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Call Answering Software

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Call answering software is at the core of call centers around the world. Though hardware-based call centers require hardware switches to do the dirty work of routing calls, call answering software does the rest.

Call answering software is an umbrella term that encompasses many types of software used in call centers. Hereís a list of software and its function:

  • IVR Software: IVR, or interactive voice response, software is the component of a call center that allows callers to interact with the system. . This software can then route the call to its destination or pass the call to call router software that will perform the function. IVR software can range anywhere from a simple program that lets users dial an extension to reach a certain department to complex systems that use multiple levels of menus to provide the caller information or route them to the desired location.
  • CTI Software: Some call centers need to integrate capabilities directly into their Windows or Unix applications. To do this, they use computer telephony integration, or CTI, software. This powerful call answering software allows users to perform most of the functions of a call answering system from any application on their computer. This software can typically: make calls, put calls on hold, transfer calls to an IVR system, record calls, get a callerís ID and much more.
  • ACD Software: Automated call distribution software is another piece of the call answering software puzzle. This can either link with IVR software or stand alone to route calls to specific destinations. These are usually based on the area code of the incoming call. For example, if a company has several nationwide call centers, callers may call into a central hub, and from there, ACD software would route the call to the center thatís closest to the callerís location. This ensures the call is being answered by someone in the same time zone and perhaps with the same regional characteristics. ACD software can also route calls based on any number of other criteria at the discretion of the call center administrator.
  • Softphone Software: Call answering software is not limited to call centers alone. What if you use a PC with a voice modem as your phone? Softphone software integrates phone functions into your PC, allowing you to use all the functionality available on the most feature-packed phones from anywhere on your PC. Typically, the software includes commands you can enter from any application that do things like dial phone numbers, answer calls, put calls on hold, etc.. Softphone software is popular with small businesses that donít want to go through the hassle and expense of purchasing and setting up a complete phone system.

As you can see, call answering software can mean a lot of things, and call centers are only going to get more automated and grow more dependent on software in the future. The growth of VoIP call centers means that eventually, call centers may rely entirely on some form of call answering software, with no hardware required.

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