These days, technology resellers cannot underestimate the importance of providing good support to their customers.
Increasingly, VARs must take a “consultative approach” to help customers solve complex business challenges -- in other words, they must be willing to help customers identify, investigate and implement new business processes -- not just sell them new software or hardware in the hopes it will address their needs.
Case-in-point: Value-added reseller SOURCE Inc. recently helped a Dallas-based financial services company vastly improve its call center operations after it recommended that the firm migrate to a new unified communications system from call center software provider Zeacom
As per an article
published on Business Solutions, the firm had outgrown its previous call center system, which was cobbled together from various vendor solutions, and management knew they wanted a system with more advanced capabilities. As a result, SOURCE recommended Zeacom’s VoIP-based call center and UC solution
, which not only brought new functionality but also enabled the firm to retain some of its previous call center investments.
Basically it was just a question of explaining the capabilities and feature sets that UC provides – and the efficiencies and cost savings that, subsequently, could be realized. The firm’s management already knew they needed a call center software platform capable of handling all types calls – including e-mail and Web chat – plus they knew of at least one specific UC feature they wanted the new system to deliver: “presence,” or the ability for employees to view the locations and availabilities of colleagues to select the best method for reaching them.
UC was the ideal choice as it integrates all forms of communication -- including telephony (landline, fax, mobile), e-mail, voice messaging, conferencing, instant messaging – on a single platform. With the call center software in place, the financial services company’s call center agents can treat customer communications they receive via e-mail and Web chat with the same consideration as calls they receive via the phone.
Perhaps more importantly the call center software streamlined communications and processes throughout the entire organization.
“UC enables communications of all types to get sent to the right people, wherever they are,” said Kevin Grantham director, strategic delivery at SOURCE, as quoted in the article
. “Companies are often inefficient because customers get sidelined — in voice mail or e-mail — waiting for the right person to become available. Then the problem or issue becomes stale, or it escalates into a more-difficult-to-resolve situation. UC can help companies in all verticals avoid those problems.”
) UC call center system is highly scalable, meaning it can handle huge spikes in call volume, plus it sports important call center features such as interactive voice response (IVR), unified messaging, call center management, multimedia integration and reporting.
The main point is that the financial services company went with a reseller that took a strategic and proactive approach to solving its business challenges. SOURCE didn’t just sell the firm new call center software/hardware and then say “thanks” and walk away – instead it committed to being a long-term partner and working with the company to continue to recommend and implement new technologies.
“We work with our customers to make sure they get a return on their technology investments, and then we continuously look for ways they can improve their business operations,” Grantham said.
As part of the migration project, SOURCE upgraded the firm’s Avaya voice communications platform to VoIP and worked with its IT group to upgrade its Cisco (News
) Systems data infrastructure as well.
Grantham said the key to selling UC is to help companies understand the efficiencies they can achieve with it.
“You have to show them how it can fundamentally change the way they do business, interact with their customers, and make use of their employee resources,” he says. “The benefits of UC are much more profound than simply saving money on long-distance calls.”
Zeacom made news earlier this month when TMCnet’s Brendan Read held a Q&A session with Zeacom President of Americas Ernie Wallerstein
on the benefits of UC.