Does your call center have three or more different software applications that users have to log in and out of to perform their tasks? If so, then it’s likely that the overhead of running multiple applications is sapping your overall efficiency.

Think of the productivity boost and cost savings you could achieve by consolidating those multiple products down into a single call center management software application.

In this series of blog posts, we’ll outline several critical areas that call center management software should cover. From CRM to phone systems, from HR to accounting, from reporting to workflow, in order to maintain a productive call center, a single integrated platform helps you streamline workflow and improve productivity.

In this first of six posts, we’ll outline five ways that your call center CRM software application can make or break your overall business success.

1. CRM is the lifeblood of your call center

Regardless of the industry you’re in, you’re going to need a place to store the data that your representatives will work on. This could be loans, legal claims, customer accounts or general contact records, depending on the type of business you conduct.

The cornerstone of a call center platform is a CRM database that meets your unique business requirements, and it’s critical you select the right tool for your needs. Why? Because CRM solution is not just a software tool, it’s the lifeblood of the call center. It houses the critical data required to make decisions and grow your business.

2. Things change – are you ready for it?

Processes change, client requirements change, and compliance rules change. To stay ahead, a CRM platform should be flexible and ever-evolving. What if you need a new field added? Or an option added to a select list? What if you need to modify a report or change security levels?

A call center CRM solution should allow you, with the right security level, to make these changes yourself, or have a support team available to quickly assist you. In performance driven “Call Center Land,” it’s often imperative for systems to be changed quickly, and you may not have the luxury of waiting weeks or months for your IT group to sort it out.

Your CRM software vendor should provide you with the appropriate tools and support to manage changes quickly and efficiently.

3. Keep it secure…and compliant

As with any system, security and compliance are paramount for success. You need to feel confident that your CRM data is stored securely and accessible as needed.

In many industries, having data at your fingertips is important for regulatory compliance. Be sure you choose a system that provides security, redundancy and simple retrieval of data. Detailed reports should make it easy to find and display this data as well.

4. Buckets of data

You may call them buckets, queues, account groupings, or work bins, but whatever name you give them, your CRM solution must give you the ability to group your work items into manageable groups. These groups or queues are essentially an organizing tool so that users can quickly see what they need to work on and when.

A good call center CRM application should include a “smart queue” concept that allows accounts to move in and out of queues automatically using time zone rules, client rules, custom rules, activity driven rules, etc. This keeps your accounts organized, prioritized, and ready to work.

5. They did what?

Fundamentally, a call center generates activities on accounts. From voice messages to customer contact to transfers to verified data, representatives initiate and then follow up on activities.

Your call center CRM software should include a robust and efficient journaling tool for capturing these activities. Activities should be able to further trigger other system events such as billable items, queue changes, reports, emails to management, etc.

These system events can then tie into workflow, reporting, and accounting, which we will outline in these additional blog posts: “3 ways to outpace your competition using call center automation software”, “Forget call center reporting; think real-time call center dashboard”, and “Most call center accounting software fails: Here’s why”.

Set yourself up for success

As you’ve seen, the importance of choosing the right call center CRM application cannot be underestimated. In order to position your call center for success, be sure you invest in a platform that meets these five critical needs.

In our next blog posts, we’ll explore why it’s critical for call center software to unify multiple applications into one cohesive, customizable solution. This makes management easier and prevents users from having to access multiple applications to perform day-to-day tasks.

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