As important as customer service today for the survival of many businesses, you can’t afford to make poor decisions when it comes to choosing a contact centre software platform.
What’s even more challenging is if you don’t know what you’re looking for, the process can be absolutely daunting. The key to selecting the right one is to know exactly what you’re looking for. Once you’re able to figure that out — finding a service provider won’t be a hassle.
Before deciding on which supplier to use, here are a few factors to consider when it comes to finding the best contact centre software for your business:
1. Type of software
Not all contact centre software is created equal. There are many different types. The major categories are on-premise, cloud-based, hosted and browser-based.
Be sure to carefully consider which type is right for your business needs. Doing so will significantly narrow down your field of potential options.
Your contact centre isn’t a stand-alone system. It needs to interact with other portions of your business. Make sure any contact centre software you consider is capable of integrating with your CRM, social networking tools, helpdesk software and even marketing tools. The last thing you can afford is a disconnect, which will lead to frustration and a lack of communication among both employees and customers.
Your business is anything but static. From month to month, you experience ebbs and flows. If you invest in contact centre software specifically designed for your business’s current needs, you risk obsolescence down the road. Be sure that any software you consider is fully scalable. This will allow you to quickly add agents, adjust to handle fluctuating call volume, and add or remove features as you see fit.
4. Feature list
Speaking of features, do you know which ones you need? Each vendor offers different ones with its software, and you need to prioritize the ones that mean the most to your contact centre. Common features include:
- Telephone, Unlimited Concurrent Calls
- Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)
- AI Chat Bot
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR). Skills-based Routing
- Call Queues
- Automatic Screen Pop
- Call Control
- Disposition Codes
- Call Recording
- Call Monitoring
- Call Barging
- Conference Calling
- Voicemail Transcription
- Predictive Dialler
- Power Dialler
- Real-time Reporting
- Historical Reporting
Take some time to explore each feature and then prioritize the features according to your business needs and the type of products\services you offer.
5. Ease of use
How easy is it to deploy the software in your organization? Is it as easy as logging in and getting started, or will you need to hire a consultant to come in and meet with your team for a week to conduct the training? A helpful tip is to have one of your agents test drive the software during a trial. If they can’t be a pro in a few hours move on to a solution that they can.
6. Customer service
Customer service can also be a differentiating factor between contact centre software solutions that make the cut and those that don’t. Customer reviews are a great place to check how a company is performing when it comes to customer experience.
If you are price-sensitive, just do the quick math on how much it will cost to lose a customer due to your phones being down or because there is a bug that isn’t being fixed or because your managers don’t have access to reporting or because your agents don’t have the features they need to get the job done right. It’s better to spend a little more and get better functionality and service.
Make sure you ask about any implementation fees, training costs, and price per agent, price per minute, the price per phone number and price to use certain features.
Other important factors to consider are training and technical support.
When making a decision, always think about your company and perform your own due diligence. You might come to the same conclusion, but you’ll be more comfortable with your choice when you know that you made it.