How outsourcing firms choose the right call center technology

How outsourcing firms choose the right call center technology

May 21, 2014

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There are several things to consider when choosing equipment and software for outbound sales, inbound customer service, multilingual support, and other call center services. Open Access BPO shares some of the steps that outsourcing firms take to make technology a worthwhile investment.
Choosing any form of technology to be used in call center operations involves careful planning and consideration of risks or benefits the company may reap from each option. How long will the technology be used? Is it compatible with the call center’s current equipment? Are the agents comfortable with using the new programs and devices? These are just some of the questions that the vendor must address before settling with a product in mind.

Define goals

No software or equipment should be purchased without initially determining the goals of the company and how the technologies would help attain those objectives. The firm should outline its plans and what its clients want to achieve before looking for the tools they need. In narrowing down the choices, the vendor must then match or compare the options’ specifications and functionalities to determine which among the products could meet the predetermined requirements.

Wants vs. needs

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There are innovations that could make call center operations a breeze. These technologies, however, may not be that important or demanded by the customers. Phones, headset, and computers are absolutely needed, but do they need certain add-ons like a callback software?
Vendors set the nice-to-haves apart from the must-haves by finding out the main functions and minor processes handled by their call center. Those carrying multiple accounts must have routing systems and interactive voice response (IVR) features, and those that are purely voice-based may not benefit from text analytics applications. Basically, the needs vary from company to company and sometimes, from account to account.

Consult teams and departments

The decision must not solely come from the management, but also from those who will use the equipment and those who will maintain it. It’s advisable to survey the agents about the most user-friendly products for them, and then consult the IT department about which brands could promise reliability and hassle-free upgrading, troubleshooting, or maintenance.
The existing facilities, systems, and devices must also be surveyed to know if the new technologies will adapt with the old ones. Consultation before purchasing can save the vendor from spending on extensive staff training for the new tools and investing in costly but unsuitable products.

Cost vs. efficiency

Affordability is an important factor, but this should not exclusively dictate the firm to avail the technology. Every option must be evaluated for efficiency first, and the choice that hit the most numbers of criteria must be given the highest consideration for buying.
Some firms make the mistake of selecting a piece of technology just because it does the needed function, without considering how the employees, clients, and other existing technologies would perform with this addition. Since there’s no perfect product, the key to selecting the right call center equipment and software relies on the proper identification of each product’s risks and compatibility with the call center.

0 responses to “How outsourcing firms choose the right call center technology”

  1. People should also consider what technology platform could be leveraged. Given that Skype for Business is poised to take over the telephony market, and that companies can earn major cost savings by retiring aging and expensive infrastructure, people should also consider moving their contact center to Skype for Business.

    • Faith Ocampo says:

      Great point, Ian. Technology’s closely tied to outsourcing. It facilitates almost, if not all, all business processes. The key is to look for readily available and low-cost tools that get the job done. And of course, security will always be a top priority.

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