Emails, phone calls, social media, Instant Messaging, chat and video chat: the communication channels customers use to contact companies are numerous, and so are the technologies accompanying them. Constantly changing, they can be hard to keep track of while running a busy operation. Luckily, we are here to help with a summary of the most useful tools currently available.

Automatic call distributors

As the name would suggest, automatic call distributors manage incoming phone traffic, allocating calls to the right department and skill set depending on a database of pre-defined instructions. By sending calls to the agents who are best placed to answer them, you increase your chance of first-call resolution and will provide a better customer service.

Automatic call distributors can perform other tasks such as allowing callers to leave messages, produce statistics and balance phone lines when call volumes are high. Definitely a must-have.

Predictive diallers

Predictive diallers are more often used in outbound contact centres. They dial phone numbers in sequence, abandoning disconnected numbers, calls with no answers, busy tones or answering machines, while being able to predict when an agent will be available to take the next call, and only connecting them when there is an answer. They increase contact centre productivity by reducing agents’ waiting time.

Issue tracking systems

The hallmark of good customer service is the ability to follow up on issues that weren’t resolved during the first call. Indeed, there is nothing worse than not calling back a customer expecting a call or not having any notes of what their problem is when you do. Issue tracking systems record queries and monitor their progress. It allows managers to see who is dealing with which problem and promotes good information flow.

Knowledge base

If your customer service centre is a couple of people, it is easy enough to share knowledge. However, when a contact centre counts hundred, if not thousands, of operators, sometimes disseminated over several countries, it is essential to have a centralised source of dynamic information.

A machine-readable resource, it allows easy access to all knowledge accumulated within the company.

Text analytics

Text analytics applications are an essential tool for troubleshooting. By programming key words, you can monitor process issues and pick up on customer dissatisfaction before it escalates. You can also gather a wealth of information on customer and agents interactions.