Hosted call center VoIP PBX systems consist of software and hardware hosted at a provider’s data center, from which calls are routed using voice over the Internet protocol (VoIP) technology. Below is some information on how to compare and research a hosted call center PBX system.
Evaluating Call Center VoIP Systems
Selecting a call center VoIP PBX system involves more than just checking into specifications and features. Vendors should provide some form of live software demonstration. Include they key staff members who will be responsible for operating the system such as from your IT department, call center management team and operations in the demonstrations.
An alternative to a live demo is to have the opportunity to evaluate the system on your own, using an online username and password. If this is available, ensure that all key personnel have an opportunity to use it and provide feedback.
In addition to prices and features, compare the businesses providing the call center VoIP service. Look for vendors with sufficient levels of experience with customers of your company size. Here are some tips to that end:
- Ensure the company is successful and stable. Look for longevity and plans on how the business will update systems. This information is available through data on industry analysis and in market reports. Check into online forums to see what other customers’ experiences have been.
- Be certain that the vendor’s products can support your system adequately. For example, call center VoIP that will run continually needs to have the same level of support.
- Check into training systems. While having a trainer come on-site is preferable, off-site classes can also be more inconvenient, as staff will not be distracted with operations during training. Online courses and demos may work, as long as they are designed well enough to be effective.
It is essential that the call center VoIP system will integrate into your existing software and hardware. While most call center software will work, it is the amount of time and effort to make that happen that will matter. Ask the vendor detailed questions, such as:
- Will your current phone hardware support every one their software features?
- Has the company dealt with similar projects and databases to yours?
- Is further hardware or custom programs necessary to connect with your customer database?
Finally, once you have a list of at least three call center VoIP vendors to choose from, check into company references. For example:
- Better Business Bureau rating and status
- Find out from current customers how satisfied they are with their call center VoIP software.
- Length of time they were told that it would take to install the system, vs. how long it actually took.
- Ensure that adequate training was provided.
- Software should perform they way it was presented it would.
- Vendors should be responsive on a timely basis when issues arise.
- Ascertain the level of downtime that customers have experienced within a year.
- Are there things that customers would like to change about the call center VoIP system?
Ensure that you understand how the licenses work and whether they will be for specific named users. For example, multiple shift call centers can save on costs by using concurrent licenses.
Understand the entire cost structure by making certain that all costs are clearly presented. It is much more efficient to compare with pricing that is specific.
When doing business with a reseller, ensure that software companies they use are also evaluated. The goal is to secure a call center VoIP solution that continues with updates and improvements. The best companies will have a demonstrated commitment to all of the call center products they provide.