Archive for March, 2019

Your Call Center Needs a Predictive Dialer. Here’s Why!

Posted on: March 27th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

When it comes to sales, reaching the maximum amount of potential customers is vital for the success of any business.

However, many call centers still rely on manual dialers, with call center agents having to dial numbers themselves. And many of these calls end up lost on answering machines, or with agents waiting too long a time for a customer to pick up.

Under such circumstances, how many productive calls do agents make in a single day? Needless to say, not many…

Luckily, technology, in the form of predictive dialers, is here to help again. Predictive dialers are intelligent outbound call processing and managing systems that use statistical data to help predict how many numbers need to be dialed at any one time, thus making sure that every agent is always in an active call.

Below, we’ve outlined why call centers need to rely on this technology. Make sure to read on!

Increased Talk Time

It’s simple: when it comes to selling, the more you can talk, the more chances you have to make a sale.

Predictive dialers work by dialing numbers while agents are still in a call, often initiating more calls than the number of available free agents. By the time an agent finishes a call, the predictive dialer has already dialed the next number. As a result, agents are able to spend as much time as possible talking to customers.

VCC Live®’s intelligent predictive dialer, for example, can allow your agents to spend up to 40 minutes per hour in active talk with customers, thus enabling you to interact with customers more effectively.

Increased Sales Numbers

Since predictive dialers significantly increase average talk time, agents have the opportunity to go the extra time to make more sales.

Furthermore, a predictive dialer will also allow your agents to get the most of the increased talk time by keeping customer data update.

In particular, predictive dialers can offer the ultimate in efficiency when integrated with other systems, such as a CRM. With CRM integration, an intelligent dialer can determine the best time to call customers by creating call-back lists with preferred calling times. When the time comes, the dialer automatically starts the call, while also supporting the agent with relevant information from the customer’s purchase history.

As a result, agents can reach customers at the right time with the right message, thus increasing overall sales rates.

Increased Agent Efficiency

One major advantage of predictive dialers is that they can greatly enhance agent efficiency.

Firstly, by relying on a predictive dialer, agents save time as they no longer need to manually dial numbers.

Secondly, once an agent finishes their current call, the predictive dialer already has the next call ringing and ready to handle. As such, the average waiting time agents spend between two calls is reduced to only a few seconds.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

These days, customer satisfaction is the lifeblood of any business. And luckily, as well as helping your agents, predictive dialers can also help you keep your customers satisfied.

Using unique algorithms, a predictive dialer can collect and store valuable customer data. And so, as well as your customers being contacted at their preferred time, your agents will also be able to offer them products or services that are actually relevant to the customer.

And as customers highly appreciate a company going the extra mile to keep track of their history and provide them with personalized offers, you can be sure that it will increase their satisfaction and loyalty to your brand.

How to Accept Payments Over the Phone – And Stay Secure

Posted on: March 26th, 2019 by Elemér Erdősi No Comments

Real-time payment technology is definitely a hot topic these days, with instant payment technologies becoming more and more popular with customers around the world, and innovative businesses competing head-to-head to be able to provide their customers with the latest real-time payment options.

However, when it comes to paying online (especially in a post-GDPR world), data security is always a major concern – for both companies and customers.  With that in mind, it’s particularly important for companies that provide real-time payment solutions to ensure that the customer data they process is fully safe and secure while handling card and debit card data based on the PCI-DSS regulations.

In this article, using my experience of overseeing the development of VCC Live Pay, a unique real-time payment solution, I’ll show you what you need to know about this technology and how your business can leverage it without jeopardizing customer data.  

An era of immediate payments

In an age of ever-increasing customer demands, customers expect to be able to pay anywhere, at any time and as quickly as possible. As such, the idea of paying in real time using web interfaces has been quickly embraced.

But while real-time payment technology has been around for a while, initiating payments in real time during a phone call is still a unique solution, available at only a few companies in the world.

A particular reason for that is that, to be able to initiate real-time payments during phone calls your company or the outsourced call center you rely on will need to be in possession of the PCI DSS certificate, one of the world’s strictest security standards, issued by the five largest credit and debit card issuers in the market (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB).

Debt collection companies especially can greatly benefit from utilizing real-time payment solutions during phone calls: not only do customers prefer immediate payments but also the best opportunity for successful debt-collection conversions is during a phone conversation.

Therefore, allowing your customers to settle their outstanding debts during a phone call can make all the difference to your collection company.  

Currently, businesses can leverage two methods (both of which are available at VCC Live®) to initiate real-time payments during a phone call. So, before you jump into the deep end with real-time payments over the phone, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each method.

Payments over the phone via IVR

Most of the time companies initiate real-time payments by transferring customers to an IVR system, where they can handle payments themselves without agent assistance.

Of course, paying via an IVR system, has both its pros and cons. In terms of the pros, a great number of customers now prefer the solution provided by an IVR system, solving their own problems without interacting with a live agent. And by relying on self-service IVR systems, businesses can save on human resources.

On the other hand, as you’ll probably be aware, IVR systems are not particularly popular with customers because of potentially long on-hold times and often overcomplicated menu options.

And, despite its prevalence, IVR often isn’t comprehensive enough on its own, with live assistance still ending up being needed. Even worse, many IVR solutions have no option for a human resource that can help customers out if they get stuck during the payment process – although it should be noted that some advanced solutions, such as VCC Live®’s VCC Live Pay offering, now provide the option for transferring customers to a live agent if requested and handle the payment with agent assistance. A lot more user-friendly, right?

Real-time payments with agent assistance

These days, paying in real-time through an IVR system is common. But how many of you have ever settled an outstanding debt, for example, an overdue bill, with a live agent during a phone conversation?

Allowing customers to pay during a phone call with agent assistance is still a very unique and innovative technology, with only a few businesses around the world providing such a solution. VCC Live® is proud to be one of those few companies.

However, as we all know, exposing customers’ data to a live agent can potentially bring significant security risks. To address this issue, solutions such as VCC Live Pay make use of mobile phone touchpads’ DTMF technology.

Dual-tone multi-frequency signaling (DTMFs) technology allows telco companies to know what number is being pressed when a customer presses the buttons on their telephone. Each number generates a distinct tone, which is sent as a signal to a switching system that translates it back to the original number.

So, when paying in real time during a phone call with agent assistance, instead of providing credit card information verbally to agents, customers enter the digits of their credit cards on their phone keypads, with agents as such being completely unable to register card data in any way.

As a result, the payment process is not only easy but also fully safe and secure, as no time do agents have access to customers’ card data while a customer is entering credit card details etc.

Without doubt, customer service is a tricky business. With often only a few resources at your fingertips, the key is figuring out what your customers want. The experience of VCC Live Pay’s global success shows that being able to pay in real-time during a single phone call is one thing your customers definitely want.

Proactive Customer Service is the Future of Call Centers

Posted on: March 21st, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Customer expectation has evolved over time but never as rapidly as in the last few years. In our ever-accelerated world, information is at the palm of our hands, with one result being that more and more is expected when it comes to talking to a business.

So, to get ahead of the competition, companies need to know what their customers want, before their customers even know it. And this means providing proactive customer service.

Below, we explore what proactive customer service is, and what benefits your business will gain by adopting it.

Proactive customer service – a new chapter in CX

When it comes to customer queries, businesses often just sit tight and answer the questions their customers ask. These days, however, there is nothing special about offering help when customers ask for it. In fact, providing reactive customer service is the least your customers will expect from your business.

To be honest, your customers do not want you to solve their problems. They want their problems to not exist in the first place.

And this is where proactive customer service, with its principles of trying to find potential problems and reaching out to customers to solve those problems before they even ask for help, comes into play.

Proactive customer service has a number of benefits for businesses: amongst other things, you’ll be able to increase customer loyalty, ease up your lines and boost your brand reputation. Sounds much better than waiting until your customer service lines get overloaded…

Increased customer loyalty

As new customers tend to cost more to acquire, keeping customers loyal to your business is critical to long-term business success. Put simply, loyal customers are better for your business because they will help your business remain profitable, while also allowing it to grow.

By providing proactive customer service, chances are you will be able to greatly increase your levels of customer loyalty. Seeing your company is willing to go the extra mile to solve problems before they even occur will definitely make your customers feel that they are valued and respected.

So, initiate a proactive attitude in your customer services team, and encourage them to try and solve your customers’ issues before they become bigger issues for your customers. You can be sure that your customers will highly appreciate your customer-centric approach and will, in return, remain loyal to your business.

Decreased customer calls

One thing is certain: customers do not like to spend their valuable time calling customer service lines and explaining their issues. To make things worse, they are, even now, often still put on hold for many minutes before being actually transferred to a live agent.

The result is that agents end up speaking to customers who are annoyed not only about the issue they may have with the company, but also about the length of time they have had to wait.

However, by utilizing proactive customer service, and reaching out to your customers before they contact you, you can take your customer service to the next level.

By doing so, you will not only decrease your incoming call volumes, but will also be able to identify and react to customer issues before they grow into bigger problems. You can be sure that the benefits will be clear, not least because your customers will appreciate that you are saving them the time they would otherwise be spending contacting you.

Boost your reputation

A strong and positive brand reputation is a must-have for any business that wants to thrive in the long term. A favorable brand reputation generates customer trust, and also encourages your customers to purchase from your business.

Providing proactive customer service will definitely allow you to establish a reputation for excellence and customer centricity, which is one of the main ways you can build trust with your customers. And, if your customers trust you, chances are better that they won’t leave you for the competition.

Last but not least, never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth: it’s common knowledge that customers prefer to purchase goods and services from a brand that is not only well known in the market, but is also popular within their social circle.

It’s worth repeating: proactive customer service is the new differentiator. With this knowledge in hand, if you aren’t already, it’s time to start harnessing the power of proactive customer service in your business.

VCC Live® Now Integrates With MS Outlook Calendar

Posted on: March 8th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard on a new feature that allows VCC Live® to integrate with MS Outlook Calendar. We’re delighted to announce that the new feature has been launched! 

Integration, integration, integration. It’s a major buzz word we hear all the time in the call center industry, and not without good reason.

In call centers, it is integrations that help keep your customer data consistent and up-to-date throughout all your systems. It is also integration that allows your agents to use one single platform during customer interactions, instead of switching from one system to another.

As a leading call center technology solution provider, integration is a vital part of our work here at VCC Live®: our solution already works with several systems, including CRM tools, Facebook Messenger and Google Calendar.

However, although VCC Live®’s system already works with Google Calendar, many companies also use MS Outlook Calendar to organize their work schedules and share events with co-workers. And so, a few months ago, we received a customer request from one of our German clients who wanted to also be able to integrate MS Outlook Calendar with our system.

And so now it can! How does it work? It’s simple. Using VCC Live®’s interface, when an operator schedules a meeting during a customer interaction, the meeting is automatically added to the operator’s calendar.

Similarly, operators can also schedule meetings, let’s say a customer meeting for the company’s sales representatives, on behalf of their co-workers, without having to switch from VCC Live®’s interface to Outlook Calendar. Furthermore, if an event is scheduled via Outlook Calendar, operators can see and check scheduled dates using VCC Live®’s interface.

Our mission here at VCC Live® is to continually provide our customers with a product that is custom developed to fit their needs. The introduction of this new MS Outlook Calendar feature is further proof of this mindset, which is one of the key reasons for VCC Live®’s worldwide success.

VCC Live® Has Been Awarded the PCI DSS Certificate for the Fourth Time

Posted on: March 6th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Another year, another successful IT audit! We’re more than delighted to announce that, after our latest comprehensive yearly audit, VCC Live® has once again been awarded the PCI DSS international certificate. VCC Live® has been PCI compliant for a number of years, and this year saw our certificate renewed for the fourth time.

For those not aware, PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is one of the strictest card holder data security standards in the world, and is backed by the five largest credit card issuers in the market.

The PCI DSS certificate applies to any organization that accepts credit and debit card payments, and PCI DSS compliance validation is performed annually or quarterly. As VCC Live®’s unique VCC Live Pay feature provides customers with the opportunity to make real-time payments during a single phone call, being PCI DSS-compliant is of utmost importance to us.

With the evolution of cybercrime, and with cybercriminals becoming more advanced than ever, businesses handling valuable customer data really do need to take all necessary measures to protect their data. Still, according to the following, alarming statistics conducted by EY, it seems that the majority of companies are still not prepared for a potential data breach. Their research found that:

  • Only 38% of global organizations are prepared for a complex cyber attack
  • Only 4% of organizations are confident that they have fully considered the information security implications of their current strategy
  • Only 12% feel it is very likely they would detect a sophisticated cyber attack

We are proud to say that we are at the cutting edge in this respect, and among one of only a few companies who take data security 100% seriously. Nothing proves this better than our fourth PCI DSS certificate, along with our two additional ISO027001 and ISO022301 certificates.

PCI DSS certificate vcc live blog

Balázs Zsolt, Information Security & Process Manager at VCC Live® and Miklós Tassi, Consultant and QSA Auditor at AperSky 

Here at VCC Live, data security and privacy have been at the heart of the company from the very beginning, and we’re proud of the fact that our company has been built with customer privacy in mind.

This fourth renewal of our PCI DSS certificate clearly reflects our dedication to data privacy, and determination to continuously review our IT security and business continuity processes, including successfully undergoing the yearly audits required for all three certificates.

Real-Time Payment Technology Over the Phone as a Performance Driver in Debt Collection

Posted on: March 1st, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Immediate payment over the phone is still a new technology businesses are trying to get their hands on. Especially companies dealing with debt collection operations.

Every day, customers promise debt collectors that they will pay their debts in the next few days. There’s only one problem: these promises are not usually kept. When this happens, debt collectors have no other choice but to repeatedly call back customers and remind them of their outstanding debts. And so the vicious circle of empty promises and no actual payments begins.

Over the past few years though, a unique real-time payment technology, VCC Live Pay, has gained significant ground in the European market. VCC Live Pay is a real game-changer, being the first real-time payment over-the-phone solution in the European region that allows agents at debt collection companies to collect actual payments during a single phone call.

With the increasing customer demand for speed and convenience when interacting with a company, instant and real-time payment solutions are rapidly becoming more and more popular around the world. And as with other industries, debt collection companies also need to respond to these new demands by providing their customers with solutions that let them settle debts via secure and easy payment solutions.

While by now it is almost second nature for customers to initiate real-time payments via web interfaces, the unique technology within VCC Live Pay is the beginning of a new chapter in real-time payment solutions. And what is it that makes VCC Live Pay stand out from the competition? The fact that it allows customers to settle their outstanding debts with an agent during a phone call.

Regarding VCC Live Pay, Péter Málhai, Head of Business Development, VCC Live®, said: “As an operator at one of our clients commented: “with VCC Live Pay, we are now collecting money, not empty promises”. Debt collection companies always struggle with the uncertainty of how many promises will actually turn into real payments. With VCC Live Pay, however, companies can now monitor in real time, hour to hour, how much money they actually collect during their phone calls”.

Using VCC Live Pay is easy:

  1. An agent contacts a customer via phone and encourages them to pay their outstanding debt during the phone call.
  2. The customer enters their card details via their mobile phone touchpad. Operators have no access to the data.
  3. The agent initiates the transaction and helps the customer during the process.

As VCC Live Pay meets the requirements set by PCI DSS, one of the strictest security codes in the world issued by the five largest credit and debit card issuers in the market (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB), the payment process is not only easy but also 100% secure.

During the payment process, although an agent is able to see how the request is progressing, at no time do they have access to a customer’s card data. And as the agent remains active throughout the call, they can assist the customer at any time. “Allowing your customers to pay in a cloud environment during a phone conversation with agent assistance is still a very unique feature in the market”, noted Péter Málhai. “In fact, we were the first company in Europe to develop such a technology.”

“In recent years, we helped many of our clients accelerate their debt collection processes with the help of VCC Live Pay,” commented Szabolcs Tóth, Founder and CEO at VCC Live®. “Amongst others, after starting to use VCC Live Pay in 2016, UPC (European cable provider) managed to increase their debt collection rates from 18% to 43% within a year. Today, VCC Live Pay is the most preferred payment option for UPC’s customers to settle their debts, with the company initiating 4000 transactions per 10 operators in a month.”

To find out more about how VCC Live Pay can level up your debt collection processes, visit vcc.live/vcc-live-pay or call +44 2086380169.