7 Ways VoIP Improves Inbound Call Center Performance & ROI
The VoIP system is a critical aspect of a successful inbound call center. VoIP allows businesses to affordably receive and manage calls, including managing day-to-day operations. VoIP is a phone solution that for the most part, removes the need to know how to set up an inbound call center technical-wise. VoIP stands for Voice Over IP (Internet Protocol) and is what makes phone service over the web possible.
The technology turns analog phone signals into digital ones, making it feasible to make and receive calls using your Internet connection. Today an Internet phone system is the best inbound call center solution available due to affordability and its many features. Functions such as call monitoring, distribution, and routing among others that enhance inbound call center experience. Let’s take a look at each.
1. Multi-line Phone System
A VoIP system is multi-line, which allows call centers to use multiple phones at once. That means agents needn’t have to wait for others to stop using their phones before taking or making calls. Also, the number of phone lines supported by VoIP is virtually limitless since the main factor is your Internet speed.
For example, 1Mbps (megabits per second) upload speed will probably support 10 phone lines. While a 100Mbps upload speed should handle at least 500 lines with ease. Unlike VoIP, adding lines to a traditional phone system can greatly increase infrastructure expense. The phone infrastructure is maintained and managed by the provider with VoIP, which eliminates a boatload of extra cost.
2. ACD (Automatic Call Distribution)
ACD is a VoIP feature that enables the distribution of calls to several phone systems based on availability and set conditions. This is a very useful feature for handling huge volumes of inbound calls. In general, ACD allows an inbound call center to easily route incoming calls to suitable agents without placing customers on hold.
There are several types of ACD setups. These are time-based, location-based, skill-based, most idle, round-robin, priority, cascading, and direct line routing. Some VoIP phone providers like Ring Central offer true omnichannel inbound and outbound routing. That means your call center agents will be able to reach customers using their preferred method of communication (e.g. email, text message, social, etc.)
Time-based routing directs calls to a specified group/department based on the time a call was received. For example, let’s assume you have two locations in different time zones. Inbound calls can be routed to the open location and vice versa. Essentially, calls can be routed to each location according to which one is open for business.
Similar to time-based, location-based routing directs calls to designated teams in charge of handling them. Calls are routed to the nearest call center based on the incoming caller’s location. All of this happens behind the scenes via the implementation of various conditions. For example, an international enterprise may direct callers from the USA to its Canadian call center to eliminate any language barriers.
Skill Based Routing
VoIP combined with an IVR (interactive voice response) system enables businesses to route calls based on agent expertise. This is a good thing if you want to streamline processes while increasing customer satisfaction. Furthermore, calls can be routed to agents based on the advertising message that generated the call (via click-based tracking).
Most Idle Routing
This method sends calls to extensions or locations that have the least inbound call traffic. For instance, agents that haven’t taken a call in some time will be assigned a caller instead of routing calls to faster-working employees. Failsafe measures can also be implemented to ensure calls are answered. For example, you can send calls to the next idlest agent if an employee doesn’t answer after two or three rings.
This will distribute inbound calls to agents evenly. That means an employee won’t be given a call even though they’re available if he or she has handled more calls than others. This is a great way of ensuring that everyone is contributing to the success of the inbound call center.
Cascading Call Routing
You can prioritize the order in which calls are routed using cascading call routing. For example, the system can attempt to send calls to employees or departments that have the highest level of expertise first. This kind of routing increases the likelihood that the client needs will be met.
Priority Customer Routing
Some callers can be moved ahead of the pack with this feature. For instance, a business can use it to prioritize customers that initiates a call using their mobile app. Also, this type of routing can be used to direct clients to a different phone number (e.g. 24/7 or emergency departments).
Direct Line Routing
Use this feature to route callers to specific staff members. These customers will have priority access to the given agent, which automatically moves them ahead of other callers. Call centers that handle customers who require consistent coaching or advice from account managers should find this feature extremely helpful.
3. IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
IVR is a technology that allows computers to interact with humans by listening to their voice or via the push of buttons. IVR is an invaluable VoIP extension for enhancing the customer experience. Call centers can convert audio to text, enable speech recognition, and advanced personalization.
Voicemail to Email Transcription
Some companies allow callers to leave voicemails but many customers don’t receive a response. This is because call centers are usually busy. Plus listening to each voicemail message will be painfully time-consuming depending on how many you have to go through.
Thankfully, the VoIP phone audio to text feature converts voicemail into text and emails them to specified destinations. Now, staff can simply read all messages via email and respond as needed. In addition, audio to text improves voicemail searchability, which is handy whenever records have to be pulled.
Speech Recognition and Personalization
IVR also enables speech recognition and advanced personalization tools. The former is what makes it possible for callers to speak their intent or responses instead of pushing buttons. The latter allows automated systems to take calls and handle customer requests without needing a live agent (e.g. provide store hours or client account balances).
4. Call Screening
Like it sounds, this lets your organization screen calls based on caller ID. The system chooses how to best handle a call once the caller has been identified. There are several possible applications for this feature. For instance, you can route incoming calls from employees to a staff-only department. Similarly, key executives can be directed to a designated department for handling.
5. Call Monitoring
Call monitoring is a key feature in VoIP that enables call centers to more effectively coach teams. Barge and Whisper are two amazing coaching tools of VoIP’s monitoring system that any inbound call center will benefit from. Whisper allows managers to give advice/tips to employees without the customer being aware. Barge lets you listen in on calls without employees and clients knowing.
Also, you can record calls without staff and the client being aware. Real-time listening and recording ensure quality and compliance, including improve onboarding. However, some vendors handle them better than others. For example, Vonage is a provider with a VoIP system that allows businesses to schedule and set varying conditions for recording calls.
You can obtain detailed information on the customer experience of every call and each inbound call center agent’s performance with VoIP analytics. Things like network performance, individual or average time on call, call volume, and other reports are available.
Typically the most important reports for call centers are customer experience, employee performance, and any real-time call activity data. Together these reports help organizations provide better customer service, easily identify employees that need assistance, and keep up with customer needs.
7. Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
CTI allows the integration or co-ordination of a telephone and computer system’s interactions. That means it enables different contact methods or channels such as voice, fax, email, and others to work together. CTI can improve productivity in call centers.
For instance, an inbound call center could integrate its CRM (customer relationship management) system to improve customer service and reporting. Similarly, organizations may use CTI to allow agents to receive and make calls using a PC instead of a telephone.
VoIP is Capable of Much More!
VoIP has way more features or functions than what we’ve discussed here like collaboration, call history, conferencing, DND (do not disturb), etc. So VoIP is practically a sure-fire inbound call center solution no matter the need. VoIP makes adding additional lines a breeze, which is something call centers require as call volume increases. And with the plethora of available features/functions, any call center has the potential to double or triple their productivity using the Internet phone system. Simply put, VoIP is how to set up an inbound call center that’s efficient and effective.