How many times have you purchased a Call Center platform , whether it is hosted or non hosted ( In house or a Cloud based product and had to rearrange your network for cloud ) crossed your " t's " and dotted your " i's " with Monetary Contractual and Maintenance , Technical and user feature set investigations , then to find out it really does not do what you MUST have for features or what you had expected ?
Are you new to engaging in Call Center Technology ? Do you like many others , have more questions than answers ? How many agents ? How many phone lines ? What type of product would fit Our Business ?
So many times we have gone in and either sold or assisted in Call Center Management , Technical issues or Reporting problems or even integration challenges and found people stating wish we had this ! One of the challenges today is that most Call center designs are of the cookie cutter type and Companies do not add a lot of must have features due to providing a product , and it is in the " build " stages !
When Companies build the software for their products they build a must have list to go to market and maybe when revenue streams start coming in , product sold , they will review and add a few to keep up with competitors . But this may take a few years to put together and make available to you !
There are so many Platforms to choose from today that it is head spinning ! Phones only Call Centers but not connected to the main corporate system ? Lacking in after hours or Holiday schedules ? Unable to perform custom routing of calls the way you need them ? Unable to connect to back office systems ? CRM ?
Some Hosted Services are notorious for not adapting and causing integration issues like onsite ( Your site ) storage servers for data and many other common need priorities ! When attempting to set up an integration via crm ( over 17 ways to integrate and more ! ) or other methods , you find either the companies state that they cannot or its in a future or its not going to be here for a while !
What do you do ?
First of all , if and when you decide to make a serious effort to upgrade , Probably many hours behind the Computer and reaching out to folks to gather the correct information , The process could take a year or more for larger companies and 3 to 6 months for smaller companies , A suggestion would be to get the technical manuals from the provider and see for yourself ( Just the feature sts and not become subject matter expert on ALL Call centers LOL ) . Once you become familiar with the design , stop looking at how it is set up and concentrate more on the feature sets in initial meetings ! This way you know what to expect for the business from a wants and needs perspective ! People have asked at the end of the Installation , how it works and have no idea of the feature sets available !
On another note , Many times when I am in front of decision makers I have been confronted with a host of new questions that they have for the business that are on their MUST HAVE list ! These people are right to ask and also to assume that you know the product and will utilize you as a subject matter expert ! Sometimes , It could take a few people in different jobs in your Company to find these out as they are VERY important in the final decision making process !
For small businesses , up to say 50 People , its not that difficult to find a product that fits the right choices but they may lack some feature sets like the larger integrated software based systems . Today We deal with Our Manufacturers on the price scale that actually give you a LOT of added features that either come with initial purchase or are upgraded models of software ! Learning over the years of how to approach Our Customers or basically ask the right questions and not afraid to call back to ask more or make sure we understand the business model have made us very successful !
We have been in numerous situations and at the installation time are asked about new feature sets etc. How do we address this ? With facts about the robustness of the products we sell as almost everyone we suggest , and we give you some pretty great options , even after your selection has been made and the deal is done ! We once canceled a deal with a customer and rewrote the deal to a new platform due to their last minute requests as We always try to make sure we give Our customers the very best and at a budget conscious price NOT to break the bank !
A few features and services You MUST have :
1. Remote calling ? Some like it some don't ( remote workers ) Today with SIP Protocols we can almost 100 % Guarantee no hacking but we always caution people and make sure they or we scan occasionally too after the sale and installation just to make sure ! We are involved in the latest and very best encryption and security techniques and protocols for your purchase as well as your existing network !
2. Full Agent detailed reporting from when the call hits the queue to when the Agent picks up , what the agent is doing during idle / non acd time
3. Huge reporting options from almost every activity in your Call Center !
4. Multiple Queues with full individual features
5. Night weekends Holidays - Maybe open on a Holiday and send calls remotely ?
6. Agent log in log out reporting functions to show exactly what they do
7. SIP functions to handle inbound sip trunking from the most respected carriers
8. ACD calls , agent inbound / outbound call stats to the second
9. Predictive dialing ( Agents handle outbound calling as well )
10. Multiple splits for agents who handle many Queues
11. ACD/Non ACD type calls and report on both
12. CRM integration - over 17 ways to integrate and counting
13. Emergency capabilities if the office has power problems to send the calls to remote agents
14. System back ups and failure programs
15. Catastrophic failures and how to address them
These are a few of some of the details that MUST be addressed at the time of purchase to make sure your business does not fail ! SIP trunks are fantastic and cheaper today , if set up properly , and save a LOT of money over a long period of time and can give you a payback on your ROI ( Return on Investment ! )
Now some businesses have set hours like 8 to 5 businesses and go home at 5 but a lot have extended hours or different hourly schedules ! You may NOT need all of the suggestions above but wouldn't it be nice for you to choose what you want ? NOT at a huge expense or not at any cost to you above what you initially purchased ? ?
We can assist you in decision making down to Contracual , Technical and Monetary ! We are a full service provider with a wide range of products to make it easy for you as well ! If we assist you , you have the choice of seeing our line or we can work with you only to evaluate other Company/Manufacturer products to suit your business !
We are a multi faceted business serving the Traditional and Voice over IP market with many years of experience ! We cannot tell you how old we are but we have been around for a while !
We Thank You for taking the time to read this and please feel free to reach out if you have any question on this article or for your business ! Our forum is here only for you to make the right and decision to save you money and time !
The team at RPOC Telecommunications