Deciding on a contact centre solution that will perfectly suit your business operations now and in the future is a big task.
There are several providers to choose from and they each seem to offer a range of features you need to understand, and then of course you have your own criteria that needs to be met.
We’ve put together a summary of important points that might help make sense of some of the differences between providers and their solutions, so you have a baseline of questions to ask.
On Premise, Hosted or Cloud?
The first thing to make a decision on is whether you choose an on-premise, hosted solution or cloud-based solution? If your current technology is on-premise, you may be tempted to go the easy route and stay with what you’re familiar with.
Don’t be. This is the time to examine all the options and choose the ideal solution for your future, not one that fits in with your current operations.
See Upgrading Your Contact Centre Technology – Part 2: Solutions and Costs for a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of each of these three solution options.
According to an IDC white paper, already nearly 50% of contact centres around the world have deployed cloud-based solutions, with another third in the process of implementation. It is expected that 80% of all contact centres will be using cloud-based solutions by 2022.
Operationally, financially and for the future, a cloud-based solution makes the most sense.
Choosing the Right Cloud Based Contact Centre Solution
The next decision – is which cloud-based contact centre solution?
Not all cloud-based contact solutions are equal.
- Most have similar features and capabilities. Some have unique features.
- Some are pre-packaged “off-the-shelf” solutions. What you see is all you will get. It is difficult and expensive to customise them if they need tweaking to suit your specific needs, or to be integrated with other backend systems.
- There are a few that are all basically identical to each other, because they are a white-labelled product that has been rebranded by several different resellers in Australia.
- And one or two are custom built from the ground up to suit your specific needs, which means they will take many months to develop and test, and will be very expensive.
Premier Contact Point is an Australian-developed and supported cloud-based contact centre solution with all the standard features you need, as well as several unique features and benefits. It is easily and quickly configured to suit every clients’ specific operational and integration requirements.
A good starting point when developing a specification for your organisation is to create two lists – the must haves, and the nice to haves. See The Inbound Contact Centre Technology Features Bucket List for a comprehensive list of suggestions.
Implementing a New Contact Centre Solution
Once you’ve specified the features, functionality, reporting, and integration requirements that you need, it’s time to look at other factors which are key to making the right decision.
These are the factors which relate to your “partnership” with the solution provider after the contract is signed. For example:
- Deployment: Will the deployment take longer than a few weeks? Can they show you a detailed deployment plan?
- Transition: What kind of planning and testing will be done to preserve and protect data assets, and maintain business continuity?
- Training: How is training delivered – is it live or just a few online training videos and knowledge base articles? How are new users trained and what is the cost?
- Support: Do they have Australian-based support teams available 24x7x365, or do they use an offshore ticketing system or only an online knowledge base system?
- Uptime: Do they provide a 00.99% uptime service level agreement? Do they have a robust disaster recovery plan and exemplary track record in uptime?
- Security: How secure is the platform? Is the provider PCI DSS-compliant?
- Enhancements: Do they have an agile development methodology that speeds up the delivery of new features?
As the heading states – not all cloud contact centre solutions are equal.
We hope this summary has shed light on some of the key differences, and is a useful checklist for companies in the process of evaluating cloud contact centre solutions and providers.