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Executive Interview : Larry Schwartz From WorkFlex Solutions On The Past Year And What To Expect In 2017

#contactcenterworld

Larry Schwartz, C.E.O. at WorkFlex Solutions has an interesting take on giving power back to the employees by allowing them to access a flexible schedule. Schwartz takes the time to speak with ContactCenterWorld.com about 2016 and what he sees coming this year in the following interview.

ContactCenterWorld:
In your opinion, what has been the greatest challenge the contact center industry has faced in the last 12 months?
Larry Schwartz: The biggest challenge facing the contact center industry has been the ability to effectively recruit and retain productive and engaged contact center agents.


ContactCenterWorld:
Why do you believe has this been a challenge?
Larry Schwartz: The industry is facing a perfect storm caused by the following:
(1) Millennials have now become the dominant contact center agent demographic. The majority of Millennials value scheduling flexibility more important than opportunities for pay and career advancement and 75% of Millennials consider scheduling flexibility as a primary driver of career choice.

(2) The rapid growth of GiG Economy (Think Uber, Lyft, Taskrabbit). GiG Economy jobs inherently provide the scheduling flexibility empowerment prospective employees are looking for. Three years ago GiG economy employment in the U.S. was about 250,000 while Contact Center Employment was over 3 Million. By 2017 employment in the GiG Economy is projected to surpass contact center employment.


ContactCenterWorld: In 2017, what do you think will be the top priorities in the contact center industry for each of the following: a) Contact Center Directors b) Company Executives c) IT Directors
Larry Schwartz: a) As Work-Life Balance increasingly becomes the top driver of agent satisfaction, the top priority for contact center directors will be to provide agents with schedule-change empowerment.
b) The top priority for company executives will remain on improving customer satisfaction, and improving agent satisfaction will increasingly be recognized as a key focus to achieving this.
c) The top priority for human resource directors will be how to more effectively recruit and retain contact center workers and they will increasingly recognize the importance of offering scheduling flexibility as a means of achieving this.


ContactCenterWorld:
What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the industry over the next 12 months?
Larry Schwartz: Agent Empowerment Technology, particularly mobile-apps that enable agents to better manage their work-life balance.


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ContactCenterWorld:
What impact have "external events" even had on your company, and how have you adapted your business?
Larry Schwartz: Our initial business focus was to empower workforce administrators with technology to improve intraday staffing agility, agent utilization and performance. In response to the changing agent demographics and rapid growth of alternative GiG Economy employment that has driven the need for companies to provide their agents with schedule-change empowerment. Our company adapted technology to introduce an intelligent agent mobile app that empowers agents with the flexibility to instantly view and change their schedules anywhere/anytime while ensuring that each change actually helps optimize staffing levels. This App enables companies to provide agents with the schedule-change empowerment they really want without additional administrative overhead and by "transforming agents into active workforce management partners" the app actually reduces the level of intraday staffing variances that workforce administrators need to address themselves.


ContactCenterWorld:
Do you feel the service you personally get as a customer is better or worse than it was a year ago?
Larry Schwartz: It is getting worse. I have had several experiences with contact center customer service agents where it was clear that they were just going through the motions, following a predefined customer service decision tree, and were not really actively engaged, or particularly interested in actually solving my issue. It is increasingly rare to talk to a contact center agent that appears to be happy and enthusiastic about their job.


ContactCenterWorld:
What contact center technology or other innovation excites you the most right now?
Larry Schwartz: Any technology that makes life easier for contact center workers. This includes workflow automation technologies that enable agents to service their customers more quickly and effectively, and mobile empowerment technologies that provide agents with the ability to better manage their work-life balance anywhere/anytime.


ContactCenterWorld:
What has been the most important contact center related conversation topic in 2016 and what are your views on this?
Larry Schwartz: The most important topic has been to understand what the underlying factors are that are making it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain contact center workers and what are the most effective strategies to address this.


ContactCenterWorld:
Can you share a great story of service you received when contacting a contact center in the past year?
Larry Schwartz: I always enjoy my interactions with the travel agency associated with my premium credit card. They go out of their way to ensure they understand my complex travel needs, take the time to analyze my needs, anticipate potential issues and provide me with several alternative solutions. They always follow-up after the call with email confirmations, and proactively contact me when something has changed that might affect my current travel arrangements.


ContactCenterWorld:
What do you think will be the buzz word / focus for the contact center industry this year?
Larry Schwartz: Agent-empowerment.


ContactCenterWorld:
Regarding the change in governments in places like the US and the Philippines - do you see this is good or bad for the contact center industry in those countries and why?
Larry Schwartz: Changes in governments will not substantially affect the more significant mega-trends that are fundamentally affecting the offshoring contact center BPO industry. There will continue to be a short term tactical driver to reduce contact center wage costs which will provide fuel for growth on offshore markets like the Philippines. However, the longer term strategic driver for companies to more directly manage customer service operations as a core competency to improve customer satisfaction will increase pressure on companies to insource contact center operations. The virtualization of the contact center that enables part-time/work-at-home contact center employment is reducing the total cost gap between offshore and onshore which is making it easier for companies to repatriate offshore contact center jobs.


ContactCenterWorld:
Lastly, what do you think 2017 holds for the industry? (Good or bad and where/how etc.)
Larry Schwartz: The changing demographic and marketplace drivers that are impacting companies' ability to maintain an engaged and productive workforce are only going to continue to grow in 2017. Companies that can provide their agents with the schedule-change empowerment they really want will thrive in this new Millennial-Centric GiG-Economy, whereas companies that fail to recognize that schedule-change empowerment has become the new currency for recruiting and retaining contact center agents will increasingly struggle to survive.

#contactcenterworld


Today's Tip of the Day - Check Your Literature

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

Published: Friday, January 13, 2017

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Artificial Intelligence

Page: 12
1.) 
Acqueon Technologies Inc.

Acqueon's AI-driven conversational engagement software enables sales, marketing and service organizations to engage in emotionally connected dialogs with customers via their channel of choice for significantly improved results. The Acqueon suite adds multichannel campaign management, contact center analytics, desktop, and CRM connectors for your contact center software of choice, including Amazon Connect, Cisco, Nice inContact, and Twilio. Acqueon conversational engagement software leverages the Acqueon IQ platform to aggregate data from the various applications, assemble rich customer contexts, and drive next-best-action using powerful statistical and predictive models.
PH: +1 888-946-6878

2.) 
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.
PH: +1 (512) 333 4634

3.) 
Balto Software Inc

Real-time call guidance and post call data analytics
Balto Software is a provider of real-time intelligent call support and coaching. Our software solution leverages artificial intelligence to listen to both sides of a call and deliver mission-critical information and feedback to sales representatives immediately. Our solution is fully customizable and our current customers include sales teams and customer service groups in sectors ranging from debt collections to healthcare and home improvement.
PH: 855-GO-BALTO

4.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium UniChAI™
Contacting customer service can often be a challenging experience with waiting on hold forever being one of the top reasons for client dissatisfaction. Furthermore, repeating information that was already provided to a chat agent, and generally spending too much time getting answers to questions can all lead to a lengthy, and often frustrating, customer journey. With unlimited scalability, enterprise-level security, and best-in-class data privacy features, UniChAI™ is a conversational AI platform which is playing an important role in improving some of these aspects of customer experience (CX) through chatbots – which are intelligent and natural-language virtual assistants meant to augment a c...
(read more)
PH: (+61) 406 501 368

5.) 
ContactEngine

ContactEngine
ContactEngine connects conversations across entire customer journeys with One Voice delivering exceptional CX and demonstrable business value for organizations around the world.

ContactEngine provides proactive customer service by helping your customers through the channels they’re most comfortable with. It aims to contact your customer before your customer contacts you.

6.) 
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)
PH: +61404697151

7.) 
eGain Corporation

eGain Knowledge+AI
eGains omnichannel customer engagement solutions power digital-first experiences for leading brands. Infused with AI, machine learning, knowledge and analytics, our award-winning platform helps clients automate and optimize customer journeys via virtual assistance, messaging, social, mobile, web, and contact centers.

8.) 
eGain Corporation

Automate the routine and boring and augment the interesting with eGain AI (Artificial Intelligence). eGain is a pioneer in AI for contact center customer service and customer engagement and has developed cutting-edge technology as also best practices and proven use-cases over the last two decades. eGain’s patented Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) technology, called Guided Help, is a simple but powerful AI technology used to find answers to customer issues, and for process guidance and decision making. Along with Knowledge and Analytics, Artificial Intelligence forms the core of the eGain Customer Engagement Hub platform and its omnichannel and digital-first capability.

9.) 
Eudata

Convy.AI
Scale up your business using Convy AI, the artificial intelligence that acts like a human helping enterprises to better interact with their clients and agents to be focused on the value added transactions.
Convy.AI is used to support, entertain and simplify the experience of million of customers every month.
Convy.AI understand natural language (but supports also button based UIs), simply integrate many front end (chat, email, whatsapp, IVR, Alexa, google home, ...) and it's zero code admin interface enables everybody to manage conversations.

10.) 
ExecVision

ExecVision is a conversation intelligence platform built to drive human behavior change which positively impacts individual, team, and organization performance. The software ingests, transcribes, and analyzes conversations to provide actionable insights for coaching, upskilling, and more informed decision making. Sales, QA, customer success and support teams use ExecVision to create a consistent experience across the customer journey.

11.) 
Koopid

KoopidAI
Most customer-facing interfaces make it the end user’s job to figure out how to navigate and find their way to where they need to be. This is true of websites and mobile apps as much as it of touch-tone IVRs. The interface is usually designed for the most generic of uses; and because making changes is expensive and time-consuming, these interfaces tend to be inflexible with regards to evolving times, use cases or user needs.

AI can help create user interfaces that are adaptable and personalized. Advances in Conversational AI make it possible to interact with the user in natural language. Many IVRs are being re-configured to work this way and businesses are also introducing text-based cha...
(read more)
PH: 0800 999 1882

12.) 
LivePerson

Automate up to 70% of messaging conversations on your website, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp and more. LivePerson has a complete solution to create, manage, and optimize bots for businesses of all sizes.

13.) 
Mediatel Data Srl

Contact Center Solution AI-Driven
Mediatel Research and Development team developed Artificial Intelligence Engine, part of the Contact Center platform, suitable for vocal interactions using Natural Language Processing modules and digital interactions, used in chat sessions, for chat bots, email management for email dispatching or text messages.
PH: +40 722 744 417

14.) 
MFE International

Oracle Digital Assistant
The next generation state-of-the-art text and voice AI Chatbot . No coding required.
Reduce call volumes by 30-60%. Reduce waiting times

15.) 
Navedas

CSAT.AI
CSAT.AI Scores Better Customer Service with Gamified Guidance!

CSAT.AI lets agents know when they’re on the right track by predicting CSAT scores in real time (when they’re fixable!) - because most customers don’t leave feedback, they just leave.

CSAT.AI measures if the customer’s questions were answered, how empathetic was your agent and the customer’s sentiment to predict a CSAT score without pesky surveys, all in real time. QA is modernized and the CX game is improved - no matter if your agents are at their home or your office.
PH: 323-380-8555

16.) 
OpsTel Services

SPEED & PLUS
The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Perfor...
(read more)
PH: 1+480-435-9390

17.) 
Vads

VADS Smart Chat Assistance
VADS Smart Chat Assistant is a computer program that conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods.

VADS Smart Chat Assistant is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that simulates interactive human conversation using key pre-calculated user phrases and auditory, visual, and text-based signals.


Benefits :
- Reducing operational workload
- Increase customer engagement and customer experience
- Save on operating costs
- Provide insight into the customer
PH: 0217991445

18.) 
Summatti

Analysis that empowers your business
Get actionable insights from all your customer interactions

19.) 
Synthetix

The new paradigm in customer engagement, the Synthetix Chatbot can generate new revenues as well as resolve customer queries. Our AI-powered chatbot technology doesn't wait until your customers want to contact you – it offers help and assistance from the moment they interact with your brand, qualifying them based on their needs, working with your CRM to personalise their experience, creating leads and tactically escalating them to the most appropriate contact channel.
PH: +44 1279 555 580

20.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS with its AI based bots helps organizations in manpower optimization & elevating the customer experience . With NLP & NLU (natural language processing & understanding), our bots can do intent mapping & take the customer service to new heights. If need be the conversation with virtual agent can be transferred to a human agent for omni-channel customer experience.
 
Page: 12

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