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Article : The Internet-Enabled Call Centre - What Does It Mean?

Everyone is talking about internet-enabled call centres. It is hardly surprising that discussion is focusing on the new medium, given the statistics that are currently being bandied around. In March 1998, 20% of all airline tickets sold in the US were bought over the internet. Five million people in the US use online banking services. Dell Computers makes sales of £2.5 million annually over the internet. The UK is the fourth most connected country in the world (after America, Japan and Germany) with 10% of the population connected.

 

The Internet as response mechanism?
So that is the good news, and it is getting marketers and call centre professionals very excited.


Yet most of the current commentary focuses on the Internet as a medium of response - in other words, people sending an e-mail having seen one's advert. Surely this is incredibly premature? If 10% of the population is connected, that represents around 5 million people. But who are they? For a start, they are concentrated in just 4% of the nation's households (around 1 million homes). That must mean that there is a high proportion of family usage. If we are generous and estimate that each household contains an average of 2 adults, then we are talking about 2 million people.

A total audience of 2 million (of which only a certain proportion will be relevant to each marketing campaign) hardly offers marketers a significant marketplace in its own right. The smallest lifestyle database on the market is some 5 million strong. So the net-enabled consumer is not of much interest to marketers, unless one of two conditions applies. First, vendors of desktop computing products and services can assume that a high proportion of net-connected adults (and children!) will be prospective customers with a propensity to respond over the internet. Secondly, if the goods or services being sold are of very high value (and net margin) then a small but very profitable audience may be reached by encouraging Internet based response to one's advertising. Nevertheless, the Internet as a response mechanism into call centres is hardly a viable reality yet. Remember, half the British people have never used a computer.

On the other hand, if we believe the pundits, then 50% of the UK population will be connected by 2005. That means a total net-enabled audience of approaching 15 million, and that is the kind of volume at which mass marketers get seriously interested.

To what viable and effective use can call centres put the Internet today? The answer lies in the development of Intranets, or private networks which use the internet as their connective tissue. Already in Europe, a quarter of large organisations have over 70% of their workforce's desktops connected to the internet. And a great deal of this is probably for Intranet access. As just one further indicator, the European intranet services market currently stands at $1.4 billion today and is predicted to grow to a massive $6.9 billion by 2001.

The main purpose of setting up a corporate intranet is to make a company's various databases or repositories of knowledge available to everyone in that organisation, on-line, accessed from the PC wherever access can be gained to a telephone line. Such knowledge might include press releases, internal telephone directories, price lists, branch addresses, company history, product descriptions, stock levels, accounts data, delivery status, and many other important sets of information.

This is often precisely the kind of information to which call centres need access if operators are to successfully handle less structured consumer enquiries.

Many of the calls which operators need to handle are very structured. Often responding to an advert, the caller will ring to order a product, ask the location of their nearest branch, request a brochure, etc. In these cases, especially when response has been encouraged with freephone or local rate tariffs, the call has to be kept as short as sensibly possible, whilst at the same time satisfying the caller's query. Scripting software is used to build scripts which control, support and measure the way the call is handled.

 

Handling Unstructured Calls
The exception is where calls are likely to be rather unstructured. Such calls will tend to be either general enquiries, or complaints. Being set up to deal satisfactorily with these less structured calls is becoming more critical, especially as more and more brand adverts start carrying direct response numbers. Here the caller could be a consumer after recipes in which the product can be used, or could be a retailer enquiring about distribution arrangements, or could even be a schoolchild doing a project on the product.

Links to corporate information resources is also a major factor in the business-to-business market. Take the instance of an electrical appliances manufacturer which sells to the public through a network of distributors and dealers. The dealers especially will need information support from the manufacturer. This kind of support is increasingly being offered by Intranet-enabled call centres. One dealer call may require the operator to query the warehouse and distribution database to find out whether a part or a product is available and when it can be delivered to fulfil a customer order. Another call might be to request marketing support and point-of-sale literature, so another database may need to be queried. And a third call might be an new enquiry about the rules and requirements for becoming an accredited dealer - another data source will need to be accessed.

 

Linking to an Intranet
Although call control is still required for enquiries and complaints, a wealth of information has to be put at the call handler's fingertips in order to satisfy the call in as many cases as possible. Now, new software tools allow scripting software to be linked to a company's intranet (a private computer network which uses the internet as its 'wiring'). All sorts of company data sources can be attached to the Intranet, which the call handler can search to obtain an answer to the caller's query. The faster modems, ISDN and satellite ISPs become, the more value such call centre information links can deliver.

Finally, we could easily see call centre links becoming a principal cost justification for putting serious amounts of information on a corporate intranet, or even for setting up an intranet in the first place. The main obstacle to Intranet growth is quantifying and measuring the payback and business advantage they deliver. In the modern call centre, being able to deal with a multiplicity of call types without having to invest in very expensive and specialised systems carries an obvious return on investment. And in most industries which are grasping the power of the telephone for customer communications, information availability and flexible scripting are the key to improving competitive edge.


About the Company
Established in 1997, Noetica is a developer of software solutions for management of any call centre. Noetica's solution - Synthesys has been designed specifically to enable non-technical staff to have complete control of the call centre. Synthesys key features include customer relationship management (CRM); callflow/script designing, service call centre management and support; outbound campaign management; web compatibility and computer telephony integration (CTI).

Today's Tip of the Day - Channel Selection

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

Published: Thursday, August 8, 2002

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Remote Agent Solutions

 
1.) 
3Fiftynine

Branches
Making sure agents can work remotely isn’t a problem with Branches. The system shows accurate information, real-time. No fear of missing out on important updates anymore.

2.) 
Amtelco

Web Agent
Our Web Agent application is a web browser-based telephone agent interface for the Genesis Intelligent Series (IS) call center platform. The Genesis Web Agent application makes any personal computer a professional telephone agent station.

3.) 
Centrical

Centrical Business Continuity & Remote Work Solutions
Centrical Solutions Help Sustain Business Continuity,
Keep Employees Engaged and Connected During COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Centrical, provider of the holistic, real-time employee engagement and performance management platform, offers contact centers ways to

Keep calm and keep working remotely.

We offer solutions for business continuity in a crisis that provide effective engagement, communications, and reskilling of employees working from home, among other things. They will let you:

Reduce anxiety and isolation
The times we’re in require an extra effort to communicate and keep everyone connected. With Centrical, you can create an ongoing stream of communica...
(read more)

4.) 
Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire
Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:

5.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium UniAgent™ Mobile
As we enter the next stage of the global pandemic, Contact Centers are faced with a new set of challenges to enable their Agents to Work-from-Home without impacting Customer Experience (CX). UniAgent™ Mobile is the ideal solution to enable Work-from-Home Agents using Tablets or Smartphones or PC without any VPN. UniAgent™ Mobile is compatible with Cisco CCE, CCX, PCCE and HCS-CC contact centers (both bridged and nailed connection). UniAgent™ Mobile is available as On-Premises or Cloud Solution which can be hosted in the Private Cloud, or on the Public Cloud (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc.). UniAgent™ Mobile can be deployed in conjunction with Cisco Unified Mobile Agent (CU...
(read more)

6.) 
Dalbar Inc.

CXA iCoach
As a leading expert in contact center business practices, DALBAR recognizes the challenge of consistently delivering exceptional customer experiences with the sudden shift to remote teams. Our self-evaluation and coaching solution for remote representatives and virtual contact centers will let you meet these challenges head on. DALBAR's CXA iCoach solution, combines our proprietary criteria and over 40 years of industry research. It allows Contact Center Managers and Quality Teams to continue to improve and provide a better customer experience even when they aren't at a physical location.

7.) 
Eckoh

CallGuard Remote
A flexible way to take secure, PCI DSS compliant payments from home or remote locations. It’s quick to deploy needs no changes to processes or systems.
CallGuard Remote prevents agents from seeing, hearing or recording card details so, the agent, their screen, and any call recordings are removed from the scope of PCI DSS. This simple approach means the customer effectively types their own payment information into the agent’s payment screen, but with the card details being shielded from the agent’s view. It’s simple, and highly effective.

8.) 
Happitu

Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the need to involve IT or Development. Yes, you will no longer have to dread submitting a change request to Devin from IT!

Try it free for 45 days!

9.) 
MattsenKumar LLC

Virtual Contact Center Solutions
Our virtual contact center services help our clients to run their customer support processes (phone, chat, and email) remotely. Our well trained remote agents can help them deliver the best experience for their customers irrespective of the channels. With our data security measures, engaged workforce, and the right reporting tools, our clients are guaranteed with a satisfied customer base.

10.) 
MFE International

Oracle LIVE Experience
Live Experience offers HD voice, video, Screen sharing and annotations for customer mobile users. Agents interacted with users using desktops or mobile. Applications are for Financial Services, Retail, Travel and Hospitality, Digital Services, Utilities, Coporate IT where remote HD video, screen share or annotation is needed for a great customer experience.

11.) 
Nuxiba Technologies

CenterWare
Maintain your business operation from anywhere, even if your agents are at different locations!
Don't let COVID-19 stop you. Use our cloud contact center hosted software and continue your operation.
Monitor active campaigns in our administration module, have your agents receive and dial calls, access reports, have multi-channel interactions, and obtain 24/7 support.

Easy setup and usage, request a quote or schedule a live demo today!


12.) 
Orion Learning Services Inc.

Learning & Development
Learning & Development - For Remote Workers
Learning & Development for Remote Agents, Supervisors, Managers and Administration/Support Staff

Orion Learning is a global leader in providing accredited learning and development solutions for organizations globally. We offer call/contact center certification programs for Agents, Supervisors and Managers, business certifications and examinations for wide range of topics including project management, change management and service management, leadership soft skills and a full suite of assessment tools which can be used for recruitment, talent management, succession planning and coaching/mentoring. We deliver our solutions to global community and all of our solutions are delivered digitally.

13.) 
Vads

VADS Indonesia Remote Agent Solutions helps your company with various features that can make it easier for you and your company to stay productive, can be accessed anywhere because it uses cloud-based licenses so that it can help you and your business activities run smoothly.The features that keep your company activities running and productive.

14.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS with its work from home agent ready call center software helps you to have complete control over your contact center operations. Agents can log in from any where , home, office or any other place where they are through their mobile phone or desktop , or even through our ID mobile app . With centralized recording & reporting , you gain visibility of all contact center metrics , and you can manage your center the same way as you were doing when working from office.
 

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