How to Select Your Perfect Contact Center Vendor

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: August 22, 2011

You may have noticed that there are dozens of contact center vendors in the business marketplace. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the right one for your organization.

The first step is to determine whether you want an in-house solution or an outsourced contact center. You’ll have greater control over an in-house contact center (since the employees are under your roof), but it’ll cost quite a bit more. An outsourced contact center can only be monitored from afar, but you’ll generally save a lot of money over time.

You should then look up vendors on the internet and compare these different factors:

Features – Contact centers have a wide variety of special features to choose from. You can gain access to toll-free numbers, role-based security, and marketing automation. Many of these can provide significant benefits to a growing company, so you may want to give additional weight to the vendors that offer them.

Scalability – A contact center can quickly increase or decrease in size. New employees will be added, or you’ll go through a lull when there’s just not enough work available. You should thus look for a contact center solution that can be scaled up or down for free and on a moment’s notice.

History – You’re going to be forming a ‘partnership’ with the contact center vendor. It’s therefore important to make sure they can be trusted to provide quality service in the years to come. If they’ve been around for a few years and regularly add new clients, it’s a good sign. If they’re relatively new or only seem to be maintaining existing customers, you might want to look elsewhere.

Cost – The final matter to consider is the overall cost of the solution. This is made up of several different aspects – the price of the system, the cost of training, and the service plan for maintenance and support. A vendor that seems like a great deal at first may not be as reasonable once you calculate the total cost of ownership.

Once you’ve gathered this information, you should still try out the contact center solution before you make your decision. Most vendors will offer a free demonstration, and this can provide a close up look as to whether it can truly meet your company’s needs. If they want you to pay for the demonstration, you should probably move on – there’s plenty that don’t, and the vendor is more likely to charge extra fees for standard services.

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