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    2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 28, 2008 8:38 PM by TopSavingsNet

    Virtual Calling Centers - Questions to Ask Providers

    TopSavingsNet Wayfarer
      Your call center is in many cases the first interaction between your business and customer. If there is one thing more important than your marketing and sales, it is your line of communication with clients. VoIP technology allows for call centers to run like a traditional analog call center, but for far less expense with many more integrated productivity features. It is evident that your business will eventually need to switch to VoIP technology if your company is to grow while buffering the bottom line of your company's finances.

      When shopping for business VoIP, the importance of making proper informed purchase decisions can mean the difference between life and death for your business. Asking and answering your provider these questions in this article will help protect your investment while giving you better insight into what is needed to switch your analog call center operations into a more robust and technologically advanced inbound slash outbound call center.

      Do you have the IT resources for internal VoIP management? This question is one of grave importance. Can your company afford an inhouse solution or will you be needing a hosted IP PBX solution? Reliability is your priority number one for a call center, so deciding whether you will have trained staff for the VoIP solution or not will dictate the overall reliability of your VoIP call center.

      What types of call center agent monitoring will you need? Keep in mind and write down before contacting a business VoIP provider the type of departments you will be having for the call center, the types of recorded information you will need for each department, as well as what levels of data you would like to collect in your management of your agent supported VoIP call center.

      Does your company have the resources for data security? If your business has IT staff on hand properly trained for security of your VoIP call center data then you very well may be able to proceed with an inhouse VoIP solution, however, if not, you will undoubtedly want to work with the idea of having a hosted IP PBX where security measures are already well in place.

      What is your organization's current available bandwidth? VoIP runs off of the Internet and this means you will need the bandwidth capabilities necessary to not just operate data and voice operations simultaneously and reliably, but with quality. Not enough bandwidth with too many running resources can result in data rates freezing, voice echo, static, and hang ups. Not good for a call center. You will want to have your companies bandwidth measured and on hand when discussing your VoIP call center options with a provider. An upgrade to an OC48 or more gigabit connection may be necessary before proceeding with your technology switch.

      What is your current call center call volume? This will seem like a no brainer, however, many business seeking out VoIP call center solutions often neglect to have on hand their full inbound and outbound call usage. Make sure you have all your call minutes logged as well as possible future forecasting of call volumes to present when requesting a quote.

      What are the geographic locations of your call centers? If you have multiple geographically located facilities for your call centers call volume you will need to now ask yourself if your company has the financial and technical resources to implement an inhouse VoIP solution or if a hosted IP PBX virtual call center is more reasonable for your needs. In most cases, many business opt for a hosted IP PBX solution to save on staff IT resources and money. This may be the route you need to take as well.

      How easy can we upgrade? Ask your provider the procedures for upgrading and enhancing. The ability to effortlessly scale up or down (scalability) is essential, make sure your VoIP provider can do downgrades and upgrades easily and without much addition to cost.

      Is your LAN reliable? If your LAN connection is disrupted then your data and voice will be disrupted as well. Make sure you have the appropriate LAN configurations necessary to have a reliable communications center and ask a VoIP provider what those necessary requirements will be.

      In short, have as much data on your company on hand when shopping for VoIP solutions. The more information you have on hand, the better an idea you will have on the pricing and the overall procedures that will be necessary to make the big switch. Many large enterprises are now enjoying this technology. With the affordability,scalability, and convenience of a VoIP call center, you should too.

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      Thank you guys. Hope this helps all of you with analog call centers out there!