Customer Service & Support Articles

Did You Know What Communications Software Can Do for Your Business?

by Mila Nikolova
Published on 18 March 2014

CommunicationCommunications software is becoming an increasingly popular category on our marketplace and we realized that many SMBs do not really know much about the types of communication software available, and how they can use these in their business.

Historically communications software companies have targeted large organizations, many of these organizations hosting their own call centers. However, many software companies have developed solutions which can be beneficial to almost any business size and type.

We'd like to share with you some information on the different types of business communication software, which businesses can benefit the most from their use, and some of the leading providers in each category.

1. Call Center Software and Unified Communications Software

What is it?

It is often misused as a synonym for communications software but it actually is a suite that includes most of the other subcategories, such as VoIP, literally Voice over IP (over the internet); PBX (Private Branch Exchange), Telephony or Email Management solutions. It is used to run call centers, both in-house and outsourced, and enterprises that have a large number of lines.

Who should be using it?

Buyers. These buyers work for small businesses moving beyond contact tracking capabilities of products like Microsoft Outlook. Buyers focused on support and relationship management want to add call center and customer support capabilities through CRM suites.

Call centers. High-volume centers in particular can benefit from a subscription service center. The low upfront costs let you spend money on desktop equipment for agents instead of back-office hardware.

Headquarters of large organizations: They have dozens of telephone lines and in-house customer service.

Customer service departments of small businesses: There are solutions in the market specifically thought for small companies that need to provide quality customer service over phone, such as marketing agencies or e-commerce businesses.

Who are the top vendors?

Five9: It is suited for any size of business and a full set of functionalities, including skills-based routing, IVR (Interactive Voice Response), speech recognition, CRM integrations and real-time reporting, amongst others.

8×8 Virtual Contact Center: It is very simple to implement, user friendly and has a pay-as-you-grow pricing model.

RingCentral: Suitable for any size of business, including freelancers, and it delivers quality voice, fax, text and conferencing solution.

Vocalcom Cloud Contact Center: It offers Visual IVR (Interactive Voice Response), Live Chat, Social Media customer engagement and many others in affordable subscription based pricing model. It targets small businesses with a wide range of features, including fax and text services with a very affordable pricing.

2. Video and Web Conferencing Software

What is it?

This is a better known branch of communications software, that is used to hold online meetings and/or host webinars, including video connection via desktop or mobile, as well as document and/or screen sharing.

Who should be using it?

Any business that has more than one location or clients in numerous locations. It can be used for training purposes, internal conference calls or interactions with partners and customers, such as demos. It saves a lot of travel costs.

Who are the top vendors?

GoToMeeting: It can be used by businesses of any size, including freelancers. Allows to have a call with up to 25 people and sharing any desktop application. It can be used on iPad, iPhone and Android and integrated with Microsoft Outlook for scheduling.

ClickMeeting: It is also suitable for any business size and is web based. It allows Whiteboard presentations, screen sharing and document sharing.

Speek: It allows call recording and white labeled conference calling. Easy to use and great on mobile.

GoToWebinar: Great app for "do-it-yourself" webinars, from your PC or Mac, with up to 1,000 people.

3. Live Chat

What is it?

A chat software that is integrated within a website's interface, that allows businesses to personalize the customer support experience. You can gain visibility into pages your visitors are interested in and use this information to create customized support and chat experiences. Beyond providing personalized support, the data collected can be leveraged to create new and manage existing advertising campaigns.

Who should be using it?

In-house customer support at IT vendors and e-commerce sites: Create a unique customer experience by offering live help

Call centers: The digital world has created the need for call centers to adopt many additional services to the basic phone systems, as people tend to prefer text-based rather than voice-based communication.

Who are the top vendors?

HelpOnClick Live Chat Software: Great for any business size. It is very easy to install and you can use the real time traffic monitor to invite potential customers for a chat.

RumbleTalk: It is a chatroom platform for websites. You can customize the experience using the themes or creating your own CSS skin. It is available in more than 20 languages.


Apps mentioned in this article