Tech

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16 min read

Call Center Technology Types, Tools, and Trends [2023]

What are the most important call center technologies? And what trends should call center professionals be aware of? Here is an overview of call center technology types, tools, and trends of this year.

Peter Iansek

Co-Founder & CEO

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Call centers play a crucial role in helping companies keep their customers satisfied. From technical support to payment questions to login issues, when customers are satisfied you can expect reduced churn rates, more upsells, and brand advocates. 

How can call centers reach this success? By using the most updated call center technology. The best call center technology helps organizations make data-driven decisions about customer success as well as product changes, service updates, and organization-wide policies. 

What are the most important call center technologies? And what trends should call center professionals be aware of? Here is an overview of call center technology types, tools, and trends of this year. 

What is Call Center Technology? 

Call center technology refers to the various systems and tools that call centers use to successfully manage customer interactions. 

This can include everything from automatic call distributors (ACDs) and interactive voice response (IVR) systems, to call recording platforms and analytics dashboards. 

Call center technology aims to: 

  • Improve customer experience
  • Decrease operating costs
  • Create efficient communication and collaboration
  • Increase productivity 

Advanced call center technologies go a step further by:

  • Identifying areas for automation
  • Providing actionable insights
  • Determining the root cause of customer issues at scale 
  • Helping call center agents and improving customer interactions
  • And more.

Benefits of Using the Best Call Center Technology

1. Improved Customer Satisfaction

One of the primary goals of call center technology is to improve customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction, or CSAT, is a measure to determine a customer’s satisfaction level with the interaction they received. 

Using tools like call recording and call monitoring, managers can monitor the quality of calls between their agents and customers. With analytics tools, they can track the call abandonment rate (ABN), the average speed of answer, first call resolution, and more. And with reporting dashboards, managers can identify areas that need improvement to increase customer satisfaction.

2. Increased Efficiencies

Call centers must be able to handle a large volume of calls while still providing quality service. The more efficient a call center, the lower the AHT (average handle time), the lower the ABN – and the higher the CSAT. 

For example, IVR technology provides customers with information via a voice response system of pre-recorded messages without having to speak to an agent. IVR is particularly effective during high call volumes and helps customers avoid hold times by helping them find answers and perform tasks themselves. However, the IVR must provide relevant self service options based on the customers’ true intent.

3. Greater Employee Productivity

Call center agents are the heart of the call center, and their productivity levels directly impacts call center performance, and again, customer satisfaction. 

There are various call center technologies that are designed to improve productivity, such as automatic dialers. These dial outbound calls for the call center agents, so they can make more calls in less time. There are a variety of different auto dialer types available, including predictive dialers, which start placing phone calls even before the agents become available, and power dialers, which automatically dials phone numbers on a list as soon as an operator completes their current call. 

These call center technologies help ensure every customer issue is addressed promptly and efficiently, leading to an overall more productive talk time for the entire call center. 

4. Enhanced Customer Insights

Call centers must understand their customers' needs and preferences in order to provide them with the best possible service. Plus, understanding the root cause of customer issues can lead to necessary product and service changes, and other company-wide initiatives. 

Sophisticated analytics apps use natural-language processing to help call center managers and executives understand what drives customers to contact them. Collecting data over an extended period can produce predictive insights that help businesses forecast customer behavior and anticipate their needs – meaning even greater levels of preparedness and efficiency. This ultimately enables a proactive customer service offering. 

Types of Call Center Technologies & Software 

There are many different types of call center technologies and software. Some of the most common include:

Call Center Analytics 

call center analytics technology
Operative Intelligence analytics platform.

What is it? 

Call center analytics is the process of tracking, monitoring, and analyzing call center performances to improve efficiencies, customer service, and ultimately the organization. The analytics aims to identify areas where improvements can be made – both within the call center and company-wide – and track the effects of those changes. 

These platforms measure a wide range of metrics, including:

  • Agent productivity
  • Average call time
  • Call abandonment rate
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Revenue 
  • Customer retention
  • Customer effort score 
  • Service-level agreement (SLA) performance.

Why is it important?

Call center analytics can help identify areas that need improvement, such as wait times, call abandonment rates, quality of service, and customer satisfaction scores. This information can help businesses optimize their call center operations, improve the customer experience, and understand the root cause of why the customer is contacting the call center. 

This data can uncover specific issues within the product, service, or company practices that are causing issues for customers, ultimately improving customer satisfaction and efficiency.

Call center analysis tools: 

While some center technologies can pull this data, it can take months of manual and complex analytics and diagnostics to help organizations make better decisions at scale. 

Operative Intelligence is the next-gen analytics platform for enterprise call and contact centers. Unlike traditional call center analytics tools, Operative Intelligence automatically transforms an organization's existing call center data into real-world, actionable insights. 

The no-code automation identifies both macro and micro insights including: 

  • Why customers contact support at scale
  • Customer pain points and what they cost the business
  • What causes increases in handle time and cost and how to reduce it
  • Drivers of negative customer sentiment and satisfaction
  • Opportunities for engineering teams to improve the product 
  • Where performance variability is being driven at a team and agent level 

Users can identify the highest impact opportunities to improve the customer experience, reduce costs, and boost operational efficiency. 

Automatic Call Distributors (ACD) 

automatic call distribution process
Source

What is it? 

ACD, also known as automatic call distribution, typically uses computer telephony integration (CTI) systems and interactive voice response (IVR) to route calls efficiently to the most appropriate agent. It’s an integral part of a call center and allows for smoother communication overall. 

IVR and ACD are often mistaken for one another, but they’re different call center technologies. IVR allows users to interact with an automated machine to determine query type and assistance needed while collecting customer data. ACD then uses this data to sort and distribute the calls to appropriate agents. 

Why is it important?

ACD systems help call centers route calls more efficiently. Callers can be connected to the right agent the first time and get their issue resolved sooner, reducing call center abandonment rates and improving first call resolution rates. 

ACD systems: 

  • NICE CXone
  • Five9
  • UJET
  • JustCall
  • CloudTalk

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

IVR call center technology platform
Source

What is it? 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated voice response system that greets callers and provides them with various options for interacting with the call center without speaking to a live agent. IVRs can provide callers with information about the company, its products or services, and answer common customer questions. 

Menu options are offered by touch-tone keypad selection or speech recognition that will route their call to specific departments or specialists.

Why is it important?

​​IVR can handle a large number of calls simultaneously, which is critical during periods of high call volume. Additionally, IVR can help reduce customer wait time and improve call center efficiency by providing customers with self-service options for simple tasks such as checking account balances or making a payment. 

IVR technology also quickly and seamlessly routes calls to the best call center agent when a customer needs or requests to speak with a person. This helps ensure that each customer receives the attention they need and improves overall customer satisfaction.

IVR tools: 

  • NICE CXone
  • Five9
  • Vonage
  • Dialpad
  • 8x8

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

VoIP call center technology platform
Source

What is it? 

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a traditional telephone line. VoIP services offer features that traditional phone systems do not, such as call recording and call monitoring.

VoIP services are often more affordable than traditional phone services and they allow you to use your computer or mobile device as a phone. VoIP services can also be used to call other people who are also using VoIP services.

Why is it important?

VoIP helps call centers reduce costs and improves scalability due to using broadband Internet connections rather than telephone lines.

VoIP tools: 

  • Vonage Business Communications (VBC)
  • 8x8 X Series
  • Webex Calling
  • Zoom
  • Dialpad Talk

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 

call center technology CRM
Source

What is it? 

Customer relationship management platforms (CRM) store customer information, such as contact information and purchase history, in a database. This information can be used to track customer interactions with the call center, such as the number of times they’ve called and the amount of money they’ve spent. 

This information helps call center agents respond more efficiently to customer queries and can help determine which is the best agent to work with the customer. 

Why is it important?

Having access to customers' purchase history and contact information helps call centers identify their needs, preferences, and attitude. This allows call centers to provide customers with the best possible service by routing them to the right agent, sending them relevant communications, and approaching issues with the appropriate demeanor.

CRM tools for call centers: 

  • Zendesk
  • Freshdesk
  • Sugar Serve
  • ServiceNow
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365

CCaaS

CCaas call center technology
Source

What is it? 

CCaaS stands for “contact center as a service.” These cloud-based applications help customer service organizations manage multi-channel customer interactions through both the customer experience and employee experience.

The core function of CCaaS platforms is to provide channel-agnostic service journeys. They also support personal customer engagement, manage resources, improve employee experiences, and provide operational insights. 

Why is it important?

Because CCaaS platforms are cloud-native, there’s little on-premise hardware to manage (and therefore fewer IT costs). They provide speed and convenience and their flexible delivery models means they adjust as operational needs change. 

CCaaS tools: 

  • Genesys
  • Talkdesk
  • Amazon Connect
  • 8x8
  • NICE CxOne

Queue Callback 

queue callback example of call center technology
Source

What is it? 

Callback queue, also referred to as automated callback or virtual queue, is a call center technology that enables callers to avoid waiting on hold by leaving their contact information with the call center. When an agent becomes available, the call center will automatically call the customer back. 

Why is it important?

This technology is beneficial for both callers and call centers. Callers no longer have to wait on hold, and call centers can reduce their abandoned call rates.

Queue callback platforms: 

  • Aircall
  • Freshcaller
  • Freshworks

Call Recordings

call recording call center technology platform
Source

What is it? 

A call recording system records calls between agents and customers. Various call recording systems are available, including cloud-based and on-premises solutions. Cloud-based call recording systems are typically less expensive than on-premises solutions and can be easier to set up and maintain, but on-premises call recording systems often offer more features and flexibility.

Why is it important?

Call recordings can be used for quality assurance purposes, to help agents improve their customer service skills, help resolve disputes, and to train new agents. They’re also a great source of data for call center analytics to review. 

Call recording systems: 

  • Calabrio ONE
  • Alvaria 
  • Avaya
  • Genesys Cloud CX
  • RingCentral MVP

Reporting & Analytics Dashboards

reporting and analytics for call center technologies
Operative Intelligence uncovers the span of agent performance at inquiry level. 

What is it? 

Reporting and analytics dashboard provides a visual display of call center metrics and KPIs. A good reporting and analytics dashboard provides insights into call volume, average wait time, abandoned calls, customer satisfaction, call center agent performance.

Why is it important?

Dashboards allow managers to track the call center's performance, identify areas that need improvement, and make data-driven decisions. It can also show how different campaigns are performing and help pinpoint where resources need to be allocated.

The right reporting and analytics dashboard can give agents insights into how they are performing, what type of calls they are receiving, and how they can improve their interactions with customers. This information can help call centers improve customer satisfaction rates and reduce the number of callbacks.

Analytics dashboards: 

Operative Intelligence provides your call center with an engaging, real-time dashboard that makes it simple for them to identify areas they can improve based on customer needs. You can also see where performance variability is driven at a team and agent level. Team leaders can coach with precision and drive measurable improvements. 

Quality Management and Assurance

quality management platform
Operative Intelligence agent insights.

What is it? 

Quality management and assurance software evaluate customer interactions and track agent performance. They also offer tools for delivering personalized feedback or coaching sessions to agents, and provide analytics that give you insight into team and agent performance. 

Many products of this nature have the option to be integrated with other sales or customer service tools, such as CRM software or help desk software. 

Why is it important?

Quality management and assurance platforms allow managers to track the quality of customer interactions and identify areas for improvement. QM tools help optimize call center operations by identifying areas where agents are spending too much time on certain tasks or where callers are experiencing long wait times.

Quality management tools: 

  • Oracle Fusion Cloud Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • ETQ
  • AssurX
  • Ease
  • SAP QM

Operative Intelligence enables call centers to spend more time on developing their frontline teams and less time listening to calls and evaluating interactions. The platform automatically determines resolution and satisfaction for 100% of frontline interactions – without the need for surveys. 

Using this data, call center management can quickly discover the span of performance across teams and channels and pinpoint which agents need more support and in which areas. 

Workforce Management 

workforce management call center technology platform
Source

What is it? 

Workforce force management software helps managers and supervisors keep track of the number of employees they have working, how much work they have for those employees, and how best to deploy those employees to meet the needs of the call center.

Why is it important?

WFM tools help call center managers:

  • Keep track of employee availability and schedule employees accordingly
  • Assign work to agents based on their skills and strengths
  • Track call wait times and queue data to optimize staffing levels
  • Pinpoint areas where quality needs improvement
  • Generate reports on employee and call center performance
  • Staff the call center according to call volume 

This can all help increase efficiency, improve customer service, and reduce costs.

WFM platforms: 

  • Zoho People
  • UKG Dimensions
  • When I Work
  • Enterprise eTIME
  • Calabrio ONE

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) 

CTI call center technology platform
Source

What is it? 

Computer telephony integration (CTI) is when a call center's telephone system works together with their other business applications. With CTI, agents don't need an actual phone – they can use their computer to do everything a phone would do by clicking on-screen controls for functions like answering and disconnecting calls, putting callers on hold, transferring calls, etc.

CTI is not only about adding phone controls to the agent interface. It also enables other capabilities that are essential to running an effective and efficient call center, such as call routing, interactive voice recognition systems, enhanced reporting, and more. 

Why is it important?

Computer telephony integration (CTI) not only decreases the cost of a physical phone and its maintenance, but also aids agents in reducing their average call handle time. CTI allows agents to take more calls without comprising customer satisfaction rates.

CTI technology pulls up a complete customer record as soon as an agent answers a call. This allows the agent to authenticate the caller by matching the phone number with what is in the call center database.

CTI tools: 

  • CloudTalk
  • Vonage
  • Five9
  • Webex
  • DialPad

Text Analysis

text analysis platform
OI reports on customer inquiries, sub-inquiries, and root causes using the customers own words. 

What is it? 

Text analysis, also called text analytics, involves understanding natural language text and extracting useful information from it. Text analysis tools can consume text data from various sources, including emails, phone transcripts, surveys, customer reviews, and other documents. 

Why is it important?

Businesses are better equipped to understand and analyze customer sentiment, intelligently classify documents, and improve written content. Text analysis software may be used in conjunction with other analytics tools, including big data analytics and business intelligence platforms. 

Text analytic platforms: 

  • SAS Visual Text Analytics
  • SAP
  • RapidMiner

While Operative Intelligence isn’t solely a text analysis platform, it does conduct text analysis to provide actionable insights. OI analyzes 100% of inbound interactions and shares the root causes of overall inquiries using actual customer words. 

The platform also shows the volume, cost, and sentiment of every inquiry, so call center leaders know which changes will drive the highest impact improvements in their customer experience, operational and frontline performance. 

Predictive Analytics 

predictive analytics dashboard
Source

What is it? 

Predictive analytics uses data mining and mathematical modeling techniques to identify data patterns and predict future events. Some of the most common applications include:

  • Predicting customer needs
  • Identifying high-risk customers
  • Predicting call volume
  • Predicting wait time
  • Recommending solutions

Why is it important?

Call centers have been using predictive analytics for many years to improve the customer experience. This technology can be used to predict customer behavior, identify potential problems, and recommend solutions. 

By understanding past customer behavior, call center agents can provide more accurate up-sales, improvements, or resolutions to common issues. Predictive analytics takes the guesswork out of these situations by providing data-backed predictions for what a customer is likely to do next.

Predictive analytic platforms:

  • IBM Watson Studio
  • Alteryx
  • Matlab
  • SAP Analytics Cloud

Speech Recognition

speech recognition tool
Source

What is it? 

Also known as automatic speech recognition (ASR), speech-to-text, or computer speech recognition, speech recognition is the ability of a computer to recognize and translate spoken language into text. 

Speech-to-text technology has recently gained popularity due to advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This call center technology is now more accurate and efficient than ever before, making it a valuable tool for call centers.

Why is it important?

Speech recognition tools help customer service to process routine phone requests and save time and money by reducing the time spent on transcription tasks for data recording and later analytics. They also help businesses to improve communications and translate them into an easily-managed, searchable data format.

Speech recognition platforms: 

  • Tethr
  • ProVoice
  • VoiceAI Connect
  • Verint

Plus, when these tools are used in conjunction with Operative Intelligence’s platform, you can transform large unstructured data sets into real-world, actionable insights that help improve the customer experience.

Call Center & Contact Center Technology Trends

The call center industry has undergone a major transformation in recent years. New technology tools and trends have emerged that are revolutionizing the way call centers operate. 

1. Advanced Analytics

An important call center technology trend is the use of advanced analytics. Advanced analytics transforms a business’ existing contact center data into actionable insights. Unlike traditional analytics, advanced analytics can extract meaning from unstructured, complex, and incomplete or partial data. 

Advanced analytics tools like Operative Intelligence makes it easy for users to identify the highest impact opportunities to improve customer experience and reduce costs. Operative Intelligence transforms the actual verbatims of customers from any inbound channels into unique drivers of customers demand. 

2. Omnichannel Solutions 

Omnichannel solutions provide a unified customer experience across all contact channels, including voice, email, chat, social media, and more. Omnichannel allows customers to interact in the way that is most convenient for them. 

With omnichannel solutions, agents can provide a consistent customer experience across all channels, leading to improved customer satisfaction and increased sales. While omnichannel solutions apply more to contact centers, they impact call center operations by managing customer queries before they even reach the call center. 

3. Cloud Technology Implementation 

Cloud-based call center solutions offer many advantages over traditional on-premise ones, including lower costs, scalability, and flexibility. With cloud call centers, businesses can pay only for the call center services they need, when they need them. This can help to reduce outsourced call center costs.

Cloud-based call centers are also scalable, meaning that they can grow or shrink as needed. This is a valuable feature for businesses that experience seasonal fluctuations in call volume. Additionally, cloud call centers can be quickly adapted to meet changing business needs. This can be a critical advantage in competitive markets where businesses must constantly adapt to new challenges and opportunities.

4. Increased Use of AI & Automation 

The call center industry is rapidly changing with the emergence of new technology tools and trends. One of the most significant changes is the increased use of automation, which is revolutionizing call centers in various ways. 

Automation can be used for tasks such as frontline coaching, quality assessments, and engagement tools. AI & automation solutions provide complete visibility into every customer interaction across channels and take action to maximize the performance of your agents and sellers to improve customer experience and increase revenue.

5. Self-service Customer Service

Self-service customer services enable customers to handle their own inquiries without the help of a call center agent. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as chatbots, self-service portals, and IVR systems. Self-serve technology provides customers with instant answers to their questions and allows them to easily and quickly resolve any issues. It reduces the need for customers to reach out to the call center, freeing up more of the workforce, and allowing them to focus on more urgent and productive issues.

However, many of these solutions don't consider ROI. Before Operative Intelligence, customers struggled with finding and justifying which interactions could be automated, constructing a business case, and monitoring ROI. 

With OI, this process is entirely automated – saving you months of time and effort – and the results are immediately available with a single click. You can be confident that the changes you’re making will give you expected return through unique value scores for every driver. 

Use the Best Call Center Technology

Call center technology is rapidly changing and businesses need to use the best tools available to stay competitive. 

While there are many call center technologies available, Operative Intelligence helps businesses dramatically improve customer experience while reducing operational costs. OI empowers call center leaders to have data-based conversations with leadership to drive true operational change for better products, better services, and happier customers. 

If you’re looking to drive impactful changes at every level of your business, book a demo with Operative Intelligence today.

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