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News : Farmers’ Friend Krishi Call Centre Struggling to Survive

#contactcenterworld

Dhaka, Bangladesh, May, 2024 - The Agriculture Information Service (AIS) launched a call centre in June 2012, with the objective of solving the problems of farmers on an immediate basis and expanding the latest technology, services and information related to farming.

After 12 years, there are seven "borrowed" staff in the call centre, and three of them are on leave.

The centre at Khamarbari in the capital’s Farmgate was found operating from a small room measuring 13 feet by 20 feet.

A few officers were seen working there, some of whom had come on "attachment", while others may have been called for urgent work.

However, two of the seven staff members are currently in foundation training, while one is on maternity leave.

AIS officials say it is not possible to provide the required services to farmers due to the lack of adequate manpower and budget allocation.

In 2012, farmers had to contact a long number of Teletalk. Later, in 2014, in collaboration with a2i project, a short code (16123) was allocated to the centre.

According to sources at the centre, they receive around 180-200 calls every day. Often there is no opportunity to answer the queries immediately.

For this, the centre works in two parts. One is "incoming" when farmers are served immediately. The second is "outgoing" when the centre’s staff call the farmers back after gathering the required information.

When the centre was about to be closed

The AIS director, Dr Surajit Saha Roy, spoke to Bangla Tribune about the centre’s activities.

"First, the work of the call centre started with people in the AIS wing. Then some people were taken on attachment from the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). Later, an NGO named Practical Action provided financial support to it. They have supported us well."

Afterward, he added that a project was taken to strengthen the call centre. "Six cadres joined here on deputation from the project. There were two shifts between 7am and 9pm. At that time, we could serve a lot of farmers.

"Later, when cooperation from Practical Action ceased and there were no funds—as latest as June 30, 2023—our call centre was about to be closed."

Then the ministry took some steps. "We brought some officials step by step and continued the operation of the call centre during office hours from 9am to 4pm. We also kept the centre open even on Saturdays to achieve the target."

He added that previously there had been no provision for outgoing calls. "Many times the farmers called us, but immediate service could not be provided. Now we contact that number after gathering the required information.

High target, low manpower

Dr Surajit said the current officers of the call centre are from the DAE.

"Their posting is elsewhere, but they are attached here. Four people are currently working and can receive over 200 calls during working hours. Of the remaining three, one is on maternity leave, while two have gone for foundation training. Seven people can receive more than 300 calls."

He added that all incoming and outgoing calls are recorded.

Since 2020, at least 1,26,070 callers have been served. On the other hand, at least 96,781 callers could not be serviced because most of those calls may have come "after office hours", said officials.

According to AIS officials, they have a target of serving 40,400 callers for the fiscal year 2023-2024. Against the target, the centre has attended 30,042 calls from June last year till April 29.

Badal Chandra Sarker, the ICT in-charge and technical participant at the AIS, said: "Our target is high, but we have a shortage of manpower. In the current financial year, we have achieved 74% of the target. We have also increased monitoring. I hope the quality of service will gradually improve."

Farmer Md Belal from Danajpur village under Pirganj Upazila of Thakurgaon contacted the call centre on Monday morning when this reporter visited the spot.

"I called the call centre to ask about a problem in my paddy field—white liquid was coming out of the paddy sheaves. They listened to my problem and gave me a solution. I hope to get good results within a few days," he told Bangla Tribune.
Officials demand training

Agriculture Officer Farhana Yasmin, who was working at the call centre, said: "Farmers usually call to enquire about plant diseases, pest attacks, and fertilizer management. Sometimes they talk for two minutes, sometimes for five minutes. It's not so much of a problem, we suggest solutions. However, if there are complications, we advise them to contact the nearby agricultural officer."

Asked if there was there was a chance to meet the targets that have been set, Farhana said: "We are trying our best. We currently have four people working. The other three are on training and vacation."

Regarding the quality and progress of the call centre service, Farhana Yasmin said: "We are not getting any training. There are new types of technology and solutions to the problems, but we are not getting to know them. We often suggest old solutions (to farmers)."

She said farmers often complain about new kinds of problems they face in the agricultural fields, but most of the time they do not have any new solutions to them.

"When they want to know about a new disease or a new insect, we look online for solutions and then tell them as we do not have the training for that specific problem," Farhana added.

The Information Officer of the call centre, Dr Aklima Khatun, said: "The office has to be kept open on Saturday to meet the target of the call centre. Our biggest challenge is that we are not getting any outside support."

Regarding the training of the workers, Dr Aklima Khatun said: "If we work with an NGO or if the government provides funds, or if we get a project that has already been submitted, then we can arrange training for the workers."

Leaflets claim free calls, farmers pay 25 paisa per minute

Despite leaflets from the Ministry of Agriculture claiming that the calls to the call centre are free, farmers are actually charged 25 paisa per minute.

This practice has been going on for several years.

However, the website of the Agricultural Information Service says farmers get instant expert advice on any problem related to agriculture by calling the shortcode 16123 at the rate of 25 paisa per minute (excluding VAT and supplementary duty) from any operator's mobile phone.

An official acknowledged the error, attributing it to potential printing mistakes in the ministry's leaflets.

New plans

Dr Surajit Saha Roy said they are planning to make the agricultural call centre more modern and suitable for the farmers.

"Farmers’ needs do not follow our office hours. They should call us whenever they need our service. Hence, we have submitted a program proposal so that we can serve them whenever they need us," he said.

He said the program will be operated through machines. When a farmer calls, through artificial intelligence, their problems will be converted into texts. Then the machine will find solutions for the problem from stored data of the centre, and suggest them to the farmer in the form of a voice.

"If this program can be implemented, we will be able to provide services to the farmers 24 hours a day," he added.

Dr Surajit Saha Roy also said there are no plans to turn the call centre into a hotline service.

"Like the hotline number 999 of the law enforcement agencies, our number 16123 should also be turned into a hotline."

He added that currently the officers are only able to respond to farmers in Dhaka due to several factors like dialect restrictions and proper knowledge of the problem.

#contactcenterworld

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: https://www.dhakatribune.com


Today's Tip of the Day - Making It Easy For Customers To Contact You

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

Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2024

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2024 Buyers Guide Analytics

 
1.) 
Alvaria

Noble IQ
Turn business insights into actionable intelligence. Noble’s IQsolutions provide you with rich and robust customer data that can transform your business. Automate decision making and campaign management and refine the quality of interactions with precision and efficiency. We have developed proprietary and patented tools to help you make sense of data on your current operations and then help you make strategic decisions to improve performance and efficiency. Identify who your best customers and prospects are and the ideal methods to reach them. Understand what types of campaigns work best for your business and how to optimize underperforming campaigns. And nake real-time decisions rather than looking back to see what went wrong.

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BPA Quality

Call Center Quality Monitoring
Outsourced call center quality solutions including Multi-lingual, Multi-Channel Quality Monitoring, Call Center Consulting, Psychometrics & Analysis of Customer-Agent Interactions, Cloud-based Quality Analysis Software configured by Needs, Virtual & In-person Training, Speech Analytics & Speech Analytics Management.

3.) 
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)

4.) 
DialogTech

DialogAnalytics™
Powered by AI, DialogTech’s DialogAnalytics analyzes conversations to provide marketing and sales teams a wealth of insights for smarter optimizations. With the power of conversation intelligence, you can learn which channels, ads, keywords, and webpages drive the best sales calls, if the caller converted, and more.

AI analyzes how calls are handled at locations and call centers to detect issues that negatively impact ROI. See what percentage of calls go unanswered and who is best (and worst) at converting callers to appointments and customers. Get email alerts when phone leads are mishandled at locations so those leads can be called back right away.

With DialogAnalytics, you can get a...
(read more)

5.) 
eGain Corporation

eGain Analytics
eGain Analytics makes it easy to measure, analyze and refine your contact center operations, knowledge and web customer experience. Create informative reports, charts and dashboards effortlessly. Slice-&-dice the data in any number of ways and use it to manage the business effectively.

6.) 
Pointel

CXi - Customer Experience Insights
Pointel CXi, the IVR analytics platform, maps the entire customer journey and analyzes calls end-to-end to turn data into actionable insights. Centralized reporting is essential for seamless customer journeys, as it is critical to know where calls are transferred or abandoned.

CXi generates multiple reports on IVR performance, the Customer-IVR interactions, and sticking points in the IVR that cause customers to struggle. CXi’s IVR Analytics platform provides a comprehensive understanding of customer engagement.

Pointel Customer Experience Insights (CXi) delivers actionable information that enables businesses to reduce customer effort, operational costs and increase contact center effi...
(read more)

7.) 
PRILINK

SIP-Trunk Demarc Monitor
Analyzes SIP signalling and RTP audio stream of every call passing through the network demarcation point. Provide a real time 24/7/365 network baseline database that contains the IP bandwidth, call traffic of up to 128 voice groups, Call Detail Record (CDR), call blockage and MOS voice quality. All information are displayed in SIP-Trunk dashboards and are used in many applications, such as Telco collaboration, UC/CC analytics, Work Force Optimization (WFO) and caller identification.

8.) 
Vads

Social Media Analytics
Social media analytics is the practice of gathering data from blogs and social media websites and analyzing that data to make business decisions.

Typical objectives of Social Media include increasing revenues, reducing customer service costs, getting feedback on products and services and improving public opinion of a particular product or business division.

Key the activities involved:

Analyzing net sentiment score
Qualitative and quantitative of sentiment analysis
Measure the emotions (6 Emotions) of the consumers
Mapping out all potential advocates
Measuring a nationwide consumer sentiment
Unlimited data extraction & cleaning
Customized positive and negative keywords
Qualitative and quantitative insights & report writing
Measuring the consumer sentiment

9.) 
Tethr

Tethr is a cloud-based conversation intelligence platform that combines AI, machine learning and over a decade of customer experience and sales best-practice research to surface contextual insights from phone calls, chats, emails and other customer interactions. Companies use Tethr to turn large amounts of unstructured voice of customer conversation data into insights they can deploy to improve their customer experience.

10.) 
Trillys Systems

ActuCall
Imagine for a moment that you are a call center manager responsible for generating revenue through signing new customers or up-selling to existing ones. Imagine that your KPI is telling you you have an abandonment rate of 5% and someone comes along and says "No, your abandonment rate or dropped call rate is 13%." .." How do I know? AcutuCall VoIP software application can show you the dropped call data including, originating number and whether it was a network or equipment failure." Now imagine you can see your calls in progress on a mobile app, take your dashboard where ever you go! "What is a lost call worth to you?"

11.) 
VOIPFUTURE GmbH.

Voipfuture Qrystal
Qrystal provides communication service providers, wholesalers, enterprises, call centers and cloud-based voice providers with unique, dual visibility monitoring capabilities for analysing both SIP and RTP packets.

Unlike other solutions, Qrystal provides visibility into both control and media plane. This way, you get the full picture of in-call user experience, all in one place.

Voipfuture’s patented technology automatically identifies typical impairment patterns, allowing you to reduce the time it takes to fix problems.

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Xdroid

Xdroid is an independent, privately-owned software development company. This enables us to respond to changes quickly.

Our Artificial Intelligence solution, based on deep expertise, reveals the truth about your customer interactions and will help you to communicate better.

Analytics knowledge is the backbone of our development team. Years of experience in developing high-tech software for contact centers of financial institutions, utility companies, telecom operators, etc., give us an incredible edge.

We help you to predict and anticipate in an uncertain and turbulent environment. Communicate better.
 

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