It’s time to talk about virtual call center software, what to look for in it, and what’s the best at the moment. Call centers are a remnant of a time before TCP/IP, and perpetuated by the reluctance or slow propagation of TCP/IP into established mediums. Everyone, including call center professionals, will admit this system is very broken, but there’s little that can be done about it in a traditional sense.
This is where virtual call center software comes into play. While it removes the call center from the traditional analog switch and relay system which drives classic telephony, it doesn’t eliminate the ability to directly and verbally communicate, which we need to keep around.
Now, the nice thing about this kind of software is that it works better, is convenient for both phone and computer users, and can be configured to bypass bottlenecking, phone trees and long hold times. With its proliferation, more freelance phone agents may find employment in a work from home or on the go atmosphere. This freelance crowdsourcing is a big thing for a lot of customer service fields, and now it may catch on well with call centers as well.
So, one of the most notorious voice systems which is interoperable with the global telephony network is Skype. This program is widely used as more or less the definitive voice and video conferencing system by most companies and individuals, and in many cases, is free. For additional prices, true phone integration is possible, with callable numbers, redirects and call outs to telephone numbers as well. It’s got a clunky interface and configuring it for this purpose needs to be more organic than it is, but Skype’s the most established one out there.
A close second, Google’s talk system, which can dial phone numbers for free, or talk to Google users for free, is catching up quickly. Google is a unique and affordable provider of a lot of things, and given their ubiquity through searches, email, browsers, video sources and mobile systems, their “already there” property makes them convenient for a telephony system.
Getting it set up for a call center is kind of tricky, and requires intervention from Google themselves, but don’t’ sweat this, it’s sure to change in the immediate future.
Finally, let’s look at an integrated call center system designed around users still being phone users. 8×8 is a call center and VoIP solution designed for this. It integrates with other CRM and logistics software, including suites by its creators, where traditional VoIP by Skype and Google do not yet. If you’re looking to maintain phone use and not shift to internet voice, but want VoIP software, this is the solution for you. Give Skype and Google a few years, though, and they will catch up on this front.
There’s a few other virtual call center software solutions like 8×8, but the whole point of converting to VoIP systems is to help the drive to phase out the old telephone network in favor of a new, nonlinear VoIP standard that requires none of the awful long numbers, area and country codes, or extensions that modern systems still torment us with.