Call quality is irrelevant when your network is down

The reliability and resilience of a communications provider should be at the forefront of any decision before commitment is made to any communications provider. It is unfortunate that many contact centres make the mistake of taking services on the basis of price, which is a reckless move on the basis that any contact centre telecommunications provider needs to be rock solid to ensure that the operation of the call centre isn’t compromised. The purpose of this article is to empower call centres with some of the questions that should be asked any supplier to ensure that they are reliable and resilient before any commitments are made.

  1. Do they have the capacity to deal with your call traffic?Contact centres can generate a significant amount of call traffic, especially when you have a high number of agents operating from a predictive dialler. Therefore it is of critical importance to ensure that, not only can the potential telecommunications supplier meet your current requirements in terms of capacity now, but also that they are capable of scaling to meet your requirements in the future.
  2. If you contact centre is SIP connected, are they able to deliver sufficient calls per second?The emergence of call centre SIP technologies has also brought new service delivery issues that require careful consideration, and in particular limitations on the amount of calls per second that can be made. Contact centres that generate high volume of calls will need to ensure that the communications provider is able to handle the calls per second that are generated by the outbound campaigns.
  3. Do they operate out of multiple data centres?Although data centres are build with resiliency as the primary consideration, there may be times where a data centre fails. For this very reason, it is of critical importance to ensure that any communications provider that you contract with has dual, geographically dispersed networks to ensure service continuity in the event of any issues.
  4. What are their SLAs?SLA stands for Service Level Agreements, which essentially sets out what a contact centre can expect from their service provider. SLAs are always good to have, as it is a fantastic way to start any commercial relationships on the basis that expectations are set from the outset. The content of Service Level Agreements vary significantly depending on the commercial arrangement being entered into, however the following are examples of what could be included:
    • Support tickets will be acknowledged and responded to within 15 minutes
    • Service availability of 99.50%

    These terms typically do not come with financial penalties for breach, however, in particularly complex arrangements that involve large sums of money, it would not be unusual to see penalties and / or compensation involved for breach of specific SLA terms.

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