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13 Ways to Discover a Contact Center Platform Fits

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Author: McKay Bird

The cloud-based contact center benefits contact and revenue generation efforts unlike any legacy system. From easily meeting business objectives to improving customer engagement, a well-chosen platform can mean huge returns. Whatever the reason, deciding on the right platform means assessing several key qualities.

Adaptability
When it comes to the cloud based contact center, solutions need to adapt to business need. Customers need omnichannel outreach, which means a solution with email, text and calling functions. One-touch-reply capabilities make payment promises or appointment scheduling a breeze – customers love the convenience!

Contact centers also need to adapt to changing call volume and fluctuating staff needs and must scale appropriately. Contact centers in the cloud offer an elegant solution. À la carte pricing for platform usage means never being stuck buying more than you need, as is the case in legacy phone solutions. Also, cloud call centers can painlessly add agents with minimal gear and practically no lost time.

Savings: (TCN used its case studies to provide verifiable metrics.)

Staffing:
• Staffing reductions of up to 40%.

Contact Center Metrics Improvements:
• 188% increases in Right Party Contacts.
• 136% increases in live conversations per day.
• Hold time reduced by 56%.

Industry-Agnostic Monetary Gains:
• Zero startup costs; use existing hardware with pay-as-you-go platform usage.
• Scalability savings; never buy new phones, PBX call routers again.
• No more wasted licenses.
• No capacity restrictions.

Industry Specific Monetary Gains, Collections Industry:
• Net collections increase 327%
• Net collections increase of 26%
• Increase promises to pay by 74%

Reliability:
Any contact center solution, on-premise or in the cloud, should provide uptime assurances. The best software vendors disclose this sort of information in their Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Uptime also means transparency. Seeing who is on the phone, how they are spending their time and their success in meeting business goals can all happen with properly integrated Business Intelligence (BI). BI dashboards tell the agent story and give a broad view of the entire floor at a glance. If you can’t see what needs to change in the moment, you will lose opportunities every second.

Customer-Centricity:
In a similar vein, you should rank vendors with excellent communication skills higher than those without. A vendor that showcases strong communication skills throughout your buyer’s journey is one that’s with you for the long haul. They’ll keep you apprised of developments, updates, and relevant industry trends.

Other indicators of a vendor’s level of customer focus:
• How long do they take to respond to product inquiries?
• Do they treat your success as a measure of their own?
• As a customer, do you feel prioritized when you have issues?
• Do they follow up on your level of satisfaction when issues are resolved?
• When you have trouble, do you have to tell them, or did they already know.

Top Tip: The best vendors will resolve issues BEFORE you even knew they existed!

Ease of Use:
Great contact center platforms are intuitive, grab your attention when things go wrong, and keep you informed without forcing you to dig for problems. Agents should practically be able to pick up the system and use it without extensive training—five minutes, tops! (Think about how long it took for you to learn to dial your own phone. Why should a contact center system be harder?) Complicated systems results in low job satisfaction and high turnover; the latter can increase your company’s security risks or lead to a lawsuit about TCPA compliance.

Intuitive systems aren’t just for agents, either! Managers and operations directors should be able to generate business intel and reports without a hassle, regularly and on the fly. Seeing a live view of the floor should also be a painless and one click away.

Outcome-Driven Platform, Implementation and Support:
Always look for vendors who ask about your desired outcomes. They care about what you’re trying to accomplish and will explain or suggest features in terms of real-world objectives and pain points. On the flip side, they should be able to easily explain billing and present you with detailed information on your monthly costs—again, your outcomes should be their first concern.

Privacy and Security:
You create data privacy and security policies to protect your customers’ data from being misused, not to mention keeping you on your compliance department’s good side. Great contact centers take great pains to make sure communication lines, data storage and call recordings are safeguarded.

Here are some signs of tight security:
• 24/7 back-end monitoring
• Two-factor authentication for login
• Disaster recovery testing
• Backup systems
• Backups of the backups… (Triple Redundancy)
• PCI Audit
• SOC Audit

Reputation:
Ask probing questions about the vendor’s experience and expertise—not only with implementation but also in solving hardware problems, dealing with existing contracts and assessing infrastructure. Big-name solutions don’t always mean quality work. In addition, vet your vendors by looking at reviews and testimonials.

Vision:
Vision means being a thought leader and knowing which cutting-edge trends give the best returns. These vendors attend relevant conferences, look at market data and develop forward-thinking solutions that help your business adapt to the future. If one of your potential vendors seems stuck on a software feature or a dated methodology, it might be time to look elsewhere. Your vendor should help you meet the future, not bury you in the past.

Here are TCN’s picks for platform utility bests:
• On-Board Business Intelligence
• Responsive, One-Touch Text Messaging
• Blended Agent Call Flows
• Compliance Tools for TCPA, FDCPA and other FCC and CFPB regulations and rules.

Here are TCN’s picks for least beneficial phone system attributes:
• Hybridized contact centers (cloud / legacy mix). These are a sign of outdated vendors.
• High upfront costs
• Yearly contracts with minimums
• High upfront costs or cloud billing model for premised tech

If you want to find a quality cloud-based contact center solution, take care to check each of these bullets off during your comparison process. And, if you would like to find out how TCN’s virtual call center helps organizations succeed and grow, request a demo today.

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About the Author: McKay Bird


Mckay Bird is the Chief Marketing Officer for TCN, a leading provider of cloud-based call center technology for enterprises, contact centers, BPOs, and collection agencies worldwide. Mckay oversees all marketing operations, campaigns and conferences including; content production, email marketing, and other inbound marketing activities.