I am often impressed by the number of detailed questions an organization will include in an RFP – 10s or even 100s of pages of questions. I can’t blame a customer for wanting to be sure that the solution they deploy will meet all of their needs today, next year, and into the future. But no matter how thorough the due diligence process prior to deploying a system, the unexpected eventually happens… opportunities arise… regulations are changed… competition gets creative… vendor pricing structures are modified. When one of these challenges arise, the question then becomes "ok, what can we do to respond?" and more importantly "how quickly can we do it?!"
Two interesting ‘opportunities’ came in from customers recently.
The first one involved a large carrier informing its customers that they would no longer tolerate short duration calls – they would punish customers who have too many calls under 6 second duration with high penalties. This may seem like a minor issue; however, customers who do high volume predictive dialing – telemarketing, collections, etc – can be severely impacted in their pocket books by such a penalty. Every time a call reaches someone’s voice mail, if disconnected right away, the call is often shorter than 6 seconds.
The customer needed a solution sooner rather than later as the new pricing/penalty went into effect February 15th. Could we develop some solution for them in the coming months, they asked? It turns out they had the solution already available to them in their production system – they made a simple configuration change and all was well. The feature they used wasn’t even designed with this challenge in mind, but building flexibility into a product means problems not yet imagined can often be solved using existing tools.
The second customer request was truly an opportunity. An outbound collections customer had a unique idea for increasing their contact rate with debtors, but needed the ability to dynamically change the outbound caller ID per call based on the number being dialed. It turned out there were 2 different, simple options for doing what they wanted to do – and, until the customer asked the question and presented the opportunity, I hadn’t considered using the product’s configuration tools in this manner.
Glad we could help!