A VoIP Call Center Must Have 5 Features to Be Worth The $

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As any call center manager knows, an effective team needs to be able to scale up and down in size without affecting the quality of its customer support. 

Of course, that’s easier said than done. 

In any case, despite how there are countless software tools and training programs dedicated to navigating other aspects of a business contact center, far fewer resources are available to guide scaling and maintaining them. 

With the help of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, however, it may not even be all that necessary. 

In short, a VoIP phone service allows you to make and receive calls using an internet connection instead of a traditional phone line. With this digitalization, contact centers have several new ways of adjusting to fluctuating demands and handling support calls at scale.

Of course, all of the fancy new VoIP features come at a cost—so if you’re interested in purchasing VoIP technology, then you need to know which ones are worth the investment.

If A VoIP Call Center Has These 5 Features, It’s Worth The Money

The last thing you want for your call center is to add unnecessary strain on it, such as by wasting your budget on tools that don’t add value to the team. 

If you want a VoIP provider that’s worth the cost, then prioritize the following five features:

1. Blended Inbound and Outbound Call Handling

One of the primary responsibilities of any call center is to manage customer communications for incoming calls, outgoing calls, and everything in between. 

With this in mind, VoIP systems that only allow your teams to answer calls but not make them (or vice versa) can be a major limitation to your team’s effectiveness. Of course, this kind of inflexible setup can work for certain companies, but it’s bound to undermine your team’s productivity at some point nonetheless. 

For example, if your agents don’t have any pending customer calls in their queue, they can spend their idle hours making outbound calls to follow up on previous support requests or to participate in cross-departmental sales activities. Simply put, this kind of thing wouldn’t be possible with a VoIP provider that doesn’t offer both inbound and outbound call handling.

2. Built-In Analytics

Your call center needs visibility into what is and isn’t working so that it can refine its operations and provide better customer service. Having these insights on hand will help your teams make evidence-based decisions about improving their performance.

For example, if your call wait times are high, this could indicate that you don’t have enough reps available, your call volumes are too high, or that your average call resolution time is taking too long. Without easy access to these metrics, your support agents will have no way to pinpoint the cause of these problems and resolve them. However, if your VoIP system comes equipped with built-in analytics, it can be a lot easier to keep track of metrics like customer satisfaction scores, call handle times, first call resolution, and more.

Having call center analytics on hand is also essential for tracking your evolving business needs—whether at the agent, team, or program level. Ideally, your VoIP provider should allow your top metrics and KPIs to be configured over time as your priorities change. 

3. High-Level Quality and Workforce Management Tools

Delivering outstanding customer service starts with empowering your agents to perform at their best. Quality assurance and workforce management functions are, therefore, mission-critical for any successful call center.

Without any kind of monitoring capabilities, it can be extremely difficult to oversee your call center’s performance. This means you won’t really know how your live customer interactions are going and therefore won’t be able to identify areas for improvement. Sure, you could set all of your agents loose without any kind of performance monitoring in place, but then you’d have minimal insight into whether they are adhering to processes, using best practices, and solving difficult customer requests. 

In contrast, VoIP features like call recording, scorecards, coaching modules, and real-time performance analytics will give you all the tools you need to evaluate and provide feedback on your support agents’ performance. If necessary, choose a VoIP provider that offers advanced workforce management features like call forecasting tools to assist with scheduling and performance routing to ensure your customers are connected with the right representatives.

4. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System That Works in Conjunction With An Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)

If you want to manage high call volumes efficiently, you’ll need to be able to route callers to the right department or team. Otherwise, your customers can end up being transferred back and forth between agents who are unable to resolve their requests.

Not only does this result in a poor customer experience for the caller, but it can also put your call center’s reputation at risk rather quickly.

If your VoIP system is equipped with IVR (interactive voice response) and ACD (automatic call distribution) technology, it can provide self-service menu options over the phone and intelligent call routing whenever a customer needs to speak with an agent. 

That said, remember that basic IVR and ACD functionality can only go so far, as the VoIP solutions that are truly worth investing in are the ones with more sophisticated versions of these features. 

For example, if the IVR system has intelligent call routing, it will be able to forward calls after hearing just a brief verbal description of their support request. Not only will this save your support agents time by not routing calls, but it will also free your customers from having to wade through a long and complicated phone menu. As a result, your hold times will shrink and your first-contact resolution rates will increase.

5. Access to Chat, Email, and SMS Digital Channels

While most support requests are made over the phone, customers are increasingly turning to digital options like chat, email, and text messaging to communicate with customer service agents. 

This shift in customer communication preferences means that your call center must be able to provide support across many different channels. Fortunately, modern VoIP solutions don’t require you to have dedicated tools and hardware to field incoming support requests across calls, texts, emails, and live chats. Instead, they give your call center access to all of them in one single dashboard. Meanwhile, VoIP software also allows your support agents to transition between multiple channels without losing any context from the initial request.

The omnichannel capabilities of VoIP technology also benefit customers by giving them the option to connect with your agents through the channel of their choice. Not only is this more convenient for your customers, but it will also cut down on the time your agents will have to spend on the phone, allowing them to service multiple requests on asynchronous channels.

Start Leveraging These Five VoIP Features with Nextiva

The right set of features is key for any call center that aims to excel at customer service while maintaining efficiency. In particular, Nextiva’s VoIP call center solutions check all of the aforementioned boxes. 

One of Nextiva’s standout features is its support for blended call handling. Thanks to the platform’s unlimited call queues, agents can easily switch between answering new requests and following up on previous ones. This allows customers to be addressed promptly, whether they initially contacted you or you contacted them.

Nextiva also provides its users great visibility into their operations through its built-in analytics. Its customizable reporting dashboards give users a top-down overview of key performance metrics—like how long calls take and how many calls their support agents are averaging. At the same time, managers can also take advantage of call recording and session monitoring features to figure out where they can improve call-handling workflows on a team and individual level. 

Quality management is another important part of optimizing your call center’s performance, and Nextiva equips call center teams with tools like scorecards and evaluation modules that support structured feedback and training for your service agents. 

Nextiva’s routing options are also top-notch, starting with a smart distribution feature that connects incoming calls with the appropriate support team member based on a given customer need. Plus, if automated call routing isn’t enough, Nextiva’s customizable phone menus and call flows allow you to design custom self-service options to accommodate different customer needs.

Finally, Nextiva meets customers where they are by offering multichannel support, including chat, email, and text. This means that any initial support request can easily move from one channel to the next without losing any information or momentum. 

Final Thoughts 

As long as your VoIP provider offers these five features, your contact center will be equipped with the tools to deliver great customer support. Nextiva in particular is a great pick for just about any kind of business, which is why it’s on our list of the best VoIP phone services for businesses. We encourage you to check out the full list and determine what will work best for your unique team.

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