IP Contact Center Features

The best things in life are free, and yet, all free things in life are not the best.

So where does your IP-based contact center solution fall?

SIP is marching into contact centers and customer service centers across the globe, and its moving from the “Oh, I’d like to try SIP” to “Oh, I have to have SIP” realm. As companies realize its benefits (open standards, feature-rich, lower infrastructure costs overall, distributed workforce etc), SIP becomes mainstream. There are several SIP based call center solutions available today, but not all have all the features you may need. The cost of the system is bound to be a big factor in the process of shopping around for an IP PBX system. But how does this cost relate to the features you want/get? There might be some features you are willing to pay more for and some that you don’t want to pay for at all.

As businesses try to leverage IP capabilities to lower costs and increase productivity, they have to prioritize what features are essential to their business and what features are just good-to-haves. And they shop for IP PBX vendors accordingly.

Here is a perfect example: Say my husband and me go to the mall to shop for a pair of jeans. I’d be looking for features like the fit, color, brand, and the sales guy. My husband, on the other hand, would be looking at the store distance from the mall entrance; he’d randomly pick a pair of jeans from the nearest store, pay for it and then just walk out!! Without trying it on!!

 Ok, so that example had nothing to do with IP PBX shopping, but you get the point. No? Ok, let us lay out some features that might influence the final vendor choice, for a contact center, in a big way:

  • Remote agent connectivity
  • Call recording and reporting capability
  • Automatic Call Distribution (ACD): Routing to the best agent and still maintaining low wait times.
  • Call Progress Analysis: This is an interesting one to me. SIP based CPA is relatively new, but growing rapidly. Would you pay more for better accuracy? Speed of detection? Ability to distinguish colored ringback?

What is most important to you? What would make or break a deal for you? It might not be a big feature. Sometimes the smallest features can have the most impact. So don’t be afraid of shopping around and don’t be afraid to ask the questions that matter to you. Intelligent questions make for intelligent choices.

Ritu Maheshwari