Recession, competition, and fast-growing demand have made call centre operations more expensive by the year. Many companies have coped by delegating a large part of their tasks to call centre software. Besides saving manpower and overhead costs, these programs allow companies to devote resources to other operations, such as training employees, and do business over larger areas with relatively small investments.
Most operations use hosted call centre programs. This means that information is hosted, or stored, in a remote network managed by the software provider. This information includes customer, company, and agent details, as well as transaction and call histories. A call centre accumulates a good deal of data over the course of a year, and would normally need lots of hardware to keep it all. Hosted call centre software takes care of this problem by storing the information elsewhere.
Another advantage of hosted call centre software is that it doesn’t limit operations to a physical location. The data can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection (although preferably a secure one) any time of the day, unlike traditional businesses where office hours are fixed. While a brick-and-mortar office will still be necessary, employees will have the option to work from home and work on their own schedules, something that has been shown in many studies to improve employee productivity. The company itself can even hire people from a larger area, even overseas.
Updating is a common issue in hosted call centre software, as with most other business applications. Fortunately, many of the programs available today are automatically updated by the vendor without affecting the data; some will do it for free and others will charge a monthly fee. Users are simply informed of new features as needed. And since the program itself isn’t on an office hard drive, there’s no need to worry about installing and uninstalling–the only issue is usually training the employees to use the program.
Nonetheless, call centre software is no small investment in terms of time and money. Transferring data from one service to another can be costly, not to mention risky as much of the information is confidential. Few companies can afford to change programs every other week. Make sure to choose the right program for your operations and type of business. Some of them work well for small companies while others are designed for multinationals; some fit well in the retail industry while others are better for technology or media.