How to Purchase a Contact Center Solution

By Ryan Ayers
Updated: July 05, 2011

You probably understand that contact centers can help your business function more efficiently, generate leads, convert prospects more quickly, and serve your customers more effectively. While all of the above is true, contact centers operate as a part of an integrated system, and require that your business have other “working parts” in place for them to function to their highest potential.

Understanding exactly how your new contact center solution will fit into your business’ operations is an important part of ensuring that you have all of the necessary components in place to make the best use of this tool.

Checking Your List

Contact center solutions are designed to work in tandem with other systems and to help better utilize the information provided at each step in a given process. Before you purchase a contact center solution, you will need to take a look at your existing systems and be sure that you understand exactly what you are hoping for your new contact center to accomplish.

  • Is the contact center partnering with an existing VoIP telephone system?
  • Is the contact center partnering with an existing CRM?
  • Is the ultimate goal of your contact center solution a “traditional” call-center environment?
  • How does your business typically interact with its customers?
  • What are your future goals in customer interactions?

As with any other process-enhancing solution, specifically defining your requirements will help in dictating what other components need to be in place for your contact center to function optimally.

CRM and Contact Centers

While inbound and outbound contact centers generally have slightly different goals in mind and perform slightly different functions, they also have similarities with regard to the necessity of customer data availability. A solid customer relationship management (CRM) solution should either be in place or be purchased in order for your contact center(s) to function efficiently. Many CRM systems are designed with contact center solutions in mind, and are easily configured to be interoperable.

Telephony and Contact Centers

With the advance of telephone technology, VoIP business telephone systems in particular, contact centers are no longer limited to being confined to one geographic location or department in your business. Your telephone system can allow you to define your contact center in more effective ways – allowing you to ensure more efficient and effective service without disrupting the organizational structure of your business.

Inbound contact centers can benefit from a business telephone system that relies on routing calls to proper employees and departments to best address customer issues, while outbound contact centers have new and different options such as being outsourced while still being linked to CRM and other integral information-gathering systems.

One Depends On the Other

Contact centers are a far cry from the “call-centers” of the past, but are only as effective as the technologies and systems that they are paired with. To ensure that your business is choosing the contact center solution that will best suit your needs, it is important to first define the role of the contact center in your operations and then to be certain that you have the appropriate business telephone system, IT structure, and CRM system in place to integrate with it.
 

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