What You Need to Know Before Buying Contact Center Software

By Jelani Harper
Updated: August 24, 2011

There are several aspects of purchasing a call center product which should be determined in advance of the actual purchase. Many of these factors revolve around the specific choice of vendor and the particular services it offers; others, however, apply to call center software in general and should be understood to obtain the most value out of a specific purchase. Consequently, enterprises should pay particular attention to the level of support offered, the frequency and accessibility of upgrades, as well as general utilitarian aspects such as integration, performance management and virtual capabilities.

Integration

It is essential to determine how readily a particular call center software will integrate with an operation’s previous communication components. Ideally, call center software should be able to seamlessly merge with any routers, PBX equipment, and other telephony hardware and software in order to maximize the efficiency of a product.

Virtual Contact Centers

Several modern call center software products have virtual capabilities which allow agents to work from home or to access multiple locations. Even if an enterprise prefers the traditional method of housing its employees and supervisors in one physical location that serves as a call center, it’s still useful to be able to access remote locations when needed.

Vendor Selection

Vendor selection plays a huge role in the determining of efficient call center software. Therefore, it is beneficial to determine as much information about a specific vendor and its service as possible. The most effective way to do so is to gather references of previous or current customers and contact them to determine the reputation, beneficial aspects and areas of improvement for the software.

Modules

Call center software packages can usually be purchased in modules, which may be added or deleted as needed. Enterprises should ascertain which specific modules will be of most use to them, as well as how much they are willing to budget towards a particular solution.

Training

Training is another important vendor specific aspect of call center software. Vendors may either charge for or include training as part of their software packages; prudent enterprises will discern which their product provider does and ideally select the latter.

Updates

Several facets of call center software—such as patches, user groups, documentation, and technical support—will be upgraded during the lifetime of a particular product. Organization should determine how frequently such updates occur, as well as how readily they may be implemented for use.

Support

Support is one of the most important facets of a call center software, since it is merely a matter of time before such a service is needed. It’s best to determine the various levels of support offered, the media through which such support takes place (via phone, email, or chat), the particular hours of operation, as well as relevant information such as average answer speed, first-call resolution rate, escalation times, service level agreement, and all applicable costs.
 

Featured Research
  • The New 2017 Contact Center Comparison Guide

    We’ve put together a comparison guide that covers over 40 of the top call center software options, providing details on pricing, features, support, and integrations. If you want to save time and still make a great investment, this guide is a must read. more

  • Best Practices for Contact Center Quality Assurance

    A contact center often brings about a prospect’s first real-time interaction with your company. As such, if it’s not a positive one, they’ll likely look elsewhere for help. With 69% of Americans more inclined to recommend a company to friends and family after a positive customer service experience, you’ll need to exceed expectations on the following fronts. more

  • How to Make Your Contact Center More Efficient

    There’s a very good chance that your contact center is underperforming. With consumer preferences continuously changing, strategies that were once effective now result in too many unsatisfied customers. Fixing this problem involves reviewing your current procedures and optimizing them to drive better results. more

  • How Analytics Can Improve Your Call Center

    Do you know that 40% of contact centers have no data analysis tools, despite analytics being voted the top factor to change the shape of the industry within the next five years? This guide will outline the importance of call center analytics, and explore the many ways that analytics can help you improve your call center on every level. more

  • 8 Signs It's Time to Update Your Call Center Software

    Technology is always improving to meet the needs and expectations of businesses and customers alike. To make sure you’re providing the service your customers require and deserve, it’s vital to use up-to-date software solutions that fully support your customer service needs and company expansion goals. more