Top call center features and integrations

11 Essential Call Center Features to Look For

Victoria GuetterLast updated on February 27, 2024
6 min

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Phone, email, or chatbots: Today’s modern companies offer their customers numerous ways to communicate and essential call center features. But to be effective, it’s essential to use these technologies to your advantage.

For companies with dedicated sales and support teams, call center software has become a very popular means to communicate for good reason.

Call centers are the face of your company

Telephone hotlines and call centers are often the first channels that customers turn to when looking for help or advice.

A bad customer experience can permanently damage your company’s reputation. On the other hand, positive experiences create happy customers, which are essential for successful and growing companies.

This effectively turns your call center into the face of your company, product, and customer service. Finding the right software for your company is essential to put your best face forward.

What defines a good call center?

There are plenty of different call center software options available. Some are suitable for outbound call centers, while others are more appropriate for inbound call centers. Each call center solution comes with different functions.

But what features should a functioning call center solution have?

11 Essential Call Center Features

1. Interactive voice response (IVR)

An IVR is an electronic voice menu that helps callers decide which agent they want to be connected to based on their needs. Using IVR should be as simple and intuitive as possible for your customers.

With IVR, they can navigate through various options by pressing (or clicking) buttons on their phone. Callers hear recorded voice memos, such as “Press 1 to…”, which the system plays automatically.

The result? Satisfied customers, support reps that can always be reached, and more productive employees.

2. Skill-based routing

Skill-based routing is the second important must-have for any call center software. With automatic call routing, everyone saves time and resources.

Some software enables you to connect your IVR to call routing and distribution. With this setup, the caller is offered several options until they’re connected with the most helpful agent.

3. Call recording

The sentence that many customers hear before the start of a call (“This conversation may be recorded for training purposes”) is no coincidence.

Listening to and recording conversations has become a common practice, which is why the call center software you use should also be able to record phone calls. These snapshots can not only be useful for training purposes but can also help you increase your team’s productivity and customer satisfaction.

“Prior to using Aircall, we had to manually choose to record each call, so if the team member forgot to hit record, we didn't have it, and then they'd have to call the person back to say, ‘I'm so sorry I didn't write this down right.’ So it would make us look unprofessional. Now if there's an issue, we could just pull up the call recording,” says Erica Davis, Founder and CEO of Annie Admin.

4. Computer telephony integration (CTI)

Saying goodbye to tools that cost you and your team time is more important now than ever. To work effectively and efficiently, your software shouldn’t slow progress at every turn.

Most call center software includes a CTI that connects the functions of your phone with your computer. With a CTI, you can instantly turn your computer into a virtual call center. Aircall’s CTI integrates with just a few clicks, easily incorporating the phone into your work processes.

5. Desktop notifications

CTIs can open up new ways of working efficiently. But working in a call center also means making sure you don’t miss any calls.

To prevent this, most call center software offers the option of pop-up notifications on your desktop. This way, you’re always aware when you receive a call or when a call is transferred to you.

6. Power dialers

Manually dialing a phone number does not take longer than a few seconds at most. However, when you consider that outbound call center agents make thousands of calls each week, these few minutes can quickly turn into hours.

A power dialer automatically dials stored phone numbers from a selected list. New calls can only be made once the current one has ended.

“Something that our sales team likes is the Power Dialer. They can call a list of contacts one after the other, which helps streamline our sales process and has increased the number of calls one person makes in a day by 100%," says Safiya Cherifi, Global Inbound Manager at TooGoodToGo.

Other functions vary depending on the product. Aircall’s Power Dialer automatically identifies phone numbers on a website. It also allows you to dial a phone number four times faster and make up to 80 calls in an hour. This reduces manual work and saves your agents hours of dialing.

7. CRM integrations

Your software should help your team work faster, better, and more efficiently. This can only happen when your tools can talk to each other. Nowadays, call center software should be able to seamlessly integrate with your CRM and help desk.

When they don’t, companies must either change providers or patch together solutions that disrupt their workflows. From re-training employees to correcting mistakes, these concessions can cost companies lots of valuable time.

That’s why having powerful but simple integrations can contribute to improved team performance.

“Our old system had no integration whatsoever,” he explains. “So seeing the options available with Aircall was a no-brainer—it’s the most impressive part," says Brendan Cappello, Managing Director of RapidG.

Aircall can be integrated into your existing CRM within a few minutes and just a few clicks. You can find over 100 different integrations in our App Marketplace: from Salesforce to HubSpot to Zendesk and more.

8. Call whispering & live coaching

From price negotiations to quality control and onboarding, there will be times when your frontline agents will need support during a call. When dealing with a difficult customer on the phone, having some backup from a colleague or manager can save the day—and customer relationships.

There’s only one catch: The customer at the other end can’t be aware of it.

With live coaching functionality, a third party can secretly join your conversation and discreetly offer support. With Aircall’s call whispering function, you can join unnoticed during a phone call, or write a note to your colleague, guaranteeing optimal call center customer support.

9. Warm calling & transfer

A more successful way to reach new customers and sell your product or service is via warm calling.

With warm calling, you can quickly reach out to people who have already shown an interest in your product and have previously been in touch with your company.

To make the conversation flow even smoother, you can start the conversation before the potential customer picks up the phone.

Using the warm transfer option, you can talk to your colleague before transferring the call their way. This enables you to get them up to speed on the information they need to know to ensure a successful customer call.

10. Call center analytics

The above features are great to have, but to really understand their impact and optimize your operations, you’ll need to be able to monitor and measure your metrics.

This is where call center analytics come into play. By being able to measure and track your analytics, you can improve team performance and make data-driven changes to your workflows.

Aircall's user performance and unanswered calls dashboards

From missed calls to processing time, analysis and tracking functions differ depending on your chosen call center software.

When selecting software, you should be aware of which data you want to collect and track. The last thing you want is to purchase and install software that doesn’t meet your needs or gives you incomplete data. The best providers offer advanced analytics and life feed monitoring so you can track everything in real-time.

With Aircalls Live Feed you’ll get the needed insight into your call center performance, enabling you to directly monitor and evaluate your entire team’s productivity.

11. AI-powered features

One of the most important considerations you should make when choosing call center software is whether or not it offers AI-powered features.

Aircall's AI-powered features like Key Topic Recognition, Call and Voicemail Transcription, and Call Summaries streamline workflows and reduce busywork for customer-facing teams.

This way, sales and support agents can spend more time creating memorable customer experiences.

“With call and voicemail transcription, instead of having to listen to an 18-minute conversation, the synapsis can be read in 15 seconds or less. We can use the talk-to-listen ratio feature to see if our sales team is listening—are we hearing our customers or are we just telling people what they want to hear?” says Kirk Chester, Risk Manager at GRIT Insurance Group.

Aircall's AI powered call and voicemail transcription feature example

Call Center Features: The Key to Unlocking Your Business Potential

Achieving your goals and KPIs is within reach if you can be sure that your agents are consistently delivering great customer experience.

Make sure the business phone solution you select supports you in continuing to grow as a company.

If your chosen call center software offers all the functions mentioned above, you are well prepared to take on whatever the year has in store.

Published on January 27, 2020.

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