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Beginning the RFP Process for a Contact Center? Avoid These Crucial Mistakes

Asking the Right Questions in Your Contact Center Search

It can almost seem cruel. You finally got budget approval for a new contact center and after all of that effort, the work is just beginning. You have to create an RFP, evaluate vendors and study technology to ensure you make the right decision. Unfortunately, when it comes to RFPs, companies often fall into the trap of reinventing, rather than reengineering, the wheel. Many times, RFPs only include questions about technologies already in place versus forward-thinking questions that ask about new capabilities to address age-old issues.

Of course, if you aren't aware of something, you can't realistically ask about it. And even if it’s only been five years since you upgraded your communications, so much has changed within a very short amount of time. That fact, coupled with the intensity of managing your day-to-day operations (versus researching technology), makes it easy to overlook critical critical questions in the RFP process. 

To avoid this trap, and ensure that you invest in contact center technology that empowers your staff, improves efficiency and allows you to deliver great customer experiences, be sure to include the following five items in your RFP:

1. Seamless Integrations

Integrations with your CRM, BI tool, ERP and other technology solutions are a must these days. New age solutions deliver APIs to facilitate integrations and/or native, out-of-the-box integrations that make it easy to create a single workspace for your agents and supervisors. If you are currently working with multiple systems at once, determine which solutions or data points need to be shared to provide staff with a single source of information. Even simple integration features such as screen pops and combined reporting go a long way. Integrated features like those not only save time and provide you with a consolidated view of your operations, but also allow for a more personalized customer experience since the agent has their information and history immediately at hand. (Register for our upcoming contact webinar below!)

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2. Multi-Channel

Many providers today offer multi-channel capabilities such as voice, chat, email and conferencing already built in. Think about the channels you currently use when interacting with customers as well as those that you wish you could offer. In addition to tailoring your service delivery to meet the unique preferences of your customers, multi-channel integrations can also give you a more holistic view of your business.

3. Deployment Options

Be open minded when it comes to deployment options. Just because your current system is onsite, doesn’t mean your next solution needs to be. Identify what is important to you achieving your business and contact center goals. Then, ask questions around those key components and give vendors a chance to explain which deployment model might actually fit your needs best. Plus, with new, hybrid options available, you might come to find that you’re able to obtain the best of both cloud and onsite solutions in one.

4. Enhanced IVR Functionality

IVRs have come a long way from their humble beginnings as simple auto attendants. With a little strategy and the ability to customize newer IVR offerings, you can not only better manage call volumes, but also provide a more personalized customer experience as well as offering self-service options uniquely suited to your customer needs and business processes.

5. A ‘What Did We Miss?’ Section

Every RFP needs an open-ended “catch all” bucket at the end to allow vendors to supply suggestions and insights that might not have been touched upon earlier in the document. Ask each vendor to provide their thoughts on contact center best practices, the specific value they bring, how their implementation processes work and any other recommendations for your company.

 

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