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Evaluation Criteria for a Cloud-based Contact Center Solution

February 13, 2013
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

While most call centers today understand – in theory – how a cloud-based contact center solution can help them, many hesitate to make the leap because they don’t understand specifically how it could change their call center operations, and they are confused by the proliferation of cloud call center products in the marketplace.


While making the decision to move the call center to the cloud is a bold one, it’s also the easy part. The difficult step is evaluating the choices, understanding the technologies and deciding which solution to go with.

Global analyst firm Ovum (News - Alert) has identified three criteria for evaluating competing solutions: technology, vendor positioning and customer sentiment. Cloud-based contact center solutions provider inContact uses these three criteria to build an evaluation checklist for companies sorting through their choices for a new solution.

TECHNOLOGY

Unified platform: Is it a complete end-to-end solution? Can you manage the customer experience from beginning to end? Does the solution help consolidate infrastructure and connectivity into one?

Multichannel: What channels are supported and are they integrated? How flexible is the platform to add channels and make on-the-fly changes to self-service and routing?

Maturity: How long has the cloud solution been deployed? How many instances and how many agents are supported?

Reliability and scalability: Is there a published uptime guarantee? What are the failover and redundancy features in place in the cloud?

VENDOR POSITIONING

Cloud expertise and experience: Is the solution 100 percent cloud focused? 

Strategy for cloud contact centers: Is there a long-term view of changing customer expectations? Is there a vision for best-in-class customer engagement?

Services: How strong are the vendor’s professional services and support teams? How experienced are they in cloud contact center implementation and best practices?

Partnerships: What technology and business partnerships validate the vendor’s cloud solution?

CUSTOMER SENTIMENT

Cloud customer sentiment: Who are the current customers using the cloud and what has been their experience? How well does the provider listen to customers?

Cloud market share: Across the cloud contact center market, what share does the vendor claim? How many sites? How many agents? Are the contact centers similar to yours? How many interactions are supported annually?

It’s important for companies to remember that a cloud-based contact center platform shouldn’t be chosen entirely for company-centric reasons. After all, the solution is valueless if it doesn’t help the call center serve customers better. While cloud-based contact center solutions are designed to benefit companies by making their processes more flexible and bringing down costs, if the solutions aren’t well supported and don’t keep customer service quality at least status quo (if not improve it), in the end it will do more harm than good.




Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli



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