Contact centre technology (CTT) is a complicated network of mainframes, minicomputers and LAN´s that is designed for the purpose of making and collecting a large volume of telephone calls. There are several types of contact centre technology in operation today and technology companies continue to work to make innovations to improve the service required by contact centre technology.
Call centres ordinarily have a huge workforce, all of which have their own work station that includes a computer and a telecom switch board which they use to receive and make calls to prospective customers. Due to the vast number of calls the contact centre is engaged with simultaneously the data pathways need to be separated using a technology known as computer telephony integration (CTI).
Products like Pro Com Telemarketing Software offer a wide choice of options for the Contact Centre technology.
Police officers at work in the West Midlands Police (UK) Contact Centre.
Voice recognition technology
To help the contact centre manage their calls and direct prospective customers to the correct department a new technology known as speech recognition software was introduced whereby the caller is asked a series of questions in order to identify the department they require. Speech recognition technology is often employed to handle to first level of customer support and reduce wait times.
An operative in a Contact Centre.
Voice recognition software can also be used for making outbound calls to follow-up leads and designate the right agent to handle the matter based on knowledge, past performance and socioeconomic percentages that lead to a sale. This technology creates the concept of a virtual queue and provides callers with the option to hold for an agent or to be called back when an agent is available.
Premise-based Call Centre Technology
Contact centres have historically integrated premise-based systems whereby calls are received by a human operated switchboard controller who then directs the caller to the relevant agent to handle their enquiry. Development of premise-based call centre technology means that in the modern age it is also able to provide functions such as automatic call distribution, interactive voice response and skills-based routing. Premise-based technology is purchased by the call centre company who is then responsible for its maintenance and software updates. The alternative to this method is virtual call centre technology.
Virtual Call Centre Technology
The latest advancement in contact centre technology has seen the creation of the virtual call centre. The model is possible due to using software as a service technology, whereby the call centre does not own the technology, but rents the equipment from a third party host. Contracts for a virtual call centre can be taken on a rolling monthly basis or for a one-time annual fee payment that is operated by the service provider in their own call centre.
Agents of the call centre renting the equipment connect to the virtual call centre using a traditional PSTN telephone or through the internet with a voice over internet provider (VoIP) such as Skype. Calls begin and end at the source of the technology provided by the vendor of the telephony equipment then connects to the call centre stationed in a remote location.
The advantages of virtual call centre technology allows people to work from home, therefore a call centre can create a team of agents stationed in remote locations and cutting down on office rental costs and energy bills. It also presents people with physical disabilities to find employment without needing to leave home.
Cloud Computing for Call Centres
Cloud computing for call centres is a similar concept to the virtual call centre in that the technology is used on a software for service basis and is hosted by a third party call centre. The only difference is that the contact centre computing platform is cloud-based and therefore accessed through internet platforms only and not traditional telephones.
Contact centre technology has developed progressively over the last few years and with new technology being invented is enabling call centre owners to cut down on operation costs and allow their employees more flexibility and free time.