As they say, the sales slogan is no more ABC – Always Be Closing, but ABH – Always Be Helping. After much internal discussions & studying industry trends of the recent past, here are the 8 questions which you need to ask your Call center vendor before choosing their solution.
Do you own the full stack of the solution – Hardware + Software?
Ever since Asterisk launched its open source software sometime in the late 2000s a lot of players have adopted this platform to offer call center solutions. While it appears to work, it’s not reliable and often support issues crop up. Same goes for the hardware, while servers are from the Big brands, what is needed to bridge calls is a PRI card in the server. Your question here would be – who owns the card? What’s the SLA on its downtime? Do I need to pay an AMC for the PRI card too?
How well is the vendor known for providing support for your operations?
Do they have a dedicated team? Is it 24 x 7? Do they have support SLAs?
Is the solution a full feature contact center solution?
When one is evaluating a call center solution, it becomes critical to know how the solution is helping you monitor – Agent productivity & Optimizing call center performance. Can SLAs be automatically generated via the reports in the solution? Can I monitor my call center remotely? Does the solution provide me readily available metrics – AHT, FCR, Priority Queuing, ACW etc?
Can the contact center solution integrate with my CRM?
This is a bare minimum and is self-explanatory. It doesn’t make sense to have your call center executives toggling between 2 screens while on a call.
Identified as a key need by CIOs (http://www.cio.com/article/3005642/outsourcing/8-tips-for-choosing-the-right-contact-center-for-your-business.html).
Is the solution scalable – up or down?
An important point to consider is, what if I need to scale down later in the future due? Will I be stuck with my hardware?
If I need to install a software to run the solution, how will upgrades happen?
We all know the pain that comes with upgrading Windows every now and then. Even Microsoft has realized this and is moving the Windows office to the cloud, though at an Elephant’s pace.
Ask around –What do customers similar to you, use?
Your use cases would be very similar. Most probably your CRM also would be – Sugar, Salesforce, Zoho, Pipedrive etc. Makes life easy to get started once you have all the relevant integrations in place.
Finally - Is the pricing suited for my needs? What if i need to scale down?
I have deliberately kept pricing at the end – What’s the use of a system which does not fulfill the above basic needs?