What is a call center phone system?
A call center phone system is a specialized communications system designed to handle large volumes of incoming and outgoing telephone calls. It provides the necessary infrastructure and features to support call management, routing and monitoring of call center employees, or agents.
Key features typically found in phone systems for call centers include the following:
- Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) – ACD automatically routes incoming calls to available agents based on predetermined rules, distributing calls efficiently and evenly.
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – IVR systems allow callers to navigate through menus and select options using pre-recorded voice prompts and touch-tone or speech recognition technology to route calls and resolve simple inquiries.
- Call Queuing – When all agents are busy, call center phone systems put incoming calls in a queue, maintain their place in line and play recorded messages or music while they wait to connect.
- Outbound Dialing – Call center phone systems often include features for outbound calling, such as preview dialing, which allows agents to review customer information before calling, or predictive dialing, which uses automated dialing algorithms to connect agents to live calls.
- CRM Integration – Many call center phone systems integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) software to provide agents with relevant customer information during calls, personalizing interactions and streamlining workflows. FlexIP Solution’s CRM integration, for example, saves up to 30 seconds of activity on each call, which translates to efficiencies that can save money for businesses of all sizes.
- Call Recording – Call center phone systems can record calls to analyze for training, improving productivity, quality assurance or ensuring compliance.
- Reporting and Analytics – Many call center phone systems provide comprehensive reporting and analytics that track and analyze various metrics like call volume, call duration, agent performance and customer satisfaction.
Call Center vs. Contact Center
The terms “call center” and “contact center” are often used interchangeably, but they differ slightly in scope and capabilities.
Call center solutions primarily focus on inbound and outbound business phone services. Their primary purpose is to manage large volumes of voice-based interactions between customers and agents. Call centers traditionally handle customer service inquiries, technical support, sales, and other phone-based interactions.
Contact center solutions integrate and manage interactions through multiple communications channels such as email, live chat, social media, SMS, video calls and more. Omnichannel support enables customers to communicate with brands through their preferred channels. Additionally, contact center solutions have access to more sophisticated, robust reporting and analytics features. FlexIP Solutions, for example, implemented a cloud contact center solution to transform a medical office’s phone system and provide vital visibility into staffing needs and issues.
Types of Call Center Phone Systems
Call center phone systems are available with various features and deployment options to meet specific call center needs. Common types of call center phone systems include the following:
On-premises Call Center Phone Systems
On-premises call center phone systems are installed and operated within a company’s physical office environment. The company’s IT staff is responsible for the ongoing management of these call center phone systems, including software updates, hardware maintenance, security measures and performance monitoring. Additionally, on-premises call center phone systems require a compatible network infrastructure, data connections and dedicated hardware, such as servers, routers, switches and telephony equipment. The benefits of on-premises call center phone systems include greater control, increased customization, and enhanced security. However, on-premises call center phone systems require higher upfront investment and ongoing maintenance than do cloud-based call center phone systems.
Cloud-based Call Center Phone Systems
Cloud-based call center phone systems are hosted and managed in the cloud by a third-party provider. Agents and administrators access cloud-based call center phone systems over the internet using web-based interfaces or downloadable software applications. Cloud-based call center phone systems eliminate the need for on-site infrastructure and hardware, and offer pay-as-you-go pricing, avoiding unnecessary upfront costs. The benefits of cloud-based call center phone systems include greater scalability and flexibility through on-demand capacity, and easy, automatic maintenance managed entirely by the service provider. FlexIP Solutions, for example, frequently implements cloud-based call centers for multilocation medical practices so that appointments can be booked by call center agents at any location, regardless of physical location.
VoIP Call Center Phone Systems
Some call center phone systems support voice over IP (VoIP) call over the internet or an organization’s internal network. By eliminating the need for dedicated voice infrastructure, VoIP call center solutions reduce costs, scale easily and enable remote access. VoIP call center phone systems generally deliver high-quality voice calls, but call quality can be impacted by factors such as internet bandwidth, network congestion and network outages. Businesses with high call traffic and specific call quality needs should consider custom enterprise VoIP or hosted VoIP services.
Cloud Contact Center Solutions
Cloud contact center solutions are comprehensive customer engagement platforms that combine various communications channels and management tools in a single cloud-based environment. The most effective cloud contact center phone systems are equipped with omnichannel functionality and CRM integrations to deliver complete, personalized and efficient customer experiences.
Hybrid Call Center Phone System
Hybrid call center phone systems combine on-premises and cloud-based systems to create specialized, secure environments. For example, critical communications could be hosted on-site to ensure security or compliance, while less sensitive data or overflow capacity could be hosted in the cloud for flexibility and easy scalability.
Which phone system is right for your business?
Choosing the right call center phone system for your business depends on several factors, including your specific application, budget, and existing network infrastructure and specifications.
- Benefits of On-Premises Call Center Phone Systems – Businesses that choose to implement on-premises solutions are typically looking for greater control and customization of the technology and configurations, enhanced security, compliance with industry regulation and reliable connections. Additionally, some businesses must use on-premises call center because they rely on legacy equipment that integrates better with physical equipment.
- Benefits of Cloud-Based Call Center Phone Systems – Businesses that adopt cloud-based solutions typically seek scalability and flexibility, remote work enablement, cost efficiency, rapid deployments and updates, redundancy, easy integrations with CRMs, cloud-based applications and omnichannel solutions. Many also want to offload responsibility for cloud contact center management to the service provider, freeing up the company’s time, money and expertise for more critical tasks.
Ultimately, the choice between on-premises and cloud-based call center solutions depends on your specific goals for your call center. Organizations with particular needs and sufficient resources often opt for a hybrid solution to leverage the benefits of both. Carefully evaluate your call center needs to determine which solution best aligns with your business goals.
Take Your Call Center Phone System to the Next Level with FlexIP Solutions
FlexIP Solutions delivers managed cloud communications services customized for businesses of all sizes and optimized for the best value and performance. The company was founded in 2009 on the principles of consultative solutions engineering; white-glove service implementation; ongoing monitoring, management and reporting; and on-demand customer service from real people.
Today, those best practices are the foundation of the FlexIP Perfect-Fit Promise.
Our Perfect-Fit Promise takes a holistic view of your company’s needs and objectives and delivers a white-glove, fully managed communications solution that:
- Lowers your costs by providing only what you need when you need it
- Offers the most advanced features and customization in the market
- Scales affordably and reliably
- Enables fast and efficient multilocation and remote workforce management
- Offloads setup, training – and ongoing training for new employees – to our team
- Provides you with a true, single point of contact for fast resolution of any issues. We even interface with your data provider, so you don’t have to.
Ready to upgrade your call center phone system? Let’s talk. Call or text FlexIP Solutions at 833.779.7700.