Looking for the Best Call Centre? 10 Questions
Guest Blog by Bohdan Khomyn, Founder & CEO of Voiptime Cloud
Choosing the right call centre solution is a big deal for your business as it will determine the quality of customer service. But finding the best technology to meet all the requirements of your business can be a challenge. At first glance, all the options look the same. It’s hard to tell the difference by simply reading online reviews and browsing through the company’s website.
To make the right decision, you must be careful and strategic about the choice and evaluate not only the features of call centre software but also the capabilities of the provider. Below are the 10 critical questions you need to ask yourself and your vendor prior to choosing the call centre solution for your business. Keep reading!
1 – What are the main objectives of your call centre?
This is the first and most important question because it will determine whether your call centre will be able to meet your business goals. Before you start looking for a solution, decide what calls you want to process ‒ outbound and inbound or outbound only? If both, will the solution be able to blend them? Also, take into consideration how the communication with your customers is built at the moment, what business processes you want to secure in order to preserve this connection, and whether you’ll need the additional channels in the foreseeable future. These are the core features of the call centre, which will directly impact the productivity of your agents, the efficiency of your call centre, and your business overall.
2 – What solution will work best for you ‒ on-premises or cloud?
If you have the resources to establish an in-house call centre, you might be considering the on-premises solution and thus looking for the corresponding hardware and software. However, more and more businesses are moving away from bulky hardware call centres and slowly implementing cloud-based solutions. No matter if you have in-house agents or plan to outsource remote team, you’ll surely enjoy the perks of moving to the cloud. Cloud-based solutions are not only cheaper, but also more efficient, easier to implement, scalable, and user-friendly.
3 – Are you planning to scale your call centre in the near future?
Moving on from the previous question, if scalability is important for your business, then you’ll get more benefits from cloud-based solution. Also, this is something you’ll definitely need to discuss with the software vendor. Does their solution allow for scalability? If yes, then to what extent and how much time will the whole process take? More specifically, you want to know how long it will take to connect new agents and whether this operation requires deploying new environments. Ideally, this change should not interrupt the workflow of the call centre. The technology of your choice must be able to keep up with rapid growth whenever your business requires that.
4 – Do you need any extra hardware/software to make the solution work?
The need to implement additional hardware or software to deploy a call centre solution can become a serious burden to your business. You might have such a requirement if you decide to use open-source solutions or try to build a CTI integration by yourself. Not only it will make implementation more costly and time-consuming, but also it may potentially cause issues with support in the future. Hardware-based call centre apps often come along with greater upfront investment and ongoing maintenance cost, which is another reason to consider cloud-based contact centre instead. The latter only requires a solid internet connection, a headset, and a computer.
5 – Is it important that the vendor provides the SIP line or can you use your own lines?
If your current telephony carrier provides VoIP, maybe you’d like to continue using your existing lines. Ask the representatives of the call centre software vendor how to connect your current VoIP carrier to their solution and whether this process requires any additional payment. If you don’t use VoIP telephony yet, maybe it is a good time to start. Choose the vendor who can equip you with SIP lines or trunks for auto dialing. It’s not an easy task to find a reliable carrier who’d provide SIP trunks for auto dialling and ensure the highest call quality at the same time. Therefore, it is especially convenient when the software vendor fulfils your VoIP telephony need as well.
6 – What other business solutions do you use?
Next question to ask yourself is whether the solution of your choice allows for easy integration capabilities. If your agents already use CRM, ticketing solution, or any other software, you should consider the integration capabilities of the call centre solution. This is an extremely important condition for your agents’ efficiency as juggling between several apps will eat a significant amount of time they could have spent on conversations. Moreover, switching between the apps to find the answer to the customer’s question increases hold time and the telephony cost. Find out how the third-party software can integrate with a call centre and give a preference to the technology that supports that to streamline the workflow of your team.
7 – Is the technical support reliable and professional?
Service Level Agreement (SLA) for support is especially important for call centres working 24/7, large enterprises, and companies with a big cost per contact. You want a maximum uptime for your call centre, and if the critical issues arise, the technical support should be available at all times to mitigate it within the reasonable timeframe. Find out what guarantees the vendor provides, what availability and response time you should expect, and how they ensure the security and stability of their solution. Also, ask your vendor how they address unplanned crashes should you experience any.
8 – Will this solution develop in the future?
Your business grows, and so do its requirements. If you don’t need any additional features at the moment, that doesn’t mean you won’t need any in the future. Determine whether the call centre solution of your choice will develop in the future. If yes, what exactly are they planning to add and on what terms will they provide updates after the purchase? Some companies will require you to upgrade the pricing plan to get more features, others might add features to your existing plan after each update. The more transparent the vendor is, the better. Discuss all those details so you won’t have to deal with unexpected surprises later.
9 – Is it possible to add custom improvements?
System customisation capabilities are also very important for any business. Identify to what extent the software is adaptable and whether you’ll be able to adjust parameters and automation rules to suit the particular requirements of your business. The most efficient call centre solutions do not have problems with that. These are the options you should seek as they will optimise all the call centre operations and improve team collaboration.
10 – What is the process of implementing the solution?
You want to make the implementation as smooth as possible. That’s why it is critical that the vendor simplifies everything for you and ideally, provides support throughout the whole process. Ask the vendor whether they provide a comprehensive user documentation or support portal and whether they offer training for call centre managers, and if required, for the agents. Also, it’s important to know if the vendor has any special requirements to the call centre implementation (such as the requirements to the infrastructure, internet connection, usage of headsets etc.).
Once you get honest answers to these 10 questions, you’ll be informed enough to choose the most productive and cost-effective solution for your business. Good luck!