The latest call center buyer trends research has been completed by Software Advice, an independent software advisory company, after analyzing nearly 400 of its phone interactions from 2013 and 2014. If your company has a call center or is among the many SMBs beginning to adopt call center technology, this information is not only informative, but may give you a leg up on your competition. The findings pinpoint the capabilities businesses look for to accomplish their call center needs, particularly those companies with a strong business-to-consumer focus.
1) Nearly half of the call center buyers surveyed said they had no call center software in place, using manual methods to place, receive and distribute calls. This illustrates the increasing demand for call center software. Whether people are tired of using static spreadsheets, word processors or even manual note taking, or seeing the value of leveraging real-time call center data, it appears businesses of all sizes are amping up their call center capacity to improve efficiency and organization.
2) The call center industry is moving towards a preference for Web-based software, or SaaS, because of its convenience and scalability. SaaS software requires no installation and updates and technical issues are handled directly by the software vendor or a third party. Because you aren’t investing dollars into software that may become obsolete or require pricey upgrades to newer versions, SaaS software is generally more affordable even for small businesses.
3) More small businesses are opting to manage their call centers in-house instead of outsourcing to a third party. Perhaps the reason is that SaaS software is usually much easier to operate and maintain. Many of these outsourced call centers were handled offshore but there has been a push to bring those jobs back to the U.S.
4) More small businesses are adopting call center software than ever before. Again, because much of the call center software can be purchased as a service, there is a lower cost of entry for small businesses short on capital. With the increased demand for call center software, there has been a drop in price. Cloud-based call center software is of particular interest for those companies looking for easier implementation and maintenance.
5) Computer telephony integration (CTI) is continuing to grow as businesses of all sizes are realizing the benefits of having their databases integrated with their phone system. With CRM and other data readily available with every call, customer service, speed of service and employee training improves. Interestingly, the vast majority of buyers prefer to keep their call center software as a separate application from other business software, such as CRM applications.
Why It Matters
Craig Borowski, a researcher for Software Advice, believes these trends will have significant implications for software vendors, such as ShoreTel Sky. “Software Advice regularly speaks on the phone with thousands of organizations seeking new call center software,” he explains. “The buyers we surveyed are representative of what we’re seeing on a national level. Call center software is a hot ticket item now as companies are finding customer service is often what separates them from their competitors. Larger companies are bringing call centers back to the U.S., smaller businesses are establishing professional call centers, and both are integrating their phones with multiple business applications and using call center features to better train the customer-facing staff.”
ShoreTel Sky has been on the forefront of call center technology for decades. We believe the increasing interest in cloud-based call center software that can integrate with critical business applications, such as Salesforce.com, is further evidence businesses are taking customer service and employee productivity seriously. Our clients tell us they are tired of investing in software and technology that quickly becomes obsolete. Our hosted Unified Communications platform gives our clients everything they need to communicate with customers and empower employees, without the hefty upfront and ongoing costs. If you would like to know more about how ShoreTel Sky can get your call center where it needs to be visit us here.