10 Questions to Consider When Selecting Salesforce Call Center Software
Every call center has a system in place for managing issues. For that matter, using Excel is technically a “system”. However, these aren’t created equal. Those that run a call center care about efficiency, effectiveness, and efficacy of their reps. It takes the right technology stack to make those goals realistic.
From the moment the customer dials the customer service number to the conclusion of the call, the experience for your customer and your agent must be impeccable. We often focus too much on one side of the equation and not the other. If your customer has a less-than-stellar experience, they leave. If your agent has a frustrating process to follow, they provide that less-than-stellar experience.
While Salesforce has done the brunt of the work by creating Salesforce Service Cloud and Customer 360, it doesn’t facilitate the call volume, recording, or management itself. The platform is great for understanding the context of a customer, but the magic is still left up to the call center software you choose.
To that end, there are 10 questions to consider when evaluating options:
1. Does it integrate with Salesforce?
Integrations aren’t created equal. A 3rd party integration with an external software can be helpful, but it automatically means you must have two tabs open at a time or flip back and forth between windows to make dials and view Salesforce. There are a million telephony and call center systems out on the market, but only a select few that integrate natively with Salesforce; that is, to see your telephony and routing directly in Salesforce itself.
2. What capabilities are non-negotiable?
While the obvious answer is that the system must make dials, that’s not enough. A great telephony system that integrates with Salesforce still leaves a lot to be desired. There is such a thing as feature-loading and that creates more noise and complication than it does efficiency.
- However, the right blend is usually a system that has the following:
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Call Queues
- Call Recording
- Real-time Call Monitoring
- Whisper Coaching
- Real-time Reporting
These leave you with a system that you can pull data from, operate efficiently, and coach your team through the most difficult of phone conversations.
3. Does the system offer omnichannel support?
Ironically, while mobile devices have overtaken desktop when it comes to finding information, actual call volume has decreased. Gone are the days when people wanted someone to speak with whenever an issue arose. Rather, everyone has their own preference on where, when, and how to connect. Your system has to be flexible enough to handle this.
Your customer service system should be able to handle phone calls, email communication, live chat, and even provide social media support when required. Salesforce surfaces the context needed across each channel, but it’s up to your system to tackle each of these simultaneously.
4. Is your call center software mobile-friendly?
As mentioned above, everyone is relying on their mobile phones more than ever. That’s a given. Yet, companies have been resistant to the change. Consumer behavior changes faster than corporate behavior. However, it’s time that changes. Those that accommodate their customers the most are the companies that will win in the marketplace.
Your call center software should allow your team to take calls on their own mobile device while enabling your customers flexibility to text, chat, or call from their devices. If your call center software narrows the communication to one channel, you’re going to lose out in the long run.
5. How safe and secure is the call center system?
Call centers take confidential information in all the time. From social security numbers and bank information to addresses and phone numbers, customer data is at risk. Even with the best brand reputation agency and a large insurance policy, no company can weather a security breach flawlessly. In addition to following local, state, and federal laws (i.e. HIPAA, GDPR, etc.), encryption of sensitive data is everything.
6. Is service accessible to everyone?
Accessibility is becoming more of an issue every day. While preference for communication channels is important, accessibility to anyone with any disabilities is vital. Regardless of applicable laws, the second you alienate or put a segment of your customers at a disadvantage, you lose credibility and branding. If your call center system doesn’t help overcome accessibility issues, it’s not a call center system worth having.
7. Can you conduct a proof of concept?
While this might seem obvious, a company that doesn’t provide a proof of concept is not a company you should do business with. While many large, reputable companies don’t offer a self-service free trial, your sales rep must be able to get you a proof of concept to ensure that your team can adopt the platform, use it efficiently, and improve the customer experience.
8. What support does the vendor provide?
Want to know if a call center vendor is worth bringing on? Test their call center support. The reality is that the validation of a product should come from its utility in and of itself. If your vendor can’t provide a proper experience for you, what would lend to the idea that their technology is able to help you perfect the customer experience? Try calling the company’s support yourself and seeing how quickly they pick up, how many times you have to press a number to get to the right area, etc. Test it out and then transpose that experience to your company.
9. What does your team say?
The worst thing any executive can do is make massive business decisions without any input from the ground floor. While leadership can and should make the final calls based on what is best for the company, that’s impossible without feedback from the front lines. Ask your team what they think of a vendor as they go through the proof of concept phase. What would they change? Are there issues they face that can be fixed by the vendor, or are the issues entirely out of everyone’s hands?
10. What does your NPS survey say?
As you go through your proof of concept, the last step you can take is an NPS or related customer service survey. These are great for understanding the outcome of your customer journey. It’s one thing to see Salesforce reports showing the outcome of a call, but a completely other to see how your customer thinks the call went. The perceived outcome of your customer is just as important as the actual outcome.