CRM Call Center Reviews

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: June 20, 2011

Small businesses that decide to add a call center often get overwhelmed by the large number of vendors available. Many of them offer similar solutions, so it can be tempting to just go with the first one. This is typically a bad idea, and you should take some time to evaluate the different options.

You should start the review process by determining the basic needs of your company. Consider the following questions:

  • How many people are going to be staffing the call center?
  • What sort of daily reports need to be generated?
  • Will your calls primarily be inbound or outbound?
  • How much overall control do you want?
  • Have your customers requested any changes take place?

The next step of the review is to visit the websites of the different vendors. They should provide the system specifications of their call center solutions, and you can use this to establish whether the solution meets your basic requirements. You may also want to look at their history and determine how long the company has been around. If they’re relatively new, there’s a greater chance they might go out of business in the near future.

Your CRM call center review should then compare several different factors:

The first is the overall cost of the system. A call center solution might seem inexpensive at first, but when you factor in the licenses, implementation, and support, the price may turn out to be much higher. You’ll want to determine the total cost of ownership and use that as a reference point when considering different vendors. If a solution offers things like free maintenance or training, it may turn out to be a better deal.

You will also want to compare the standard and special features that are offered with each vendor. Some call center solutions automatically come with toll free numbers, speech recognition, and role-based security. Other solutions charge extra for these functionalities or don’t support them at all. If there’s a call center feature that you think might benefit your company, you should make sure that it’s available before deciding on a solution.

Another factor to consider is how much you can customize the CRM call center solution. There’s a fair amount of call center software that is standardized and requires you to adhere to a general approach, not the other way around. If you’ve got call center agents with more than one skill set, you probably want a solution that lets you shift around settings so you can prioritize calls and take advantage of their different abilities.

A final matter to take into account is the scalability of the system. If you’re a small business that doesn’t expect to change in size, this may not matter as much. If you’re likely to grow, however, you want a CRM call center solution that can quickly add personnel and handle the increased number of phone calls. It can be expensive and time consuming to have to go through this process more than once.

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