Evaluating Contact Center Vendors

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: August 16, 2011

Evaluating a contact center vendor doesn’t have to be a difficult process. This article will discuss the different steps you should take in order to get the information required to make an informed decision.

You should start by asking the following questions:

How will the contact center integrate with your other solutions?
Does the system support remote users?
What is the measured uptime of the software and hardware?
Is there a dedicated account team?
How scalable is the system?

You can find out a lot of this information from the vendor’s web page. If you can’t find an answer to a particular question, make a note of it so you can bring it up if you decide to contact them directly.

The next step is to take a look at the overall cost of the solution. Do they offer a fair contract? Many vendors might seem reasonable at first, but charge substantial fees for technical support, training, or maintenance. You need to figure out how much the contact center is going to cost you in the long run, not just at the beginning.

You should also see if they offer any value-added services. One example of this would be quarterly reviews of your contact center in which they suggest potential changes to improve the system. This can save you a fair amount of money if they manage to catch a problem in advance.

Here’s another factor to consider: the special features offered by the vendor. Some contact center solutions offer real time monitoring of employees, while others have interactive voice response that allow you to automate interactions. A lot of these features can be very useful for a small business, so you may want to keep them in mind when making your decision.

Once you’ve obtained this information, you should check out the vendor’s customer profile. This can let you know the size of company that they tend to work with and whether they’ve dealt with businesses in the same industry. If they have, it’s a good sign they will be able to meet your customization needs. If they haven’t, there’s a good chance the deployment will take longer and face some difficulties along the way.

You should also take a close look at the history of the vendor. How long have they been in business? Are they still obtaining new customers or just maintaining existing ones? A contact center represents a significant investment for a company, so you want to make sure the vendor will still be around in years to come.

Featured Research
  • [Infographic] 8 Common Pain Points UC Eliminates

    Every company has moments of frustration, it is when these moments become extended periods of inefficiency, or pain points, where we start to see loss in productivity and employee morale. What truly sets a successful business apart from those of its competitors, is how they take these pain points and use them as opportunities to improve upon procedures and systems to eliminate pain points and move beyond what was the status quo. more

  • Go VoIP and Go Green

    You may be looking to switch to VoIP because of the cost benefits that it will bring your company, but did you know that it is also FAR BETTER than traditional phone systems for the environment as well? With environmental impact being at the forefront of both consumer and business minds, it is essential that business decisions are made now based on economic AND ecological impact. more

  • eGuide: Comparing UC Vendors

    Changing your company’s business communications solution is an investment in time and money that will touch everyone in your organization. A successful unified communications (UC) deployment should streamline everyone’s work flow, simplify IT operations and deliver a lowered total cost of operations. Your company deserves nothing less. more

  • Getting More from Your VoIP System

    Too many businesses fall into the trap of setting up their VoIP as a "plug and play" and getting to work. However, we have found that this thinking only leads to businesses failing to get the most out of their VoIP experience. We have put together an in-depth guide that will walk you through 15 easy steps to get more out of your system. more

  • Making Your Phone System Work

    Deciding what to do about a legacy phone system can be difficult. The advantages of modern systems like VoIP are well-documented, but the switch can still be resource intensive. Updating your old system is usually the better decision, but circumstances often make this impossible. Fortunately, there are other ways to improve and tweak an existing system to enjoy better performance. more