Choosing the Right Contact Center Vendor
You know you need a powerful contact center platform to support your customer service initiatives, but how do you go about selecting the right contact center vendor to support these efforts? Aside from conducting your own contact center solutions comparison of selected suites, you also need to consider the support that is delivered, the experience the vendor has in the market, the implementation success rates and the total cost of ownership and integration within your current environment. Once you clearly define your expectations in each of these areas, you can select the right contact center vendor for your particular needs.
Select the Contact Center Vendor with the Right Tools
As you examine contact center vendor offerings, keep in mind that each of these companies seek to achieve differentiation in a tightly competitive, commodity market. Not all solution suites will offer the same tools to allow you to optimize your customer service environment. The very basic contact center vendor may offer software to support calling, desktop integration and call recording. More complex offerings will include social media integration, workforce management, skills-based routing and multi-channel integration for a seamless customer experience regardless of the channel. Identify your needs and wants, aligning them with your budget and you’ll be better prepared to select your desired feature suite.
Support is Critical in Your Selected Contact Center Vendor
A contact center vendor that implements your selected solution and quickly disappears is not the optimal partner if you want to receive extensive training, continuous support and consistent upgrades. Your contact center is a dynamic environment with consistent changes, constant challenges and thriving opportunities. The contact center vendor you select as your partner today should be the same one that assists you in assessing your needs in six months to determine if your growth can be sustained with the current implementation. Your selected contact center vendor should be willing to support your efforts for the long term.
Implementation Success Rates and Experience are Important in a Contact Center Vendor
When shopping on price alone, you may come across a contact center vendor or two offering cut-throat rates. Don’t be blinded by low prices; what experience does this vendor offer? What is their implementation success rate? This is important information to gather whether the contact center vendor is one you have never heard of, or an established company like Avaya or Five9. Talk to current customers and ask them the tough questions, such as implementation time, unexpected problems, response rates to support calls and more. You also want to know the contact center vendor’s experience when it comes to integration with your current environment, whether it’s NetSuite, Oracle or an open source solution that cost you next to nothing.
Total Cost of Ownership – Ask the Contact Center Vendor to Demonstrate
Before you make your final contact center vendor selection, you need to evaluate the total cost of ownership. If you select a contact center vendor offering a hosted solution, you do pay a lower monthly fee, but what is that cost over the life of the solution? If you opt for an on-premise solution, you pay a higher upfront cost, but you also leverage your current technology investments that you already own, which could result in a lower total cost of ownership over time. You have to examine the long-term cost against your strategy and your budget to determine the best approach before you select your contact center vendor.