Be True to Your School


Be True to Your School
By Robert A. Kobek, RRP, President
Mobius Vendor Partners
CustomerCount Enterprise Customer Feedback System

There is no question the highest priority of our company is providing the finest customer feedback system that can ever be used.

And, personally, because of my significant background in the contact center industry, being a subject matter expert comes to the forefront pretty regularly, particularly in the consulting arena for technology solutions. These requests for solutions are due to the fact there is little internal consensus about what, how, and who will be the provider of the solutions. IT, marketing, customer service, inbound, outbound and other business units all have separate and unique requirements that need to be weighed against cost, cap ex limitations, and IT skill sets among other significant requirements.

There is one particular requirement that we have when assessing and grading potential providers. Trade association membership and activity inside the equivalent group weighs equally with other elements in a proposal. Trade associations provide significant knowledge and information to buyers and sellers of services and contact center technology is particularly critical when assessing which provider(s) to recommend.

In timeshare for example, if membership in ARDA is noted, there is a higher score. ARDA does a great job of providing industry specific trends and practices that would serve vendors are well to learn. The vernacular alone can be tricky and a lack of knowledge increases the risk of a not so clean installation, increasing the time, tension and energy, and cost.

In almost all cases high marks go to those vendors that are members of PACE (formerly the ATA). PACE has as its centerpiece, education on issues ranging from compliance to best practices on all the elements in a contact center. Inbound, outbound, click to chat, email and social media to name a few that, with the increase of broadband, are made possible. And, all of them require different moving parts in a call center.

It is baffling to me that vendors who are members of an association show up at a trade show, hang at their booth and do not participate in, or attend, educational sessions. Subject matter experts are talking to your prospects and you, the vendor have no idea what they are being told.

So, if you are wondering whether or not your membership in a trade association has value, take it from me, when I am making recommendations on technology solutions, it has value.

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