Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

VCC Live Now Supports HTTP/2

Posted on: June 9th, 2020 by Péter Krisán No Comments

The VCC Live DevOps team is delighted to announce the deployment of support for the HTTP/2 protocol. This will make establishing an HTTPS connection faster, reducing latency by enabling request and response multiplexing — thus resulting in improved data transfer speeds— as well as enabling us to further optimize our applications’ performance.

What is HTTP/2?

HTTP/2 is a major revision of the HTTP network protocol which is the foundation of the World Wide Web. Derived from a deprecated open-specification networking protocol originally developed by Google, HTTP/2 was released by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 2015.

The HTTP/2 protocol is a significant upgrade to its predecessor, the HTTP/1.1 protocol, which was standardised back in 1997, and continued to be the standard for nearly two decades.

What improvements does HTTP/2 have to offer?

HTTP/2 is backward-compatible with HTTP/1.1 in terms of transaction semantics. While HTTP/2 certainly improves on many of HTTP/1.1’s shortcomings, it does not ditch the application semantics of its predecessor, such as methods, status codes, header fields and the Uniform Resource Identifier. What has changed is how data is framed and transported between the client and the server. Luckily, these changes do not affect how already existing web applications work so they can be used without modification.

HTTP/2 supports full asynchronous request and response multiplexing. This allows a persistent connection to be maintained that can service multiple simultaneous requests,  reducing latency and connection loads on web servers.

HTTP/2 utilizes HTTP header field compression using HPACK. This reduces data redundancy, thus minimizing overheads.

HTTP/2 supports the use of server push. It allows servers to push responses into caches rather than the client having to wait for a new request for each resource.

HTTP/2 uses the ALPN (Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation) TLS (Transport Layer Security) extension. It offers improved encrypted connection speeds, since the application protocol is determined during the initial phase, thus avoiding additional round trips. This also makes the website loads faster.

At VCC Live we’re committed to bringing you unparalleled services and features in our software package. We believe under-the-hood improvements like introducing HTTP/2 support will result in noticeable improvements to performance levels.

What is a PCI DSS Certification And Why is it Needed for Payments over the Phone?

Posted on: May 22nd, 2020 by Elemér Erdősi No Comments

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 instant payments using mobile phones and web interfaces has been quickly embraced, with the latest technologies offering the possibility of paying in real-time during a phone call. 

When it comes to paying online, data security is always a major concern – for both companies and customers. As such, in order to keep customer data safe, any business that handles, processes, stores or transmits credit card data needs to acquire a PCI DSS certification.

But what is a PCI DSS certification? And why is it needed for companies offering real-time payments over the phone? Find the answers below in my article!  

What is PCI DSS?

PCI DSS is 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). The regulation requires businesses to comply with 12 general data security requirements. The general requirements apply to all businesses, while there are over 200 sub-requirements, depending on your business which of them are applicable to you.

The PCI DSS certificate applies to any organization that accepts credit and debit card payments. As VCC Live offers VCC Pay, a real-time payment over the phone technology, the company is PCI DSS compliant, which is the ultimate proof of our success to keep our business data safe and secure.

Depending on a business’s PCI merchant level, you might be required to perform an audit. For example, VCC Live is required to pass an annual PCI DSS audit. We are proud that this year saw our certificate renewed for the fourth time.

Failing to comply with the regulation is not a good idea. In fact, if your business handles online transaction without being PCI DSS compliant, you might face not only the potential security risks, but also heavy penalties, such as monthly fines up to $100,000.

PCI DSS certification and payments over the phone

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. And a particular reason for that is that, to be able to initiate real-time payments during phone calls, again, your company or the outsourced call center you rely on will need to be in possession of the PCI DSS certificate

However, complying with the PCI DSS regulation is a costly and lengthy process requiring a thorough preparation. Alternatively, it might be easier for your business to choose a solution that is PCI DSS compliant, such as VCC Live. In this case, the system you use already ensures PCI DSS compliance, guaranteeing that your customer data is safe and secure at all times. 

Currently, businesses using VCC Live can leverage two methods to initiate real-time payments during a phone call:

Payments over the phone via IVR

The first option is paying via an IVR system, which 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. On the other hand, IVR systems are not particularly popular with customers because of potentially long on-hold times and often overcomplicated menu options.

Also, 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. VCC Live®’s VCC Live Pay, however, provides the option for transferring customers to a live agent if requested and handles the payment with agent assistance. A lot more user-friendly, right?

Real-time payments with agent assistance

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, as part of the PCI DSS certification’s requirements, 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.

One major principle of the PCI DSS certification is keeping customer card data secure at all times, meaning it needs to be masked even for the contact center operators handling the call. So, when paying in real-time during a phone call with agent assistance, customers enter the digits of their credit cards on their phone keypads, with agents being completely unable to see 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 a doubt, customer service is a tricky business. Handling a great number of customers, data security is always a major concern. Acquiring a PCI DSS certificate or using a service provider such as VCC Live that is already PCI DSS compliant, will allow you to ensure customer data is safe and secure in all online transactions. 

How to Keep Call Center Data Safe When Transitioning to Remote Work

Posted on: May 7th, 2020 by Roland Háry No Comments

As businesses transition to remote operations, data security becomes an increasingly bigger concern. It’s a challenge heightened by the fact that a lot of call centers are transitioning to remote work for the first time, and in a relatively abrupt manner, due to recent mobility restrictions. This can mean unprepared call center agents, an undefined operations strategy, and overburdened VPNs with a sudden influx of your employees’ personal devices trying to access data.

When your operations do not have technologies and practices in place to support remote operations, there is always a risk for data breach. That fact that your remote operations are managed in multiple locations without oversight can also lead to serious concerns. Risks include agents that are not trained in proper data security practices as well as unsolicited access to valuable client data.

However, it is never too late to establish proper data security practices in your remote operations and build a secure remote infrastructure. Here is how to keep your call center data and your team safe.

1.  Set up two-factor authentication

The first step of any remote operation is establishing two-factor authentication. Asking agents to complete a second step when logging in can protect the company from unauthorized access or call center data breaches. The VCC Live application provides this feature with the help of an authenticator app on agents’ devices. Two-factor authentication can help in cases when an agent’s laptop or password is stolen.

2. VPN

Using a VPN service allows you to maintain a secure connection when agents connect to their work platforms and access your client databases. With the help of a VPN connection, your operations can remain safe, in case one of your agents decides to use public or unsecured wifi connections. VCC Live provides a secure VPN connection to all its clients. Additionally, data itself is stored in five various Global Data Centers with a 24/7 Security and Data team.

3. Access Control

When transitioning from office work to remote work, you need to review your internal roles and responsibilities and assign roles with the appropriate set of rights to your employees in order to keep your call center data safe. If you are worried about managerial oversight, make sure to rely on technologies that have multiple options when it comes to data access. For example, you may want to restrict remote agents’ access to certain data or features, compared to the access offered when working on-premise. VCC Live’s software allows you to do this as an administrator, by just unmarking access points in question.

4. Credit card data

In case your operations deal with over the phone payments, make sure that you choose a provider that can guarantee maximum security. Migrating your operations to remote work might raise concerns in relation to managing payments in your operations. What if your client’s credit card information gets stolen due to the lack of managerial oversight on how agents process payment data?

With VCC live pay, you don’t have to worry about such issues, as the client’s data is encrypted during the payment process. Additionally, VCC holds the PCI DSS certificate that applies to any organization that accepts credit and debit card payments. We are proud to say that this year was the fourth year that we were able to fulfill the criteria required to be awarded the certificate again.

5. Do research on your providers

When you choose which software to use for setting up your remote operations, make sure to choose a provider that is 100% GDPR and data security compliant. This way, you don’t have to worry about crippling fines in case of accidentally mishandled data. VCC Live is proud to boast itself as the holder of the ISO27001 certificate that ensures maximum levels of information and data security within an organization and in its processes, complying with GDPR requirements. We also hold the ISO22301 certificate that guarantees sustainable business management practices. This helps VCC Live adhere to the highest of measures when assessing internal and external risks, and is essential when preparing for critical business situations.

When transitioning to remote work, data security should be one of your top priorities. Data breaches can cost your operations millions in revenue loss, which might be hard to recover from. Make sure that your operation has two-factor authentication, runs on a secure VPN, your managers have access control options, and in case you handle over the phone payments, make sure that you have security standards in place. It is important to not only focus on cost efficiency but choose a provider you can trust with your call center data. Any data security decision is a long term investment, so make sure that you choose the right provider!

How to Use Video For Quick Customer Identification

Posted on: April 14th, 2020 by Dan Deschidar No Comments

As the need for remote services is increasing, so is the need for reliable and stable customer identification. While there are a host of tools out there to help you do this, recently, video has become an increasing trend in this respect. 

Using video for customer identification is increasingly recognized as one of the most reliable business security practices, especially when handling sensitive data and online payments. Besides safety, customer authentication through video proves to be a smooth and effective process and is therefore beneficial for both clients, agents, and businesses.

Initially taken up by the financial sector, identifying clients with video ID has become the preferred choice of a host of other companies in a variety of sectors. Besides online payment, video ID technology can help you with contract activation, cancellations, and upgrades.

Still hesitant about implementing video identification for your business? Let us help you make up your mind!

How does it work?

Customer identification is a simple, quick, and highly secure method of remotely verifying customers. It helps prevent identity fraud, speeds up customer service and increases customer satisfaction – and it’s definitely a technology that is here to stay. In short, Video ID is secure, effective and compliant.

How does video identification work on VCC Live Desk? It’s simple:

1, An agent offers a customer the opportunity to be identified via video call

2, The agent sends an SMS with instructions and a link to the video call

3, The customer clicks on the link and the video call begins

4, The customer looks into the camera and holds up an appropriate identification card

5, The agent takes a photo and checks the quality

6, The agent informs the customer if the identification was successful

Be secure!

Man and machine working together can significantly reduce risks, more than man or machine working alone. This is especially true in the case of video ID. VCC Live’s technology is a powerful way to discourage thieves and fraud attempts of any kind, combining both the advances in technology with the oversight of the human eye. This way, you have the best of both worlds: the attention to detail that only technology can provide and the human oversight that is needed in case of unexpected scenarios. 

The process of video identification makes it impossible for third parties to intercept or steal data. Furthermore, video ID helps your company gather data more efficiently. With the combination of GDPR compliant practices, video ID enables the recording and storage of all client interactions for future reference, such as helping a client solve a previously discussed issue or following up on previously established agreements.

Be efficient!

Video ID also increases the efficiency of your internal business processes. Video ID proves to be much faster than having a client send copies of their identity card and having a back and forth correspondence about it. On average, it takes under three minutes to get the process finished. With Video ID, customers will also be relieved, as they can forget trips to the bank, the post office or to a Xerox shop. Besides making your clients happy with shorter processing times, this can also be beneficial for your company, as agents can process more requests in the same amount of time.

Save money!

According to a recent report, the number of consumers who were victims of identity fraud fell to 14.4 million in 2018, down from a record high of 16.7 million in 2017. Identity theft and fraud is not just damaging to your company’s reputation, but also for your finances, as it can be extremely costly. Costs arising from fraud correction and management can cause companies billions each year.

Theft and fraud can lead to issues with creditors, suppliers, and it can also negatively impact cash flow. Besides the direct impact of more efficiently avoiding fraud, the reduced processing time enabled by video customer identification means less time processing a client and therefore, less cost for your operations.

Comply!

Besides helping build your brand on trust and efficiency, hassle free video customer identification also enables you to comply with legal requirements. Depending on your industry specific regulations, video ID can help with KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML regulations (Anti- Money Laundering). It builds trust in your business and you’ll become widely known for having strict regulations on the identification of your customer. Video ID is widely accepted, so you can make sure you are on the good side of work practices and regulations within your industry.

How VCC Live Supports Remote Work

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by Magdalena Horváth No Comments

The remote work trend of the past few years has also created a shift in the contact center industry. Contact centers are increasingly becoming virtual. Just like traditional call centers, virtual agents handle the same customer support or telesales tasks with the only difference that they work from home.

We have previously written about the benefits of setting up a remote contact center. Remote operations can be beneficial not just for employees, but also for companies and businesses. If you address initial concerns with the right technology and management mindset, a virtual contact center should be just as or even more productive as an on-premise one. Remote work can lead to increased productivity and lower operational costs. More importantly, it is essential for any business to be able to keep up business operations in times of uncertainty, such as mobility restrictions.

Already made up your mind? Good. But what features and functions help in actually setting up your remote workforce? Here are some of the solutions that VCC Live has to offer.

Step 0: A quick and easy setup

When migrating your operations onto different platforms, a quick and easy transition is key. You need to make sure that your business operations won’t lose time, revenue, and clients in the process. Adopting VCC Live software can take as little as a few hours, depending on the complexity of your requirements. To give you an example, an existing customer of ours with 200 agents was forced to move their entire operations to a remote working environment due to national mobility restrictions. Our client managed to complete the entire operation in just one day, including physically moving workstations to their agents’ homes.

1. Possibility to expand your channels anytime

Adding to the ease of setup is the flexibility of VCC Live software. When using VCC Live, your administrators have full access to project settings. This way, they are able to make changes without having to contact VCC Live. This is very different to what would happen with on-premise solutions or even most cloud-based, boxed solutions. 

When thinking about setting up your remote operations, you might have to think about the cross-channel workflow that best serves your needs. Perhaps you need to start using channels currently preferred by your customers, like Facebook Messenger or the chat feature on your website. Maybe you have some special announcements or offers for your clients at times and you need to use mass email or mass SMS sending campaigns. Alternatively, it might happen that you need to add an additional step to your usual calling activity. For example, you might have to send an SMS confirmation after a call is finished. Using VCC Live, you can easily set up all of your preferred channels and modify your workflow whenever it is needed.

2. Security in your operations

Besides ease of access and flexibility, reviewing your data and operations security is also one of the fundamental steps in creating a remote work infrastructure. By reviewing your internal processes, you can assign the appropriate roles and responsibilities to your admins, supervisors, and operators. With this, you can avoid data protection issues or avert project changes that were not approved.  

For example, you may want to restrict remote agents’ access to certain data or features, compared to the access offered when working in the office. With VCC software, you can easily do that from your administrator panel by just unmarking the relevant elements. Thanks to the combination of expanded user-right options and two-factor authentication, we are able to offer the highest levels of security to the software as well as to your operations. 

Additionally, we’ve been working hard over the past years to make our company 100% GDPR compliant. We are also proud holders of the ISO27001 certificate that proves the highest levels of information and data security within an organization and in its processes, matching GDPR requirements introduced in 2018. We also hold the ISO22301 certificate that guarantees sustainable business management practices.

However, the certificate that really marks out VCC Live from many other contact center software providers, is the PCI DSS certificate that applies to any organization that accepts credit and debit card payments. We are proud to say that this year was the fourth year that we were able to fulfill the criteria required to be awarded the certificate again.

The mentioned certificates help us adhere to the highest of standards when assessing internal and external risks, and are invaluable when preparing detailed plans for all potentially critical business situations.

3. Easily accessible data and call recordings

With agents working remotely, you want to be sure that all your calls are recorded and safely stored. Additionally, you might want to switch on call recording even in projects where you did not previously do it. You can easily download and store your recordings locally thanks to our VCC Live Archiver application.

If you often carry out manual database imports, consider using an API to automate your workflow and avoid human error when providing data for your projects. Perhaps accessing your data storage points is not even an option for admins or supervisors working remotely. Using our comprehensive developer’s guide, the VCC Live API can be set up easily by your IT administrators.

Besides two-step authentication and our API, VCC Live ensures data security by hosting data in multiple VCC Data Centers around the world.

4. Backup telco routes

Adding to security, VCC Live technology is based on instantly available backup telecommunication routes. This means that as soon as our systems notice anomalies in any of our used telecommunication routes, or we are notified of planned maintenance, we are able to instantly switch to alternative routes. In recent, unstable times, where many companies have been facing economic and technological difficulties, it is clear that the instant availability of backup routes is an extremely important advantage. With VCC default routes you have the security of automatic routing modifications whenever there are any problems.

5. Easy human resources management and monitoring

VCC Live software enables ease of access in your workflow when it comes to monitoring and managing your remote working agents. To enable this, VCC Live offers an automatic login feature, remote project switching, full access to user management, and rights setups for supervisors.

Using VCC Live, supervisors or administrators have complete control in their hands even when working remotely. Our technology enables the remote transfer of agents between projects as well as the ability to change their status. Additionally, supervisors can also have closer control over agents’ work time. For example, VCC enables the possibility to set up after work time limitations and, when using manual dialing, prework limitations as well.

Next to remote monitoring, VCC Live takes care of virtual agents’ interface as well. You can make sure your agents’ interface stays as simple as possible, while still allowing them to have all the necessary information they need to do their job. This includes review elements and scripts, that become especially useful, when information from their supervisors may take longer than the usual face to face question handling. You can decide which dispositions should be made visible for agents or when providing additional information is required. Additionally, you can also specify the parameters of your agents’ breaks, with logs and statistics that enable you to get an actual overview of your agents’ work schedules. User state logs allow you to keep track of when agents are on a call, log in or out, or how much time they spend on breaks. The log also highlights whenever a break is too long.

Real-time monitoring can also give you direct insights into ongoing agent conversations, and call-whispering features allow you to give feedback or help an agent without the customer hearing. If necessary you are also able to join agent- client conversation in a conference mode. 

In terms of data handling, we offer comprehensive real-time analytics and reporting possibilities on all your operations and channels. This means project and user-focused statistics as well as real-time monitoring options with customizable dashboards to fit your business needs. Finally, User activity logs enable you or your team supervisor to see daily updates, log-in requests or do-not-call registry updates.

You can also utilize VCC Live dashboards, in order to monitor your team results in terms of the most important business KPI’s. Dashboards are accessible from supervisors’ mobile devices too, so you can use them from anywhere you are without the need to stay in front of your computer.

6. Training, feedback and motivation tools

Adapting to an unexpected scenario and switching to remote work is not only challenging for you but also for your employees. State your expectations and the rules of remote working through clear communication.

Additional training sessions may be needed, especially if you are planning to revise your workflow. You may utilize VCC Live’s listen-in, whispering, and conference mode functions to serve this purpose.

Your employees should also know their work will be assessed just as usual. Remember to give regular feedback to ensure that your agents are doing their jobs well. If there are points to improve, highlight them, based on examples available in call recordings as well as VCC Live logs and statistics.

You can easily assess your agents’ work and give them instant feedback using either our Quality Management tool or by using a simple personal message. If you do not yet have an in-house quality control team, it may be a good idea to establish one to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction, regardless of the situation you are in.

You may also consider motivating your remote team with additional bonuses. These bonuses can be calculated automatically by VCC software, based on dispositions saved by agents and database fields’ values.

Last but not least, you can easily communicate with your employees. You can keep them up to date with personal chat messages, group messages, or send updates to your agents using Agent News whenever you need to share important information.

7. Key Account Management Team

If you feel that you need our help, VCC Live has a dedicated Key Account Management team available. Our experts can share their knowledge, help you prepare and execute software implementation plans, and manage your projects from a technical point of view. Additionally, they can give advice on best-working scenarios based on our own customer experiences.

We hope that this short checklist helped you find the tools for establishing a remote work infrastructure. Providing ease of access and a smooth transition, VCC Live software can help you establish a secure, safe, and efficient remote operation. Transitioning onto a remote work infrastructure proves to be more flexible and in line with modern call center standards. Therefore, it can be seen as more than just a temporary fix but a long-term investment. The time for remote ventures has never been better!

The 5 Must-Have Features For a Remote Contact Center

Posted on: March 30th, 2020 by Dorottya Márton No Comments

The remote work trend of the past few years has also created a shift in the contact center industry. Contact centers are increasingly becoming virtual. Just like traditional call centers, virtual agents handle the same customer support or telesales tasks with the only difference that they work from home.

We have previously written about the benefits of setting up a remote contact center. Remote operations can be beneficial not just for employees, but also for companies and businesses. If you address initial concerns with the right technology and management mindset, a virtual contact center should be just as or even more productive as an on-premise one. Remote work can lead to increased productivity and lower operational costs. More importantly, it is essential for any business to be able to keep up business operations in times of uncertainty, such as mobility restrictions.

Already made up your mind? Good. But what is the next step in actually setting up a remote workforce and establishing a fully functioning remote contact center? While having a remote workforce might seem like a good idea, the steps to establishing it could strike one as difficult. However, keeping some of these five essential functions in mind make for a perfect foundation for a well-functioning remote business infrastructure.

1. Omnichannel communications

As we have previously written, omnichannel communications are an essential method for interacting with customers in an effective manner, making your business communications smoother and more effective. In combination with this, it also makes your agent activity more integrated and simple.

Multichannel communication means using several channels when interacting with customers. However, omnichannel communication takes things to the next level by aligning the channels used. Most call centers will be expected to deliver a seamless omnichannel customer experience to maximize personalization, as customers are no longer used to repeating what they said previously to another agent through a different channel. Instead, they expect that the agent they’re talking to knows their interaction history and efficiently solves their issues. 

By aligning your channels, your remote agents will be able to instantly identify the customer they are handling, regardless of when and where previous remote agents talked to them. Something that the customer said on social media, phone, or email, will be available on a single platform, for the agent to see the next time that she is communicating with a client.

2. Predictive Dialer

A predictive dialer is an outbound calling feature that is capable of predicting how much time agents spend idle or inactive conversation. Predictive dialer calls are also initiated by the dialer, as the system continuously and dynamically calculates the number of calls it has to initiate to keep the operators busy. According to some statistics, an agent can spend up to 25% of their time idle. 

If you manage outbound campaigns, a predictive dialer is perhaps the most essential feature for your contact center, whether you manage it from on-site or remotely. This way, you can reach the highest number of records from your database and keep your efficiency as high as possible, even if your team works from several locations. 

3. Remote Monitoring

This brings us to remote monitoring. Besides being able to see the real-time inbound and outbound calls of your agents with the help of the predictive dialer, a remote monitoring interface allows you to track the entire activity of your agents. With remote monitoring, you can listen into ongoing conversations, talk to an agent without the customer hearing, transfer agents between projects, or change the agents’ status. This can be done from anywhere, without the need for on-premise interaction, simply through an integrated call center platform.

 4. A KPI Dashboard

Understanding your metrics and establishing your daily or weekly goals might seem like a headache when initially trying to set up the management of virtual call center agents. However, the KPI dashboard of cloud-based contact centers provides easily understandable numbers that you can follow in real-time. These statistics include quantifiable oversight, such as disposition, global and project-specific calls, and inbound statistics. VCC live provides all these features that are needed to support virtual agents and their supervisors.

5. A secure, cloud VPN

Tracking your agents and keeping your KPI’s and your client communications on track might seem easy. However, data security can look like a bigger task. How can you make sure that virtual agents follow data security protocols? Modern call center solutions have an answer for this. With the help of a secure VPN connection and cloud technology, you can set up a call center network that your employees can have access to in a safe manner. Additionally features, such as two-factor authentication, prevent unauthorized access or data breaches. In the case of VCC Live, the data itself is stored in five various Global Data Centers with a 24/7 Security and Data team.

Bottom line? When it comes to maintaining a modern business, having the right technology is essential in building your enterprise on solid foundations. You have to keep the following in mind when setting up your remote contact center: Omnichannel communications help remote data handling and client communications. Predictive dialer and remote monitoring technologies allow for an effective workforce. A KPI dashboard helps you keep your business goals aligned. Last but not least, a secure, cloud VPN should solve all your data security concerns.

Managing Virtual Call Center Agents

Posted on: March 25th, 2020 by Dorottya Márton No Comments

The increasing trend in remote work has created the modern profession of virtual call center agents. Just like agents in a traditional call center, virtual agents handle the same customer support or telesales tasks with the only difference that they work from home.

In a fast-paced, globalized business environment, it is an increasing asset to have such a remote work infrastructure. There are an increasing number of studies on the benefits of remote work, such as location and time flexibility, time saved due to the lack of commuting, and general employee well-being. Remote work is also beneficial for companies as it increases productivity and lowers operational costs. More importantly, as the current situation shows, it is essential for any business to be able to keep up business operations in times of uncertainty, such as mobility restrictions.

The most common concerns

There is a lot of discussion on how to work from home as a single employee, all the way from its psychological to its practical aspects. Go through your morning routine, get dressed as if you were going to the office. Have a comfortable, secured home office infrastructure, including a quiet place to sit, high speed internet, and an established place for video calls. However, managing an entire virtual workforce is a whole different question. How do you remotely manage your employees while keeping your KPI’s and your clients happy?

Some of the most common concerns for managers of virtual call center agents involve productivity, security, and communication. In terms of productivity, managerial concerns include the failure to properly oversee agents. Many feel that if they are not there to supervise their team, agents might go on breaks more often or expand their downtime. Alternatively, they might feel that they cannot oversee agent communications with customers or clients.

Adding to this is the issue of security. Many managers might feel concerned about how to ensure remote data security. What if agents log in to insecure public Wi-Fi or simply do not have a secure connection of their own? What if their laptop gets stolen?

Last, but not least, communication concerns might involve the possibility of decreased community and work morale due to the lack of one to one interactions and live contact. This might be to the detriment of effective team collaboration when needed.

So how do you go about managing your virtual agents?

Track activity remotely

While your agents might not be reporting to you in person, you can easily manage them remotely as long as you have the right technology and plan in place. As we have previously written about setting up the office for remote work, your agent activity can easily be tracked with remote, cloud-based systems. With features such as user state logs, you can keep track of agents’ states to find out, for example, when agents are on a call, use a broken code, login or out, or exceed the allowed break limit.

Real-time monitoring can also give you direct insight into ongoing agent conversations and call-whispering features will allow you to give feedback to an agent without the customer hearing. Using a cloud contact center, you can transfer agents between projects, or change the agents’ status from a distance.

Similarly, features, such as the user activity log can further help you in keeping your remote agents’ work on track. User activity enables you or the supervisor of your team to log daily updates, log-in requests and updates do not call registries.

Remotely meeting you KPI’s

Understanding your metrics and establishing your daily or weekly goals might seem like a headache when initially trying to set up the management of virtual call center agents. However, the KPI’s dashboard of cloud-based contact centers provides easily understandable numbers that you can follow in real-time. These statistics include quantifiable oversight, such as disposition, global and project-specific calls, inbound and outbound statistics.

VCC live provides all these features, needed to support virtual agents and their supervisors. Additionally, it is worth considering tools that further help team cooperation. These involve easily accessible video conferencing and team collaboration tools, such as Zoom or Slack. Such tools not only enable team collaboration, but can also provide a sense of social contact and connectedness, making agents feel that they can reach out if they need support.

What about data security?

Tracking your agents and keeping your KPI’s solved. But how do you get around to data security? How can you make sure that virtual agents follow data security protocols? Modern call center solutions have an answer for this. With the help of a secure VPN connection and cloud technology, you can set up a call center network that your employees can have access to in a safe manner. Additionally, features such as two-factor authentication prevent unauthorized access or data breaches. In the case of VCC Live, the data itself is stored in five various Global Data Centers with a 24/7 Security and Data team.

The bottom line? Although it might initially seem difficult, managing virtual call center agents has never been so easy. If you are confronted with the challenges of managing a virtual workforce, remember the variety of software you can use to track your agents remotely, keep your KPI’s, and secure data. With the right technology, you can observe the full benefits of remote work in an effective and safe manner.

Why You Need to Introduce Callback Technology in Your Contact Center

Posted on: January 30th, 2020 by Roland Háry No Comments

In our ever-competitive world, call centers that handle incoming calls cannot afford to lose a single call. It doesn’t matter what industry you operate in, you can be sure that the competition will never sleep, and will always be looking to win over customers from your business. Luckily, callback technology can help you prevent that!

Every company that wants to strive in the long run must be able to handle incoming calls at any time, whether customers are asking for information, requesting support or making a complaint.

There are two options for successfully handling your contact center’s incoming calls:

Your first option is to increase the number of agents in your team who are responsible for handling incoming calls. You’ll thus be able to ensure that every call is addressed by an agent within an acceptable period of time.

However, as we all know, agents’ salaries are the biggest expense for any contact center, so this is not the most cost-effective solution.

Your other (and better in my opinion) option is to benefit from contact center callback technology, meaning that you rely on a technology solution that efficiently offers callbacks to customers.

So, if it seems that your contact center has enough agents to comfortably handle incoming calls even during peak periods, maybe this means you are employing too many agents and could easily save money and operate more efficiently by introducing callback technology to your workplace.

Interested? Okay, let’s see what you need to know about callback technology and its possible benefits for your contact center!

Callback Technology in Contact Centers – the Benefits

One thing is for sure: customers don’t like to be left waiting on hold for too long. Callback technology is a great solution for handling this problem, as it can eliminate the need for your customers to wait at the other end of the phone line until one of your agents is ready.

It does this by allowing customers to choose to have an agent call them back if they feel they are waiting too long in a line. The result is reduced wait times, less lost calls and more satisfied customers.

Furthermore, it is a cost-effective solution that helps with handling peak periods, increasing agent productivity and boosting contact center efficiency.

VCC Live’s callback technology is particularly impressive, as with it you can offer two options to your customers when they request a callback:

Firstly, your customers can request a call back after a specified number of seconds, and wait for you to offer a callback during a less busy business period.

Secondly, thanks to our speech-to-text technology, customers can also choose an exact date on which they wish to be called back by simply saying it out loud into their phone handset.

Of course, customers can also decide to continue to wait in the line and, once they hang up the phone, our system can automatically assign a callback to the first free agent in the queue.

VCC Live’s two options work perfectly depending on your company’s field of operations and company culture. The first option is a great solution for contact centers that tend to receive urgent technical issues, while the second option is ideal for companies mainly receiving calls requesting general information.