Is call center software better than a PBX solution? This is the question many businesses ask when setting up a contact center due to the perceived similarities between the two solutions. But they’re actually quite different. In this blog, we provide a brief overview of each – and three reasons why call center software is undeniably better (even for small businesses).
With so many calls to handle, it’s extremely important that call center agents have the best tools to get the job done. Because of this, building a call center is all about selecting the right technology.
Two specific technologies often come up against each other: call center software and PBX solution. They seem similar – they both allow agents to make and receive phone calls – but that’s where most of their similarities end. To see the difference and understand why one is better than the other, let’s take a quick look at both.
What is Call Center Software?
Call center software is a solution that sits at the center of your customer experience (CX) operations, creating a real-time, events-based link between your telephony system, customer relationship management system (CRM), marketing automation platform and other tools. The solution has a variety of features that are fundamental to success, and that’s why so many companies are choosing to integrate this technology into their businesses.
The main goal behind call center software is managing inbound and outbound calls: routing customers to agents and helping agents effectively outreach. But this sophisticated technology, as indicated in the definition above, does much more than just those essentials. Some main features include:
- Smart dialers
- Automated call distribution (ACD)
- Intelligent routing
- Campaign and list management
- Real-time, historical and custom reporting
- Contact history database
- Call recording and quality monitoring
- Agent scripting
- Data importing
What is a PBX Solution?
A private branch exchange (PBX) solution is a telephone network that allows users to make and receive both internal and external calls
PBX solutions operate through communication channels such as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or analog phone lines. With a PBX phone system, your company’s phone line can be split into multiple lines, allowing you to support more phones. By having multiple lines, agents can use PBX solutions to answer many calls at the same time, at their own extensions. It is possible to transfer calls to other agents within the call center and to have a conference call with several present lines. This is attractive to businesses with high call volume.
Some main PBX features include:
- Employee extension directory
- Employee voicemail
- Ability to put callers on hold with music or custom messaging
- Call transferring
- Conference calling
3 Reasons Why Call Center Software Is Better Than a PBX Solution
While both call center software and PBX solutions are dedicated to phone call volume and efficiency, only call center software has the ability to bring personalization to every call. Here are 3 specific reasons why you should turn to call center software over a PBX solution.
#1. Smart Features
The following smart features make call center software stand out from the crowd:
- Screen-pop: A tool that automatically displays caller information on an agent’s screen when a call comes in. This alert includes any relevant caller information found in the CRM database, ensuring that agents are ready to help customers—even before they answer the call.
- Custom reporting: Call reporting includes crucial metrics like call, queue, talk and hold time. Understanding these metrics makes it easier for you to make data-driven business decisions.
- Click2Call: This is a VoIP feature that it makes it easier than ever for customers to contact you. By removing the need for customers to copy and paste your call center’s phone number, they can simply click and get through to an agent instantly.
- Job Engine: This tool synchronizes products, systems, databases, web services and more. This eliminates unnecessary manual work and redundancy for agents, allowing them to focus more on the customer experience.
- Recording & Voicemail Integrations: Having call recordings, voicemails and call metrics automatically archive into your system means that you can access them at any time. This allows both managers and agents to track calls for improvement.
Call center software is technology that easily integrates with the tools you already have. Your CRM, computer telephony integration (CTI) and other systems will work together to provide your customers with the best experience possible. With PBX solutions, these tools remain separate and don’t complement each other.
When agents have all the necessary tools right at their fingertips, their performance will continuously improve. With call center software, agents will always have access to the technology they need, with no need to sacrifice one over the other.
As a business grows, its call center expands, meaning more agents and more phonelines. PBX systems are built to only allow a certain number of phones with a central box that supports a limited number of lines. If you outgrow the system you currently have, you’ll have to pay for the extra capacity.
With call center software, you can scale up or down instantly, without needing to purchase additional equipment. This technology has the ability to scale your call center to meet of all your needs, from phone lines to customer metrics. CTI makes the scaling process smooth and straightforward, with technology that does most of the expanding automatically. This virtual system is not tied to a physical space, so you won’t need to buy expensive equipment every time your company grows.
Call center software brings high level personalization that a PBX solution simply can’t provide.
For example, when an agent answers a call from a new customer, call center software can track the call history to prepare for the next interaction. After collecting customer data, the software will provide the data to the agent every time that client calls. This gives agents the insight they need to have better relationships with customers and to be more attentive during calls.
At the end of the day, your call center system should support your overall goal – improving the customer experience. Call center software has the technology to meet both agent and customer needs while keeping essential data secure and organized. This tool, without question, plays an indispensable role in creating and maintaining call center success.