How do you manage inbound and outbound phone calls within your business or call center? Intelligent call reception is the key to happy customers and a high-performing workforce. If your business is struggling with too many incoming calls, haphazard processes, or a chaotic service department, it’s time to consider call management.
What Is Call Management?
Call management refers to the way a business handles its incoming calls. Call management is the method used to route or distribute calls using a set of parameters, processes, workflows, software tools, and systems.
A company uses call management to efficiently manage workloads, quickly respond to customers and leads, and direct inbound calls to the right recipient.
What Is the Purpose of Call Management?
Effective call management shortens queue wait times, improves CSAT (customer satisfaction) outcomes, and efficiently balances out the contact center’s workload.
Wait times can be lowered efficiently by implementing measures like smarter IVRs and callback requests.
The call management parameters improve outcomes by sending calls to the ideal service representative. This also helps distribute calls fairly across the workforce.
You can include fallback call routing options to take care of customers when agents are busy. This might include leaving a voicemail, using a self-service IVR, or scheduling a callback.
What Is a Call Management System?
A call management system or call management software (CMS) lets businesses manage their inbound and outbound calling by routing calls based on predefined parameters. Companies can use features like IVR and call queues to determine how calls are routed, transferred, and managed. They can prioritize certain calls in real-time and route calls based on agent skill or department, the time of the day, and customer segmentation.
By using a CMS, a business can optimize routing calls to best serve their customers’ needs. They can provide fallbacks for when calls go unanswered such as rerouting calls to another department or automating callbacks. They can also use additional features such as call tracking and call recordings to monitor the quality of their customer communications and meet various call center KPIs.
A call management system is generally a VoIP-based software or service that typically uses a computer telephony integration (CTI) system to operate within a network. This gives businesses granular control over inbound calls.
Routing Criteria for Call Management
The call queue management routing criteria should be selected based on in-depth call volume analysis. Questions to consider may include:
- Should phone calls be routed to an agent or an auto-attendant?
- How should phone calls that come in after business hours be routed?
- Should calls be routed according to agent skill, department, or shift timings?
- How long should calls be put in queue before adding them to a callback menu?
- How can these calls be managed to optimize agent productivity?
How Do Call Management Systems Improve Customer Experience?
Customer experience hinges largely on how a person feels when they interact with your brand. So, it becomes crucial to not make them wait and provide a seamless calling experience to customers especially when they come up with a query or product-related issues.
Let’s look at some industry statistics:
In 2022, customers spent 56 seconds in queue as compared to 79 second in 2019
In 2022, the abandonment rate increased to 34% compared to 12 % in 2019.
A HubSpot study found that 33% of customers were frustrated by long wait times
32% were annoyed by having to repeat themselves to different agents.
This indicates a change in customer expectations during voice interactions with brands — and a growing customer impatience.
Contact centers need to level up and provide faster responses than ever before. Given this scenario, it makes perfect sense for companies to implement call management software (CMS) to maximize call handling efficiency, agent performance, and customer satisfaction.
If you need to optimize your call load management, it’s time to implement a CMS to customize the call handling procedures, eliminate workflow inefficiencies, and get control over critical KPIs.
What to Look for in a Call Management System: Essential Features
A Call Management System, or CMS, can be customized for your business goals. It’s best to begin by considering the contact center’s most pressing business needs and KPIs. Then configure the system’s features accordingly.
Your contact center’s call reports are a great resource for developing insights. Take a deep dive into the reports measuring customer satisfaction, agent performance (handle times, abandon rates, productivity metrics, etc.), and overall management reports (e.g., conversions, and other revenue output data).
This will let you know what operational aspects should be tweaked. And provide a strategic foundation for configuring the system’s options.
High-performing contact centers intentionally handle incoming calls. A Call Management System (CMS) facilitates this with skill-based routing, time-based routing, priority-based routing, and campaign-based routing capabilities.
Better routing is the first step to efficient communications and workload management. Operations can be further refined by pairing these settings with other filters and parameters.
Multi-Tiered Auto Attendants
The key here is ‘multi’. Basic auto-attendant functionality is part of any phone system. A multi-teared auto-attendant capability offers deeper features, such as customized caller greetings and the ability to route a call to multiple numbers.
Upgrade the way you manage high inbound call volumes with self-service IVR. Your company can triple its call handling capabilities by using IVR to answer delivery status and complaint status queries or cancel orders. Conversational IVR can take this one step further by using natural language in place of DTMF inputs to have intuitive, efficient, conversations with your callers.
Automated Call Distribution
Automated Call Distribution or ACD is the ability to transfer or route inbound calls to the right agent based on a variety of parameters. These include the time of day, agent’s skills, multiple skills, campaign, and more.
Call Management Software can be configured to route calls to the supervisor if all agents are busy, or to an auto callback mechanism, where the system automatically dials a customer whenever an agent is available.
Call Forwarding with Answering Service
Call forwarding allows you to forward calls to your agents’ mobile phones, home landlines, or alternate agents when they are not at their desks. A CMS pairs call forwarding with an integrated answering service. If a call goes unanswered, the customer can leave the system a voicemail message that won’t get lost. This is a great failsafe measure for any business.
Advanced voice mail management
Basic voicemail (VM) exists in almost any contact center software. Advanced VM allows for further customization like custom greetings, automated transcription to convert messages into text, etc. Another use scenario would be to automate sending customer voicemails directly to a supervisor’s email account, so they can schedule callbacks.
The ability to conduct audio conferences across users and team members is also a relatively common feature in most online telephony systems. However, this usually comes with restrictions like limits on the number of users or with only limited numbers to facilitate conference bridges. So, if collaborative meetings and conferencing are vital to your business, a Call Management System (CMS) is worth considering.
Call transfers can either tank or improve the customer’s experience. Customers don’t appreciate having to fill in a new person or wait for them to get caught up. You can avoid this with a Call Management System (CMS) that facilitates warm transfers. During a warm transfer, the system lets both agents speak with each other before bringing the customer in. Once the transfer is completed, the agent can remain a part of the conversation, or drop out as needed.
Easy Monitoring & Call Listening
Keep a strong sense of the pulse of campaigns and agent performance with a well-integrated monitoring system. It makes active oversight painless and efficient.
For example, supervisors can monitor campaigns and agent productivity in real-time. They can stop a campaign if there are unusually high drop rates. They can easily “barge into” a call or “whisper” tips to an existing agent.
Robust Reports, Call Tracking, & Call Recording
Intel drives strategic business visions and roadmaps. A Call Management System provides robust reporting (both real-time and historical) of key metrics like agent performance, campaign metrics, vector directory numbers, trunks, etc. to inform critical business decisions.
Businesses should be able to analyze these from a granular or micro-level (minutes, real-time through live dashboards that update every 5 seconds or so) right up to a more macro look (over a period of days, weeks, months, or semesters).
Seamless CRM Integration
If your current CMS or contact center software doesn’t have the capability of automatic integration with leading CRM software like Salesforce, HubSpot, Zendesk, Zoho, & Freshdesk, make sure that you get that capability. It is critical for overall CX and contact center efficiency.
Email, Mobile, Text Message, and social media integration
Call management software should integrate with a variety of communication channels. This way you can provide service across all your customer’s touchpoints including email, SMS, Twitter, Facebook, or WhatsApp.
Ease setup & scalability
For growing businesses, it is essential that your CMS is easy to set up and scale. With a cloud-based system, you can add agents with ease. There is no additional hardware or software setup required every time you add an agent. Ensure that your solutions provider gives you scope to downsize with equal ease.
Using a Call Management System (CMS) can save you time, make agent training and onboarding efficient, and make routing customization more intuitive.
Top Call Management Software for Growing Your Businesses
So, if you have determined that your business would benefit from the advanced capabilities of Call Management Software, the good news is that it does not have to break the bank.
In a competitive landscape, CMS prices and fee structures remain competitive too! Your business needs and KPIs will determine your fee structure (per month per user), which can range anywhere from $17.99 to $80.
Based on multiple factors such as features, customer support, ease of use, integration capabilities, and scalability, here are some companies to help meet your call management needs:
Ozonetel: Ozonetel is rated amongst the best call center software offering the most comprehensive, scalable, flexible, solution. Here is list of features that makes Ozonetel the best choice for effective call management
- Offer options for self-service, skill-based routing, voicemail, automatic callbacks
- Gather valuable insights into customer-IVR interactions and agent conversations.
- Screen and categorize incoming calls based on the unique needs
- Place customers in a virtual queue to quickly assess their requirements
- Call Control features such as Whisper, barge in & snoop for effective supervision
- Seamless integration to enable single sign-on (SSO), click-to-call from CRM, automated call logging.
- Access over 100 live reports, AI-powered speech analytics, sentiment analysis, keyword tracking, and more.
Zendesk Talk: This software is rated as the best overall call center software. It offers features such as ticket management, omnichannel communications, call recording, analytics, and integrations with other Zendesk products. Users praise its ease of use, reliability, and customer support. However, some users complain about its high pricing, limited customization, and occasional glitches.
RingCentral Contact Center: This software is rated as the best for growing businesses. RingCentral provides features such as omnichannel routing, CRM integrations, agent management, reporting, and customizations. Users appreciate its scalability, flexibility, and functionality. However, some users report issues with its billing, technical support, and user interface.
Aircall: This software is rated as the best for traditional call centers. Aircall offers features such as call routing, call recording, call monitoring, call analytics, and integrations with various apps. Users like its simplicity, clarity, and mobility. However, some users mention problems with its stability, quality, and compatibility.
LiveAgent: This software is rated as the best for providing text-based support. LiveAgent features call routing, call recording, call analytics, ticketing system, and live chat. Users love its affordability, versatility, and performance. However, some users encounter difficulties with its setup, configuration, and customization.
Five9: This software is rated as the best for automatic call routing. Five9 includes features such as IVR, call recording, call monitoring, call analytics, and AI-powered routing. Users admire its efficiency, intelligence, and integration. However, some users experience challenges with its pricing, support, and updates.
Are you ready to take better control of your inbound call management? And have it be easy? Ozonetel’s Business Phone System and Cloud Contact Center solution delivers enterprise-worthy CMS capabilities with small business-friendly scalability.
You don’t have to take our word for it. You can explore for yourself with a free trial account and get a personal walk-through of our system.
Get started now by requesting a live one-on-one demo with one of our consultants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Call management is the process of handling incoming and outgoing calls in a contact center or a business. It involves various features and functions such as call routing, call recording, call monitoring, call analytics, and more. By managing calls effectively, your business reduces the time spent on waiting in a call queue, dealing with the wrong department, or overburdening agents in a particular location.
There are different types of routing in call management software, which are methods of distributing incoming calls among agents or departments based on certain criteria. Some of the common types of routing are:
Time-based routing: This type of routing directs customer calls based on the agent’s time zone or business hours. It’s useful for businesses that operate across different regions or have flexible working schedules.
Geographical routing: This involves directing inbound calls to agents based on the caller’s geographical location or area code. It’s useful for businesses that have local or regional offices or want to provide personalized service to customers from different areas.
Fixed order routing: When calls are assigned to to the first available agent in the lineup, it is referred to as first order routing. It’s useful for businesses that have a small number of agents or want to distribute calls evenly among them.
Skills-based routing: When calls are routed to agents with the right skills or qualifications based on the caller’s needs or preferences, it is called skill-based routing. It’s useful for businesses that have a large number of agents with different skill sets or want to provide specialized service to customers with different issues.
Rotary routing: This type of routing rotates calls among agents so each person must take a turn before the ACD assigns to another agent. It’s useful for businesses that want to balance the workload and performance of agents.
Percentage-based routing: This involves allocating a specific percentage of calls to different agents or teams, allowing for flexible distribution based on workload or expertise.
There are multiple metrics to measure the call management performance in a call center
Call volume: This refers to the number of calls received or made in a given period.
Call duration: It is the average length of calls in a given period.
Call abandonment rate: the percentage of calls that are disconnected before being answered by an agent. High abandonment rates indicate growing user dissatisfaction
First call resolution rate: FCR refers to the percentage of calls that are resolved on the first contact without the need for a callback or a transfer.
Customer satisfaction rate: This is measured as percentage of callers who express satisfaction with the service they received. It reflects the customer’s perception of whether their expectations have been met or exceeded.
Agent satisfaction rate: Agent satisfaction rate is the percentage of agents who express satisfaction with their work environment and conditions.
Call quality score: It is the overall quality of calls based on various criteria such as clarity, accuracy, professionalism, empathy, and more.
To improve your call management performance at your call center, you can use the following strategies
- Set realistic and achievable goals and targets for yourself and your team.
- Use a call management software or system that provides real-time and historical data and insights on your call performance.
- Use call recording and monitoring features to review and analyze your calls and identify strengths and weaknesses.
- Use call coaching and training features to provide feedback and guidance to yourself and your team.
- Use call analytics and reporting features to track and measure your progress and results.
By implementing these strategies & leveraging the right call center tools you can significantly improve your call center performance.