Call Center Solutions Featured Articles
With the official start to the Christmas shopping season just a few days away, it's not hard to look at the overall market and see that, perhaps now more than ever, customer service and sales efforts are a hugely important part of any business. Bright Pattern is out to help make it a little easier for customers to get in contact with businesses, and get the best of sales and customer service, with some new additions to its ServicePattern cloud contact center platform.
The call center is often tasked with being an all-knowing, all-seeing organization. Customers expect that when they call or otherwise contact a company, the person they reach will understand their history with the company, and even their preferences. More often than not, however, this doesn't happen. Agents aren't provided with all the information they need, and even if they are, it's not provided in an easily understandable way.
Broadvoice, a provider of hosted voice and data solutions, has announced the addition of several new features to its Cloud PBX hosted phone service for businesses and call centers. Most notable are the new Monitor, Whisper and Barge functions.
In the world of call center solutions, there is always a desire to get a little bit better, especially when it comes to the services that are offered to the customer. This is the driving force behind the announcement by Applied Global Technologies (AGT) that it is introducing the Alliance Service Suite. This suite is a collection of A/V solutions that work for managed services working in collaborative environments.
The second part of NetFortris' announcement was the release of an intelligent multi-media queuing feature and improved skills-based routing capabilities. Just about every business and call center today is seeking to unify communications, which is why NetFortris' solution will now combine voice, video (via WebRTC), instant messaging, email, SMS and social media into a universal queue.
While November brings with it one of the biggest opportunities around to make sales and boost businesses to profitability-the holiday shopping season-it also brings with it some distinct challenges. Particularly the levels of incoming calls seen to a business' call center. With that influx of incoming calls requires certain changes to best accommodate said influx, but what's the best way to do that? Thankfully, there are several ways to manage that influx thanks to some specific tactics in the call routing field, which Contact Centres recently examined in greater detail.
There is little that impacts long-term success as much as quality - even cost eventually gives way to better products and service levels, and can allow lesser known brands to build market share. That extends beyond end-product quality to service and customer care, as well, especially in today's age of unrivalled choice. In both respects, dedication to quality is the key reasons Steve Chirokas, vice president of marketing, believes VoltDelta is differentiating itself and growing its business, having developed a premium contact center product that allows its customers to provide high levels of customer care.
The United States is becoming more bilingual as each day passes. While the majority of people speak English in the country - and this doesn't seem to be changing any time soon - there are many who feel more comfortable addressing their issues in Spanish. To a growing number of people living in the continental U.S., Spanish is their native tongue. This also applies to their children, as it is also the language of choice for the household in many cases. But don't take my word for it. Pew Research Center says that over 37.6 million people speak Spanish in their homes. That's roughly one-tenth of the country.
Technology is an integral part of call centers as it gives these companies the much-needed support to handle large call volumes. There are many innovative call center software available today that can make call center operations more effective and efficient.
Giftcards.com has pulled ranks in terms of selling co-branded corporate gift cards and other merchant cards, so much so that as the company grew, it needed to reevaluate its contact center processes to keep pace with customer inquiries. Looking to expand upon its performance, the company turned to VoltDelta's cloud-based call center solution to help streamline its call queue, including replacing its legacy system and revamping its IVR solution.
Having agents sitting idle isn't really good for the bottom line, but if you're not sure when the next spike in calls is going to occur, it may be your habit to just leave them on the clock. Even if you have great forecasting and scheduling call center solutions, agents could still be putting in too much idle time.
VoltDelta provides a cloud-based contact center infrastructure for businesses that seek to upgrade their on-premises legacy systems, add home-based agents, or geographically expand their call center solutions. The company has been working in the field of call center provision for 35 years. Its business model survives, in part, on the fact that it provides secure connections for its clients, so its recent announcement that two of its security team members have received additional accreditation marks an important step for the company.
Call centers serve as the primary point of contact for businesses. Agents are the first to handle customers' questions and complaints and, therefore, they need to put their best foot forward. Employees are a key aspect of successful call centers, and the skill of the agents and their availability to handle calls in a timely and effectively manner is crucial to the success of the business. Equipping them with the right tools to help them carry out their jobs is paramount.
Customers haven't changed in their basic wants in recent decades. The ways with which they communicate with companies, however, has changed radically and will continue to. This has presented an enormous challenge for companies hoping to offer top-notch customer support. For companies hoping to succeed, there are a number of hurdles they must overcome.
Telekom Indonesia is making strides in becoming a multinational competitor. It is buying up other companies and creating substantial partnerships that have resulted in its expansion throughout Indonesia, and most recently it has established itself as a major player in Australia by purchasing more than half of Contact Centres Australia (CCA).
A construction equipment company with several offices across two states has used a call center solution developed by AVOXI to improve customer experience and allow the different offices to function as if they were one.
The latest Stand Up To Cancer event took place Sept. 5 and was broadcast on more than 30 television channels for all supporters to see. This year's presentation was the fourth annual, and Eric Stonestreet of "Modern Family," Melissa McCarthy, and Steve Carell led the charge by passing the show's torch and lighting the stage with "fiery passion," according to the SU2C website.
A recent market report indicates that the rich communications services market is poised to continue to grow through the year 2019. Despite challenges from over-the-top (OTT) service providers, analytics predict that it will reach a global worth of $5,749.6 million in five years -- up from $596.3 million in 2013 -- and that major players in the market will continue to be the driving force behind its success.
Customer service continues to be an important strategy for businesses as this is one of the key areas that differentiates the offerings of one company from another, and also gives companies a competitive advantage in today's crowded market. Hence, call centers that interact directly with customers are embracing technology in a big way to improve their quality of service.
In today's customer-centric business landscape, blended call center technology can play a crucial role in delivering exemplary customer support. Ytel, a cloud communications software vendor has recently come up with a new contact center communication platform that aims to address the loopholes in the existing blended call center solutions.
With more and more call center jobs are moving back to the United States, those people remaining abroad who have a job in a contact center are being urged to take action in order to keep their livelihood.
Today's emphasis on customer care has allowed a number of call centers to grow and increase hiring; however, this is not always the case. Some contact centers, in fact, are not doing well and needed or decided to close, lay-off staff or offer employees part time and full time work at home (in virtual call centers). This just happens to be the case for Sykes Enterprises Inc., a provider of contact management solutions with call centers throughout the world.
Business process outsourcing (BPO) is becoming one of the most growing industries in 21st century. And in today's business environment, a good customer call center is often needed to provide fast, efficient and accurate services to clients. Companies that want to offer instant responses to clients' inquiries, whether online, by phone or in person, may start such a center and appoint the needed agents to make sure clients' expectations are being fulfilled.
According to a Markets and Markets report, the cloud-based call market, currently estimated at $4.15 billion, is expected to rise to $10.9 billion in 2019. This growth spans a wide variety of industries as companies and organizations are overcoming their concerns about control over their communications system to a third party.
European Computer Telecoms AG (ECT) has secured a multi-million Euro tender with a provider of cloud call center services, the company has announced. According to the terms of the contract, ECT will deliver its INtellECT Next-Generation Intelligent Network and effECTive Network-Based Contact Center to this service provider.
It's a fact of life that when you manage to change a process to be impervious to scams, criminals will find another way to do it. In the U.S. today, call center-based frauds are skyrocketing, and these various crimes are taking on new dimensions all the time.
According to a recent report, a partnership between Whitepages Pro and Twilio will start implementing fast call results, call tracking capabilities and the ability to verify a caller's identity.
While call center jobs are notorious for being ones that are shipped overseas more than any other, the fact of the matter is that most call center jobs are being brought back to the United States. There have been years, if not decades of companies sending jobs overseas to places like Philippines, Mexico and several other countries. Now that customer service is replacing the need for companies to get through as many callers as they possibly can, those jobs are all coming back to the United States.
An Australian information and communications technology business recently signed a contract with the government of New South Wales to allow its customer service representatives to better respond to citizens with improved response times.
Esna Technologies, a company specializing in embedded collaboration and call center solutions, this week announced the general availability of its Esna iLink for Avaya Scopia Desktop solution, a browser extension that makes it easy to schedule and start Scopia meetings right from Google Apps and Salesforce.
In the last few years, the Indian real estate sector has seen huge growth and is expected to further expand in the coming years. Demand for commercial and residential property is being driven largely by urbanization and increasing household incomes.
The call center solutions business is one that is constantly changing, with companies hiring and letting go agents on a routine basis to reflect those changes. Sometimes the changes in the market affect the people who are being called almost as much as the call centers. This is certainly the case in Wisconsin starting today.
In today's rapidly changing business world, call centers depend on the latest and most reliable solutions to build a strong reputation within the industry. Also, many businesses rely on call centers to persistently improve the quality of service offered to customers, and to enhance their own productivity.
A poll conducted by Call Centre Helper in the U.K. has found that contact centers might be willing to use the popular VoIP service Skype for some customer service tasks.
Call center workspaces have undergone a big transformation over the last few years. Gone are the days when employees worked from 9 to 5 out of their identical cubicles and linear-design office spaces. Today, it is all about giving agents a flexible workspace that meets their needs, preferences and expectations. Such a transition has given rise to telecommute, BYOD and other trends.
There are many small businesses in the country that rely heavily on outbound telesales. While they may not actively call themselves "call centers," this is precisely what they are. Many of these organizations struggle with outdated technology (or very little technology at all), counting instead on onerous manual processes, paperwork and ad hoc management.
Microsoft's recent announcement to discontinue its Windows XP support will force 25 percent of the world's corporations and call centers still on XP to migrate to a new OS. However, cloud-based technologies can be used as alternative options by CIOs to optimize their end-user computing environment.
As companies realize that good products and innovation alone are not enough to sustain success, and that they need to be coupled with good customer service, the concept of customer experience management is gaining momentum. Telco companies and their call centers have begun to invest more in building and maintaining customer relationships and this trend is likely to continue.
Cognia, an analytics solutions provider, and Semafone, a secure voice payment specialist, have signed a partnership that will enable call centers worldwide to transform security and compliance costs of handling customer payment information.
CorvisaCloud, a cloud communications provider, is turning recent funding into an undisclosed investment and partnering with San Francisco-based company ManyWho.
Thames Water, one of the U.K.'s largest water and wastewater services providers, has selected Unify to support its corporate focus on improving customer satisfaction, meeting regulatory compliance and increasing operational efficiency to all 15 million customers.
InterCloud Systems, Inc., single-source provider of end-to-end information technology and network solutions, recently announced that it will provide its services to help Harbortouch migrate from its legacy voice system to next-generation unified communications (UC) and contact center architectures. Harbortouchis, a supplier of point of sale (POS) systems, credit card processing equipment and a full range of merchant services.
Recently, Fujitsu announced its updated FMV Series lineup of consumer-oriented personal computers that featured enhanced design, performance specifications and a touchscreen display that was compatible with Windows 8. Complementing this new series of PCs, it announced an upgraded contact center system that would increase both security and response times.
Call centers have evolved tremendously in the last few years. Many technological developments have been made to cater to the needs of the call center business.
Outbound and cloud seem to go together these days as more call centers, outbound agencies, and other companies have begun taking advantage of the benefits and capabilities these two services have to offer when working together.
mCarbon Tech Innovation, a value-added solutions provider, recently introduced an advanced call management mobile application, designed exclusively for Indian telecom operators.
The identity verification process for banks is a process virtually everyone would love to do away with. It is tolerated because it is a necessary evil, but most people would love to find an alternative solution that is much simpler and more effective.
Cloud security is extremely important, with more and more information being stored there and increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals emerging every day. Hackers are getting smarter, finding more ways to penetrate the system and break through security.
While call centers have been around for decades, there are still some people who may not understand exactly what the purpose of these centers are, especially in an age when more and more companies are moving online. The bottom line is that call centers serve as the customer service arm of many companies in a huge variety of different markets.
The reliability of the call center is an important element if you want to succeed in the marketplace. This is often the only touchpoint between you and your customer base. Any failure within the call center can mean a failure in strategy and the market, putting your long-term revenue goals at risk. Fortunately, there are call center solutions available that can streamline the process so you're better equipped in the long run.
Are Americans spending their way to a better economy? While economic indicators have been mixed during the last few years, some economists are optimistic that the signs are there that the nation may pull out of its current status of stagnation.
These days cloud-based virtual call center solutions are gaining favor over traditional on-premises or hardware-based systems. There are numerous advantages in selecting a cloud-based contact center solution, says VoltDelta, an "On Demand Solutions" provider with a hosted infrastructure that caters to customers located in more than 40 countries worldwide.
It doesn't matter what your business is: the bottom line is customers are important, customer interactions matter, and the first few minutes (or seconds) of phone interaction with prospective clients often determines whether the company has got another customer or not. The medical industry is no different, and potential clients need to be handled properly.
In order to process up to two billion calls in annual volume, and provide fail-proof and consistent services to its clients, VoltDelta is expanding its call center offerings to enhance customer experience by developing the Delta ACD 2.0.
The offshoring of call center jobs has received a lot of flak because of the increasing security risk to personal data, and American companies are looking to better serve regional and national clients by opening call centers locally. TransPerfect Remote Interpreting (TRI) is following this trend by opening its second call center in Tempe, Ariz., area.
Many of the devices and applications currently available to consumers today are making it possible for call centers to address the specific needs of customers with greater precision. Multi-channel technology is now being used by call centers across all industry sectors-not only for business to consumer interactions, but also for business to business.
As a nation, we're mad for our smartphones. Nearly two-thirds of us own smartphones and most of us use them to go online. We are also using them to resolve customer issues and contact the companies with which we do business. The problem is that many companies are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by a smart phone-enabled American populace.
How many channels do you offer clients for interaction? If your environment is like most small- to medium-sized businesses, you take phone calls from clients, manage a website with a "Contact Us" page and maybe even interact via social media. It sounds small, but these three channels make yours a multichannel environment-and that takes a special kind of attention.
Hansen Technologies, a customer care and billing solution provider with clients in over 40 countries, has selected AIS as its new IT infrastructure service provider for consolidated data center operations in the United States. The announcement about this deal has been made by AIS (American Internet Services), a Southwest provider of tailored data center and cloud service solutions.
The maturing of the contact center market appears to be a looming reality for the industry, requiring companies to refocus on providing positive customer service through more than one communication channel while reducing overhead costs.
The ultimate aim of cancer screening is to reduce the number of people who lose their battles to it, as well as to lower the number of people who develop the disease. The current study published online in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease, explores how Latinas perceive cancer screening and how they react to interactive voice response (IVR) messages for scheduling screenings.
Companies that wish to outsource their contact center and customer support functions have a dilemma today. They know from previous experience or the experience of others that contact center services can be contracted offshore for costs lower than what they pay in the U.S., largely due to lower salaries. But they also know from experience (and the experience of others) that foreign contact center agents with accents are intensely disliked by many Americans. Communication problems aside, many Americans resent the idea that a company is shipping jobs offshore during a time of high domestic unemployment.
It takes more than a vision to create an effective interactive voice response self-service solution in a contact center. There are many factors that contribute to the goal of achieving high self-service completion rates along with improved customer satisfaction with this communication channel.
Bright Pattern, a provider of next generation cloud based contact center software, recently announced that it has collaborated with thinkingVoice, a provider of a cloud based campaign management platform, to develop a new cloud-based solution that implements a new model for real-time lead qualification and regulatory compliance.
Integrated Research is giving Avaya customers visibility into their multi-site contact centers. The company has recently announced expanded voice quality capabilities for Avaya customers, which are aimed to help minimize expensive outages for businesses and provide a superior experience for users.
While not everyone enjoys reaching out to customer service only to be met with an automated system, the reality is that if we want efficient, self-service interactions, we have to let go of the live agent. For contact centers, this means taking advantage of interactive voice response (IVR) systems to meet their needs.
While most contact centers, which service small to medium-sized businesses, don't operate on a global basis, the largest of companies might operate contact center services across national borders. For organizations doing business in both the U.S. and the UK, providing cross-Atlantic customer service may come with a few challenges. Most notably, American and British consumers have some different preferences and reactions when it comes to less-than-sterling customer service.
Many contact centers are finding the value of moving to the cloud. While most companies are doing it in short bits and pieces - dabbling by using cloud-based CRM first before venturing elsewhere - they are finding that the cost savings, broadened functionality and flexibility are worth their time.
Interactive voice response (IVR) technology has been used for decades in contact centers to route calls and for self-service purposes, helping customers get answers to the most routine questions. The goal is to offload certain simple questions from live agents, keeping call queue lengths down and allowing customers access to immediate answers.
DATEL Software Solutions, a developer of contact center and call accounting applications, has unveiled its new Unified Contact Center SWEET (UCCS) for Avaya IP Office.
In the U.K., it's five percent. In the U.S, it's three percent. It's one of the most critical rules of telemarketing. What is it? It's the percentage of calls that can be "abandoned" by telemarketers. If a company exceeds these rates, they could be subject to fines.
It's well known that knowledge is useless until it is shared, and this is the aim of The Arthritis Foundation, which is striving to help arthritic people lead a better life. Wanting to put the massive amounts of knowledge at its command to far better use and thereby empower its call center agents, it has decided to deploy SmartSupport, Safeharbor's knowledge base platform.
While running a contact center is challenging enough - it certainly requires keeping many eyes on a multitude of people, processes and technology - there is special admiration that should be reserved for those who manage to successfully manage a public-sector contact center.
Clarabridge, provider of intelligent customer experience management (CEM) solutions, has opened the door for independent software vendors, service integrators, consultancies, value added resellers and service providers to join its newly introduced partner program.
In the contact center of 2014, there are two major trends: big data and personalization. Big data, of course, refers to the fact that the average contact center collects so much information about customers on a day-to-day basis that it wouldn't be difficult to work up a complete psychological profile of a customer after a few months of multichannel interactions. Personalization refers to the fact that customers want to be treated like individual human beings when they contact a company: They want that company to know who they are, what they have purchased, and when and how they last contacted the company. They also like it when the company can anticipate their needs in advance.
LiveOps, Inc., a provider of cloud contact center and customer service solutions, recently announced the successful closing of a $30 million round of debt financing from Comerica Bank. The company also announced the creation of LiveOps Cloud Platform and LiveOps Agent Services; two new separate corporate entities which will function as it's wholly owned subsidiaries. Marty Beard, CEO of LiveOps will take on the position of the Chairman of the Board. LiveOps is a leading
Brierley+Partners, a provider of customer relationship management and customer loyalty solutions and programs, has recently entered into a strategic partnership agreement with GPShopper, a provider of retail mobile commerce solutions.
There's always a lot of talk about customer loyalty in contact centers. The problem is, that's often all it is: just talk. Most companies don't even know where to begin when it comes to building real customer loyalty that is strong enough to even outlast a misstep on the part of an organization.
In a contact center, agents aren't there - or at least shouldn't be - simply to answer questions. In a high quality customer support environment, contact center agents also act as members of a great inside sales team. Customers who call in are generally receptive to cross-selling and upselling, and a skilled contact center agent can recognize when opportunities exist.
For mobile and social engagement solutions, rich customer interaction creates meaningful, real time customer connections.
Call it what you will - client relationship or customer relationship ¬ it's all the same. Both emphasize service, as evinced by OneTrust Home Loans' tagline, "Service is everything." And as testament to that, the San-Diego based mortgage banker has opened a new client relationship center (CRC) in Chandler, AZ.
While cloud-based contact centers are becoming the norm instead of the exception, it's important to remember that different companies have different ideas for what a cloud-based contact center entails. For some companies, it's just about using a few solutions in the cloud: workforce management, for example, or CRM (customer relationship management). For other companies, it's the whole enchilada: their telecommunications as well as their necessary applications.
Minnesota's health insurance exchange, MNsure, was at last report still seeing some pretty substantial wait times when it came to service. In fact, the average wait time at the call center just last week was up around two hours per person. However, just a week later, the average wait time has dropped in half, sometimes lower still, and some are pointing to an online tip sheet that may be helping to lower the average wait time.
Any contact center interested in success tracks its metrics. It may not track many metrics - not the dozens or even hundreds that large, enterprise contact centers do - but chances are good any contact center tracks at least average handle time (AHT). As far as most contact centers are concerned, average handle time is a good indication that agents are working rapidly and efficiently.
Social media has emerged as an important marketing and brand management tool. It is also becoming an open consumer forum where customers can discuss the products and services and share their opinions. Insight into such interactions can help companies improve their businesses.
Wolters Kluwer Health Contact Center Receives Certification as a Center of Excellence from BenchmarkPortal
For the fourth year in a row, the Wolters Kluwer Contact Center is has achieved certification as a Center of Excellence from BenchmarkPortal.
While the roll-out of the national insurance legislation known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has been far, far from trouble-free, some parts of it have gone smoother than others. While the federal health insurance exchange website, Healthcare.gov, was something of a catastrophe and still remains problematic despite major fixes, many of the state sponsored exchanges went off with far fewer problems.
While the function of a contact center is ostensibly to answer customer questions and resolve their issues, today, it needs to be about much more than that. In today's hyper-competitive environment, in which customers are becoming more demanding than ever, simply resolving transactions isn't enough. It's not only about satisfying customers, it needs to be about delighting customers and driving more business out of them. It needs to be about engaging your customers to the point where they become loyal and recommend products and services to others.
Industry veteran Terence Fogarty, with twenty-years of experience in contact center applications, recently joined Carousel Industries as its Contact Center Solution Consultant - Strategic Accounts.
Azzurri, a provider of intelligent, data-aware routing solutions, has announced that it will now bundle its Expert Router functionality as standard feature of the Callmedia contact center platform. As a result, the company expects to reduce customers' CAPEX spend on a new contact center.
"Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way," sang Pink Floyd's David Gilmour on the band's iconic 1973 album, Dark Side of the Moon. Cultural stereotypes tell us that Americans are fond of complaining, while the British are committed to queuing, stewing quietly yet never managing to satisfactorily communicate the depths of their displeasure.
Many people dream of fame and success. For musicians, it's often about becoming a rock star. For community theater actors, it's about becoming a Hollywood star. For mobile app developers, it's about becoming the next Instagram.
Callstream, a UK-based provider of call center solutions, has picked Sostenuto, Sunrise Software's customer service desk software to manage its customer service and sales pipelines.
Voice Recognition applications and solutions can do a lot for streamlining your work flow, enabling you to work as fast as you can speak. IVR (interactive voice recognition) allows customers to interact with a company's contact center system via a telephone keypad or by speech recognition.
While customers of decades past were often steadfast in their brand loyalty, those days are now just a fond memory. Customers today are led by their wallets, by the level of convenience they are offered and by the quality of customer support they are provided. While a few prestige brands may still attract customer loyalty, for most companies, there is a very real need to be the best and the fastest when it comes to customer service.
While the technologies of the contact center have changed over the past few decades: one thing has generally remained constant. Regardless of how many other channels get added to the mix, the telephone has remained the channel of choice globally for receiving customer support. The other channels were fill-ins, extras or simply alternate media.
Indosoft, a provider of call center solutions based on Asterisk, has enhanced its Q-Suite call center solution with new routing capabilities in its multi-channel Automatic Call Distributor (ACD).
While many companies look on their contact centers are a cost of doing business - a rather high cost that uses a lot of capital but offers very little tangible return - other companies view the contact center differently. For starters, it's the front line between a company and its customers, and since sales and revenue are made or broken by the relationships companies build with their customers, it's one of the most critical operations in the business.
CATS Software, provider of the Web-based CATS Applicant Tracking System, announced it has integrated its system with call center software from 3CLogic.
CorvisaCloud, a provider of cloud contact center solutions for enterprises, has unveiled the latest version of its CorvisaOne contact center suite.