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September 2011

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Big Company IVR Headaches, Soffront CRM Blog, OneStopClick, Amdahl's Law and Multicore Processors

September 30, 2011

Want to hear about the sort of problems really successful businesses have? According to officials of South Africa’s ASG Performance Solutions, 1.8 million subscribers making 1.5 million calls a day represents a successful business with a big headache.

And yeah, even though companies big enough to have those kinds of problems can afford nice techie toys to help, it’s still a huge problem, because as ASG officials say, even with a best-in-class call center and interactive voice response system, “the sheer logistics of monitoring a system of this magnitude, and reporting at an operational and customer level, can be overwhelming.”

What you need is the right system and processes in place, and that’s Molo Innovation and ASG Performance Solutions’ area of expertise. Molo officials say when the company was approached by one of its top clients in the telecommunications space to provide real-time monitoring and reporting for its IVR, “ASG was a logical partner to bring on board.”

So you can take their word for it: When all is said and done, “reporting should always be underpinned by an appropriate data tool and process.” This means in order to gather information about the status of various IVR systems, they explain, when it came to tackling the project for their top telecom customer, “each client IVR node needed a data gathering application that would report activities on each IVR system to a centralized monitoring server.”

Three Major Call Recording Areas, Social Media Interaction, Mobile Banking Customers, Mobile Bank Case Study

September 30, 2011

When it comes to call recording, OrecX officials say their OrekaQM product can help with three major areas:

Evaluate an agent's call. “Call evaluation standards can be customized to focus on key agent behaviors and activities, allowing managers to identify positive agent activities as well as specific areas needing improvement,” company officials say.

Provide specific feedback and coaching to agents.

Understanding Call Center Metrics, CRM+ From Inside View, Pictures for 911 Calls,

September 26, 2011

Monet Software has been posting some good info about call center metrics, how to use them to set goals, what they mean, exactly.

Take abandon rates. As Monet officials explain, that means the percentage of calls that hang up before an agent could take the call - it does not mean calls that get a busy signal.

So what does it mean? It might show that your customers are ticked off having to wait so long on the phone. Face it, you don’t like waiting forever for an agent to take your call, nobody else does either.

As Monet’s blog post notes, generally speaking, the longer it takes to answer a call, the higher are abandon rates.

Sitel Call Center Outsourcing, Improving Customer Service, CRM Idol, Envision Evaluation Help

September 21, 2011

Sitel, a provider of call center outsourcing offers transaction processing solutions that can help any organization to succeed. Equipped with the item- and document-processing technologies, Sitel officials say in a white paper that the company can help you gain access to flexible and efficient tools, designed to assist clients “who value service excellence.”

And if you don’t value service excellence, you can always go for a cheaper product suite, however Sitel’s clients have found that it pays to get the quality stuff.

“Approximately 41 percent of our client base trusts us to process reply cards, warranty cards, checks and rebate requests,” Sitel officials note, adding that among those businesses is a billion-dollar ISP, one of the 10 largest commercial bank holding companies in the U.S., a $17 billion consumer products company, an international continuity marketer offering coffee, tea and gifts and one of Canada’s largest utility companies, as well as the financial services division of an automobile manufacturer.

These are companies that know quality. They know they got where they are by valuing customer service and excellence. 

Contact Center Monitoring Software, Hosted Dialing Price Misdirection, Spanish Contact Centers, Mobile Video Conferencing

September 19, 2011

Spectrum Corporation has recently featured their contact center monitoring software aids in Contact Center Activity Monitoring (CCAM), which company officials describe as “a subset of Unified Contact Center Reporting.”

CCAM, as they explain, is the process of collecting data from the call center applications. And if your experience matches that of most other contact centers, your challenge is probably not the data that is generated, heck, collecting loads of data is the easy part. No, your issue is, most likely, simply accessing the data and figuring out something intelligent to do with it that will help your company.

That’s where Spectrum might be able to help you.

Auto Attendant Components, Customer Interaction Points, Data Center Heat Management

September 19, 2011

The COO of Parlance Corp., Joseph Maxwell, recently outlined the five major components to a successful speech product for an auto attendant. It’s a good summary, so let’s take a look at it.

Successful speech-enabled call routing tools, he says, are made of components working together to connect the caller to his destination “according to a spoken name or phrase.” That being the case, here are the five major components you want:

The speech recognizer. This is what acts as the interpreter for matching a spoken name or phrase with an entry in the system’s directory.

CRM Cloud Tools Used Correctly, Hosted Call Center Changes, Questions for Evaluating Call Centers, Call Center Outsourcing

September 8, 2011

“Does your customer relationship management (CRM) tool get in the way of implementing your customer relationship management strategies?”

So asks the Soffront blogger, and it’s a more perceptive question than might appear at first glance -- unbridled technolust has destroyed many a well-intentioned CRM project.

Here’s one reason. As the blog accurately says, “customers receive communications from sales, marketing and customer service, and these contacts could come in the form of phone calls, e-mails, text messages, or even face-to-face conversations.”

The question, of course, is “Do all the marketing, sales and customer service people know what messages the other ones have sent and received from the customer?” If not, then you’re not doing it right, and the customer can tell.

Many CRM tools require users to navigate to different screens to view various types of contacts from different departments, the Soffront blog says, noting accurately that this “causes delays and confusion, and makes it easy to miss vital information.”

What you want is a CRM tool that will “display the entire communications history with a customer or lead on a single screen,” since as company officials say, knowing the communication you’ve had with a customer, in chronological order, could be critical in gaining a sale or maintaining a customer because information is readily available to all departments.”

Read more here.


Donna Fluss is somebody you want to hear when it comes to the hosted call center space, and she’s offered what she sees as some of the changing needs and expectations for customer service.

Perhaps one of her most salient observation is that “‘going social’ is more than a way to share thoughts and ideas; it is a new way of communicating and interacting.” True enough, but most organizations still don’t have much of a clue how to best use social media, especially when it comes to customer service.

So-Called 'Hybrid' Call Centers, Call Center Outsourcing White Paper, Five9 IVR, Spectrum's XorceView

September 7, 2011

If you remember the old Burger King ad campaign “Have It Your Way...” then a) you’re probably a bit older than you’d like to admit, and b) you understand what LiveVox officials mean when they say on their company blog that “the market has developed a lot of flavors of cloud -- public, private, hybrid, etc.”
And you also understand when they say that hey, in fast food joints, all flashy advertising aside, “your food doesn’t always look as fresh as the picture behind the register, and a lot of ends up tasting the same.”
Yes, the cloud can deliver specific features for the contact center, such as capacity planning by bursting to handle any inbound/outbound call volumes on demand, as LiveVox officials say: “It can simplify global call routing with a simplified network topology -- without requiring contact centers more hardware and put it between them and the cloud.”
As they put it, the goal of any contact center is to “match up the right agent, customer and channel to get positive outcomes.” And what would be great would be if you could adjust your labor costs to exactly match your need, wouldn’t it? Hard to do with multi-site installations, isn’t it?
That’s one reason companies use cloud contact centers, to get that seasonal elasticity -- more agents when you need them, fewer when you don’t. But as LiveVox says, be careful about the slippery terminology some vendors use:  The word “hybrid” is “marketing’s favorite word to Spackle over one thing to make it look like another.”

Read more here.

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