Thank Paul Turner, COO at New Voice Media, for a good list of "five ways that technology can make life simpler for contact center agents:"
1. Routing calls. Ensuring that calls go through to the right agent is one of the most crucial functions of a contact centre, as both callers and call handlers can get frustrated when calls are misplaced. One common criticism is that it is rare for a caller to speak to the same agent more than once, even though the technology is in place to facilitate effective call routing. This ensures that follow-up calls are routed back to the original agent a caller spoke to, creating a much better relationship between customer and business, and quicker resolution of the call.
2. Call recordings. Listening back to calls is an arduous task, which for traditional call centres can require the agent to spool through a tape of the previous 24 hours to find what they are looking for. It is extremely labor-intensive and inefficient, with the added problem that if the caller is passed to another call centre, which could be in another country, the recording will not be retained in one source.
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It's a crowded field, for sure. "There are a lot of VoIP product providers available in the market place that offer full features including call billing, call terminations, and computer to computer calls," says BooshNews, adding that "one of the best is called the Pulse."
The Pulse specializes in offering business products "while minimizing the call costs," Boosh says: "Their services vary depending on the needs of their clients. They will design and configure the call system for your business (getting a good call system setup is harder than it sounds). Their services can be extended to the Internet, mobile applications, business reporting services, and maintenance services."
What does The Pulse do? Glad you asked. It's "accountable for coordination of the telephone numbers throughout the different departments in an organization," Boosh says, and "helps coordinate the different interfaces in the system." This includes installation and integration of all networking systems, company officials say, and ensures that there is a smooth flow of information process in the business.
It can be integrated with an H.323 gateway, and is available both in the two or eight chassis environment, it has peripheral cards that can be interchanged, and according to company officials, "it has the ability to switch between VoIP and Tandem, it has SIP usability and support, it features a call routing server from Quintum and NMS server, and finally it has an IVR system that is multilingual."
From Monticello -- Kentucky -- comes the news that a call center company is opening a center in southern Kentucky, bringing "222 new full-time jobs to the state."
According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers "announced the plans by Senture Connect to open a center in Wayne County. A statement from the governor says the company will be investing $7.9 million in the project."
The company, Bloomberg reported, is leasing a building "where the workers will handle inbound and outbound calls for private industry, as well as state and federal government agencies. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Senture Connect for state tax incentives up to $4.7 million over a 15-year period."
About a month ago TMC had the news that CXO Global Solutions, a managed services firm specializing in unified communications and call center operations, announced a 1-year agreement to provide insurance licensing training and reciprocal state license filing services for Senture, a Kentucky-based contact center and business process outsourcer with offices in Florida and Kentucky.
For anybody involved in Voice XML, a recent article on Discovery News should prove to be interesting: "For some patients, the thoughts are there, but the words can't come. New mind-reading technology could help them speak."
Alyssa Danigelis writes that while "the thoughts are there... there is no way to express them. For 'locked in' patients, many with Lou Gehrig's disease, the only way to communicate tends to be through blinking in code."
But now, she writes, "words can be read directly from patients' minds by attaching microelectrode grids to the surface of the brain and learning which signals mean which words, a development that will ultimately help such patients talk again."
University of Utah's Bradley Greger, an assistant professor of bioengineering who, with neurosurgery professor Paul House, M.D., published the study in the October issue of the Journal of Neural Engineering, told Danigelis that "They're perfectly aware. They just can't get signals out of their brain to control their facial expressions."
Those of us who don't like the sight of blood probably couldn't be deeply involved in this sort of research: The University of Utah team worked with an epileptic patient who let them cut away his skull and crowd together much smaller devices, called micro-electrocorticography, onto his brain prior to surgery.