The number of outbound call center software providers has multiplied in the few years. Workplaces looking for the correct technology are in a daze looking at the multitude of options available. Therefore, a careful approach is required for selection.
The contact centers become the face of the organization for the clients, and the software providers help in preparing the call centers. Hence, it is vital that the vendors are chosen after careful consideration and extensive research.
Below are some tips that can help you select the perfect solution for your company.
1. Needs of the business
Before making the purchase, it is important that the organization is completely aware about the needs and requirements. Consider the workflow, target audience, number of agents required and the economics for the organization.
2. The type of software
Each type varies from others in terms of rate, effectiveness, security, deployment time and UI. They are
Identify which kind of program would you like to go ahead with. Not all the solutions are provided by a single vendor. This will ensure that your options are narrowed down.
3. Look out for the inbuilt features
• It is imperative that the inbuilt applications, as well as the functionalities of the software, are in sync with the goals of the business. Programs with advanced features shall be priced high.
• Hence, choose a solution that has the elements required by the organization. This will ease work-flows, increase productivity and efficiency.
4. Easy to use
• The user interface must be agent friendly and compatible.
• An easy to operate network system makes the calling process a trouble free one. The workers use the operating system daily and hence their comfort is utmost.
5. Business Size
• There are some operating systems that are specifically designed for small-scale businesses. They do not have complex elements, are priced low and are made keeping in mind the constraints and needs of the small-scale organization. Likewise, few solutions are specifically meant for businesses that have large-scale operations and use contact centers extensively.
6. Reputed vendor
• Before paying for the product, make sure it is a reputed brand. A good reputation in the market is the proof of promises kept and that the organization is in safe hands.
7. Technologically advanced
• A sophisticated system can make work easier for the agents and the organization more scalable. A structure that runs on an outdated technology is a drain on resources, business expansion and efficiency instead of helping it to be productive.
8. Bandwidth needs
• The internet is a major form of communication. A hosted call center works through an internet connection. The premise-based software also uses connectivity to get information and to connect with the clients.
• A proper bandwidth is necessary so that the interactions can be conducted without any interruption. Make a proper analysis on the number of calls happening during the peak hours and the audio quality required.
9. Compare and study
• Remember to study the applications offered by different vendors. The cost and the in-built elements might differ and this research can help you in the best buy. Every organization has its own specificities and with a thorough study you can find the finest program.
• Every organization wants to reach new heights of success and achieve the goals. However, with expansion comes the need for advanced machinery and skilled men. The growth can be continuous and, therefore, the solution must have the ability to adapt to the changes.
• The program must easily facilitate development without much additional cost or need for other software.
• Price plays an integral role in selecting the solution. Everybody is on the lookout for the best deal. While some solutions charge on pay-per-user basis, there are others who charge on monthly subscription fees. It is upon the interest of the company to choose the payment mode. It must be kept in mind that the solution shall also have additional costs like upgrades, add-ons etc.
• The rate quoted by the provider must be reasonable without any compromise on the quality.
12. Free Trial
• The free trial allows the company to use the solution so that they can use the software and check if the functions suit the needs of the business. A trial is a must to-do option as it gives a clear idea about how the software can help in achieving the goals of the company.
• Use the application thoroughly. Try out different cases, make different campaigns and play around a little. This will give you first-hand experience and shall guide you in your purchase.
13. Technical Support
• A solution can have technical glitches and the employees might not know how to resolve them. Under such a situation closing the call center cannot be an option as potential calls can be lost during that time. Hence, it is important that the supplier is available during the times when the software is not responding.
14. Hardware requirements
• This can create complexity for the organization. Solutions that need an extensive hardware setup can be a monetary burden and also limit the movement of the call center. The maintenance costs are high and the setups also require upfront capital. Hence, it must be chosen only if the business demands so.
15. Consolidates well
• The application must integrate well with different platforms of the system. This reduces the agent effort and is less time consuming. The redundant information can be easily shared, changed and maintained. The programs must be amalgamated with third party platforms like help desk, lead list in order to equip the representatives with required client database.
16. Multichannel interactions
• Calling is not the only mode of communication today. Alternative methods like chatting, messages, follow-up emails have gained prominence. The solution must be well adapted to the different mediums and should be managed by the same routing engine. This makes the application more customers friendly.
17. Basic technical choices
• The admin has to make few choices based on the business functionalities. They can either choose in-house or cloud-based solution depending on the needs. Apart from the basic calling features, the solution should also cater to various other services like forecasting calls, scheduling, speech analytics etc. These tech support elements make a contact center more productive.
18. Campaign management system
• The contact centers require a sophisticated campaign management system. This enables the agents to get the lead list easily. Apart from this, they can easily know whom to contact for which purpose.
• Advanced solutions have features and options such as extensive call reports, call reporting, (etc.) that allow the admin to see how the caller has performed in the particular campaign.
19. Data synchronization
• Data is the most integral part of the call center. It is important that it is easily uploaded and is available for all the important people at all the times. Leads can come in from anywhere. Ease of uploading and retaining it makes the task easier. Applications also have features that help in avoiding repetition, duplication, and errors.
20. Lead Dispositions
• The contacts that are available with the business must be properly categorized with different headings. This makes data more organized, simpler for callers to locate and detailed report generation based on different dispositions.
21. Customized categories
• You also have the option of customized dispositions. This enables the organization to differentiate and group the contacts depending on their own needs and interest.
• Example: A debt recovery agency will need headings like ‘Promise to pay,’ ‘Charges cleared’ etc. while a company trying to promote the products need categories like ‘Not interested,’ ‘Not responding.’
• Very few providers give the companies the choice of making the process entirely automated. Manual settings are cumbersome and time consuming. Automation of important tasks increases efficiency, reduces redundancy and chances of errors.
23. Infrastructural Facilities
• Before deciding the solution, it is better to check the amenities that are required by it. It refers to different things like the telephone connectivity, number of phone lines, the amount of storage and data searching facilities. Proper analysis of factors like these makes the business more prepared.
24. Off-site agents
• With mobility coming into the application, these days there are many companies who are on the look-out for workers who choose to work from home. This not only helps in reducing the operating costs but also provides the company a geographical edge.
• In a premise-based solution usually any upgrade carries an additional cost and are handled by the employees with little help from the provider. Updates to a cloud-based system are handled by the supplier and, mostly, are free of cost. However, it is advised to discuss the rates of updates before making the purchase.
26. Roll out time
• If the solution consumes a lot of time for implementation, it will affect the smooth flow of operations. A slow deployment time would make the entire process slow and hence will affect the customer satisfaction.
27. Client servicing
• Quality of customer service and dispute resolution is very important. One great way to check the providers’response is through knowing the average response rate for the issues as well as the time taken to close the ticket.
• Most operating systems come with a manual guide in order to guide the representatives about the working of the solution. Usually PDFs, videos, and tutorials are arranged so that the company can be coached to make the most effective use of the software.
• Some also provide face to face instructions to the on-site agent. Make sure to ask what kind of training programs they have and properly utilize them.
29. Great Communication Skills
• Staying in touch with the program traders is important for the company. It is necessary that they have good command over the language and can understand your concerns. Without proper communication skills, neither of the parties can comprehend each other.
30. Quality Assurance
• It is imperative that you find out if the dealer’s claim of high quality is true or not. Notice if they follow quality assurance processes at each step in order to maintain excellence.
• A little background check will be of no harm. Do a little market research in order to gauge the goodwill of the outsourcing partner. Contact other clients of the contractor and seek their opinion. Social media can be a great tool as well. Check their reputation on popular networking sites.
• However, the referral must only be a guidance and not be trusted blindly. The purchase must be guided by own needs, budget and facilities.
32. Range of services
• Along with scalability of the current program, it is vital that you keep a tab on the different services that the vendor can provide including a range of advanced product versions. This would support your business growth and increased functionality needs. Since, if they cannot support your growing needs, it would be cumbersome to look out for some other provider and go over the entire process again.
33. Mobile Friendly
• High penetration of mobiles in the economy has hit the telemarketing industry as well. The software company needs to have a UI that is compatible on mobile and allows the user to access it from anywhere.
34. VoIP requirements
• Telephone lines are a thing of the past. Today, major companies are moving and embracing VoIP (Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol). Hence, it is crucial that the software provider brings to you VoIP. This helps in reducing the costs and multiple calls can take place simultaneously without any hindrance.
• Lead information is a critical aspect for any company. Check out measures the dealer has put in place in order to ensure that the data is safe. The program must safeguard the company against data theft, repetition, and lead losses.
36. Cost-effective services
• It is necessary that the services provided by the vendor are justified with the price that they quote. Outsourcing calls is essentially taken up to reach a large number of people in lower costs. Hence, locate a supplier who can help you in reducing the cost of production with qualitative products.
37. Industry expertise
• Not all providers can look after your business. Few of them specialize in a particular field. It is imperative that the supplier has rich experience in the same industry as yours. This makes it easier to understand the process thoroughly.
The solution is a financial investment and will shape the way you converse with the world. The purchase of outbound calling software should be made after a clear assessment of goals of the company and an objective review of all possible vendor options.
A solution that is provided by the most reputed brand in the industry and encompasses the needs of reliability, scalability and cost-effectiveness is the best telemarketing software for you.