Call Centers' Five9, 20-Year CRM, SMBs as Customers, Telemarketing and VoIP

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David Sims
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Call Centers' Five9, 20-Year CRM, SMBs as Customers, Telemarketing and VoIP

Recently on-demand call center vendor Five9 posted a helpful presentation introducing people to the company. Based in Pleasanton, California, the company claims over a thousand clients and “tens of thousands” of agents handling calls.

Company officials emphasize the simplicity of their pricing model -- “as easy as 1-2-3,” they say: A monthly license fee, a long-distance fee based on usage, and a one-time implementation fee, “for our expert team to get you up and running as fast as you require, even if you need it by tomorrow.”

They offer products to run sales, support and marketing operations, including predictive dialing, CRM integrations, reporting, agent scripting, voice recording, quality monitoring, IVR, speech recognition, voice message broadcasting, workflow management and others.

“For an outbound call center, our predictive dialer, agent scripting and call recording will keep your agents productive and increase your sales revenues,” company officials say.

Read more here.

John Macuga, the operations manager of the Falconi family of car dealerships, was recently interviewed about their experiences using Advertel.

 “The unique thing about Ads On Hold, when we first came on board, we thought, well, it’s a small company, probably won’t be around in the next three to four years, but they seem to have good services, let’s give them a shot.”

Macuga was pleasantly surprised, though: “It was excellent service, and longevity is important to us. It’s turned out to be more of a partnership than just a client relationship.” Longevity indeed, as the company has been clients of Advertel for over 20 years now. As Macuga said, “You don’t stay with someone for over 20 years and not have a partnership with them.”

“When we started out we thought it was going to be a one-time deal, but the service, the creativity on our phone messages,” kept them with the provider, Macuga said. “They always came up with something a little different, something to help us out in a situation. They would listen to what we were doing and come back to us and say hey, you guys ought to try this. That being innovative is important. You can’t just sit back and answer the phone one simple way, and our customers enjoy it. They tell us they don’t mind hanging on for a few seconds.”

Read more here.

Recently, Blair Pleasant and Dave Michels of UCStrategies set out to identify and profile several hosted services targeted at small businesses, concentrating on those of fewer than 20 users.

Their findings are presented in a long write-up, well worth reading—providing an immense amount of detail on the subject.

One interesting point was made when they reported the results of interviewing five hosted providers for the SMB market, “focusing on features/capabilities, pricing, service, and other aspects that end users should consider when making their vendor selections.”

They came up with some key observations for comparing the products and quotes from various hosted voice service providers:

Access: All firms interviewed expect the customer to use the public Internet for access. There was very little discussion or concern about the quality of service issues that could arise from use of the public Internet. Most providers have some tools to test the bandwidth, but none offered regular monitoring or troubleshooting for network congestion. None of the firms offered strong assurances or SLAs regarding the overall experience or system availability.

Read more here.

The ever-readable Ken Murray, always one of the most entertaining and rewarding voices in telemarketing, recently broke some bad news:

“To get to the right VoIP provider you are probably going to have to kiss a few frogs in order to find a prince of a service provider.”

Obviously this is a man who speaks from experience: “We have thousands of customers that have tried and are using every provider under the sun. We are integrated with most providers meaning we can auto dial over their platform, launch their soft-phone, record calls and so forth. When a prospect or customer asks who we recommend, we usually tell them that they will need to try a few to find the one that provides the best quality at the best price... what works well for one company works poorly for the company next door.”

By the way, that’s a crucial insight to bear in mind: Just because something works great for your golf partner or brother-in-law’s far more successful operation doesn’t mean it’ll work equally well for you. As Murray says, quality differs provider- to- provider, location- to- location, cheap to expensive.

The way he explains it, “your calling pattern (how many calls, where they are going, and the geographic location of the person who places the calls) will impact your opportunity to get the best quality. Some companies can select the lowest cost provider and end up with great quality. Others have to move up stream and pay a little more to get a quality standard that meets their expectation.”

Read more here.



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