a look at seven features that your cloud call center software really must have. (As well as how they help your business!) 

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In this post:

  1. Cloud call center solutions need configurable routing,
  2. straightforward integration with other tools
  3. and workflow automation.
  4. As well as real-time data or agents,
  5. multichannel self-service,
  6. automated outbound dialing, 
  7. and the ability to route to anywhere!

7 essential features of cloud call center solutions

#1 Configurable routing 

The vast majority of call center platforms offer some form of call routing

But how often do they offer routing that is genuinely configurable to your exact needs? The answer is “rarely” – and without this functionality, you’ll never be as effective as you could be. 

We believe that it’s essential for cloud call center software to offer both:

  1. VIP routing for high-value customers
  2. Skills-based routing

VIP routing works by matching the caller’s phone number to a phone number in your CRM profile. When it establishes that a customer is a VIP, it can follow a bespoke journey, defined by you. 

For example, they might jump the queue and get routed straight to a specialist team. Or, it could be as simple as informing the receiving agent that this is a VIP.

Cloud call center solutions

What is a VIP customer?

Here’s an important question – whole decides what a “VIP customer” actually is? 

This is the kind of detail that you need to be able to configure for yourself, quickly and easily, but also flexibility i.e. not limited by a group of options that the solutions provider chose!

You might opt for customers with a high account value. Or it could be accounts with an upcoming contract renewal date, or prospects that recently had a sales meeting.

What matters is that you get to make that call. 

Skills based routing is a different approach. This is all about routing customers to the agent best placed to help them. 

You must be able to decide on the skills based on your needs.

Businesses with global customers can route customers to an agent that speaks their language. 

Or you can route calls based on their position in your sales funnel.

For example:

  • Leads go to your sales team
  • New customers go to customer success
  • Those with an upcoming renewal date go to agents that specialize in retention

Being able to choose means you route calls using the signals that best suit your needs, not those predefined by your software provider.

#2 Straightforward integration with any tool

Tools are more effective when they integrate with the other software your business uses. 

Two important integrations for call center solutions are those that connect to your Helpdesk and CRM.

Helpdesk integration is essential for offering omnichannel support.

It brings telephony and digital channels into a single platform. Agents can provide quality support on any channel from one piece of software. 

CRM integration ensures agents have access to a customer’s profile. 

Seeing purchases and historical data helps them provide better, more informed support. 

Once your platforms are connected, you can share data between each one. Information from your CRM can show up in your helpdesk and vice versa.

You can also enable all kinds of workflow automation between each one and other connected tools. 

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#3 Workflow automation 

Want to make life easier for yourself? Automate more. It’s as simple as that.

The right automation will both:

  1. Reduce the manual work agents have to do, and
  2. Ensure you always take the most relevant actions 

You’ll get more work done without hiring more agents, and you’ll optimize your processes.

Cloud call center solutions to enhance worfklow automation

What automations do the best cloud call center solution offer? 

Adding customer data to tickets is a typical example of call center automation. 

Agents save time because they don’t have to search through your CRM to find customer data. They’re also better equipped to offer targeted service as they have instant knowledge of a customer’s needs.

Call list compilation is helpful too. Automating calls list creation saves time operational leaders who would otherwise do a lot of this by hand. 

Scheduling outbound calls is just call routing in reverse, so that’s another feature you’ll want to configure based on your own criteria – not somebody else’s criteria! 

There are many different types of automation you can implement. Read our article on contact center automation for an in-depth look at some of the most important.

#4 Real-time data for agents

70% of customers say service agents who are aware of past interactions are important to keeping their business. 

You almost certainly store this information already. You just need to make sure agents can access it when they speak to customers. 

Setting up your system to recognize the caller and automatically bring up relevant information is an effective way to do this. 

Here’s how it works:

  • When the agent answers the phone, they have instant access to the caller’s account, including their previous support history and purchases. 
  • With this information, customers can provide more informed service that better meets the customer’s needs.

Another way to get data to agents is to use conversational AI to track the calls and make real-time suggestions. 

Imagine an agent talking to a caller who wants to cancel their contract. 

A modern conversational system could recognise this and recommend the optimal steps for the agent to take to keep them on board. 

Cloud call center solutions for better information exchange

#5 Multichannel self service 

Customers are increasingly happy to find help independently via self-service. 74% of people report using these channels

There are two major benefits to offering (good) self-service:

  1. You improve the customer experience by meeting their expectations
  2. You massively reduce call volume as customers don’t need help from an agent 

Looking online, customer will find self-service tools like knowledge bases or chatbots. 

But your call center solutions should also provide self-service help options over the phone. 

Conversational AI-based IVR systems are a great example. When someone calls, the caller simply states their problem, and the system finds the answer. 

It works in fundamentally the same way as a chatbot – the only difference is that the input it’s processing is sound rather than text.

These tools won’t solve all customer issues. But they do an excellent job of handling common customer questions like reservation confirmations, delivery updates, or balance inquiries.

Integrated SMS and messaging can also provide help to customers automatically.

For example, you can send order updates so customers don’t have to call your contact center. 

Or you can automate messages to go out based on specific triggers, such as service issues. This keeps customers informed about potential problems.

#6 Automated outbound calling

Automating outbound calling can improve the customer experience and make your contact center more effective. 

Automated lead outreach is an excellent example of how you can use the technology to drive efficiencies that can lead to sales. 

It’s well established that responding to leads quickly results in more sales. Automating this process ensures you always respond in time. 

Here’s how it could work:

  1. Someone fills out a form on your website. 
  2. This triggers a call to be added to your call list.
  3. You can set rules so it gets prioritized ahead of other call types.
  4. It goes to an agent who specializes in sales. 

But that’s not the only use case

Virtual queuing is another example of automated outbound. 

Instead of waiting on hold, customers facing a long wait time are entered into a virtual queue. They can hang up and go about their day, and you call them back at a time when you’re less busy. 

This can have a huge impact on the customer experience, as customers consistently rank waiting on hold as one of the activities they hate the most. 

Cloud call center solutions for proactive service

#7 Cloud call center solutions can route to *anywhere*

Almost 75% of contact centers allowed agents to work from home during the pandemic. 

Of course, this was only possible because of call center solutions that allowed businesses to route calls anywhere.

There are plenty of reasons to route calls to remote agents beyond navigating the pandemic.  

A big one is that it allows you to hire remote agents anywhere in the world.

Why is this useful? Well, it allows you to hire based on skills and experience rather than location. 

You can find people with the specific knowledge needed to help your customers. Remote agents are also typically happier, meaning that retention rates are much higher in virtual contact centers than in standard, brick and mortar locations. 

Remote hiring can also help you bring in agents during busy times of the year without the expense of hiring temporary office space. 

Imagine an eCommerce store that has a much higher call volume around Black Friday. 

They could hire temporary agents to work in the months around this period to help with the extra call load. 

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