You know your customers, right? This year has thrown up some rather potent examples of what happens when this isn’t the case.
Politics aside – and translated into the contact centre arena – customers now expect to receive an effective service, however they choose to communicate, and there are two things they hate:
Crucially, it doesn’t matter what contact centre set-up you have; if your approach to using data/intelligence about your customers is poor, your results will be too. You need to know your customers.
Every business should look on the information they receive about their customers as treasure. All contact details, customer preferences and habits that you collect should not only be carefully stored but used to create further business success.
So, if you haven’t already, implement a data collection and usage system that enhances your customer offering. Start by considering how you currently collect your customer data. Are you using every opportunity to collect it in a compliant way?
Then build upon the ways you collect data. Your business should use ‘End-to-end reporting’, where every customer interaction/conversation is recorded, indexed and stored for easy access.
You can then use this intelligence to address issues and improve the customer experience, as well as prepare future outbound and inbound contact campaigns.
Data collected should be stored and used and made available so that your agents have:
The results will be:
So never neglect your data – treat it as gold dust and it will pave the way to success.
Tech takeaway: It doesn’t matter what contact centre set-up you have; if your approach to using data/intelligence about your customers is poor, your results will be too. You need to know your customers.
Next time: rostrvm is celebrating its 30th birthday…. our top 30 tips.
Publish Date: December 22, 2016 5:00 AM
After waiting nearly a year for Ofcom to release their updated dialler policy they decided to let us have the glad tidings yesterday – Merry Christmas one and all!
The updated policy is available here – SPOILER ALERT: It is not light festive reading . . .
But seriously, this new policy has significant implications for all contact centres in the UK and as a responsible British dialler supplier we want you to know that we’ve been on the case for months.
If you are already a rostrvm customer or one of the many currently considering using us then you should know that our poweredbyrostrvm cloud platform and our latest on-site releases are fully compliant with the new Ofcom policy. We’ve also got your back if you’re one of our on-site customers with an older release – our priority upgrade programme will make you compliant before the 1st March 2017 Ofcom deadline.
We’ll be in touch with all of our customers, prospective customers and partners in the New Year with more information but feel free to contact us in the meantime if you have any questions.
If you’re not a currently rostrvm customer or partner then may be you should think about becoming one. If you’ve got concerns about the compliance of your current dialler system or are not confident that your current supplier can meet the new policy challenges in time then please get in touch – we are here to help.
Publish Date: December 21, 2016 5:00 AM
Contact centre agents and their customers hate slow, outdated systems. So why do some contact centres insist on keeping them? Flog a dead horse and you get tired and frustrated but there’s still no way that horse is going to move!
Typical horror stories resulting from running bogey systems include massive inbound queues, agents who can’t do what their customers ask (eg: phone them back in response to an inbound conversation or twitter message), low first contact resolution scores and long average handling times. In other words – under-performing businesses which risk ruining their reputation.
This is ironic because many businesses deal with risk themselves, so should know what is at stake if they neglect to act.
Of course, what is happening, is that savvy customers are using channels like Web Chat to get around the poor service they receive if they use ‘traditional’ channels – hence their rise in popularity. But this, in fact, only puts more pressure on contact centres because they must integrate those channels; they have to ensure agents can access them all and the right data – otherwise the customer still gets a bad service.
And when a customer gets bad service they complain – and want to speak to someone on the ‘phone!
So neglect traditional channels at your peril. Most importantly:
Technology is there to support, not dictate, how a contact centre works – and it can be functional, fast, scalable, easy-to-use and affordable.
Find out how we can help you
Tech takeaway: It’s false economy to continue running outdated systems that are slow and increase average handling times.
Next time: 30 years: hosted, on site and in the cloud.
Publish Date: October 31, 2016 5:00 AM
The robust rostrvm Cloud Contact Centre Service from Rostrvm Solutions is now available on the Digital Marketplace, through the government’s G-Cloud framework. You can find it in the Software as a Service (SaaS) category.
Rostrvm Solutions’ software has been used successfully by household names in the private and public sector for many years. The beauty of rostrvm is that it enables you to enhance current capabilities without replacing existing infrastructure. This provides great cost savings, reduces any risk and is quick to deploy.
All public sector organisations can use the Digital Marketplace to find the rostrvm Cloud Contact Centre Service.
Also known as poweredbyrostrvm, the Cloud Contact Centre Service is reliable and has been built to deliver enterprise-grade functionality and performance. It helps organisations to deliver high levels of customer service across multiple contact channels.
The easy-to-use application suite supports sophisticated inbound call handling with IVR for intelligent queuing and skills-based, multi-channel ACD. Callers are given relevant menu options to select from and are put through to the right advisor, so they receive an effective response from you.
Agents are also fully supported by the rostrvm service. In-call scripts and screen pops ensure the right information is covered and compliance achieved. Auto-update for desktops means agents don’t have to grapple with multiple desktop applications; they are integrated into one smooth system to improve consistency, speed up contact handling and ensure best practice.
Outbound contact management can be used creatively to maximise resources and ‘do more with less’. It offers both automated dialling and manual calling options.
Voice call handling is standard for both inbound and outbound services, with integrated multi-channel add-ons for email, SMS and web chat, to ensure you can communicate at the right time in the right way with your contacts.
The rostrvm system enables call recording and retrieval with meta data tagging, so that you can easily find and play back calls for training and compliance purposes. It also has full operational and business outcome reporting, with real-time displays and dashboards for Inbound and Outbound reporting requirements.
Furthermore, rostrvm puts your staff in control with intuitive interfaces and tools; it also enables them to work remotely. All this is backed up by Rostrvm’s UK-based support from our experienced experts.
To find rostrvm on the Digital Marketplace visit https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/g-cloud/
About the Crown Commercial Service
The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) works with both departments and organisations across the whole of the public sector to ensure maximum value is extracted from every commercial relationship and improve the quality of service delivery. The CCS goal is to become the “go-to”place for expert commercial and procurement services.
Publish Date: August 12, 2016 5:00 AM
We are pleased to announce that Rostrvm Solutions is now a member of the Housing Quality Network – Rent and Income Excellence Network. (RIEN)
RIEN support income management and rent collection practitioners in the social housing sector. We are delighted to support RIEN and their members by sharing our ideas for best practice on income management, rent collection and welfare reform.
A bit about us, we are a British software company. We deliver the rostrvm suite of contact management applications that make communicating easy and efficient.
We’ve taken our vast experience to create rostrvm for Housing a proactive contact solution specifically designed for the housing sector. We’ve helped our customers to:
Our housing and local authority customers include Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, Midland Heart, Canterbury City Council, Dover District Council, London Borough of Wandsworth and Nottinghamshire County Council.
If you’d like to find out more about our work with Housing Associations, take a look at our recent case studies or give us a call to find out how we can help.
Publish Date: April 19, 2016 5:00 AM
We’ve added an Interactive Voice Messaging (IVM) module to the rostrvm Outbound suite. IVM complements live agent contact strategies – such as predictive dialler campaigns – with an automated message inviting the recipient to enter into conversation. If ‘now’ isn’t convenient than they can call back later.
Of course it’s important that this technology is used properly and provides genuine benefit to you and the people you are calling. IVM improves efficiency and effectiveness for the contact centre and can provide a convenient reminder of important information such as a missed payment or an overdue renewal. You can read more here.
Publish Date: February 16, 2016 5:00 AM
We’re at the IT in Housing Exhibition for those involved in the provision of social housing. You’ll be able to learn about rostrvm for Housing, our proactive contact solution specifically for the Housing sector to address the financial challenges created by Universal Credit (UC) and Welfare Reform.
We’ll be on stand 30 where you can see how we can help you.
The exhibition is taking place at Chelsea Football Club on 10th and 11th February and we hope to see you there. If you can’t make it you can learn more about rostrvm for Housing here and our case studies illustrate how rostrvm helps Midland Heart and Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing meet their targets.
Publish Date: February 6, 2016 5:00 AM
The importance of recording telephone calls for compliance and quality monitoring purposes is well understood. But in today’s multichannel contact centre a ‘conversation’ can meander from one medium to another – web chat to email to telephone call and back again, making it harder to record.
We’ve enhanced our recording system rostrvm AuditLog to capture contact on every channel, breaking down channel silos and giving you a caller-centric view with full access to the detail behind each step of the journey.
rostrvm AuditLog is tightly integrated with our rostrvm CallGuide scripting and process control application. There are points in calls where recording needs to be turned off – for example when capturing sensitive data such as payment information.
rostrvm AuditLog is a server-based contact recording system which is an integral part of the rostrvm Invex product suite. It’s fully integrated with the rostrvm Management Information database to provide flexible access to records for retrieval, playback and quality scoring.
Publish Date: February 4, 2016 5:00 AM
This year we’re celebrating 30 years of the rostrvm contact centre software suite. Here we take a look back over some of the milestones.
1986 and Rostrvm was founded in Woking, Surrey – ironically in the same year that Internet Mail Access Protocol was defined, paving the way for email – and IBM unveiled the PC Convertible, the first laptop computer – and look where we all are now!
Rostrvm’s story really begins before that, however, with IDS (Intercom Data Systems), founded in 1981. IDS was an independently-owned software company, supplying software solutions to the telecommunications, financial and helpdesk industry.
A noteworthy innovation by IDS was the Operator Assistance Software (OAS), one of the world’s largest computer-supported telephony applications at the time.
The technology under which OAS operated was the precursor to Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) and provided the link between an organisation’s telephony, its information systems and its people. It was essentially the first generation of the rostrvm platform that we see today.
IDS was later renamed royalblue, with two separate operating divisions, Financial and Technologies. rostrvm, the call centre technology platform, came out of Technologies and its CTI platform quickly became a leading player in the telephony software market.
The 1990s were all about growth and the call centre industry expanded from an ‘inbound’ customer service focus to incorporate proactive technologies such as the rostrvm predictive dialler.
Rostrvm Solutions is privately owned and still based in the UK in Woking. Its success is due to unrivalled technical expertise and call centre experience, coupled with a dedication to the needs of its customers. By 2000, when the emphasis was on improving productivity, Rostrvm was already providing technically-advanced products which enabled call centre blending, as well as developing innovative support tools for agents.
Its continued commitment to technological and commercial innovation led to recognition by global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan and the presentation of an award for “Global Excellence in Technology Innovation.
The 20 tens
Rostrvm designs, develops and supports a modular, tightly-integrated contact centre software suite, including multimedia channel handling, scripting and desktop data management applications. All can be deployed either on site, hosted or in the Cloud.
The company retains a strong culture of independence with a clear understanding of customers’ real operational needs, with the aim of being ahead of the game and delivering clear financial benefits. Its software is flexible and can be used with all kinds of hardware and other systems – hosted, on-site or in the Cloud.
Rostrvm has extensive experience and a successful track record in supplying software solutions to some of the largest contact-handling operations in the public and private sectors.
Rostrvm’s award-winning research and development facility allows it to develop products that are future-proof, which is vital with telecommunications. Its products are all configurable to match the needs of each individual customer and offer flexibility, robustness and value for money.
Rostrvm’s workforce, some of whom have been with the company since the beginning, are perfectly positioned to take the company forward and look after its customers. They are a credit to the organisation and testament to the company’s history and commitment to the industry.
Publish Date: January 3, 2016 5:00 AM
Season’s greetings from Rostrvm Solutions
To our customers, a big thank you for your business and your loyalty.
To our partners, our gratitude for your cooperation and support.
To you and yours, enjoy a peaceful Christmas and a cracking 2016.
Have a good one!
Click to take a look at our video!
Publish Date: December 21, 2015 5:00 AM
The latest rostrvm release provides our users with a key new feature to keep their customers happy – Precision skills-based dialling.
Skills-based dialling adds to the armoury of precision tools available already to the campaign designer and dialler manager using rostrvm.
What is Precision skills-based dialling?
Precision skills-based dialling is all about ensuring that each of your customers speaks to the advisor best suited to their issue so that they can be helped quickly and easily. Because if there’s one thing we all hate it’s having to repeat ourselves and spend extra time explaining because the advisor we’re speaking to either doesn’t have the information or knowledge to answer our enquiry.
How does it work?
Precision skills-based dialling involves taking information contained in each dialling request, matching it, then sending the call to the advisor best suited to answering that customer’s needs.
For example, if you are calling people who have abandoned their basket on your website then you can ensure that the advisor selected to call them back is skilled in the products in the basket. If you are responding to an abandoned quotation on your website, you might match dialler skills with the prospect’s area of interest; or, if you’re dealing with a CallBack request from your inbound call centre, you might match the outbound skill to the caller’s original queue – that is, match inbound and outbound skills.
rostrvm will help you do this and achieve seamless communications using Precision skills-based dialling.
You can learn more about the benefits of Precision Dialling here.
Publish Date: December 1, 2015 5:00 AM
In the last of our series of blogs on ‘Making life easy for your customers’ we look at performance management.
Managing the performance of your contact centre should involve:
To achieve this, your performance management software needs to put you firmly in control.
You need management tools which provide a consolidated view of your contact centre operation across all of your channels – inbound calls, outbound predictive dialler campaigns, emails, text messages and chat.
You must be able to easily access real-time and historical KPIs and performance metrics, wherever you are and on any device. You need to be able to not only monitor performance but adapt and optimise operations in response to changing circumstances and demand.
You should be able to see and improve how queues, IVR, campaigns, scripts and your people are performing through using contact centre reports and then balancing and blending resources.
Do your research
Build real-time customer feedback into your performance management system. Monitor what your customers are saying on social media, for example, and reply rapidly to complaints – ideally by phone – to stop them escalating.
Carry out surveys as part of your performance management – both at the end of a call/contact and by using outbound calls or email. Also, try out your operation as if you were a customer; it will really help you find any weaknesses in the process.
It’s crucial to get your advisors and back office teams involved in measuring performance and make all KPI targets visible to them. Use call recording to record each interaction, be it voice, email, chat or social – and save examples of best practice so that you can both reward individuals and use them for training.
Compare your performance with others, especially the competition – outsourcing this can be cost-effective.
Doing these things will help you improve performance and ensure a consistent service to make it easy for your customers, regardless of how they contacted you.
Publish Date: November 24, 2015 5:00 AM
This is because whereas many businesses are beginning to offer multichannel communications for customers, they tend to be provided as separate channels (you’ve no doubt heard the buzzword for this too -‘in silos’). The result is that contact centres without joined-up systems are scrabbling around trying to find the correct information and provide a seamless service to their customers and failing miserably. Customers looking to achieve their aim fast using multichannel are not surprisingly disappointed by this.
This is where omnichannel comes in. It’s about integrating all channels to ensure a smooth, consistent customer experience, not running them in silos.
It also means giving customers the choice to contact you in their chosen channel – email, phone, webchat, Twitter etc. – but having the right systems to reply efficiently. Omnichannel enables you to deal with the enquiry in the channel which is most effective for both the contact centre and the customer – which is often the phone!
If you’d like to know more, contact us.
Publish Date: November 17, 2015 5:00 AM
This series of blogs has been focusing on how to make things easier for customers and provide a fast and seamless service. One of the biggest obstacles to achieving this for many businesses is trying to work efficiently with a mixture of legacy IT, newer architecture and existing processes. This is particularly evident on the contact centre desktop, where accuracy and compliance are vital.
We carried out a survey of UK contact centres, which found that staff productivity is being hampered by having to battle with too many desktop applications. 60% of contact centres surveyed used at least three desktop applications to complete a single task yet the greater the number of applications needed, the higher the workload for the advisor. This was leading to high operational costs but lower productivity and customer satisfaction. It wasn’t just happening in the call centre but also in back offices and other departments too.
Software which overlays and streamlines existing business systems is available which will integrate and reduce the amount of screens needed, making desktops quick and easy to use.
Not only that but it will guide staff through processes and display information automatically that’s relevant to the customer, based upon historical data and other criteria, at the right point in the conversation. It’s flexible to work with and easy to update. It makes activity and performance visible at the individual, team and corporate level with rich, real-time and historical information displays.
One of Rostrvm’s customers used this technology on a mixture of legacy applications and has reduced the time and hassle required to handle a data entry and processing task from 12 minutes to 45 seconds! This was achieved by rationalising the previous 14-screen marathon to a single screen, providing improved accuracy and consistency – and increased customer satisfaction.
An agent desktop is a crucial part of any contact centre, so have you streamlined yours and ensured that all staff find it easy to access the information they need and help customers efficiently?
Publish Date: November 11, 2015 5:00 AM
Continuing our series of blogs looking at how customers’ lives can be made easy we consider outbound contact. Before you provide an outbound service to your customers ensure that it will improve your relationship with them. Because outbound contact should be about making it effortless and easy for customers.
For example, can you use outbound messages to inform customers about the progress of transactions or to highlight a special offer they might be interested in? Are you using the right channel to contact them?
It’s important to contact them using the best channel. For example, customers may not need multichannel, even if you do! Use your knowledge of each customer to select the best channel to make contact – phone call, text message or email.
Also, a customer may have contacted you originally via email or, say, Twitter, but it might not be the best channel on which to reply. E.G.: To deal with a complaint it’s ALWAYS better to use the phone – social media is too public and a call resolves the issue faster than email.
Optimize the programming features on your outbound dialler with Precision dialling.
We’ve analyzed millions of calls for nearly 30 years and the secret is to use Precision Dialling to make contacting your customers easier.
Precision Dialling is using intelligent information to set your predictive dialler campaign to achieve value connections by getting in touch:
Use intelligence you’ve gained about each customer to programme your dialler. So you need good management reports and records.
The golden nugget is looking at individual customer records and using your information about when your customers contacted you to decide when to get back in touch. Think about it – if a person calls you at, say, 4pm it’s a good bet that they will be receptive to you calling them around that time. It’s not rocket science but it has proved a revelation in making higher numbers of live connections.
It’s important to gather intelligence from all areas of your contact centre – inbound and outbound calls, emails, tweets and chats – which might give you valuable customer information.
If you don’t have any intelligence on a specific customer start right away to build some up. In the meantime, use your common sense and make contact at a time most likely to catch them – in the evening for working people and so on.
Publish Date: November 4, 2015 5:00 AM