When it comes to purchasing phone systems for customer service, it is considered that inbound call center software is the best option available. Is this true or is it another generally accepted meaning that has nothing to do with reality?
Well, if we talk about an all-in-one phone system that would cover all business needs without a need to buy additional software and tools, then yes – inbound call center solutions are the best solutions for providing customer service and managing customer experience and retention. It offers the most features among other phone systems, it has powerful integration capabilities, and it is the only solution that can be scaled up to a blended call center solution.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of inbound call center solutions available on the market, so the process of picking up the most affordable and capable solution is a difficult and effortful challenge.
So, this guide is here to help you avoid problems when choosing a business phone system for your company.
What Is an Inbound Call Center Solution?
An inbound call center solution is a business phone system to service inbound calls (incoming calls) from customers in the purpose to provide customer service, answer customer questions, or handle inbound sales calls. Inbound call center software is a software tool that includes all necessary features and capabilities to handle customer service operations using this solution only, which means it is a complete all-in-one tool that has all capabilities you need to run your business without picking up any third-party tools.
Moreover, you can integrate your existing business tools and processes with purchased inbound call center solutions – no matter whether it is CRM software or a help desk system, it depends on their API settings only.
So, the inbound call center solution looks like an all-in-one tool. But it doesn’t mean that there is only one type of inbound call center software – it can also be different based on some criteria.
What Are the Types of Inbound Call Center Solutions?
There are two main types of inbound call center solutions – on-premise inbound call center software and cloud-based inbound call center solutions. What is the difference between them? First of all, these two solutions differ not by their features or capabilities, but by their nature and infrastructure configuration that is used to run each of these solutions.
First of all, the main difference between cloud-based inbound solutions and on-premises inbound solutions is infrastructure locations. To put it simply, let us say that on-premise solutions require you to build all the infrastructure from zero, including purchasing servers, other hardware, licenses, and software itself, and afterward, you have to set it all up and maintain it regularly to make sure that the system will function properly and without any issues or breakdowns.
So, that is why it is called “on-premises”, which means it is located in your place. It also requires a separate room in your office to place all the hardware and build the environment for it – there are even temperature requirements to make your servers work properly.
Cloud-based call center software is absolutely a dissimilar thing – it runs all processes through the cloud, which means no physical servers or any other hardware is involved in the setup or functioning of your software.
The service provider builds one cloud environment and just sells software based on a subscription payment model, which means you just pay for what you use – as you do on Netflix, for instance. So, you just pay for software – and the needed number of seats for your agents – and get verification keys for accounts after downloading the tool. So, you require a PC (or laptop), headphones, and nothing else to run your cloud call center.
Thus, as you could guess, the price for setting up an inbound call center solution is much cheaper than it is for on-premises contact center software because you don’t pay for hardware and its setup and maintenance – all responsibilities for running the system are on the vendor’s side. Nonetheless, after setup, the price of owning on-premises call center software is a bit cheaper than the subscription fee for cloud software, so to be honest, at some stage, the price of owning on-premises software will become the same as it is for cloud solutions.
Anyhow, for small and midsize businesses the price for setup of an on-premises call center is unaffordable, and that’s why cloud solutions are dominating the market, and on-premise tools are losing their part of the market with each year more and more, which means they will be no more in the nearest future.
Main Features of Inbound Call Center Software
Inbound call center software has many features which make servicing incoming calls easier and faster, as well as help to provide the highest quality of customer service and customer experience.
- Call routing – the system automatically collects data about incoming calls and uses this data to route calls to agents who will be the most likely to process these calls with the highest quality of service possible. Call routing can be set up in different ways to meet your current requirements.
- Self-service options – inbound call center software can be integrated with many self-service tools, including IVR systems, chatbots, knowledge bases, etc.
- Call logging – a collection of statistical and technical information about each call. This feature allows you to get automated reports about your call center performance via real-time dashboards, thus you will be able to track such vital parameters of your call center performance as call duration, number of calls processed, number of abandoned calls, number of dropped calls, amount of transferred calls, and so on.
- Call monitoring and recording – you can listen to calls in live mode to monitor agent performance, or listen to recorded calls for any purpose – whether it is training or customer issues resolution.
- Call transferring – call transferring means that agents can switch calls to other agents if needed, for instance, when the client made a wrong choice in the IVR system, so the call was routed to the wrong department.
Check also this article on the main benefits of using inbound call center software, if you need more information to make a decision.