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Checklist to Choose the Best Call Center Software For You

It can be hard to determine the best solution to support your call center… but we’re here to make it a little bit easier!
Olivia Maier

Olivia Maier

12 min read

Today’s Agenda:

We wanted to give you the tools you need to determine the best call center software of 2022 for your team. The best way to do that is to give you an easy to follow, and easy to apply checklist!

Before we even get to the checklist though, we’re going to start by giving you all the call center software basics you NEED to know.

From there, we’re going to introduce our checklist. This will include the components that you must have access to in order to have an efficient and effective call center solution.

Finally, we’re going to put that checklist to work as we discuss three of the top performing options for businesses utilizing call center software. Those three will be:

  • Yodel.io
  • Nextiva
  • Dialpad

If that sounds good to you, then we are excited to share everything we think you NEED to know about call centers!

The Call Center Basics

A call center solution is simply a business tool that can enable you to better automate the flow of incoming and outgoing calls. While some call center software will simply provide a multi-line phone system, the best call center solutions will allow businesses to avoid long wait times for their callers, overwhelming their employees, and creating a better phone communication experience for everyone involved.

We believe that the best call center solutions in 2022 are cloud based, and consist of a series of features that come integrated into a business phone solution.

For starters, what even is a cloud phone?

Cloud phones are a form of VoIP communication, with VoIP meaning Voice over Internet Protocol. If you aren’t familiar with VoIP, it is simply a technology that allows users to make calls over the internet. This is a high-tech alternative to traditional phone wires. VoIP can go by many names, which can include IP telephony, internet telephony, or simply an internet phone. At the end of the day, terms used to describe internet based phone calls are referring to VoIP systems.

VoIP systems refer to a broad category of phone solutions, and within VoIP there are both on-site and cloud based solutions. On-site VoIP solutions involve all of the servers and other hardware is housed on your premises.

While VoIP technology in general is a great way to take advantage of next-generation tech, a cloud system helps you avoid the significant expenses that come with an on-premise solution.

So just to recap, with a cloud phone solution you will get access to VoIP communication, through the convenience of off-site servers making it a cloud based phone.

How does a Cloud Phone Work?

Cloud phones are able to convert your analog voice signal into a data packet that is compressed and transmitted over the internet. This may seem confusing, but it is just simply a different way to send your voice signals rather than relying on traditional telephone wires.

For the user of a cloud phone, making and receiving calls is done in the same way that it would be with any traditional phone. The person on the other end of the call, whether they are using a cloud phone system or not, won’t notice any difference or have to make any changes in the way they are communicating.

Cloud phone VoIP systems are able to pick up your voice through the microphone of the device that you are using. This can be a computer, phone, tablet, as long as those devices are connected to the internet. The best solutions for your specific team will be able to work with the devices you are already using, to help you increase your savings by avoiding having to buy new software.

Our pro tip is to take advantage of demo calls or other ways to connect with a potential provider one on one, so that you can talk about what devices you already have and if they can be utilized with that specific provider!

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Why should my team use a cloud phone solution?

We’ve already hinted at some of the benefits of a cloud phone system. They can give your team access to pretty significant benefits that you will appreciate regardless of the size or style of your team.

As a call center, you want to make sure that the tools you are using are able to help you reduce costs, while still providing a quality service for your customers. You also are probably focusing on finding solutions that make for an easy onboarding experience for new employees, as well as finding a solution that can grow with your team. These are just some of the benefits of a cloud phone solution for your call center!

Your call center will love to see the following new benefits, which can help you better reach your internal KPIs!

  • Improved scalability
  • Increased flexibility
  • Productivity improvements
  • Improved international capabilities
  • Optimized integrations

It simply makes sense for a call center to take advantage of a cloud phone solution to enable your inbound and outbound calls.

The Call Center Software Checklist

As promised, we are here to help you find the perfect solution for your call center needs. IN order to do that, we wanted to provide you with a checklist of our top TEN features that every call center solution should provide. Some have already been hinted at, but bear with us as we consolidate all of our information into an easy to follow along format!

  1. Cloud based

    As we’ve discussed, a cloud based phone system can help your business see incredible benefits that can help you reach your KPIs. Whether you are looking for reduced costs, allowing for more flexible work, or hoping to improve your internal workflows, cloud based solutions can really help you get the most out of your business phone system.

  2. Easy configuration

    Switching to a new call center software can be extremely stressful for you and your team. You want to ensure that you will have everything go smoothly, in order to reduce any potential downtime with your phone lines. Don’t leave your customers hanging as you tinker with an overly complicated solution. Instead look for a solution that is meant to be an easy to configure system, and see what support options are available. If you can, take advantage of demo calls, onboarding webinars, or easy to follow guides.

  3. Intelligent IVR

    IVR systems are able to route callers, and a traditional IVR system will rely on menu options. This will give your callers the frustrating experience of “press 1 for sales, press 2 for billing.” In 2022, your customers are expecting more from their phone communication, and want to leave the IVR menus in the past. That is why you should be seeking out an intelligent voice-based IVR system. These systems will route callers based on what they are saying in real time.

  4. Call monitoring

    Call monitoring features are essential for any call center, as you work to ensure high quality communication experiences for your customers. If you are a manager, look for call monitoring capabilities that allow you to see information in real time, assist on live calls, and utilize call recordings for training purposes.

  5. Call whispering

    With call whispering, you can always lend your teammates a helping hand. Call whispering allows you to listen into active calls, as well as whisper to your colleagues without interrupting the call. That is because your colleague will be able to hear what you are saying, but the caller on the other end of the call won’t.

  6. Call commenting

    Call commenting is the nonverbal parallel feature to call whispering. Your team can listen into an active call, and make notes that can be sent in real time. This can give you even more options allowing you to assist your team members. You won’t have to worry about accidentally sending information to your caller, or interrupting the flow of conversation.

  7. Call recordings

    Call recordings can be used in a variety of use cases, such as training your team members, saving important information, and eliminating the need to take notes while on an active call. Look for flexible solutions that allow you to activate and deactivate a recording during an active call. This can help you avoid awkward situations if especially sensitive information is shared on a call.

  8. Live activity feed

    Live activity feeds are a huge help for teams of all types, but especially for call centers. You should always know which users are on a call, the length of current calls, as well as accessing live updates to incoming calls. This can help managers better delegate work, enhance collaboration amongst available agents, and overall improve the efficiency of your call center.

  9. Smart integrations

    Your call center is likely using more business tools than just your phone system to run effectively. Whether that means that your team lives in a tool like Slack, loves to take advantage of CRM platforms, or has a place to manage incoming tickets, you don’t want to miss out on connecting your phone with these tools.

  10. Security measures

    You and your callers should have peace of mind that the information shared on a call will stay secure. The best way to do that is to look for call encryption measures, as well as encrypted data and other information.

Applying the Checklist- 3 Examples

We wanted to make sure you felt confident applying the checklist to compare real providers, which is why we wanted to give you three examples to look at. We’ve applied our checklist to analyze the following providers:

  • Yodel.io
  • Nextiva
  • Dialpad

All of the providers we are looking at are cloud based, which means they are able to check the first feature off the lista! Let’s see what else they can provide. If there is a feature that one provider especially excels in, we will be sure to give you that additional information. We also will be simply noting yes or no if a certain feature is available!

Yodel.io

Let’s start with a general overview of Yodel. Yodel is a cloud based phone system that is perfect for call centers, especially those seeking scalability and flexibility.

  • Easy configuration: Yes, Yodel has a wide range of resources available to help your team get started. Yes! If you are looking to connect in the moment, look for their free demo calls, live webinars, and support chat. If you want to access resources on your own time, there is a wide variety of help guides available to support you.

  • Intelligent IVR: Yes, Yodel’s intelligent voice IVR is the perfect way to avoid traditional phone menus (but don’t worry if you are attached to them, Yodel gives you access to both options so you can choose what makes sense for your business)

  • Call monitoring: Yes, Yodel is able to offer call monitoring that gives your team access to live updates.

  • Call whispering: Yes, with Yodel you can take advantage of call whispering!

  • Call commenting: Yes, call commenting is also available with Yodel.

  • Call recording: Yes, and Yodel is even able to offer call transcriptions so you can access previous call information as an audio and text file.

  • Live activity feed: Yes, Yodel makes it easy to stay on the same page as your team.

  • Smart integrations: Yes, Yodel comes with a long list of integrations, so you can make sure that your phone system is connected to the tools you love. Their Slack integration is a customer favorite, as well as their Hubspot integration!

  • Security measures: Yes, Yodel is able to offer call, data, and other information encryption.

    See pricing plans

Nextiva

We also are taking a look at Nextiva today, which is especially notable for their pricing plans. If your call center is willing to commit, you can save big with a three-year agreement.

  • Easy configuration: Yes, Nextiva offers a live chat support option which appears to help assist an easy configuration.
  • Intelligent IVR: Yes, Nextiva offers multi-level menus as well as AI based call routing.
  • Call monitoring: No, Nextiva does not mention call monitoring capabilities in their features list.
  • Call whispering: No, Nextiva does not mention call whispering capabilities in their features list.
  • Call commenting: No, Nextiva does not mention call commenting capabilities in their features list.
  • Call recording: Yes, Nextiva is able to record calls as well as generate transcripts and reports for your team.
  • Live activity feed: No, Nextiva does not mention live activity capabilities in their features list.
  • Smart integrations: Nextiva is able to give your team access to integrations, but they are all done through Nextiva’s other product offerings. If you are already taking advantage of Nextiva products, this creates a seamless integration experience. However, if you are just looking at their phone system, their integrations are limited.
  • Security measures: No, Nextiva does not mention any security measures in their features list.

Dialpad

Dialpad is the final cloud based phone system that we wanted to look at today.

  • Easy configuration: Yes, Dialpad offers a live support option as well as a robust resource library to assist your team.
  • Intelligent IVR: Yes, Dialpad can offer IVR technology that is tailored to call centers specifically. Their multi-level IVR can utilize AI technology to provide a voice based experience.
  • Call monitoring: Yes, Dialpad has a range of call monitoring features available for your team.
  • Call whispering: Yes, call whispering is available with Dialpad.
  • Call commenting: Yes, call commenting is available with Dialpad.
  • Call recording: Yes, call recording is available with Dialpad, and includes call transcription options.
  • Live activity feed: Yes, Dialpad is able to provide a live activity feed for your team.
  • Smart integrations: Yes, the base price plans will come with G Suite and Office 365 integrations. However, if you want to integrate into your CRM and other business apps, it looks like you will need to pay for one of their higher end options.
  • Security measures: Dialpad mentions call encryptions as a security measure available.

In the End…

We hope that you have been able to learn everything you need to know (and then some) about call center software. IWhen looking at different cloud based call center options, you should look at the key call center features, which can help you easily compare different providers. With our feature checklist in hand, you should feel confident that you will be able to determine the best software for your call center needs.

If your business is looking to get started with call center software today, check out Yodel’s free 14 day trial. You can unlock call center software and more, as you streamline your communication with a robust business phone system.

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