Contactual's Five Essential Questions for Evaluating Call Center Technology
August 19, 2011
By David Sims
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Thanks to you, Contactual (News - Alert), for your quick and solid list of the five questions we need to be asking when we’re evaluating call center technology:
What is the primary purpose of this call center? Call center applications vary from order desks to IT help desks to telesales. Which application best fits your business process units? Does your application require complex queues and/or interactive voice response (IVR) scripts? Or, if you are in regulated industries like health care or finance, call recording is required legally.
What issues prompted the need to evaluate your call center now? Don’t skip over this step, it’s more important than you might think at first blush. Do you have an internal PBX (News - Alert) system that frequently fails, causing dropped calls, lost sales opportunities, and irritated customers? Does the cost of maintaining an outdated, outmoded call center system outweigh the benefits of retaining and updating it? Is it time to expand to multiple locations or leverage new technology to add remote agents without adding a lot of overhead?
What are the feature gaps between your call center needs and your existing product, and how can you close those gaps? Would automated call distribution (ACD) help route customers' calls to the best-qualified agent to handle them, thus increasing first-call resolutions? If you had IVR, could you reduce average speed to answer?
What does the future hold for your call center? When you invest in call center technology you should take a three-to-five year view of your business landscape. Will your call center scale as your business scales? How would that affect the costs of maintaining the call center? Can it handle chat? Will it need to in three to five years?
Which third-party applications will your call center solution need to integrate with? If you already use CRM, such as SalesForce, you know how these tools become a backbone for your business.
Earlier this week TMC’s (News - Alert) Ashok Bindra wrote that [http://www.tmcnet.com/channels/call-center/articles/207434-contactuals-ondemand-contact-center-makes-home-based-agents.htm] as part of TMCnet’s “On the Road” video series in San Jose, contributing consultant Carl Ford (News - Alert) recently met with Contactual’s vice president of worldwide sales and marketing Wendell Black to see what’s happening in the software-as-a-service world, and learn about the company’s hosted contact center solution and home based agents.David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Chris DiMarco