Jun 30, 2009
St. George, UT (PRWEB) June 30, 2009 — Picking a dialing vendor is a lot like interviewing potential best friends (à la Paris Hilton) or vetting Supreme Court candidates: there is no shortage of relevant variables or people clamoring that their perspective is best. In the case of dialing technology, a plethora of variables, competing claims, different pricing models, and different terms for the same thing confuse the analyst. Business 101 classes attempt to pound home the conventional wisdom, the secret formula, the question that will cause the crystal ball to reveal the truth: ROI, Return on Investment. But can it be so simple? The hard sciences have heeded Occam’s Razor for hundreds of years, and in the words of a sage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” ROI is always and everywhere the key to such analysis.
“Sure,” you may be thinking, “this from a dialing company.” Akin to listening to the horse trader about how to judge horseflesh? Maybe. But TCN believes that there is a relatively simple and very defensible method for determining ROI. And our own criteria can be used against us; we will not plead the Fifth. Follow these three simple steps to determine a standardized ROI that will allow you to judge between horses and camels, turning all your potential vendors into comparable apples:
1. Cost per Right Party Connect
If your collection software is incapable of providing you the number of actual Right Party Connects (RPCs) (not just live contacts, linkbacks, or connectbacks), be sure your vendor can. Simply divide the total cost of the test campaign by the number of RPCs to determine the Cost per RPC.
Cost per RPC is so important because it is the metric that instructs how much bang you get for your buck. Agencies use dialing technology only to locate and converse with debtors; this goal should be accomplished with as little cost as possible. If some fancy but expensive functionality gets you one or two more RPCs per campaign but doubles the Cost per RPC, be unimpressed.
2. Cost per Agent Minute
With the data provided by your vendor, tally the total number of agent minutes during the test campaign. This is the number of minutes an agent was actually speaking with a debtor (or with a live party, if RPC information is not available). Then use this number and divide it into the total cost of the test campaign.
Cost per Agent Minute is important to consider separately from Cost per RPC because this metric tells you even more about what’s “under the hood,” technology speaking. If a vendor is competitive in the Cost per RPC metric but is behind in Cost per Agent Minute, it suggests that answering machine detection, for example, may be inferior. Cost per Agent Minute is also the most vital part of standardizing pricing models across companies: whatever each company’s philosophy, the actual Cost to the agency per Agent Minute will eliminate ambiguities. The number of lines needed to keep agents busy (i.e. the quality of the dialing product) will also be reflected in this metric.
3. Operation Costs
This metric is more subjective, but is just as important as the first two. For example: if a vendor is competitive in metrics one and two, but their interface and product operation are slow; if adding new agents or conducting other administrative tasks in onerous; if the operation of the dialer requires more personnel resources than others; if upload time is long; if campaign speed throttling is opaque or non-existent; these are actual costs that come out of the agency’s revenue.
Computing this metric is typically more of a self-survey than a math problem. Several test campaigns will be sufficient for the analyst and the operator(s) to discern where the Operation Cost of a vendor stacks up against the competition.
These three steps standardize the results from a testing experience and put the agency in the driver seat, enabling informed decision making. With this simple process, the agency need not attempt to normalize different pricing models with different minimums, different prices per minute, and different linkback costs. This process is like finding the common denominator among many different fractions to more easily compare numerators.
Finally, be sure that all test campaigns are conducted while holding as many variables as possible constant between vendors: randomly-assigned accounts; same time of day; same mix of accounts; same number of collectors of comparable ability; etc.
For more information, for a demonstration and for a free, no-obligation trial, please call 866.745.1900 or visit visit tcnp3.com.
About the Author: TCN
TCN is a leading provider of cloud-based call center technology for enterprises, contact centers, BPOs, and collection agencies worldwide. Founded in 1999, TCN combines a deep understanding of the needs of call center users with a highly affordable delivery model, ensuring immediate access to robust call center technology, such as predictive dialer, IVR, call recording, and business analytics required to optimize operations and adhere to TCPA regulations. Its “always-on” cloud-based delivery model provides customers with immediate access to the latest version of the TCN solution, as well as the ability to quickly and easily scale and adjust to evolving business needs. TCN serves various Fortune 500 companies and enterprises in multiple industries, including newspaper, collection, education, healthcare, automotive, political, customer service, and marketing.