May 10th, 2017

By: Felipe Rodriguez, SVP Customer Implementations, IntelePeer

Choosing a new contact center solution is a big investment that will affect your everyday operations and the experience you provide to your customers. With that on the line, deciding on a new solution is no easy task. Whether you're looking to cut costs, upgrade to newer technology, or improve agent productivity, there are many factors you need to consider when evaluating solution providers.

Here are four things you should ask a provider to ensure you choose one who meets your needs, is easy to work with, and can grow with your business over time.

1. How strong is your customer service and support?

A provider should be your partner in success, not just a company that sells you a service. Ask them about their customer service and find out the extent that they are willing to help you. Will you have an account manager? How fast do they respond and resolve issues? When you call the support line is it an engineer who answers? Will they offer best practices and help you configure your solution? Finding a provider that is easy to work with and gives the support you require will be essential to your success and peace of mind.

2. Do you own your network?

When evaluating a contact center solution, you will need to look at both the software and phone service capabilities. Some providers own their network, whereas others need partners to provide the telecommunications service. When a provider owns their network, calls are delivered directly to your agents, generating real cost savings for you and improving call quality for your customers. Removing the telecommunications partner can save you up to 50% on telecommunications costs.

3. Can my contact center solution be customized?

Your contact center is unique and has its own individual requirements. Unfortunately, many contact center solutions are "one-size-fits-all" and require you to significantly change how you work. Successful contact center implementations often require some amount of custom work. Will your provider customize reports or other functionality? And most importantly, can they do it at a reasonable price?

It may come as a surprise that not all providers even do custom work and some only do it at a high cost. However, if you do your research, you will find those who are more willing.

4. What is the implementation process?

Once you decide on a provider, you will want to find out about the implementation process. You will want to ask, how long does it take? How do we agree on expectations? Do you have a proven implementation process?

Contact center implementations are often complex, and some providers are less successful at launching new customers than others. You might also want to ask how they respond as your business grows and changes. Can you add or remove agents? Can you add new features or functionality as you see fit? If your implementation fails or takes too long, it does not matter how many features your solution has.

There are many things to consider when evaluating a provider, but doing your research and asking questions will help you make the right choice. Remember, it's not just about the features they offer. The way they treat you as a customer and the cost savings they provide can make or break a deal.

Author Bio:

Felipe Rodriguez is SVP, Customer Implementations at IntelePeer where he oversees delivery of contact center solutions and manages client relationships.

To find out more, contact a representative today.