How Do I Compare Contact Center Solutions?

By Catherine Hensley
Updated: March 11, 2011

As companies develop and expand in the marketplace, the need for efficient communication with customers and business partners becomes increasingly important. A contact center is one way for a business to organize its communications, both internally and externally. Technical or product support is one major function of contact centers, as are sales or marketing services directed toward clients and consumers.

If your company is considering expanding its outreach to include a contact center, there are many considerations to take into account. The first is a matter of purpose. What function or functions will the contact center be in charge of? Is your company looking strictly for a communications center to handle technical support calls from customers? If the contact center will also house the sales team, more resources and telecommunications tools will be needed. Once the scope of the contact center has been established, focus can be shifted to more quantifiable objectives.

Any contact center, whether single or multi-purpose, should increase productivity by streamlining the tasks to be handled. Customer satisfaction should also increase, particularly with centers devoted exclusively to customer service relations. And with the more efficient direction of these targeted services, costs can be reduced by using telecommunications tools more effectively.

The development and installation of a contact center, of course, will present a significant investment of a company’s time and financial resources. With some planning, budgeting, and equipment research, though, reasonable solutions for these hurdles can be found. In terms of telecommunications tools, options such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) are making it easier than ever for businesses both large and small to increase their communications reach without going broke in the process. VoIP technology, for instance, enables multiple calls to be transmitted over a single network connection, in addition to fax and data communications. Many VoIP service providers are also offering monthly payment packages with fixed rates, a practical solution for companies looking to budget for a specific period of time.

An additional financial consideration to weigh is the cost of supporting software for use in the contact center. In addition to the basic telecommunications equipment and service plans, there are many different software packages available (http://www.business-software.com/crm/call-center/what-is-call-center-software.php). Some offer “interactive voice response” services, in which a prerecorded voice directs callers through a menu of keypad extension-dialing options. Others offer “call recording,” in which all or a select number of incoming calls can be recorded for quality controls and monitoring. These software features are optional and can be added on or removed as needed.

Whether your company is looking to set up a contact center to provide technical support, sales services, or a combination of the two, there are many considerations that will factor into its development and implementation. Budget projections and software needs are two of the most important components to consider. A contact center is an efficient and often economical solution for businesses looking to expand and connect with customers and partners around the world.

Featured Research
  • 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

  • Best States for U.S. Based Contact Centers

    Are you planning on building out a contact center? One of the first questions that must be answered is just where you want to have it located and this is no easy decision. Luckily for you, we've gone ahead and created a must-have download Best States for U.S. Based Contact Centers to help guide you in this decision-making process. Don't finalize your plans without it! more

  • eBook: Keeping Pace With The Modern Customer

    Your customers’ expectations are higher than ever. The millennial generation demands ease, speed and consistency, no matter how they choose to connect with companies. Instead of facing the problem head-on, companies have tried to adapt their aging software by simply bolting on new channels (and software) as needed. As with any “Frankenstein” approach, the resulting contact center becomes a slow-moving monster, full of disjointed parts. It’s time to dismantle the monster—tool by tool, process by process—to find out exactly what is holding the contact center back. more

  • eBook: Engage With Customers in an Ultra-Connected Era

    Your customers are ultra-connected. Make sure you are as well. Finding new customers and maintaining relationships with those you already have takes time and effort. When your customers are ready to engage, are you meeting them where they are? As the world becomes more digital it’s vital for all businesses to be able to communicate with customers whenever and wherever the customer wants - be that via phone call, SMS, online chat, or social media. more

  • Frost & Sullivan: Are You Delivering Exceptional Customer Experience?

    Small and mid-sized businesses are in a unique position and have an advantage in customer experience compared with their larger competitors. Read this report from Frost & Sullivan to learn how to leverage this advantage. more