Contact Center Buying Checklist

By Jelani Harper
Updated: September 01, 2011

There are several options that exist for contact centers including types of centers, choices of technology, selection of vendors, and more. Before purchasing a contact center solution, it is highly advisable to give the following factors due consideration.

Contact Center Types

A variety of contact center solutions exist. Some of the more popular include virtual centers, which require software to distribute calls to employees in various locations and don’t require actual physical locations. On-site solutions are the conventional contact center variety where employees are gathered in a central location with management staff, while hosted solutions employ such locations from a third party. Enterprises should evaluate these options and determine which type is best for them.

Solution Testing

No matter which type of contact center option is selected, it is highly recommended that businesses ask to test the solution prior to purchase. That way it is possible to discern the performance of the solution as it relates to the specific needs of an enterprise.

Contact Center Needs

Organizations should dedicate a significant amount of time to their particular needs for a call center solution. Factors to consider include the size of the center (both presently and in the future), the type of communication handled within it (inbound, outbound or a combination), as well as shift types of employees (full-and part-time, rotating, and/or expanded hours).

System Features

It is also highly recommended for enterprises to research the specific features and capabilities that will present the most use for their contact center needs. Features which may be of importance include systems that enable skill-based routing of calls, forecasting of call volume, operations analysis, call arrival rate, budget preparation and staffing options for full- and part-timers. Variety of reporting capabilities should also be considered as well.

Vendor Selection

It is fairly essential to verify the recent and long-term reputation of a sales vendor before purchasing a call solution center. It is standard to ask vendors for recommendations of current and even previous customers to obtain as much information about their background as possible. In ideal situations, vendors should be able to produce solutions with multiple forecasts, offer both fixed and flexible scheduling options, as well as have a solid reputation in the industry of the particular enterprise evaluating it.

Technology Options

The evaluation of the technology options which the contact centers will be using is another important step prior to purchase of a solution. Options include the use of automatic call distributors, private branch exchanges (PBXs), workforce management systems as well as potential networking or standalone options.
 

Featured Research
  • Top 10 Contact Center Tools for an Unforgettable Customer Experience

    It should come as no surprise that consumers have only increasingly become less and less brand loyal in the modern age. In fact, 89% of them have switched brands within the last year due to a poor customer experience. One of the major steps to preventing this customer churn is to invest and invest heavily into improving your customers' experience. Now the major question to ask yourself is, "of all the contact center tools available, what are the ones that I should be utilizing for my business?" more

  • Making the Most of Contact Center Reporting Tools

    Modern contact centers generate and have access to massive amounts of data. Used correctly, this information can help you build out, improve, and/or successfully launch a contact center for your business. While having access to tons of data is great, it is essential that you know what data is important to you and how you can harness it to achieve maximum success. more

  • 5 Pitfalls That Prevent Contact Center Success

    89% of customers have switched brands within the last year because of dissatisfaction with customer service. In fact, due to poor customer service, U.S. businesses lose $41 billion each year. Running a successful contact center is hard work. Whether you are starting one up for the first time or implementing a new system for your already-in-place contact center, there are pitfalls that can prevent success and be fatal to your business. more

  • Checklist for Setting Up an In-House Contact Center

    As customer service continues to become the most important competitor differentiator, can you honestly state that your business ranks among the best in your industry? 93% of organizations expect that contact volume will either remain constant or increase over the next two years. It is absolutely essential that you have a contact center that has been set up for success. more

  • How to Scale a Contact Center in 2017

    Are you on the fence about scaling your contact center and not sure how or whether or not now is the time? Studies have shown that 93% of executives expect that contact volume will remain constant or increase within the next two years. This means that now more than ever is the time to begin scaling and we are here to help. more