on April 19, 2017

Questions you need to ask your Call Center software Provider

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In a crowded sea of call center software providers, how do you accurately differentiate which provider will suite all of your business’ needs the best? As a call center manager,  it’s not only important that your solution provides you with robust telephony–but in this day and age, it’s extremely important you recognize all the moving parts involved with your operation. Meaning your call center software should have all the technology to serve as the entire backbone of your call center operation. Whether you’re an SMB or enterprise-level call center operation, your choice in call center software is a lot larger decision than you might think.

With such a drastic decision looming over the success of your operation, it is easy to get caught up in top of mind decisions like price. While the matter of price and cost associated with the solution is absolutely validated in their authority, there are more pressing, yet overlooked questions that could pose more long lasting impacts that ultimately end up costing your business even more. To ensure you’re investing in the right solution for your call center, as you explore different options make sure you’re asking each provider the following questions:

Does your service provide me with tier one call carriers?

Why this question is important:

Simply put, to your customers, call quality is going to be the most important factor underlying every call your agents make. With poor audio quality comes frustrated customers, dropped calls, lost sales, wasted time, and an added potential of agents misinterpreting key information.

This can all happen if your call center software provider does not provide its customers with tier-1 carriers. Without tier-1 carriers, you are putting yourself at a fairly large disadvantage against your competition. Although, a call center software that provides you with tier-2 carriers might seem like the cheaper, therefor better option.

Examples of tier 1 carriers include:

  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • Level3
  • Century Link

There are two reasons why this question is extremely important to ask:

  • 1) By not using tier-1 carriers you are going to suffer a severe drop in call quality as mentioned above. Which will in turn result in more frustrated customers and a serious increase in possible miscommunication between your agents and your customers/leads. 

    2) Tier-2 carriers are not going to be connecting directly to your contacts. Meaning that tier-2 carriers act as a middleman. While one would think technological advances have made this lull period one that is not an issue–this is not the case at all. By not using a tier-1 carrier you are putting your sales efforts at a massive disadvantage. Call center softwares using tier 2 carriers experience lull times, these pauses confuse even the smartest dialers to think that the carrier hopping is actually an unanswered call. For example, you might place a call using a tier-2 carrier. But it may take so long to actually connect the call that the system hangs up on its own. Resulting in errant statuses of your contacts. This will strongly contribute to low contact rates and errant reporting.

Will your software help alleviate my high agent turnover rates?

Why this question is important:

Turnover rate is something that has always haunted the call center industry. So it would behoove call center managers to not install a software that would inherently help your agents stay motivated on the job & reward them for their performance.

When considering a call center software, you should always consider how your agents will embrace the change. By asking this question, you are asking whether or not the software incorporates business gamification– a proven method of improving workplace enjoyment and productivity.

By rewarding agents for reaching KPIs, admins are giving agents that necessary extra boost to get them to reach goals that you set for your business.

Gamify My Call Center Today!

Can you help make my reporting less of a headache and automated?

Why this question is important:

Making data driven decisions is the only way to truly run a successful call center in 2017. However, you might not always be getting the reporting that your ever-growing business needs. 

With Convoso, and many other cloud based contact center softwares, all your reporting needs can be completely automated. Therefore all of your important KPIs can be sent to you automatically when you need them.

By avoiding this question...and just assuming that your provider will have the reporting needs you require will only severely undercut your entire operation.

Features you should be looking for in reporting should include:

What kind of customer support can I truly expect?

Why this question is important:

Customer service and responsiveness is one of the most important factors in what should differentiate your call center software provider. Many call center softwares are packed with features and technology. However, without a call center software with an intuitive UI, odds are the tech packed solution will be extremely complicated to use...and will require hours of walkthroughs. See what kind of customer support you will receive, as some providers may only leave you with an email response.

Is your platform an open source predictive dialer?

Why this question is important:

This question is extremely important to anyone that wants to maximize the quality of their outbound campaigns. Unbeknownst to most in the call center industry, in fact many outbound predictive dialers are just a reskinning the popular open source predictive dialer VICIdial.  

However, using a dialer sourced from VICIdial in 2017 has far more downfalls than it may seem. While many dialers will not admit to using the open sourced dialer...forgetting to ask a question like this can potentially cause you to lose 20% of your hit rate since 20% of your phone calls being placed are not always going through. Meaning, that many of your calls in the system are being improperly terminated. In other words, 20% of your calls will then be errantly reported as a No Answr, when it actuality the system never placed the call in the first place.

Other downfalls of using an open source predictive dialer include:

No one person is auditing the open source for these bugs.  While you may get an enhanced UI and some customizations. At the end of the day, there is no development team working on fixing bugs that may affect the backend to your dialer. 

Errant reporting…since calls are not being statused properly. You are extremely likely to get invalid data within all of your reporting metrics. 

An additional overall loss of 20% when it comes it dialing productivity. 

Check back here every month where we will be adding all the newest questions you need to ask your call center software provider! Transparency is key within every   industry!

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