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How to choose the right contact centre provider

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One of the keys to great customer satisfaction is a company’s ability to react to their customers’ needs quickly and effectively, writes Andre Deetlefs, executive manager for lines of business at Jasco.
Fast access to everything means that customers demand nothing less than instant gratification and satisfaction. Which is why contact centres are such a vital part of any company. This is where customers can interact with companies, and where companies can reach out to their customers. It is often the place where change and innovation begins, as customer needs are identified and companies react to address them. In order to get the best out of your contact centre, however, it is very important to know which service provider to choose, to meet your contact centre needs.
Contact centre providers offer a host of products and solutions, but determining the right one to fit a company’s business requirements can prove a daunting task. Pre-package solutions seem attractive and all encompassing, but often contain many components that end up unused as they may not answer the company’s specific needs. With the drive to cut costs in today’s volatile economy, businesses cannot afford to waste money and resources on systems that don’t answer their specific needs.
Companies are all different, with different contact centre needs, and the service provider needs to appreciate this fact. There is no contact centre solution available that meets the contact centre needs of every company while still remaining cost effective and without the company winding up with redundant services.
There are many service providers that will try to sell a contact centre solution to a company with unnecessary bells and whistles that sounds impressive, often at additional cost to the customer. Companies need to select a service provider that is willing to sit down with them and analyse their specific needs, making sure that the solution answers those exact needs. They can also assess what systems are already in place, which may be used rather than replaced, making for further cost savings.
A common mistake that companies make when choosing a contact centre service provider is to do so with a set ‘shopping list’ in mind, which may or may not address the needs of the company. Companies see a product that they like and want it, whether or not it works for them. For example, voice biometrics are commonly asked for. It may benefit a financial institution, where voice authentication is an added security feature, but is unlikely to be necessary for a retailer’s customer complaint line or a business that functions purely on electronic communications.
If a service provider understands a company’s business processes and procedures, it can tailor a solution that is in line with these. The way a company measures its business success is also important. If a business measures itself according to customer satisfaction, the contact centre needs to uphold this ideal.
A contact centre service provider that has extensive knowledge of the various types of contact centres and the differing needs of different verticals, will be best positioned to provide accurate advice on what solution will work best for a business. Insight into current contact centre and customer trends, coupled with access to the latest technology is also important, and ensures that companies don’t opt for a solution that is – or soon will be – outdated and unused.
Ultimately, the service provider needs to understand and support the company’s vision for its contact centre. This will ensure the company has a contact centre that answers all their needs while minimising costs and maintain the company’s overall business objectives.