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Article : Brace Yourself - 2019 Hurricane Season Begins

#contactcenterworld, @WorkingSol

Author: April Wiita, Vice President, Program Success, Working Solutions

Are Your Customer Service Operations Ready?

Brace Yourselves. After a Hellacious Last Year, 2019 Hurricane Season Begins

Aftermath is an ugly word, isn’t it? One that contact center leaders dread and sure don’t want to hear this hurricane season, running June 1 through November 30.

The mere mention invokes images of disrupted customer service, at best—or operational disaster, at worse. In a word, consequences, especially for the inexperienced or unprepared. Either way, the outcomes can be dire.

After more than 20 years in this industry, I’ve worked with clients and served their customers through the likes of Sandy, Harvey and Michael—and dozens of other hurricanes, blizzards and floods.

And when the worst seems behind us, something just as onerous occurs, ravaging everything and everyone in its path, with ramifications felt long afterward. The "day after" turns into weeks, months and even years.

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Widening Wakes: Lingering Aftermaths

Florida Today reported in June: "Forecasters slightly boost the projected number of storms this Atlantic hurricane season." And that prediction came during the first week of the 2019 season. Who knows what actually will happen?

Given the reach of recent hurricanes, however: Are your contact center disaster preparedness and precautions wide and deep? Are they mapped out for different eventualities—beforehand?

Because, as evidenced by storms of the past couple of years, the destructive wakes are widening and the post-trauma lingering.

According to CNN, we can expect four hurricane-size storms this year, "Brace yourselves for up to four major storms in the Atlantic."

Fluid and Flexible: Backup to the Backup

For contact centers, which were ravaged by 2017 and 2018 hurricanes, it’s not just a matter of having fortified, redundant operations. That has to be a given.

Rather, they should be fluid and flexible, too. Sure, swift and staffed to outmaneuver and outlast any storm. That requires mobility, scalability and sustainability—from the inside out, and well ahead of harm’s way.

That’s nearly impossible to do with brick-and-mortar call centers stuck in a storm’s path. A case in point is Matthew, a Category 5 hurricane. Its fury far-reaching and devastation prolonged, Matthew spanned from the Caribbean to the Carolinas, from September 28 to October 10, 2016.

As it hit Jamaica, a client’s brick-and-mortar call center there was evacuated, with customer service shifting to remote contact center agents in California, Texas and Wyoming.

Unrelenting, Matthew roared north, up the East Coast along Florida. Its ferocity forced the client’s second call in Melbourne to be evacuated, as Gov. Rick Scott warned at the time: "This storm will kill you." Again, remote agents outside the storm’s swath picked up work as the client’s Floridian call center agents fled to safety.

In this instance—and for other storms as well—the client had backup to the backup. Integrated physical and virtual contact center operations to ensure nonstop service, with plenty of on-demand resources at the ready.

Questions to Ask: No Silver Bullets

Such resiliency and responsiveness must be built into the business, from the get-go. That requires asking the right questions, with thought-out answers and well-rehearsed plans in place.

Bottom-line questions, such as:

  • Have your teams run through business continuity scenarios? When was the last drill?
  • Are you prepared to evacuate agents, shift work in a disaster? Have you timed it?
  • If so, do you have enough backup agents standing by and where? Is the plan in hand?
  • Are your business partners as secure as your own operations? Have you checked?
  • Short of Armageddon, are you prepared for back-to-back disasters? Said your prayers?

Not offering any silver bullets here. Just some thoughts, based on experience—good and bad.

And yes, running a contact center every day is challenging enough. Just think how overwhelming storms and other disasters will be if business continuity is left to chance. "Oh no" shouldn’t be an operational axiom.

This hurricane season, possible new tempests await—with the names of Barry, Chantal and Gabrielle —to blow through with something wicked. (The first on that list, Andrea, a subtropical storm, occurred in May, before the official 2019 season began.)

Good news: There’s still time to get ready. Best to be wary and wise. After all, no business wants to be an afterthought in the aftermath. Wouldn’t you agree?

#contactcenterworld, @WorkingSol


About Working Solutions:
Company LogoWorking Solutions is a consultative business process outsourcer providing customer service, sales, support, and flexible business continuity. Tapping into a vast network of enthusiastic brand associates across the United States and Canada, our flexible business model enables us to provide customer service on several levels–from steady state for everyday business to ready state for unexpected events to future state for long-range projects.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Make Training Fun

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Speech Technology

 
1.) 
Agara

Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.

2.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

3.) 
Call Tracking Metrics

Execute automated actions based on words spoken by your customer.

Our intelligent word detection and transcription tools make it easier for you to decipher the content of your customer conversations and automate action based on those insights.

Transform the audio of your calls into speaker-organized scripts so you can easily search your call log for specific words from a conversation, or automatically detect when words of intent are spoken by your customer.

Listen in on and highlight common patterns in order to execute triggers to initiate a new action or workflow, such as emailing a manager if the word “cancel” is spoken on a call. You can also set up to automatically redact content from a transcript, such as sensitive health information transmitted on a call.

4.) 
Daisee

Daisee
Daisee builds technology that empowers people to solve problems by making interactions simple and smart so they can have a more significant impact, be more productive and be better at what they do. We believe incremental improvements carry huge potency and provide exponentially greater change for the better.

Genesys customers can now automate risk and quality management using Daisee’s speech and sentiment analytics and remediation workflow software. Daisee helps improve customer experience, ensure regulatory compliance, identify missed commercial opportunities & training requirements as well as provide valuable insights back to the business directly from the frontline – the true voice-of-...
(read more)

5.) 
Eckoh

EckohASSIST
Advanced speech recognition and natural language expertise that routes callers by simply asking ‘how can I help you?’. It allows customers to use their own words to ask for what they want and steers them to the right place.

Menus are eliminated altogether and contact centres can use a single inbound telephone number.

6.) 
MattsenKumar LLC

SmartSpeech
SmartSpeech – The Best In Class Speech Analytics Software

An all-inclusive speech analytics application that enables you to visualize your audio using state-of-the-art speech recognition, transcription, and text analytics technologies.

7.) 
Nemesysco

InTone Suite - Emotion Detection via Voice Analysis
InTone™ is a voice analysis tool geared to detect genuine emotional and cognitive reactions regardless of the speaker’s language or chosen intonation.
It integrates into existing contact center environments and provides realtime indications of both client and agent emotional reactions throughout all ongoing calls. This unique set of indications assists managers and call center representatives to truly understand the client, improve call center performance, easily detect angry calls, elevate training efficiency and provide a tailored customer experience in every single call.

Nemesysco's contact center technology is also available in API and SDK forms.
Please visit our website for information about our product portfolio.

8.) 
Voci Technologies Incorporated

V-Blaze Speech to Text
Our GPU-accelerated, AI-based technology enables you to deliver greater insights to the contact center by transcribing audio into analyzable text.

- Transcribe large volumes of recorded audio quickly
- Integrate transcripts with your analytics or business intelligence platform
- Reduce your hardware footprint and minimize total cost of ownership

9.) 
Voxjar

Voxjar
Voxjar is your one-stop-shop for driving better phone calls with your customers. We're a modern Conversation Analytics and Call Coaching Platform.

- Custom Charts and Dashboards give you the freedom to analyze calls from the highest level down to the details of each conversation.

- AI-Powered Speech Analytics transcribes, searches, and analyzes your reps' phone conversations, at scale.

- Quality Assurance and Call Coaching tools let you evaluate and improve agent performance with a human touch.

- Long term recording storage for historical analysis


All of these together provide the holistic, easy-to-use software that you need to manage a modern call team and create better con...
(read more)
 

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