How to Choose the Best Contact Center Software

It’s 2019, which means businesses are looking at the year ahead and trying to make decisions about how best to adapt to the ever-shifting business landscape in our increasingly digital world. However, with the explosion of software options for contact centers, it’s easy to end up with “analysis paralysis”. 

Nor is making these sorts of choices going to get any easier. Software As A Service (SaaS) continues to see massive growth: The global SaaS market is expected to grow to $76 billion by 2020, and nearly 73% of businesses surveyed said that they expect most of their apps to be SaaS by 2020.

So how should you make decisions about which software best meets your needs when there are so many software platforms, features, and other factors to consider? And what should your top considerations be when researching the best options for your contact center?

1. Scalability:

More than anything, the solution you choose must be scalable; customer service often has seasonal ebbs and flows, with volumes that fluctuate wildly. It’s important to know that during a period of peak demand, your software solution will be able to scale performance to meet that demand.

2. Integration:

It’s vital to ensure that any new software solutions integrate seamlessly with existing solutions. Contact center agents already have a tough job providing customer service in an environment where crucial customer information is scattered across a variety of different windows. One SBR call center study astonishingly found that “agents migrated between an average of two computer screens and seven different windows during a single call”!

This is bad for agent morale, and it’s also bad for business. Recent studies have shown that rapid task-switching, of the sort required by this sort of work setup, can cause as much as a 40% decline in overall productivity.

3. Skills-Based Routing

Skills-based routing is a call-assignment strategy that routes calls to the agent with the most suitable skills to address an inquiry, rather than to the agent who is first available. Skills-based routing is a must-have to ensure quality customer service, because it connects customers to agents can help them immediately.

It also improves the agent experience, because skilled agents aren’t getting hand-offs of frustrated customers who are angry about having their time wasted by agents who couldn’t assist them.

4. Ease of deployment:

As with any IT deployment, it’s important to ask how much effort will be needed to deploy a new software solution? Is it something that can be up and running with a small investment of time and effort? Or is implementation going to be a major undertaking?

5. Ease of use:

Ease of use always needs to be a consideration, because a robust software solution won’t do you much good if the interface is too complicated for agents to use effectively. How intuitive is the interface? How many clicks does it take to perform common interactions? How much training is required to use the interface?

6. Customer service and support

Customer service isn’t just important to your customers; when choosing a software solution, you should also consider the quality of service you receive from the vendor. How pleasant is the vendor to deal with? Are they quick to respond to communications, or do they leave you hanging? When addressing technical concerns, do they give you answers that are useful and easy to understand? Overall, are they responsive in their communication?

It’s important to be able to trust that your software vendor will be responsive to your needs. When an outage or other technical difficulty happens, you need to be able to trust that your problems will be a priority and will be acted on right away, regardless of time of day.

7. Reporting and metrics

Performance analysis requires being able to capture customer interaction data. As such, contact center software needs to give you the ability to analyze agent performance through analytics such as volume of interactions, average handle time, and wait time, among others.

8. Make price your last factor

Price always needs to be a consideration but delivering top quality customer experience should always be priority number one. Losing a customer over poor customer service will cost more in terms of damage to your profits and your brand than the marginal cost of one software solution versus another. It’s far more important to make sure that the software you choose can deliver everything you need.

If you have more questions about choosing a contact center software solution that fits your needs, we’d love to hear from you. Simply contact us to speak to one of our digital enagement experts.

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About the Author: Anna Kreider