How to select agent management solutions
Are you asking the right questions?
In this blog I Iook at the recently published 2022 Agent Management Value Index Report [i] from analyst firm Ventana Research, for insights into how to structure software selection processes – to help organisations pose the right questions to get the right answers.
In its recent report, Ventana Research came to the conclusion that, “The pandemic created the circumstances for a complete reassessment of the tools and processes used in contact centres to manage agents”. Based on this insight, it is likely that many organisations will be considering business improvement projects and software selection processes to enable the changes driven by hybrid working, increased demand and employee churn.
Unless you use the most relevant selection criteria and pose the right questions, you can easily choose solutions which aren’t right for your operation, can’t address the most pressing issues and won’t prepare you for the future. Selection of the right platforms and technology is vital for the success of a modern business, however, it is not an activity that is undertaken regularly. Often the solution choices and technology options evolve so rapidly that the criteria used in previous selection processes become outdated and no longer fit for purpose.
With this in mind, it is great to see analysts, with close to two decades of experience, providing independent advice on how to structure RFI/RFPs and the selection processes for Agent Management solutions. The 2022 Agent Management Value Index Report “provides a baseline of knowledge that organisations can use to evaluate vendors and products, to manage and improve agent management processes.” Access the report reprint here.
A process for evaluating vendors
Ventana Research believes that “business improvement efforts should be based on best practices that research indicates deliver value quickly”. The analyst firm has developed what it calls the Value Index which can be used to evaluate agent management business systems and tools. It advocates using the index as part of a structured approach to ensure the right choices are made to provide the required results.
In its Value Index for Agent Management, Ventana Research evaluates software against seven key categories, of which five are product experience related and two cover customer experience. The categories are:
- Vendor Validation
- Total Cost of Ownership and Return on Investment (TCO/ROI).
Ventana Research used its own index categories to evaluate solutions from 18 vendors and I’m pleased to say that Calabrio was placed in the leader tier as an Exemplary Vendor and a Value Index Leader for Capability, Usability and Manageability.
Build the categories into selection processes and weight them as needed
The Index categories are also useful to build into your own organisation’s RFI/RFP software selection process. The categories can be weighted to match their importance to specific needs. In this way, you can evaluate and score solutions, and vendors objectively against common criteria to help drive a structured and documentable selection process. This step provides the evaluation tools necessary to move from a long list of vendors and solutions to a shortlist which can be evaluated in depth to make the final selection.
An ordered, transparent and auditable selection can be useful to:
- Speed up the selection process itself
- Reduce the cost of the selection
- Drive a common understanding across your organisation
- Gain sign-off from Purchasing and Senior Management for the selection made
- Provide criteria to measure success.
The Ventana Research report provides an evaluation of vendors and a methodology which can be used in your own evaluation and selection processes.
A framework for a technology-driven business improvement project
The report also outlines eight steps which should make up a technology-driven business improvement project. These include the importance of establishing technology evaluation criteria and how to evaluate and select the right technology to match the specific business requirements of your organisation more efficiently and accurately. The report in particular helps readers to complete these two phases.
Download the report to help you ask the right questions
As operations reassess the tools and processes used in contact centres to manage agents, it is vital to ask the right questions to gain the right answers. To learn more about how your organisation can utilise Ventana Research’s approach, go to Calabrio’s reprint of the Agent Management Value Index: 2022 Vendor and Product Assessment to download your own copy.
 Ventana Research, Agent Management Value Index: 2022 Vendor and Product Assessment, 17 December, 2021
Ross Daniels is Chief Marketing Officer at Calabrio
Calabrio is the customer experience intelligence company that empowers organisations to enrich human interactions. The scalability of our cloud platform allows for quick deployment of remote work models—and it gives our customers precise control over both operating costs and customer satisfaction levels. Our AI-driven analytics tools make it easy for contact centres to uncover customer sentiment and share compelling insights with other parts of the organisation. Customers choose Calabrio because we understand their needs and provide a best-in-class experience, from implementation to ongoing support.