8 Things to look for when selecting call center software for Salesforce
Selecting a call center platform to pair with your Salesforce instance is not easy. The AppExchange has seen unprecedented growth in app offerings during the last few years, making it increasingly complex for Salesforce administrators and business managers to distinguish the good from the great. We’ve compiled a no-frills list of key requirements to look for that should help you streamline your call center vendor selection process.
1. Pure Cloud Call Center Platform:
If your company is using Salesforce, you already understood the basic benefits of cloud vs. on premise solutions. In telephony, things might get a bit more tricky. Use this quick list of questions to spot vendors who use multi instance architecture from those who use true, pure cloud, multi tenant platforms:
- Is your solution multi instance or multi tenant? Multi instance solutions are cumbersome and exponentially hard to manage for operations teams, hindering your vendors ability to innovate. On the other hand, multi tenant architecture enables fast paced updating and upgrading, which will ensure your call center platform stays future proofed.
- Is your platform geo-distributed?
- Does your network support global low latency architecture? This helps globally distributed teams connect their users to the closest data center based on the geographical location.
Bonus: Stay away from ”CTI connectors”. They are commonly used to connect legacy, on premise, telephony infrastructure to Salesforce.
2. Vendors should meet this Inbound Call Center Checklist:
- Web based IVR Management.
- Salesforce powered Call Routing to route calls based on Salesforce data.
- Automatic Call Distribution Queues (or ACD Queues).
- Automatic Queue CallBack.
- On Hold and Average Wait Time Announcements.
- Skills based Call Routing.
- Unlimited Simultaneous Inbound Call Capacity at no extra cost.
- Call Notes and Tags.
- Automated Inbound Call Recording.
3. Vendors should meet this Outbound Call Center Checklist:
- Automated Dialer (Power Dialer, Preview Dialer, etc.).
- Import Dialing Lists directly from Salesforce using Salesforce List Views.
- Salesforce Click to Dial.
- Salesforce Screen pop.
- Call Outcome (Disposition Codes, Call Purpose, Tags).
- Automated Outbound Call Recording.
4. Lightning Ready Salesforce CTI:
All of Salesforce new features are now built for Salesforce Lightning, not Classic. It’s just a matter of time until Salesforce completely sunsets Classic UI. Your call center software vendor must be ready to offer a Salesforce CTI that completely integrates with Lightning.
Quickly spot those vendors who are “Lightning Ready” on the AppExchange from those who are not by checking for the following “tag” in their App listing.
5. Salesforce CTI Capabilities:
As with most things in life, Salesforce Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) come in all shapes and sizes. When a vendor states that they have a “Salesforce Integration” you should use this quick checklist to distinguish those vendors with lightweight integrations that may perform basic call logging functions vs. true Salesforce call center solutions that will empower your users, management and operations teams with technology that blends into their workflow and boost their productivity to new heights.
- Workflow automations that trigger different events like: call logging, task creation, case creation and more.
- Salesforce Lighting Softphone. The softphone is the actual piece of software that enables phone calls. You should strive for a browser based softphone, powered by WebRTC technology and assigned to your users utility bar enabling reps to easily click to dial, automatically screenpop into records, and much more. The most advanced Salesforce Softphones will enable reps to interact with Salesforce objects like opportunities, cases, contacts, accounts, leads, tasks, events, and more.
- Salesforce Call Routing that connects calls based on Salesforce data like: opportunity, case, contact, lead or account owners.
- Integration between your automated dialer for outbound calling campaigns and Salesforce list views. This enables reps to quickly import lists into their dialer and start outbound campaigns in seconds.
- Salesforce native reporting and dashboards that track all your call center activities.
Bidirectional, real time, contact and lead sync. This enables reps to quickly add new leads/contacts or merge callers into existing records in Salesforce, leveraging pre populated data within the softphone.
6. Live Call Center Activity Dashboard & Coaching:
Your call center platform should deliver a way for supervisors to quickly view queue and agent activity. Key features you should look for include:
- Real Time Agent Status (Available, Off Duty, Talking, Ringing, etc.).
- Queued Calls to quickly assess call center staffing needs.
- Agent Coaching: monitor, whisper and barge.
- Remote Agent Status change. Enable supervisors to easily switch agents from Available to Off Duty. This is very useful because, it’s not uncommon for agents to forget to switch their status before leaving the office.
- Custom away status for agents: Break, Lunch, etc.
7. Mobile Ready:
As increasingly important as mobile is for everyday business, it’s intriguing why most call center platforms are not well suited to support mobile workforces out of the box. Make sure your new vendor checks these boxes before making a choice:
- Support for iOS and Android.
- Automatically sync activities back to Salesforce.
- Support for phone calls on background mode or with the app being closed. It is very important that your provider doesn’t keep an open SIP connection to your mobile device because it will drain your battery in a few hours.
8. Salesforce-based Administration:
Legacy call center infrastructure management was something usually relegated to highly skilled, certified, IT professionals. Something as simple as adding a new user, modifying a call queue or changing an IVR, is a pain most business managers have experienced.
Leading cloud-based call center platforms should offer a way to easily manage your entire solution without the need of technical expertise, making it straightforward to deploy and manage different teams across the globe. Best in breed Salesforce CTI solutions, should offer a way for you to manage your entire call center from within the Salesforce Lightning CRM.