Improving Call Center Ops, AppExchange, Virtualization and Customer Care, CRM and Social Media

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David Sims
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Improving Call Center Ops, AppExchange, Virtualization and Customer Care, CRM and Social Media

Here’s a useful topic these days when it comes to improving your call center operations -- “The Power of Real-Time Delivery: Using Agent Idle Time to Improve Service.” Fortunately that’s also the title of a recent white paper from Knowlagent, a provider of call center operations created to improve efficiency.

One of the most interesting subjects covered in this white paper is sharing updates with agents during downtime is crucial to improving call center operations. This is a great way to improve your staff’s knowledge and skills at minimal cost, without disrupting the flow of operations.

Pulling your agents from the phones to attend a training or coaching class is not the ideal approach, sending out training or coaching during a slow period, 5- to 20-minute education and training sessions or content, works better.

“You can use the same content for every agent, but effectiveness will be increased if training content is customized to address the specific needs of every agent,” the paper notes, giving an example of how it would work with your existing call center operations:

Let’s say your quality assurance process identifies 35 agents with performance issues. After the performance issues are identified, the QA tool sends each agent their QA evaluation form, the paper explains, and explains what they need to do about it.

Read more here.

Always good to hear from All-Stars. Dirk Nowitzki of the NBA championship-winning Dallas Mavericks is currently in Germany and unavailable, so let’s hear from an AppExchange All-Star: Luke Cushanick, a certified developer and advanced admin who directs a team of admins and developers building orgs for 2tor 2tor (sound it out).

He’s also the leader of the NYC Developer Users Group and is expanding the Salesforce community in NYC through user groups, virtual communities and presentations to technical training institutes. And he’s got a heck of a jump shot.

“Give me options, lots of them, competing with each other, complementing each other and each one better than the last,” Cushanick says. “The AppExchange provides that for  When I’m given a problem to solve, I start my research at the AppExchange to see how others have solved it and hoping that the perfect solution sits there ready to study, test drive and install.”

Cushanick says the ease with which one could install an app in a sandbox and see how it performs lets you know precisely what you’re getting, in a situation where you can throw your toughest problems at it and repeat the process until you either find the app you need or learn how to implement your own fix.

Read more here.

A recent white paper titled “Virtualization: The Key to Providing Tier 1 Rating Functionality for Small and Greenfield Mobile Operators,” from Interact talks about how “real-time rating, customer care, voucher management, IVR, voice messaging, conferencing, and more can be reliably combined in a single platform.”

In the small-to-medium mobile communications market, carriers and operators need to package, promote, and deploy communication services based upon unique operational requirements, and do so with minimal investment, the paper says, adding that operators in smaller markets, especially new or “greenfield” operators, struggle to provide features and services that are commonplace in larger mobile markets.

Normally full-featured products are designed for a larger subscriber base, the paper’s authors say, adding that they include equipment and levels of redundancy in both hardware and software beyond the budget capabilities of smaller operators and MVNO’s.

Mobile operators do have options: They can get truly full-featured products at a greatly reduced cost, via virtualization.

As the paper shows, virtualization saves money, energy, and space, reduces the number of servers a mobile operator would require to support their operation and also on the total amount of energy needed to run the hardware and provide cooling.

Read more here.

The death of CRM has been predicted many times. It’s still here, due mainly to its adaptability and the fact that it’s built around a core concept, an idea, not technology. Social media won’t kill it off any more than video players have killed off movie theaters, or TV killed off radio, or rock ’n’ roll killed off country music, or the car killed off horse buggies... um, strike that last one.

Now people are wondering if CRM’s approach to marketing is still valid in our social media world. Sigh. Yes, it is. Next question.

Industry observer Stephanie Miller writes that social marketing purists “claim the real value in social marketing is not measurable in the old ways of direct marketing. When I ask how it is measurable, I get a lot of hand-waving and mumbling about participation and brand evangelism.”

Which reminds those of us who remember of the various ROI substitutes put forth for banner ads back in the day. Their ROI was “eyeballs.” No, it was “click-throughs.” Of course it’s really always “sales.”

Read more here.


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