Four Tips for Buying Customer Service Software
How to Buy the Right Customer Service Software for Your Business
Many businesses turn to customer service software to help enhance service delivery, improve staff productivity, and reduce service-related costs. But, the process of selecting the right solution can be challenging for some companies. Here are four quick tips that will help simplify your customer service software purchase.
1. What do you need?
Any company with an inbound contact center can benefit from the use of customer service software. But your requirements will depend on the size and scope of your operations. Do you maintain just a small team to handle common question and issues, or a large department that includes remote or virtual agents who also take orders and/or sell products? What problems are you trying to solve? What goals are you trying to reach? These questions will help you determine what kind of customer service software features you need.
2. Which vendors should you evaluate?
There are dozens of viable customer service software packages on the market today. Finding the right one can seem like a monumental task.
Check recent analyst reports or industry publications to identify a few vendors you may want to speak to. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a “short list”, you can begin comparing the capabilities of each solution to the features on your requirements list. Then, conduct an in-depth check of the vendor’s background, and ask to speak to a few customer references.
Make sure you choose a customer service software package that can integrate with your IVR, call recording, and call-routing systems. By linking your customer service software to your telephony infrastructure, you can further improve contact center performance and service quality.
Additionally, you may want to opt for a solution that blends both inbound and outbound calling capabilities, to allow you to proactively monitor satisfaction levels and gather vital customer intelligence.
3. How will it work in your environment?
As part of the sales process, each vendor will conduct an in-person demonstration of their customer service software product. Request a live demo, not a canned or pre-recorded one, and make sure it covers the features specific to your unique needs. If you’re not satisfied after the demo, ask the vendor to let you test-drive the software for a few months, so you can see how it will operate within the framework of your business.
4. How do you get the best deal?
Selecting a solution is only half the battle. Next, you’ll need to negotiate with the vendor for the best possible price. You’ll get biggest “bang for your buck” by following these simple tips:
- Ignore the list price. Instead, use the standard discounted price as your negotiation starting point.
- Keep looking at other customer service software packages, and make sure your vendor knows your decision is not yet final.
- Don’t let the vendor talk you into free add-ons that you don’t want or need.
- Serve as a reference. Testimonials are critical to future sales opportunities, and vendors will often discount heavily in order to secure them.
- Negotiate reduced costs for add-on services such as consulting, maintenance, and training.