Call centers are at the front line of customer service and are expected to run at peak efficiency while maintaining a high call volume. There are many challenges in managing and operating a call center, one of them being securing inbound calling services that meet both current and future needs.
Voice support serves as the backbone for the call center, and it is short-sighted for a brand to risk their reputation by exposing consumers to a substandard voice product. Management is constantly concerned with basic communication issues. Are callers getting a busy signal? Are calls being dropped? Is the voice quality satisfactory? At the same time, the concurrent call requirements have to be managed, to ensure sufficient capacity without wasting money on excess channels.
Furthermore, in recent years, organizations have seen their customer base contact them not only through more media channels but also from diverse locations around the globe. This trend will continue, with high-value clients needing service outside their local area or homeland, including reliable phone coverage in emerging markets. Therefore, while there are many imperative things that a call center should consider when selecting a voice service provider, perhaps the most important one is to ensure global coverage.
Clearly, the call center’s partnership with a voice service provider is essential to the basic premise of the business; incoming calls should reach the call center efficiently and with the proper quality and reliability expected by its customers around the world. At the same time, the call center should have access to cost-effective and flexible global voice services, without the complications of having to depend on multiple telecom suppliers.
Choosing The Right Inbound Calling Service For You
The selection of a voice provider for your call center is a critically important process for your business. Some of the essential criteria to consider during this decision process are:
Ensure that your inbound calling provider includes the geographic coverage of numbers that you require for your business, including toll-free, local, mobile, national and SMS-enabled numbers. In addition, the provider should be actively and continually expanding their coverage and must be responsive to your requirements for additional services.
Number Availability and Scalability
Your provider must maintain an appropriate inventory of numbers in every country and area code in which you operate, and these numbers should be available for immediate activation. This is especially important for call centers with uncertain and dynamic requirements for inbound numbers.
Extensive global relationships with local network operators plus a vast inventory of numbers will enable your provider to offer pricing that is suitable your business. In addition, the availability of flexible billing such as flat-rate or metered services for incoming calls is desirable in affording contact centers with options for minimizing call costs according to their specific business model. Moreover, selected voice providers offer free capacity (unlimited channels) when using inbound calling on toll-free numbers, thus minimizing or eliminating the cost of paid call traffic.
Flexible Capacity Options
Managing concurrent call capacity is critical to the operation of a call center, and requires a delicate balance between spending money on excess channel capacity, and having customers receive a busy signal. In addition, unpredictable call volumes can occur during events such as marketing campaigns or product launches and recalls that can quickly exceed the inbound call capacity. Therefore, you should ensure that the trunk architecture includes options such as flexible capacity grouping and both flat-rate and metered channels that allow you to optimize the concurrent calling capacity and, at the same time, reduce operating costs. Also, you must have access to appropriate monitoring tools that assist in effective service management and notify you of events such as insufficient channel capacity.
It is important that you maintain complete control over call termination options and the delivery of inbound calling, as this provides you with optimum quality, security, management, and performance of end-to-end voice services. Therefore, direct peering and interconnection to your voice provider via SIP Trunk or TDM is highly desirable from both an operational and cost-effectiveness point of view.
Redundant Network and Reliability
Ensure that your voice provider has an infrastructure designed to handle origination services in a stable, efficient, reliable, cost-effective and flexible manner. This includes the network having full geo-redundant capabilities, the availability of aggregated carrier capabilities in all geographies in which numbers are sourced, and secure data center facilities. Of course, technical support is essential, and services must be backed by a Network Operations and Customer Support Center operating on a 24/7/365 basis.
Management of Voice Services
It is a priority that you have access to user-friendly, web-based and mobile tools for monitoring and managing your global number inventory and call capacity, essentially providing you with full control over your inbound services. In addition, the availability of operational and performance statistics is highly beneficial and will allow you to optimize performance and minimize operational costs.
The bottom line
There is no replacement for rigorous due diligence. Select an inbound calling service provider that ticks all the boxes; has a history of providing services to call centers, and is familiar with the stringent and demanding requirements of your business.
There are some companies that offer free trial such as DIDWW, Voxbone, and DIDlogic. By using these free trials, you will be able to partner with a voice provider that meet your expectations and deliver the highest quality services demanded by you and your customers.