It is with the intention of providing superior experience to customers, that a business invest in call center. It also ensures that all the interactions are kept organised, systematic and easy to implement for its agents. Now although contact center solutions can be deployed both on-premise and on-cloud, in this article we will only talk about the parameters to be considered before investing in a SaaS platform, or more accurately in our case a CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) cloud platform.
It is important that a proper evaluation of the cloud contact center software be conducted by businesses before investing because the software so selected will have a direct and absolute impact on the experiences of its customers. Here are a few of the most important points that need to be evaluated in a cloud contact center software, before making the purchase decision.
When you bring about a change in the software, some amount of disruption would definitely occur in your business irrespective of whether you change your contact center software completely or adopt a contact centre software for the first time. This is evident at the time of the transition. In this regard, the duration as well as the extent of the disruption will vary as per the software providers. Thus, it is extremely important to make sure that the software should be very easy and convenient to implement in the shortest possible time which in turn would reduce the time to market of a new deployment while delivering the desired results.
Effective Usage Along with Training
The cloud contact center software should be such that it does not become very difficult for the customer service or support team of the organisation to understand and operate. The results to the business can be quite damaging in nature if the agents struggle to work with the software and fail to achieve their goals like providing satisfactory resolution to a customer on time because of software issues . Hence it is required for the software to be very effective in its usage. Keeping in mind the training needs and adoption time of a new deployment, businesses should evaluate software vendors and their implementation partners on the basis of initial training they provide along with the quality of support/training materials for reference so that the support team has a complete understanding of the software before it goes live.
It is evident that with the contact center software your current business process should be integrated and aligned. CRM is usually the central piece of software for managing the customer support/customer service. Some of the vendors provide seamless integration with the CRM software over widgets or CTI call bars. Also there are cloud contact center vendors who also provide a cloud based CRM software along with contact center solution. So, integration capability should be properly evaluated to understand the fitment of cloud contact center software for your business.
It is obvious that no two contact center is the same and as a result there will be need in terms of customisation. Does the cloud contact center software permits customisation or is it designed as same size fits all? However in a multi tenant contact center software the level of customisation can be limited to applying routing rules and parameters, setting automation rules or customisation of the dialer.
Analytics and Reporting
A thorough understanding of the operations along with the opportunities for improvement is the key to growth of any business. The cloud contact center software should not only be efficient enough to pull out the data for accessing various useful analytics, it should also be able to analyse and provide business intelligence to the executive team on the actions to be taken to optimise and improve their contact center’s performance, in a clear and concise dashboard. This is exactly what is required for the identification and execution of the opportunities for growth. Most of the software claim to provide robust reporting but it actually varies from vendors to vendors. So the software needs to be evaluated on the basis of complexity or extraction, analysis and the presentation of the data to ensure that the software is highly efficient as well as effective in this regard.
Stability of the Platform
The stability of the platform of any cloud contact center software is a mandate. The guaranteed system uptime is different for different software vendors. As per the model of the business, the uptime guarantees might be less or more stringent. The selection of a proven platform is of immense importance in this regard which necessarily guarantees for meeting or exceeding the levels of promised service levels to the customers. Most importantly, it needs to be checked that the software offers complete transparency of their data of uptime performance and the way it is measured. Reliability of the software solution is essential and the agreed SLA should be understood before you decide on the cloud contact center software.
Scalability of the Platform
The cloud contact center software should be easily scalable. It is to be kept in mind that the volume of calls a fully functional call center can change very quickly and unexpectedly where the causes can vary greatly. Thus, as a business owner, you need to select a software solution which is sufficiently agile so that they are able to respond very quickly and appropriately adapt to the changing needs of the business as and when required.
Only a single channel delivery would not be effective in today’s requirements. It is actually a thing of the past. In today’s world, the service of every business necessarily requires orchestrated interaction through a wide variety of channels or multi channels. Even theses multi channel communications should be integrated over an omni channel platform to maintain seamlessness. The cloud contact center software should therefore be evaluated on their capacity to provide an Omnichannel platform and the number of channels that it can accommodate. At C-Zentrix, we accommodate all touchpoints - Telephony, CRM, SMS, Email, Social Media, Chat and Chatbot on our omnichannel platform.
Proper Review of the Product Roadmap of the Vendor
Now this is in my regard the most important parameter to evaluate different cloud offerings, to review the product roadmap of the vendor. This is because of the fact that the cloud contact centre software you are purchasing should not only suffice your requirements today but also it should be capable enough to support the requirements of the time to come. The software should also feature updates and new functionalities that would be added in the time to come and should be able to adapt to the changing technology. It is therefore of immense importance to evaluate the software on the track record of the vendor as well as their consistency in rolling out of newer capabilities and an exhaustive plan for a long term support of the cloud contact centre software that you are purchasing.
Competing in today's highly competitive environment requires enterprises to have an agile technology infrastructure to support customer service and to achieve the greater corporate objective of improving the customer experience. Given that the contact center has become the face of the enterprise for customers it is essential to have a contact center solution that makes the team perform at its best and meet their customer expectation. The challenge for enterprises is in choosing the right cloud contact center solution and strategic partner to achieve these goals. There can be many other factors to analyse a cloud based contact center, but these are the basic hygiene factors that must be checked. When the cloud contact centre software is appropriately evaluated on the above mentioned criterion, you can be sure of getting the desired results over time.
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Author Bio: Akanksha is an IT enthusiast, having an experience of 7 years in marketing and promotion. She has experience in varied industries, in positions working across the line of marketing. She is a day dreamer, an avid reader and a crazy traveler when she is not working.