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.

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