ConnectFirst - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
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Contact centers are under increasing pressure to uphold compliance regulations. With the customers’ Quality of Service and Service Level Agreements on top of governmental regulations, businesses can find it challenging to maintain compliance in every single required domain of operations. Some might even ask — how bad would it be to oversee some of the regulations and take the risk.
The Cost of Non-Compliance
Contact center compliance is an expensive investment. Analysts estimate that companies can collectively account for around $20 billion of compliance spending each year. These can be required by a specific industry or governmental interest (like Freedom of Information Act) or be cross-industry (like PCI Security Standards). And together they amount for a hefty check for a single company with spending on technology, experts, and training for compliance growing each year.
However, the losses from non-compliance are far greater. From a single TCPA violation with a fine of $500 up to a PCI breach that can cost $25,000 per day – business cannot sustain positive financial balance, let alone flourish if these fines are commonplace.
The Three Core Elements for Contact Center Compliance
A rundown of all the contact centers standards will make your head spin, with such elegant names, like SEC 17a-4, HIPAA, FDA/21CFRp11 among the many others. That’s why we’ve decided to focus on the three core areas that will enable you to secure compliance.
1) Recording all contacts and customer interactions
Storing literally every single interaction you make with a customer is your safety net. Apart from the utility of this data and its various business applications, it ensures that you don’t get sued or have rock-solid evidence of compliance if you do. The Do Not Call or Telemarketing Fraud Prevention Act standards are effectively mediated with this capability. Data storage solution capable of handling massive volumes of data is crucial to this approach, making unlimited data storage a very strong proposition in the current market.
2) PCI standards
Failure to adhere to the PCI standards is arguably the most costly. There is hardly more sensitive information you will be dealing with than in the Payment Card Industry, with possible exceptions to be medical records and personal information. Heartland Payment Systems, a leading US payment processing provider, felt the damage of non-compliance in 2009, when a data security breach resulted in a total of $170 million lost, an increase in customers churn, stock price fall of 78% and delistment from Visa and MasterCard. PCI compliance could not prevent all of the problems — but it could mitigate nearly all of them.
3) Safe Mode
Finally, despite companies looking for the biggest outreach and hold on to every potential customer – knowing who you definitely should not call is a great way to avoid some of the most common contact center violations — TCPA and National Do Not Call Registry. Having “smart” customer lists, the so-called whitelists and blacklists that are dynamically updating is a lifesaver for many contact centers. This is the first step to targeting marketing. Knowing who not to call can save you more money than getting those extra cold-calls under your belt.
Publish Date: May 31, 2016 5:00 AM
The highest uptime possible is the core differentiator in the market
You see companies advertise their 99.993% uptime. Our uptime is 99.9994%. So, what does that mean? If you do some online digging you might find out the variations are minutes apart, but what’s a few minutes?
We come across this “uptime confusion” a lot which is why in this blog, we hope to shed a new light on why the highest uptime matters (even considering the difference between 5 and 8 minutes downtime a year). We will outline downtime costs, false advertising, downtime risks and the work that goes into a company having such a high uptime. Let’s start with cost.
Cost of Downtime
What is a few minutes more of downtime? To give you some perspective, a minute of infrastructure failure or downtime costs businesses $1500. Of course this estimated money loss is only the tip of the iceberg in regard to the real cost of downtime.
This $1500 is the measurable cost, but it’s not even the raw minutes or dollars wasted that matter, but the cumulative effect of downtime. To put it plainly – the difference between 5 and 10 minutes of downtime is not just 2x the money loss, but the effect upon your efficiency, productivity, reputation and demonstrated priorities.
New Uptime Standard Effects Your Reputation
You have to be online and available 24/7 every day of the year. This is a simple truth that businesses will have to accept and live with. Especially with the next-generation networks and services rollout. Modern customers will not accept anything less than that. Getting your systems, apps, hardware and basic power supply up and running within minutes of outage makes a world of difference to the business and, more importantly, to the customer.
Downtime Hurts Reputation and Efficiency and Productivity
Brand image is everything. Uptime plays such a crucial role in how your company or service is viewed by customers. It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative. To take it one step further, one can imagine a scenario when downtime shuts off businesses altogether. Your agent can’t make calls or access any software, customers who experience a service outage can’t even reach you over the phone or Internet and managers have little control over the immediate crisis.
How Much Better is Five 9s really?
Another metric which may sound minute, but actually means a whole lot is the Five 9s (99.999%) availability assurance. It usually applies to critical applications and is sometimes viewed as a marketing stunt that bears no real importance, as if marketers throw it in there to simply make an impression (especially if their uptime is not five 9s). However, Five 9s becomes the aspired benchmark for a reason. Imagine a customer conversation being dropped due to a fallout? Or a billing transaction being disrupted. This is exactly what the fifth “9” saves you from to a great degree. It means that the unscheduled downtime will be less than 5.26 minutes per year. And it’s as close as you can get to perfection right now. For companies with the highest industry standards of customer communication or service assurance – this is a must-have feature.
How to Get it Right
Companies who take pride in being customer-centric and ensuring the highest quality of services, uptime and data recovery is the cornerstone of the business and customer relations. Companies with the highest uptime work for that sacrificing internal resources, time and a whole lot more money for the customer’s sake. To contact centers that adhere to the same values, fastest uptime possible is the core differentiator in the market. And some of them really take it to the next level and show an unprecedented high level of uptime, ensuring customer retention rate that’s only a bit shy of 100%.
Publish Date: May 26, 2016 5:00 AM
Call Center Software with Unlimited Data Storage
In April, we at Connect First started offering all our customers unlimited data storage. To highlight all the goodness of such a perk, let’s go through 5 benefits unlimited data storage brings to your business goals.
Using unlimited cloud data storage is plainly easy. Just set it up and forget about it. All your data is available from a single point of truth – no disparate data centers, everything is efficient and quick.
Unlimited storage means that you can expand all you want. Seriously, you are covered for potential customer growth, natural expansion of the business or even M&A, due to Cloud’s solution infinite scalability. Customers and devices are only going to generate more and more data, unlimited storage keeps you in the safe zone, even with seasonal spikes of traffic or any unpredicted events.
3. Easy planning
Budget for next year allocating the proper amount for data storage. If the other option is to delete customer information and sensitive documentation, we bet on that you’ll rather simply outsource your data storage to professionals. And do it for the fixed price.
4. Long-term Cost Savings
This is actually an organic conclusion to the previous points. With unlimited data storage service, you will be able to have a relatively quick return on investment. You can use the data for business growth and compliance protection. The financial benefit of transition to the Cloud will be growing over the years and no need to invest in data storage infrastructure will become a huge differentiator for businesses to switch to the Cloud.
5. Backup & Disaster Recovery
This is one of the core elements to moving your data storage to the cloud. Companies around the world where risks are resorting to disaster recovery is very high, especially the likes of Japan, are adopting agile and flexible Cloud data storage solutions. No one is protected from a power outage, security corruption or physical damage to servers, even if you’re not prone to tsunamis and earthquakes. Data integrity is arguably the crucial element of any data center. Having it secured in the cloud with immediate uptime makes the transition to unlimited cloud storage a strategic business decision.
Publish Date: May 24, 2016 5:00 AM
Employees view working from home as a positive privilege
Recent data presented by the Flex+Strategy Group suggests that one-third of U.S. employees telecommute on a regular basis. And, according to a study conducted by the Ethisphere Institute and Jones Lang LaSalle a few years ago, it appears that there are some significant ways that companies can benefit from giving their workers this option.
The study revealed that only 11 percent of at-home workers had committed ethics violations in a two-year period, compared to 36 percent of in-office employees. There are a few theories as to why workers who telecommute have proven themselves to be more honest and trustworthy.
“Working from home is still viewed as a positive privilege because it’s still pretty new,” Alex Brigham, executive director at the Ethisphere Institute, explained in an interview with MarketWatch. “In terms of the privilege of working from home, they didn’t want to put it at risk because they didn’t want to get called back into the office.”
Brigham added that managers who allow their employees to work from home also tend to establish more trusting relationships with their team members, causing them to be more conscientious. “If they feel like they’re being treated well and trusted, that’s the treatment they give back to the company,” Brigham said.
With this data in mind, there has been a 10-year migration of contact center work to at home agents. You’ll be happy to hear that many call centers have policies in place to protect private information and are PCI and HIPPA compliant. This means that if you outsource customer service to the right domestic inbound call centers with at home agents, you can be rest assured knowing that there are trustworthy employees tending to the needs of your company and your valuable customers.
Publish Date: May 19, 2016 5:00 AM
After years of call center jobs being outsourced abroad, companies are now bringing them back to the U.S., USA Today reports. Currently 5 million Americans are employed by call center providers. Industry experts believe that advances in technology, increasing oversees labor costs and the fact that customers were demanding better service have contributed to the trend.
Klaus-Peter Martin, a spokesman for General Motors, who recently moved its call center from oversees back to the U.S., cited another reason for the shift to domestic call centers: the desire to resolve customer complaints in one call rather than escalating through a series of stages.
The growth of call center positions in the U.S. has been impressive. One CEO of a center estimated that 180,000 call center jobs were created nationally in 2012 and 2013.
Paul Stockford, the director of research for the National Association of Call Centers, also points out the connection between the needs of the organization and the call center provider it uses.
“The higher the value of the customer, the more likely the job will be in the U.S.,” Stockford said.
As we’ve discussed previously, airlines, including JetBlue, have been a leader in realizing the importance of customer service solutions. Since airlines are selling high-value and high-cost items, they need to ensure a high-level of customer service. If a customer is confused by something the representative is saying, this could reduce sales, indicative of the importance of skilled and highly trained agents. When cost and scheduling issues exist, the work at home agent business model has significant benefits.
To improve your company’s customer service solutions and customer retention, consider working with a onshore customer service contact center that embraces the At-Home Agent business model. Contact us to learn more about the services we provide to help your organization.
Publish Date: May 5, 2016 5:00 AM
Last week, we talked about the value of big data in your call center. This week, we want to break it down more and highlight the ways to use your data, and further emphasize the value of the unlimited data storage you receive when becoming a Connect First customer.
With Connect First’s Reporting Studio, there is as much data here as you can possibly want and it is extremely rich with every contact being measured and analyzed. The challenge becomes making sure you use the information you have at your fingertips.
From ‘Why Data?’ to ‘How to use data for maximum ROI?’
The time for companies to think about merits of implementing big data analytics solution for the call center has already passed. Now it is time to utilize your call center data to its full potential and monetize it. The opportunities here are endless, but let’s break it down to the main use cases.
7 Ways To Use Big Data In Your Call Center
1. Generate a 360-degree view of the customer.
This is the most straightforward benefit of analyzing customer data. Your typical view of the customer consists of a name, location, buying history, trouble tickets and so on. You can’t really tell much about a person based on this, can you? Now imagine your customer profile being enriched by their service usage patterns, the device they are using and things they’re interested in! It comes from all sorts of various data and creates a holistic, dynamic and all-encompassing view.
This is how you get customer insight and model your future customer interaction on. You can scale this approach infinitely to get an enhanced customer segmentation based on different demographic criteria, customer location, previous interaction data, preferred customer channel of interaction and so on. This intelligence enables businesses to dramatically enhance customer experience.
2. Improve efficiency.
Call centers run more efficiently and in a more agile manner when using big data intelligence.
Managers gain visibility into operations, transaction, customer experience and customer actions or behavior. With this complete picture of how the call center operates it is much easier to see the gaps or points of improvement. Using KPIs that are specifically tailored for your business can reshape and improve the way you do strategic planning and your goal-setting.
As for the employees and technicians they can be empowered by enhanced reporting capabilities, dashboards and data visualization that is based on big data analysis.
With this view on critical performance data, decision making is much more accurate and predictable. These are just some of the use cases for increasing operational efficiency, but they alone can enable call centers to accurately design and plan future development, growth strategy, improve performance across the board and make it organic!
3. Decision making.
One of the core areas of application for big data will surely be marketing and sales. This is where a calculated, data-driven approach can literally seal the deal or launch a mega-profitable marketing campaign. Predictive analytics provides trends and patterns of customer behavior or demand. All you have to do is act on it!
You can use something like geo-location data to offer specialized products for people in a specific region, for example. You can analyze the impact of previous marketing campaigns on any given region or demographic and predict its success if launched again. Your sales team can be assembled based on aggregated big data performance data. Big data solution can go as far as calculating the deal closure probability based upon the specific customer and sales rep you allocate for it. Launching targeted offers becomes a calibrated business move, not a game of luck.
4. Sentiment analysis.
Possibly the most interesting recent development in data analytics is the ability to work with unstructured data – most significantly with voice recordings. Tone, emotion and voice pitch are analyzed. Sales rep or customer support rep can get real-time call-to-actions, propositions, and options to effectively communicate with the caller. These heads-ups can go a long way to improving first-call resolution time and overall customer satisfaction.
5. IVR analytics.
Good-old IVR can get a lofty upgrade with big data. If you ever wondered what type of calls are better handled by IVR or in what cases customers opt to be transferred to an agent, not only does big data optimize your call center operational efficiency, but also provides a better understanding of customer needs. Make your IVR more user-friendly, get rid of options that customers always ignore and get your customers’ experience of talking to a machine a little bit better!
6. HR augmentation.
This may seem unlikely, but big data analysis can seriously improve your HR, mainly human and workforce resource management. Think about it, you can track the performance of employees, identify knowledge gaps, select best practices and use all of this not only to improve staff but also to streamline training procedures. Some companies even have big data solutions manage recruitment process!
We’ve briefly mentioned how big data can help you plan company growth. But what about true innovation, not just expansion? With competition constantly offering new things in new ways, it’s easy for even happy customers to be allured by the latest trend or breakthrough change.
With data, you have the opportunity to be a leader. The door is open for you to create amazing new products and services, and not always be catching up according to others’ insights and market gains.
With a killer reporting product like Reporting Studio and Unlimited Data Storage, you can use your data to improve efficiency and grow your business.
Publish Date: May 3, 2016 5:00 AM
By Len Linton
Chief Finance, Administration and Corp Development Officer
We recently wrote an article about how more companies are outsourcing business functions. Additionally, a Forbes study found that companies outsource more services as they become more competitive. Now, we want to share our knowledge about the increasingly popular onshore model.
There are many benefits to U.S.-based call centers. “Homeshoring,” as it’s sometimes referred to by those in the industry, involves skilled onshore agents who take customer service calls or web chats during specified times in their homes, explains Baseline Magazine.
Onshore U.S. customer service contact centers are becoming increasingly popular options. At-home agents engaged by these providers are taught how to handle the details of the customer interactions and achieve a strong customer quality rating. Moreover, they are often more knowledgeable and productive so the contact center is able to master the intricacies of your organization and brand more quickly and maintain a higher level of customer service through time.
With thorough knowledge of your organization and products, they are able to communicate information to your customers authoritatively. In addition, they are highly responsive and are able to handle a wide-range of customer inquiries, complaints and other matters with ease. They engage the caller rather than simply stick to a script, which we’ve detailed some of the disadvantages of scripted calls in previous articles.
Altogether, the many benefits of onshore contact centers, with at-home agents, helps your organization distinguish itself in terms of quality over your competitors’ customer service. Through working with an onshore contact center, your company can increase its customer satisfaction, as well as sales, profits and productivity.
To improve your company’s customer service solutions and customer retention, consider working with a onshore customer service contact center that embraces the At-Home Agent business model.
Publish Date: April 28, 2016 5:00 AM
Connect First Customers Now Receive Unlimited Data Storage
On April 1, we launched our new Reporting Studio. Customers now have the business intelligence they need to make key business decisions, set KPIs and drive data-based growth. Additionally, customers now receive unlimited data storage. Can you imagine? Is there anyone else on the market that does that?
Protection and Growth
When we embark on new endeavors, we build for sustainability and retention. When we choose to offer customers unlimited data storage, we do so to fulfill a deep need for call center compliance and business growth. The possibilities are endless when you can consult months or even years of data in your decision making.
Your Potential with Unlimited Data Storage
Data is dubbed as ‘the electricity of today’. Decision-making relies mostly on data and business insight. Innovation in the TMT (telecom, media & technology) industry will depend less on a visionary CEO or lucky business moves and more on artificial intelligence, predictive analysis, and big data.
Personalization in the Call Center Space
That’s why it’s so important in the call center space for you to be in a position to capitalize on customer data from previous interaction history, billing, demographics and usage patterns.
You not only improve efficiency, but provide a next-gen level of customer experience, with the highest level of personalization possible. The prospect or customer, in turn, has their needs resolved without consciously recognizing how well you understand them. Forget about cold calls, the unlimited data you keep becomes a goldmine.
Efficiency and Maximizing ROI in Your Contact Center
Unlimited data storage allows the customer and the company to converge. You improve your internal processes and focuses, while at the same time understanding your customer better. When we first thought about offering unlimited data and worked through the process, we decided the decision is a no brainer.
You just have to make sure you use it.
Publish Date: April 27, 2016 5:00 AM
You clicked on this link expecting to read a regular blog post. But this is actually a specially targeted intervention aimed at shaking your addiction to your legacy network.
The truth is that this talk has been coming for a long time.
While the rest of the contact center industry has been steadily migrating central operations into the cloud, you have stood your ground and continue to rely on your own infrastructure to power your network and manage all of your customer data.
Your contact center is lucky to still be alive right now. After all, just think of the money that you must part with on a regular basis to pay for the never-ending costs associated with maintaining your network and replacing devices. Just think of how you tax your IT department, which must continuously monitor and repair your network instead of attending to more mission-critical tasks. Furthermore, unplanned downtime continues to affect your network, basically shutting down your entire facility until service is restored. In some cases, your network stays out of commission for several hours at a time.
Oh, what your contact center is missing out on right now by not migrating to the cloud! With such a move, not only will you receive cost savings but you will gain a much clearer view of how your customers are interacting with your department. A cloud-based contact center platform will collect, process and distribute reports in both historical and real-time format so that your managers can drive better customer interactions and make life easier for the agents working in your facility. Imagine having real-time reporting to help your contact center make smart business decisions on the fly!
Furthermore, your data will be kept in a secure facility on a network that is constantly updated and supervised by a team of vigilant network engineers. With this in mind, you can avoid running into problems like pesky software updates. Did you know, for instance, that support for Windows Server 2003 is going to expire on July 14? Failure to upgrade your software before this time could lead to software vulnerabilities and could also make you fail a PCI DSS audit. When you outsource to a hosted cloud service, you don’t have to worry about these issues; your business can instead devote all of its attention to the daily demands of running a contact center.
It’s time, therefore, to shake your legacy network habit and discover a new life for your contact center in the cloud.
Publish Date: April 18, 2016 5:00 AM
You probably wish to forget the process of getting you call center software setup. You remember how time consuming and expensive it was. All the up front costs, and process of getting something new installed and learned. And now? You are still unsatisfied, but extremely hesitant to do it all again.
We hear the struggles all the time from customers switching providers. In this blog, we want to go over 6 reasons to switch, but first preface the key identifiers with an assurance that it can be easier and a whole lot cheaper. Plus, you’ll not only find the solutions you are looking for, but their sometimes unexpected effects when you switch over to a provider that actually cares.
So without further ado, here are six signs it’s time to switch cloud contact center providers:
1. You’re paying too much for too little uptime. You’ve seen what a yearly uptime rate of 99.99 percent looks like, with Five9. Or, maybe you use InContact and do a bit better at 99.991 percent uptime. The truth is that you don’t have to compromise. If you’re settling for an uptime rate of less than 99.9994 percent, then you’re not getting the best deal on the market.
2. You didn’t expect this many hidden fees. Back when you signed your service level agreement, you thought you were getting a great deal for your cloud contact center software—until hidden fees started creeping up. Perhaps you over- or under-provisioned your storage capacity, ran into surprising maintenance charges or unwillingly upgraded your package to receive more comprehensive support or services. You may have had to pay for all your ports up front as well, which costs a pretty penny.
Look for a provider that won’t give you the runaround when you are creating your contract. Many providers put you in a box and don’t offer pricing or contractual flexibility. Work with a company who revolves around your needs. Plus, make sure you receive the call center data analytics to confirm that your monthly deliverables align with the bill you receive.
3. Per-port costs are digging into your budget. If your business is growing, it’s difficult to plan how many ports you’ll need in your contact center or wait for their setup. If you’re paying for individual ports, consider switching to a call center software that foregoes those costs and makes adding a port possible in minutes. Why pay inconvenient fees and delay your growth?
4. You’re using software, not a service. You signed up for a cloud call center software platform—and that’s exclusively what you’re getting. The service is virtually nonexistent, as it’s difficult to contact support and resolve issues. Consider switching to a contact center provider that will give you more than just a great platform, but also access to around-the-clock support and a team of experts that can help ensure your software is working (and leveraged) as expected.
5. There’s not enough visibility. Your current software lacks the analytics necessary for understanding how your agents are performing on a daily basis, preventing you from making informed, strategic decisions. Look for a solution that will allow you to easily visualize all of your key performance indicators (like total outbound calls and average handle times), and can help you to achieve your business goals.
6. You are not protected from TCPA and PCI Regulations. Compliance is more rigid than ever, accompanied by steep fines. Make sure you are with a call center software provider that stores your data more than a month or two. Connect First stores data for the lifetime of the relationship. Make sure you have what you need to protect yourself.
At Connect First, we don’t just say we care. We have the numbers to prove it. With a 97% retention rate, we are putting customer needs in the forefront. From flexible contracts and pricing to the highest uptime in the industry to unlimited customer support, we show our commitment to customers by following through with our promises.
Publish Date: April 13, 2016 5:00 AM
Quality reporting and analysis has long been used in the contact center industry to measure agent effectiveness during customer interactions. Without this technology, it would be all but impossible to measure the customer experience and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each agent.
Traditionally, contact centers recorded customer calls and stored them in legacy servers. Now, however, with the onset of cloud technology, managers have an easier time recording and accessing customer interactions across multiple channels including email correspondence.
So if your agents are voicing concerns about adopting new cloud-based recording technologies in your contact center, let them know that it’s not punitive; rather, it’s one of the most efficient and accurate ways of assessing their overall performance. It’s also an excellent way to conduct market research. In many ways, the contact center is like the front lines for collecting consumer information.
You can also use the topic of call recording to your advantage during interviews. Don’t be afraid to directly ask potential candidates about their comfort level with these information management technologies. If he or she balks at the question, it could be a good indicator that the individual is not confident enough in his or her skills to want to share the data with you and the rest of the team. A top agent will welcome the technology as it will provide opportunities to work with management and improve their performance.
Connect First, a leading provider of cloud-based contact center software, can help you glean advanced call metrics that can be used to gain insight into your customer conversations.
Publish Date: April 12, 2016 5:00 AM
Getting cost and performance to go hand in hand is rare. Usually you compromise one for the other. Call quality suffers, but the price is right. Or exorbitant prices are paid for high uptime rates, but the package is not ideal for your business. Interestingly, in the call center software industry, high price does not equate to high performance or sound quality.
In the Call Center Software Industry, high price is more of a pretense than an investment.
When purchasing from providers such as InContact or Five9, there are some areas where they may meet your expectations for the cost. For example, you can get solid reporting and fancy marketing. However, in terms of performance, customer service and cost add-ons, the marketing and reporting don’t seem worth it anymore. Nor should they.
We certainly are not the cheapest, but we are not the most expensive either. We consider ourselves a moderately priced call center software focused on building long term relationships. To build those relationships, we offer the highest call center software performance in the industry, don’t nickel and dime our customers and offer incredible support. We have a 99.7% retention rate just to show how hard we strive… and that it’s working.
The following are areas we believe cost and performance can go hand in hand.
Connect First has a guaranteed 99.9994 percent uptime rate, which is a guaranteed less than five minutes of downtime per year. Five9’s rate is 99.991% (4 nines – false advertising?) and InContact’s is 99.99%. We have many customers from each company who just became fed up with all the downtime and lost business they had to switch no matter the hassle it seems to switch call center software providers. The same people, of course, never regret it.
Flexible, moderate pricing
Too many providers think it’s okay to get their customers to conform in every area. They may be dealing with customers with different industries, different needs and different modes of working and yet all pricing and contracts are the same. Instead of pigeonholing our customers into a box (that never really makes sense, does it?), we offer flexible pricing and contract options. We offer a Pay Per Minute Per Agent model in addition to the standard concurrent model and our contracts truly revolve around each unique customer.
Nickel and Diming
All the big call center software players have additional charges which add up quickly. We don’t do that with our customers. With other providers you have to pay per port. With us there is no charge and you can add a port in minutes. Others charge for customer support. With us, unlimited customer support is included. So, if you have a problem in May, you don’t have to question what your bill will look like.
Dedicated customer support
It’s important to us our customers don’t view us just as a vendor, but as a partner. Building relationships, constantly striving to better understand your business needs, and going the extra mile is our way of life. Our exceptional customer service is one of the main reasons for our high percentage of satisfied customers. Instead of being put in a queue to resolve your support issues, you have a dedicated person who knows your account through and through to champion all your needs.
Publish Date: April 7, 2016 5:00 AM
Imagine your customer dials into your cloud-based contact center to resolve a dispute and comes up against a brick wall instead of a helpful voice. Your agent is unfriendly, the problem is not resolved and the customer hangs up in frustration, thinking, “What on earth just happened?”
As a contact center manager, would you even be aware if such an interaction occurred? The truth is that most contact centers merely spot-check calls for quality and, as a result, interactions like this often slip through the cracks unchallenged by supervisors.
The truth is that all it takes is one sour agent to ruin the reputation of your entire contact center. After all, 65 percent of customers have severed ties with a brand after just one negative customer service encounter. As this statistic shows, customers will not always forgive rude agents or think to escalate calls to a supervisor for proper resolution. They may just hang up and deflect to a competitor out of anger.
To improve transparency and oversight in your contact center reporting, you need real-time reporting, as well as historical reporting, to keep on top of service-related issues and prevent unprofessionalism from ruining customer relations.
Steer clear, therefore, of contact center solutions that do not make it easy to consolidate information and export data into reports and graphics. It will pay dividends to invest in a platform you can use to not only spot-check customer calls but to actively listen in to live agent interactions from any location.
So, what is your brand doing to ensure agent integrity in the contact center?
Publish Date: April 1, 2016 5:00 AM
When contact center software companies advertise their uptime, they often are not truthful with the marketing numbers. A clear example is Five9, who coincidently has four nines and infamously poor sound quality. While everyone advertises their high uptime, not all uptimes are created equal. Don’t be fooled by fancy marketing. This article demonstrates the difference in the number of nines and the safeguards provided with a high uptime rate.
Contact Center Software Uptimes:
Connect First: 99.9994%
The Difference Between 99.99% and 99.9994% Uptime
If you’ve ever worked with Five9, you know all about poor sound quality, dropped calls and outages. 99.991% uptime isn’t reliable enough for running your business. Guaranteed uptime is, arguably, the most important thing you can look for in a cloud contact center software solution and it’s integral for ensuring optimal agent productivity.
What 99.9994% Looks Like For Business
Imagine not being stressed by downtime or muffled phone calls. Connect First guarantees industry-leading, SLA-backed 99.9994% uptime (or less than 5 minutes downtime a year).
Agents not only make more calls, but produce better leads thanks to sound quality and ease of use.
Additionally, 99.9994% Uptime Safeguards:
- Data protection: Rest assured, if there is a disaster, your data will not be harmed. Connect First utilizes a system of automated offsite geo-diverse back-ups.
- Continuous service: In addition to protecting your data, Connect First also offers continuous service should something happen to the network. Business processes will remain uninterrupted through seamless, automated failover protection.
- High-quality voice transport: Connect First partners with top Tier 1 voice carriers to ensure the highest level of quality and efficiency when routing calls.
- Failure mitigation: The company takes a holistic approach to network maintenance by using 24/7 monitoring. Problems are spotted and solved early—before they can lead to a network disturbance.
Publish Date: April 1, 2016 5:00 AM
When you think of switching call center software, you probably think, “Oh no. Here we go again.” No matter the fact that you are spending more than you hoped, have terrible call performance and are frustrated with the support, it can seem daunting to move forward.
Connect First Client Handling 40% More Calls
We spoke with a client this week and weren’t expecting the enthusiasm on the other end of the line. He switched from Five9 a year ago and says since then, his agents have been handling 40% more calls. Customers from Five9 or InContact come to us with the poor uptime, poor customer service, high costs and inefficient agent process experiences. They stay with us because we have none of those issues, and affect their bottom line more than they’d imagine because of it.
Customers Converting from Competitor Software to Connect First
Some customers come to us almost in a rage. Enough is enough. They are tired of the connectivity problems. They finally get over the fear of switching platforms, and a month or two later realize how painless the shift is to Connect First.
Call Center Software Converting Customers Don’t Realize
When converting to Connect First, you are hopeful. The costs are good, the support is great, the uptime is “hallelujah,” but there are a few elements you may not realize.
Since the software is so speedy, clear and there is no downtime, agents amazingly complete up to 40% more calls per hour. As a result, their quotas are being met faster and their leads are more qualified. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Many companies require a certain processing speed and constant software updates for agent computers. Having to constantly update massively slows production and limits the pool of applicants if agents have to work with their own computer. Connect First doesn’t have such rigid or expensive hardware requirements, and it simultaneously opens up the hiring pool.
While it can be a pain to switch call center software (we’ve heard the horror stories), we can tell you that we make it as painless as possible. We pride ourselves on being customer focused and dynamic according to your needs. We make it easy to convert, install and maintain smooth systems.
You know many of the benefits before switching over, but what you’ll realize (as outlined) is you are getting even more than what you are counting on. In this case, unexpected surprises are quite welcome.
Publish Date: March 29, 2016 5:00 AM
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