It’s essential for team members across a customer contact call center to be able to work together, share information, and collaborate. Ever since our world has been smacked with the coronavirus pandemic, many team members have also transitioned to working from home, making teamwork feel even more difficult. In order to properly serve your customers, your customer service team needs access to a wide amount of information, like past customer interactions, what their teammates have been working on, and more.
Luckily, in this day and age, there are endless technology options for customer contact centers looking to manage their teams. In fact, there are so many options that choosing one can feel overwhelming! Here are five questions you should ask when exploring new team management software. Don’t forget to talk to a sales representative on the phone before you order so you can get specific answers and make sure that particular software will work well with your team’s unique needs.
What Do You Need from the Software?
Obviously, the most important question you need to be asking is what your team needs from the piece of software. Depending on your line of work and your call volume, this could be radically different. You may put a high priority on things like team chat capabilities, or you may be more focused on teammates’ ability to leave detailed notes about specific clients. Perhaps uploading digital files is going to be incredibly important, or maybe you want the ability to record conversations in-software. Talk to your team, and make sure you know what would be most helpful for them to be effective at their jobs. Also, take a look at your yearly key performance indicators (KPIs), and try to establish which software features would be most helpful in achieving those. By narrowing down what you need, you won’t get distracted by additional bells and whistles and will instead ensure the software you choose will be a great fit.
Is the Software Easy to Manage?
Any good software is going to require regular updates to fix bugs, add new features, and work smoothly with updated operating systems. Is this something you’re going to be able to handle on your own, or will you need someone from the software company to do it for you? Furthermore, are you going to be able to implement the software, or will you need a representative from the software’s team? This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker—some software is simply a bit more finnicky and high tech, which may work well for your team. But it’s important to know ahead of time if you’re going to have to schedule regular updates and be in a real relationship with the software company. If your team is more nimble or on the other side of the country, it may be better to go with software that’s a bit more low maintenance so you can handle updates yourself. Furthermore, if a piece of software isn’t super intuitive, you’ll have to go into it knowing a large amount of training will be required on your end to get new employees up to speed. See if the software you’re interested in has e-courses or tutorials available for new users—that could take some of the pressure off your plate down the road.
Does the Software Work on the Go?
In today’s world, it’s essential for any team management software to be able to work on a wide variety of platforms. If your software doesn’t work on laptops, desktops, mobile, and tablets, it probably isn’t going to be a winner for you. With team members working remotely and the introduction of more and more new technologies, software companies worth their salt should ensure their programs work on the go. You don’t want teammates to be able to access critical information only from within the office—they need to be able to solve problems whenever the customer needs them solved, and the information within your team management software may be vital to help them do it. Make sure to thoroughly test the software on all of your different browsers and pieces of hardware before committing. Moreover, does this software integrate with other pieces of your technology stack, or would it require an overhaul of other processes your customer care team is currently embracing?
How Large Is Your Team?
This is a pretty straightforward question: How large is your team? Many pieces of software will have strict limits on how many people are allowed to access the information at any given time. If you have a large team, make sure you commit to software that’s big enough to meet all of your capabilities. If your team is smaller, this may be where you can save a little money.
What Are the Associated Costs?
Last but certainly not least is the cost factor. At the end of the day, good team management software isn’t cheap—it’s probably going to be a major expense for your business. But your team being able to collaborate is priceless. In addition to the regular monthly or yearly fee you’ll be paying, make sure you read the fine print. Is there an implementation fee? Will you need to upgrade if your team grows? Do certain features require additional payments? Make sure you understand upfront what is included in your cost so you aren’t surprised later. Although software is an investment, the size of that investment varies, and you may be able to shop around a bit before selecting a software that’s right for you. Some may participate in price match programs, as well. The cost is going to be a substantial investment going forward, so it’s essential to understand it before you sign on the dotted line and get your team set up with their brand-new software.