Four Key Things to Consider in Order to Arrive at the Right Solution for Your Call Center.
Contact centers looking for the best way to seamlessly integrate their customer relationship management (CRM) platforms with their telephony systems usually face one overarching question: Should they develop their own custom CTI solution (either by hiring an outside company or using their IT staff) or should they purchase a ready-made software solution out of the box?
Both options come with positives and negatives depending on the needs of your business – but to help get you on your feet, here are four key things to consider when choosing the best CTI solution for your contact center.
Time to Market
There’s still truth to the old saying that time is money. It’s no secret that developing a customized solution for your CTI needs involves writing loads of code from scratch. However, for the mega-contact centers with thousands or tens of thousands of agents, developing their own enterprise-grade solution with all their own bells and whistles and features may make sense—especially if they have their own in-house IT team to build and maintain it.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your CTI solution. Any custom development project is going to take months before it’s up and running whereas an out-of-the-box software solution can be done in a matter of days or weeks—even if it needs to be configured specifically to connect your CRM products with your telephony. The question is: How configurable is the out-of-the-box software you’re thinking of purchasing?
It’s important to remember that time costs money, too. So that months-long custom development project means a huge, upfront expense. But it’s not just the upfront expense you need to look at when considering a CTI solution. For example, say you hire an outside firm to develop your custom solution – once they’re done and you’ve signed off on the testing, they turn it over to you. A few months later, if one of your CRM or private branch exchange (PBX) vendors makes changes to its application programming interface, or API to bolster security, your integration may stop working. And unless you have your own IT staff to maintain your system, you’ll have to call the company that developed the CTI to come back and rewrite the applications.
An out-of-the-box software solution is far less expensive than a custom CTI project. But you need to know whether the software you choose integrates fully with all of the products you’re using –and if it can adapt and change as your business changes.
Once your customer CTI project is built you are responsible to keep it running smoothly. So if a contact center’s business changes or they want to tweak something in the way the integration was written, they need to bring back the company that did the original CTI project. This means another purchase order or maybe even a new contract meaning the CTI company has to rewrite the code so all the components are once again seamlessly connected. In short, you’re getting another large invoice to be paid—whether you budgeted for it or not.
Technology is constantly changing and improving. If your company has the IT staff to keep up with those perpetual and persistent changes, then custom development may be the best option. If you don’t, it means every time any piece of your custom-built system has a technology refresh or upgrade you face having the integration stop working until you can get your CTI developer back to rewrite the codes and fix it. And odds are that the first sign you will get that something has changed is when your integration quits on you.
If you buy out-of-the-box software that is not easily configurable and does not update every time another major vendor’s product changes, you could find yourself in the same boat—trying to figure out why your system isn’t working and then waiting for someone to come and fix it.
See for Yourself
If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box solution that is highly configurable for your contact center’s specific needs, that can be implemented in a matter of weeks, not months, with a total cost of ownership that is almost half as much as custom integration, schedule a demo today of our CTI solution.
CDC Software features highly configurable, prebuilt connectors for leading CRMs, telephony systems, and other critical pieces of the customer service puzzle. And our subscription-based service means you never have to worry about changes and updates. For as little as $25 per user each month CDC can simply be reconfigured by swapping out a connector, rather than replaced entirely.
CDC monitors the products we’ve built connectors for and automatically upgrades our software when they upgrade theirs. And we provide that technology refresh at no extra cost as part of our subscription-based service.