Comparing CRM for Call Centers

By Robin Wilding
Updated: May 16, 2011

Implementing a CRM solution for your call center makes sense seeing as call center agents are no longer solely a point of contact—they are extensions of the marketing, sales and support departments, they are order takers, cross sellers, branding representatives and problem solvers. When choosing which solution and CRM vendor to go with you need to do two things:

  1. Evaluate the features you require through a needs-based analysis in order to narrow down your possible CRM vendors.
  2. Of the remaining few candidates ask pertinent questions to find which vendor is the best for your needs.

Evaluating CRM Features

Choosing the features that will bring you to your desired end result will help you to narrow down the vendors significantly. Typical features for call center CRMs include:

  • Call management
  • Call log reports
  • Single-click dialing
  • Tele-scripts
  • Incident management
  • Escalation automation
  • Integration with chat, email, web meeting and voice
  • Call center analytics (average call times, resolution times, response time, cost per incident, etc)
  • Customer profiling
  • Multiple communication channel support
  • Web-based self service

Once you have your list of criteria,you should cross-checking them with CRM vendor features to narrow down your list to a select few vendors. There are several websites that offer matrices to make this task simpler, CompareBusinessProducts.com is one example.

From there you can dig deeper into each of the few vendors in order to drill down to the best one for you and your company.

Criteria for CRM Vendors

When choosing one of the many CRM vendors, you must first grill them like a steak. Come up with a list of questions to pose to your shortlist of vendors in order to find the best candidate of the bunch. These questions should be pertinent to your needs, the features you require and the service you will want. Here are a few sample questions to point you in the right direction:

  • Do you provide implementation assistance, or are you reliant on partners to perform the work?
  • Have you and your product worked with data volumes similar to ours?
  • Will your software work with our existing platforms and databases?
  • How do you migrate data?
  • How long will it take to implement the solution?
  • How long is the learning curve for users?
  • Describe what your customer service is like.

Getting the answers you need during this shortlist vendor comparisons will help you narrow your scope from a few to the lucky one.
 

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