An automatic call distribution system, also called an automatic call center, is a telephone device that automatically answers and dispenses outgoing calls to different groups of agents or terminals in an organization. The system enables the operator to make decisions about the number of calls that should be answered, the number of calls that should be forwarded to other departments, and the number of calls that should be forwarded to other offices. Most call centers are designed to cater for only a few business units. These types of centers, in which the operators handle just a few businesses, typically have their own call distribution systems.
There are various types of call centers and they include data entry, telemarketing, telepresence, customer service, medical assistance, technical support, medical billing, information technology, finance, and many others. The call center has been around for quite some time now. This is because it was used as early as 1820s, but the popularity is only recent. Before the advent of the Internet, it was used extensively by banks and other financial institutions and other organizations to make payments for services rendered by the agents.
Nowadays, an automatic call center can be designed in a wide variety of ways. Some call centers are simply standalone devices and do not require any further modifications, while others are integrated into existing telephone networks. As for the call center itself, there are many options available in the market today.
Small business organizations, home-based and small scale enterprises, and corporate conglomerates are the major customers of these centers. These are the types of companies that need more automated solutions than others, which may need them only temporarily. Automatic call center systems for the latter type of users are more appropriate than those used by larger firms.
Automatic call centers are equipped with many features. One of the most common features of these centers is the capability to route calls automatically. With this feature, calls are automatically routed to a particular call center representative who then handles the calls on behalf of the customer.
Another important function of this kind of center is voice response. In voice response, the caller is assigned a particular call agent who will handle the call with regard to the specified parameters. The caller can either leave a message on hold or simply hang up.
An automatic dialer system is also one of the most common features of such centers. There are several types of automatic dialer systems. These include voice activation, voice broadcasting, voice reply, dial tones, killer identification, and auto dialer. These are all features of call centers that can be customized to meet the needs of different types of businesses.
If you are looking to set up your own call center, you must first determine whether you want to use a hosted or personal hosted solution. In case you have a business with a limited number of employees, it is advisable to use a hosted system. This will help you manage the system yourself as the system is managed by a dedicated operator. A dedicated operator can handle all your call related tasks. Personal hosted systems are more suited for business organizations, where you may have more employees.
A personal hosted solution is generally more cost-effective. It is easier to set up, since you will not require hiring an operator. Personal hosted systems can also be set up and configured from your own office, thus reducing costs.
You should also consider the features offered by the call center systems you are considering. Some of them may require you to buy software, which is usually installed on their servers. Others may require you to purchase pre-configured scripts, which you install on your own server. You can choose between managed and unmanaged scripts based on your requirements. The latter is more advantageous if you want to control and maintain your call center manually.
For the complete functionality of your call center, you should check out the various plans and packages offered by various providers. You should also review the features provided by each provider. You can compare various providers and choose the best one for your needs.