Posts Tagged ‘contact center’

VCC Live Partners Up With Axtel to Provide Companies With High-Quality Headsets

Posted on: October 10th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

In order to provide your customers with the best experience, you’ll need to have the right tools. And in the call center one of those tools is undoubtedly headsets.

And since it is agents who communicate with your customers and therefore represent your brand, you should make sure to equip them with the best quality headsets you can find.

Here at VCC Live, we’re not just simply a software solution provider. We also offer professional consultancy services, helping our customers find new ways to improve their performance.  Now we are taking things a step further by partnering up with Axtel in order to provide our customers with the best quality headsets around.

Over the past few years, headset technology has advanced significantly, with features like noise cancelling and wireless capabilities bringing major benefits to the call center. But what should you look for when purchasing a headset? Let’s see!

Work environment

Is your call center too noisy? If the answer is yes, then you should definitely choose a headset model that includes noise cancelling as a feature. On the other hand, if your call center office layout has been designed to minimize background noise, then you can focus on other important aspects when purchasing headsets, such as comfort, for example.

Comfort

Speaking of comfort, since your agents typically wear their headsets for 8 hours a day, it is of utmost importance to make sure you provide them with a comfortable headset. As such, make sure to look for a product that is lightweight, easily adjustable and comes with large ear cushions.

Sound Quality

Exceptional customer experience starts with crystal clear sound. This is exactly why you’ll need to choose a headset designed with sound quality in mind. Again, noise cancelling is one feature that enhances sound quality in headsets, as noise is a major issue in most call centers. So, definitely check for this when choosing the ideal headset. 

Axtel provides premium high-quality headsets, combining an advanced sound technology with an original design in one interface that is designed for the most demanding user. Their headsets guarantee clear and flawless communication on both sides.

Axtel’s premium products provide not only top quality sound and noise cancellation but are also extremely lightweight, offering agents possibly the highest level of comfort available on the market while wearing them. All headsets come with a two year guarantee.

As well as being available to buy, it is also possible to rent Axtel headsets from us. Our customers usually prefer renting as, on the one hand, it’s a lot more cost-effective, and on the other hand, all headsets are changed to new ones every two years, with ear cushions being replaced every year.

VCC Live is happy to be able to help you choose the most ideal headset for your call center. For further information about Axtel premium headsets, please contact your dedicated Key Account Manager or our customer service at support@vcc.live or +36 19996400.  

Effective Ways to Leverage Outbound IVR in the Call Center

Posted on: October 3rd, 2019 by Elemér Erdősi No Comments

Have you ever asked your customers what the first thing is that comes to their minds when they think of IVR systems?

Well, the bad news is that it’s probably the vision of never-ending calls, with an automated system playing annoying music in the background until they get transferred to a live agent.

The good news is that these days, thanks to rapidly advancing technology solutions, an IVR system can be used for a lot more than just routing callers’ incoming queries.

IVR technology can now also be used for outbound purposes as well, a well-constructed outbound IVR allowing companies to excel at some of the most important customer service activities.

Check out my article and find out what the most effective ways are to use an outbound IVR system in the call center!

Outbound IVR surveys

As we all know, customer feedback is vital to any business. On one hand, by collecting customer feedback, you can communicate that your customers’ opinions matters to you. On the other hand, customer reviews contain some of the most valuable information you can gather about your product, allowing you to improve your processes in the long run. After all, it is customers who use your products, isn’t it?

When it comes to collecting feedback, companies often send out mass SMS messages with a link that directs customers to a survey they can fill out. And while this is one way of collecting customer feedback, why not instead simply give your customers a call and ask them directly for their opinion?  

An outbound IVR can be used to proactively reach out to a large number of customers and conduct a survey with them over the phone. Customers can either use their dial pad to type their message or simply say their opinion out loud while the IVR system records it, and using speech-to-text these voice responses can be also saved as a text.

Luckily, outbound IVR survey calls can be personalized as well. By leveraging text to speech technology, for example, you can address your customers by name and further personalize the message by providing additional personal details in the conversation.

IVR for debt collection

One thing is certain, debt collection companies receive a lot of payment promises. 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 of course, it is costly allocating some of your resources to repeatedly remind the same customers of their debts.

So, have you thought about launching an outbound IVR campaign that uses a recorded message to notify customers of their outstanding debts and due dates? For example, VCC Live’s outbound IVR feature can calculate and subsequently let customers know how many days are left until they need to settle their debts.

And if you want to kill two birds with one stone, you can even offer your customers the option of being transferred to a live agent or self-service to pay their debts during a call. How amazing is that?

Telesales and lead generation

Outbound IVR systems can also be used for telesales and lead generation purposes. Most companies have at least a few databases with extremely cold contacts who almost never pick up their phone.

Allocating members of your workforce to repeatedly call numbers that are unavailable for the majority of the time is unlikely to bring any return to your business. And this is where an outbound IVR campaign comes in handy: you can launch an outbound IVR campaign specifically for your cold contacts, and if any of those customers pick up, they can be automatically transferred to a live agent. By doing this, you can make the most of your cold contacts without having to waste your expensive workforce on them.

Furthermore, it is the main goal of any telesales department to prospect for qualified leads. Finding these qualified leads, however, takes a lot of cold calling, which is again very costly. An outbound IVR system, on the other hand, can greatly improve your lead conversion process by pre-qualifying interest.

In other words, you can start automated cold calls, play messages regarding your product, and then offer customers an option to be transferred to a live agent if they are interested.

Mass notifications with outbound IVR

Outages and service interruptions can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. In such cases, you’ll need to notify hundreds or even thousands of customers about the interruptions within the shortest possible time period.

But handling mass notifications in a call center greatly reduces productivity, as agents end up dealing with the notifications rather than handling customer queries. However, one effective way to easily communicate such interruptions with your customers is by sending out mass notifications through an outbound IVR.

Again, you can personalize your mass notifications by using a combination of pre-recorded audio and text-to-speech technology.

Of course, with an outbound IVR, you can communicate other important messages as well, such as letting your customers know of unexpected changes in your business, driving them towards last-minute sales, or reminding them of an upcoming appointment with your company. 

Outbound IVR systems can be greatly beneficial for any call center that deals with outbound customer activities. Make sure you also leverage it!

3 Easy to Implement Tips to Building Employee Loyalty in the Call Center

Posted on: September 18th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

 Call center turnover is a constant challenge for call centers. At the same time, finding new agents is becoming increasingly difficult due to the advanced language skills, long working hours and high levels of flexibility call centers expect of agents.

So, here’s the ultimate guide on how to build employee loyalty in the call center!

Try Call Center Gamification

Due to the high demands call centers set, their employees often quickly lose motivation, leaving the industry to explore less stressful career opportunities.

Therefore, for any call center striving to keep their agents loyal, it’s essential to create a less stressful and more fun work environment.

Leveraging call center gamification is a great way to help create a collaborative atmosphere and better work culture. Adding some games into every day work will create a sense of community and increase engagement, encouraging agents to build long-term loyalty towards your business.

Offer Them Career Opportunities

Who said you cannot build a career in the call center? Still, most people (including agents) think it’s not possible to move up the career ladder in a call center.

The truth is, however, that there are a wide variety of career opportunities in call centers. Responsibilities vary greatly, depending on the nature of the company, agents’ experience and personality, so don’t leave agents stuck in their position once they’ve outgrown it.

Offering continuous training opportunities will encourage agents to plan for the long term. When it comes to training call center agents, there are a number of best practices. Reviewing recorded calls together with your agents, for example, will allow you to provide them with a crystal-clear example of what is and what is not appropriate during a customer call. 

Also, when training your agents, set your creativity free. You can, for example, create a common knowledge base, and encourage your agents to contribute to it with their own knowledge.

Recognize Them through Rewards

The biggest challenge for agents working in a large team in a call center environment is to stand out from the crowd, and for their work to be acknowledged by management. It’s no surprise then, that call center agents often feel they are nothing more than just another cog in the call center wheel.

As such, if you want to increase employee loyalty your call center, make sure you create a workplace environment in which they feel they are valued by the company.  Recognizing your agents through rewards is a great step in creating this kind of workplace environment.

There are a number of ways you can do this. For example, you can create a coupon book and give out coupons for 15 minutes of time off or a remote working day. Whatever you do, always make sure to award prizes that make the winners feel special. You can be sure your agents will, in return, stay loyal to your call center.

Employees stay loyal to businesses that treat them well. Make sure you follow our tips to help keep employee loyalty high in your call center! 

Cold Sales Call Strategies to Sell More Effectively

Posted on: September 13th, 2019 by Péter Málhai No Comments

People tend to say cold calling is dead, but in reality, there’s still a lot of potential in cold sales calls. But only if you do it right.

When it comes to cold calls, getting it right means thoroughly planning your conversations in advance.

Using my 15 years’ experience in sales, I’ll bring you an article every month to show you how to plan and execute cold sales calls effectively, so that you can make more sales and close more deals. Don’t miss out on the first article of our cold sales call strategies article series!

Build trust and gain sympathy

Imagine the situation: you’re at home and hear your cell phone ringing. You check your phone and don’t recognize the number. You think maybe it’s the feedback you’re waiting for from that job interview last week, so you pick it up excitedly – only to find out it’s a cold call from a company. As soon as the operator starts speaking, you already know they will want to sell you something, and you immediately begin to feel negatively about the call. That’s why building mutual sympathy and trust is the first and very (if not the most) important step in any cold call.

Pro tip: when making a cold call, the first sentence decides everything. Don’t start by asking “is it a good time to talk”, since it’s not only vague but also indicates the call might be long and therefore reinforces the receiver’s negative feelings towards the company you represent. Instead, try and introduce yourself quickly, ask them if they have 2-3 minutes for the call, and promise them you’ll be very quick. By doing this, your customers will know from the very beginning of the conversation that the call will not take long and you’re not going to take their valuable time for too long. 

Assess needs and make an offer

The goal of customer needs assessment during a cold sales call is to understand what your customers want and how your product or services can meet their expectations. Assessing customer needs is a vital part of the sales process. Put simply, if you don’t know what your customers want, then it will be difficult (if not impossible) to meet their expectations.

Pro tip: In certain occasions, customers don’t have any specific needs. In such cases, it is the sales rep’s task to generate needs for them. Let’s look at an example: “I understand that you like your smart TV, however, I’m sure you would enjoy watching your favorite movies even more on a device with higher resolution (of course, it only works if you manage to gain information about their favorite movies before.)”.

Once you manage to build trust with a customer, it’s time to thoroughly assess their needs. The best way to do this is by preparing a series of questions and selecting the most relevant ones, based on the current conversation. After having got an overall picture of the customer’s needs, make sure to summarize what you’ve heard, and the make an appropriate offer.

Pro tip: when you summarize what you’ve heard make sure to apply the ‘three yeses’ rule, meaning if you ask three questions and the customer’s answer is yes to all three questions, then it’s 90% that they will say yes to your next question as well.

Handle customer objections

No matter how good a product or service is, every customer will have objections which will make them hesitate before buying them. And in order to make more sales and close more deals, sales reps will have to learn how to successfully overcome these objections.

Objection handling means responding to the customers’ concerns in a way that changes their opinion and encourages them to proceed with the purchase. The best way to handle objections is through active listening, asking follow up questions and responding to customers’ comments in a thoughtful way. When it comes to responding, reacting too impulsively, arguing with a customer, or pushing them too hard to proceed with a purchase will only make things worse, as customers will easily lose the trust you’ve built with them so far.

Also, don’t forget about the golden rule of commerce: the customer is always right. So, even if you don’t agree with what they are saying, try and respond in a way that makes them feel they are right. 

Pro tip: when customers are not sure about a purchase, they usually refer to the easiest and most common type of objection, which is objection based on price. In such cases, however, they might actually have every intention of making the purchase, therefore, it’s worth asking a few additional questions to discover what the customer’s real objections are and start handling them.

Cold sales calls can be frustrating both for your reps and customers. But if you follow the steps mentioned above, you’ll be able to build trust, gain customers’ attention and as a result close more deals. 

City Connect Chose VCC Live to Power Their Customer Experience Services

Posted on: August 26th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

We are more than delighted to announce that City Connect decided to leverage VCC Live’s solution to power their customer experience services in Croatia to start with.

City Connect is an established business process and technology outsourcing (BPTO) provider with several offices in Europe (www.citycc.eu), specialized in omnichannel customer experience, sales and marketing services. Their mission is to deliver next-generation customer experiences and help companies connect with their customers and partners every day, around the world.

As a company aiming to deliver exceptional customer experience, City Connect needed a technology solution that allowed them to live up to its customers’ increasing expectations. As such, City Connect decided to leverage VCC Live’s professional package including advanced features, such as an intelligent predictive dialer, dashboard and real-time analytics.

As providing sales and marketing services amongst others, City Connect’s success greatly depends on the efficiency of services through outbound channels. With VCC Live’s intelligent predictive dialer, the company can now fine-tune their outbound campaigns by setting unique parameters.

Furthermore, in order to be able to reach excellence in their operations, VCC Live provided City Connect with customizable analytics. Among other things, with our export editor, the company is able to determine and customize what data to export from their databases. 

Last but not least, City Connect needed a solution that allowed them to monitor their performance in real-time. With our powerful dashboard, City Connect is able to see and monitor the most essential KPIs in real-time, including historical call data.

We are looking forward to a fruitful partnership with City Connect, and are ready to help them deliver the best possible results to their customers across the world.” – Norbert Simán, Customer Success Manager at VCC Live

Our company recognizes ever-increasing necessity to provide state of the art efficient and versatile software solution to connect with our clients and their customers. VCC Live meets our high expectations and offers an additional value to our proposal.” – Ivica Mađura, Director at City Connect

Increasing Customer Satisfaction With Skills-based Routing. Here’s How!

Posted on: August 16th, 2019 by Roland Háry No Comments

Ask any call center manager what’s one of the most important KPIs they constantly strive to achieve in the call center, and you can be sure that they’ll tell you: it’s customer satisfaction.

Now ask customers what they find the most annoying when they contact a company’s customer service department, and you can be sure that they’ll tell you: it’s unresolved issues.

Customers reach out to customer service lines with a wide range of issues. But if they can be connected with the right agent for the first time that excels at the service they require, chances are better of achieving a satisfactory result. This is exactly what skills-based routing is for and why you absolutely need to leverage it in the call center.

Read on to find out how skills-based routing will help you reach high levels of customer satisfaction!

What is skills-based routing?

Most call centers offer several services, each of which requires a different skill set. Of course, not all agents are created equal: while some of them might be great at customer service, others might be natural-born salespeople.

And this is where skills-based routing comes in handy. Skills-based routing is a technique used to direct customers to the right agent by routing incoming calls to specific agents based on the service requested.

Calls might be routed based on agents’ availability and skills, the type of customer query and customers’ call history.

Benefits of skills-based routing

Every call center team consists of agents with different skill sets. And by leveraging these different skills and knowledge, you can easily skyrocket your customer satisfaction levels.

Skills-based routing will allow you to utilize your agents’ strengths by assigning them to calls that require their skills and knowledge. In other words, you’ll be able to direct callers with simple issues to less specialized agents, while customers with specific requests to more experienced and skilled agents.

As a result, both average wait times and first call resolution will improve as agents are not only talking to customers but are also efficiently resolving their issues.

For skills-based routing, all you need is reliable software solution that enables you to route your calls to agents with the proper skills and knowledge.

When it comes to routing your calls, the best method is to assign agents to different campaigns based on their skills, a technique that is already available in VCC Live’s solution.

However, in case you work with a smaller workforce, chances are your agents need to handle several types of services, and thus you cannot divide them by campaigns. Luckily, skills-based routing is an efficient method in such cases too.

Let’s look at an example: out of your 50 agents, 25 excel at sales activities, the rest is proficient in complaint handling. Let’s say you experience peak periods when all of your 50 agents need to actively take calls. With VCC Live, you can rank your agents based on their knowledge and customer profiles and route your calls accordingly.

As such, if you suddenly receive an increased number of incoming calls after a TV spot, the calls will be first routed to your 25 agents specialized in sales and after to your remaining agents in case extra help is needed. Similarly, customer complaints will be primarily routed to customer service agents but in case of an unexpected peak time sales agents will also receive incoming calls.

Take away

Skills-based routing is inevitable for any call center that strives to provide superior customer experience. Amongst other things, it reduces average wait time, increases first call resolution and greatly improves customer satisfaction.

What is Call Center Shrinkage and How to Keep It Low

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

Call centers are all about efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. In such a competitive work environment, increased productivity is the key to success.

Productivity depends on a number of factors, including up-to-date technology and optimized workforce management. Indeed, throwing money out of the window by leveraging an outdated system and having high levels of agent idle time is clearly a mistake.

We have already talked about in a previous article how you can reduce agent idle time. This time, we’re going to take things a step further and talk about what call center shrinkage is, and how you can reduce it to keep your productivity high.

What is Call Center Shrinkage?

Call center shrinkage refers to the number of agents who are actively answering calls at a given time divided by the number of agents who are not available to serve customers for any reason. The difference between the two is called call center shrinkage, indicating how much time your agents spend not helping your customers.

As we all know, agents will call in sick and go on holidays every now and then. Similarly, team meetings and training sessions are part of every call center agents’ job.

As such, call center shrinkage comes from both internal and external factors: among other things, internal factors include holidays, sick time, lateness, while external factors might be lunch time, meetings, training sessions and after call work.

Leverage data

At a call center, data is everywhere: agent average talk time, average call volume, the proportion of closed deals or first call resolution are all examples of important call center metrics that are readily available.

When it comes to managing call center shrinkage, thorough planning is your ultimate key to success. And luckily, in a call center you’ll have plenty of data helping you to make accurate forecasts.

As such, make sure to leverage your data and forecast how many calls will be coming based on your call history. Also, you can investigate average agent talk time or the proportion of closed deal and come up with strategies to improve them.

Rely on part-time and remote workforce

Hiring remote agents is nothing new to the call center industry. In fact, as we already mentioned in a previous article, employees prefer remote working.

On the other hand, call centers can also greatly benefit from hiring both remote and part-time agents, helping call center managers better manage workforce and react to sudden peak times.

For example, in case of an unexpected flu season, which is an external shrinkage factor, you can rely on your part-time or remote agents, improving your shrinkage rates.

Take advantage of technology

Technology is advancing at lightning speed with better and better state-of-the-art technology tools entering the market year after year.

By leveraging innovative contact center technology, you can create real-time statistics, which will be essential to help you keep shrinkage rates low by monitoring and evaluating your processes and agents’ performance.

For example, you evaluate how much time your agents spend with after call work, how often they participate in meetings and how effective is your training system.

Working on these factors will all contribute to keeping call center shrinkage rates relatively low, and thus improving your productivity.

50 Must Know Call Center Terminologies

Posted on: July 17th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

ACD, ATT, BCP, Robinson list, call blending. Just a few of the call center terminologies, abbreviations, and jargon that dominate our business conversations on a daily basis in the call center.

Are familiar with all of them? Here’s a list of 50 must know call center terminologies to help you out!

1, Abandoned call

In inbound call centers, an abandoned call is a call initiated by a user or customer, but dropped by them before a call center agent has answered it and before an actual conversation has occurred. The user can drop the call due to a too long waiting time caused by agents insufficient availability, or due to technical issues such as Internet coverage problems. In outbound call centers, abandoned calls occur when a Predictive Dialler initiates calls and reaches customers, but there are not enough operators to handle them. 

2, Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)

An Automatic Call Distributor is a system or telephony facility that manages and forwards inbound calls to the appropriate agent based on preset handling instructions.

3, Afterwork

The time an agent uses to finish administration work, such as ticketing, filling in forms, registering calls and call-related information needed, after a call has finished.

4, Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average Handle Time (AHT) shows the average time an operator spends in call-related activities, including a conversation, hold time, and any after-call activities and administration. It is calculated by using the following formula: 

(Talk Time + Hold Time + After-work) / Total number of handled calls = AHT

5, Application Program Interface (API)

The Application Program Interface is a set of procedures, tools and functions that allow the creation of application software. It specifies how software components communicate and interact with each other.

6, Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR)

Automatic Speech Recognition is the capability of a program or machine to identify phrases or words in a particular spoken language or natural speech, and then turn them into a format that can be read by machines. It allows humans to speak to computers and communicate with them in a way that resembles regular human conversation.

7, Auxiliary Time (AUX)

Auxiliary time is the time an agent spends in unavailable status in the call center system, or during which the agent cannot accept new calls because they are on a break, etc.

8, Average Talk Time (ATT)

The average value of time spent by an agent talking with customers in a given period of time. It is calculated by using the following formula: total time spent in call / all handled calls = ATT

9, Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

A Business Continuity Plan is a written document outlining potential threats to a company, and the information and guidelines the company needs to continue operating if an event takes place which negatively impacts operations.

10, Call Blending

A feature that supports the handling of outbound and inbound calls simultaneously, based on predefined combination and priority rules. It is usually used to quickly handle any incoming calls during an ongoing outbound campaign, by monitoring the number of incoming calls, agents availability and other system measures at the same time. Call blending rules prevent a dialer dialing outgoing calls for a specific agent, by excluding them from the algorithm for a specific time.

11, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

Business Process Outsourcing is a process that involves delegating a specific business process’ operations and responsibilities to a third-party service provider, in order to optimize internal operational costs related to HR, technologies, knowledge base, etc. The main advantage of BPO is to increase company flexibility, as well as optimize cost- and time efficiency.

12, Call Routing

Call Routing is a call management procedure, wherein a call is sent to a specific queue after being qualified by the telephony system. It can refer to both outgoing or incoming calls. Inbound Call Routing refers to the ability to route calls to different people and locations depending on a variety of factors, for example call volume, time of day, language preference of the caller, or specific department requested. It is often used to provide a backup solution for a call center, in case their regular operations are, for example, out of service. In terms of Outbound activities, it means the ability to perform calls via various providers’ networks, for example as a cost-efficiency tool.

13, Callback

A telephone call initiated by a call center agent in order to contact a previously-contacted customer again. Callbacks are used to contact customers who have been promised further information, have requested an appointment, or simply requested contact at another time. Callbacks can only be handled by the agent who handled the original phone call.

14, Call Detail Record (CDR)

A Call Detail Record is a file or document produced by a telecommunications system or equipment used in a call center that contains detailed information about executed calls, such as source and destination numbers, IDs, call duration, completion status, scheduled follow up actions and call transcripts.

15, Customer Experience Management (CEM or CXM)

Customer Experience Management is a set of processes, actions and measurements used to handle and interact with customers in order to meet and exceed their expectations. CEMs help boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.

16, Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management is an approach that companies use to interact with their customers. It consists of practices that help companies retain customers, and grow their customer network and sales. In order to achieve this, CRM uses different systems to collect and analyze data regarding communication and relationships with their customers, as well as their preferred communication channels.

17, Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

Computer Telephony Integration is the technology which allows the use of computers to handle telephone calls.

18, Customer Database

A list of records of existing or potential customers. It usually contains the phone and other channel contact details, private and demographical information, buying patterns, owned products, and other information used by companies to help target their campaigns or handle customer communication.

19, Disposition

A status that describes the outcome of a call, specifying whether it was reached or not, was finished successfully business-wise, is closed or needs a callback, etc.

20, Document Management System (DMS)

A Document Management System is a computer system designed to track, process, manage, and store documents, aiming to reduce paper usage and make document processing faster and easier. It also helps to track changes and version updates of the documents.

21, First Call Resolution (FCR)

First Call Resolution is an important efficiency KPI, measuring whether a customer has received a conclusive answer to their inquiry by the end of the first call, thus eliminating the need for further calls.

22, Handled Call 

A call that has been connected or transferred to an agent who carries out the needed tasks to resolve it.

23, IaaS 

Infrastructure as a Service is a type of online, cloud-based computing service that provides computing resources virtually. 

24, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

Integrated Services Digital Network is a technology which allows companies and contact centers to handle up to 30 circuits (in other words 30 simultaneous calls) at the same time, with the ability to link two or more ISDN modules together to handle 60, 90, or even more calls simultaneously.

25, Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Interactive Voice Response is the technology by which computers can play pre-recorded messages with a list of options for customers to choose the type of service they need by using voice commands or DTMF tones on a telephone keypad.

26, Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Key Performance Indicators are measures used to determine the quantity and quality of contact and support provided by individual contact center agents, and the Contact Center as a whole.

27, Manual Dialer 

Manual dialers require agents, once they are ready to make a call, to manually choose records and dial phone numbers. This type of dialer gives agents time to prepare for a conversation, and allows them to get acquainted with a customer’s case and details, but provides lower efficiency results, due to subjective time management and the need for agent presence at every stage of a call, from record selection, through dialing, ringing, conversation and afterwork.

28, Omnichannel Customer Service

Customer service providing customer support via multiple communication channels such as phone, email, chat, and social media.

29, PaaS 

Platform as a Service is a cloud computing service in which a third-party provider provides the platform needed to develop and run an application, thus freeing software development companies from the need to build, manage and maintain the infrastructure needed to develop and launch apps.

30, Private Branch Exchange (PBX)

Private Branch Exchange is a telephone system that switches calls between users in a central office line, thus allowing intercommunication between a large number of telephone stations.

31, Power Dialer

A power dialer is an automatic dialer that works on the basis of initiating as many calls as there are free agents in a project. Once an agent closes a call and becomes available, the power dialer automatically dials a new contact for them.

32, Predictive Dialer (PPD)

A predictive dialer is an automatic dialer that works on the basis of dialing more calls than the number of free agents in a project. Dialing starts while agents are still handling other active calls. By the time an agent finishes their call, the predictive dialer has already dialed the next number and has the next call ringing and ready to handle, saving agents time and providing highly-efficient results.

33, Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

The Public Switched Telephone Network is the collection of telephone lines, optic cables, cellular and microwave transmitters, and other similar devices and technologies, which form the global telecommunications infrastructure and help connect telephone devices with each other.

34, Recurring Payment

Recurring payment refers to the process of making automatic payments on a recurring basis. After an initial successful payment, recurring transactions take place based on a defined schedule.

35, Robinson List 

The Robinson list is an opt-out list of people who do not wish to receive marketing transmissions from companies.

36, Return On Investment (ROI)

Return On Investment measures the generated gain or loss of money in relation to the amount of money that has been invested in the development of a product or service.

37, SaaS 

Software As a Service is a cloud computing service in which a software solution is hosted centrally, but is made available to license or subscription fee-paying clients over the internet.

38, Shared Callback

A shared callback is a type of disposition that means that the dialed number was not reached, or was reached but a conversation did not take place and the number needs to be dialed again later. A shared callback means that the number will be set as a callback for a group of agents, and the first available agent at the scheduled time will receive and process it.

39, Service Level (SL)

Service Level defines expected performance in terms of service availability within a given time period. It is usually specified in %. 

40, Service Level Agreement (SLA) 

Service Level Agreement is the percentage of calls answered by an agent within a previously-agreed Customer Waiting Time. It is usually specified in %

41, SLA Value 

The time allowed for answering calls, calculated as the time between a client reaching a queue and agent picking up the call. This value shows whether calls that require agent support have been answered within a predefined time or not, and is important because of its impact on customer satisfaction. 

42, Talk Time 

Time spent actively communicating with customers within a given time period (usually measured per hour) while logged into a project.

43, Text To Speech (TTS) 

Text To Speech is a type of application or feature that allows computers or other systems to read a written text.

44, Two-factor authentication (2FA) 

Two-factor authentication is a security process that requires user verification on two levels before access to a file or system is allowed. The process usually consists of login and password, and a second additional authentication, such as an SMS or e-mail code. 

45, Uniform Call Distribution (UCD)

Uniform Call Distribution is a system of distributing inbound calls evenly between a group of agents and queues, while also providing waiting time messages and other announcements.

46, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

A methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. VoIP uses packet-switching rather than circuit switching, meaning that voice transmissions are divided into different packets that are transmitted to the receiving party at the other end of the telephone line using different paths over the internet. All of this happens in a very short time, and even though these packets travel separately, the transmitted voice is assembled again at the receivers end in an intelligible and logical order.

47, Voice Over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE)

VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution) is a new standard for high-speed wireless communication, providing HD voice quality, reduced background noise, and many other important features and benefits of interest to those who believe in the importance of voice and data transfer quality.

48, Webhook

Webhook is a way of altering the behavior of an application or webpage by using callbacks. In other words, it is an action-reaction workflow. Callbacks are triggered by other predetermined triggers, and when a specified event takes place, a specified action results, for example, a comment posted to a blog results in a notification being received.

49, Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC)

WebRTC is an open-source project that enables real-time peer-to-peer communication over audio and video, as well as file and screen sharing over the web. It uses Real-time Transport Protocol, and allows its users to instantly start audio and video conferencing, transfer files, and share their screens without the need of any third-party programs or applications.

50, Wrap-up Time

Time an agent uses to finish administration work needed after a call.

5 Pro Tips to Retain Your Best Call Center Agents

Posted on: July 5th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

These days, businesses need to provide their employees with reasons to stay at the company. Offering an outstanding working environment and conditions is essential, but it is increasingly not enough in a business world where most industries face labor shortages. 

From the very beginning, call centers have had a bad reputation for being stressful places to work at. As such, it’s no surprise that agent retention is of utmost importance to most call centers.

In this article, we’ll give you five pro tips that will help you keep your agents in your team in the long run. Read on!

Empower them with the right tools

Technology is advancing at lighting speed, and it’s no different in the call center business. Therefore, instead of pushing your agents too much, make sure to rely on up-to-date technology to help them in their everyday work.

Making agents’ jobs easier by empowering them with smart call center features, such as a predictive dialer, CRM integration or call blending, will definitely encourage them to plan for the long term in your call center. In addition, system integrations will allow your agents to rely on a single all-in-one platform, instead of having to navigate around several systems.

In an ever-changing technological business environment, you need to keep up with technology advancements anyway, don’t you?

Offer valuable feedback

One thing is for sure: in a fast-paced work environment such as a call center, the majority of agents will undoubtedly appreciate feedback in order to able to excel at their job.

Valuable feedback can not only have a great impact on your agents’ performance but also provide them with the professional guidance any employee needs in order for them to plan for the long term in the workplace.

As such, always make sure to allocate enough time for one-to-one sessions with your agents and offer specific and crystal-clear feedback to them. If you need more help with this, check out our article on how to give feedback to your call center agents.  

Provide Systematic Training

When you allow your agents to talk to your customers, you are basically putting your company’s reputation in their hands. In other words, as it is your agents who can keep your customers happy in the long run, make sure to provide them with systematic training sessions so that they can treat customers in a way that is worthy of your company. 

When it comes to training call center agents, there are quite a few best practices. Reviewing recorded calls together with your agents, for example, will allow you to provide them with a crystal-clear example of what is and what is not acceptable during a customer call. 

Also, when training your agents, set your creativity free. You can, for example, create a common knowledge base, and encourage your agents to contribute to it with their own knowledge.

Career Development Opportunities

Call center agents have to work hard to hit their (often unrealistic) target KPIs. Of course, in such a competitive environment, agents crave recognition from management.

Appreciating your agents is a great first step, however, if you really want to retain your agents, make sure to create a workplace environment in which they are encouraged to plan for the long term.

Younger generations put a great emphasis on career opportunities. And as the call center industry is constantly growing, so do the opportunities to fulfill a career at a call center. As such, try and offer internal job promotion opportunities when your best agents reached their maximum potential in their agent team.

Add some fun to work

If you want to retain your best agents, then creating a collaborative atmosphere and better work culture should be high on your list of priorities.

Anyway, who says call center life can’t be enjoyable? There are plenty of ways to make your agents’ everyday work just a little bit more interesting.

For example, you can leverage call center gamification and introduce games into agents’ daily activities, including offering prizes to agents in order to encourage growth in both their engagement and performance.

Another great way to keep agents stay is by allowing them to contribute to social causes. Supporting a charity or organizing fundraising events as part of corporate social responsibility will definitely encourage your agents to feel connected to a larger cause, while also helping your business boost team morale.

Why Your Call Center Needs to Leverage Customer Segmentation

Posted on: June 28th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

These days customers are one of a business’ most valuable assets. And as we all know, in our ever-competitive world, it’s easier to retain customers than get new ones.

As such, it’s no wonder there’s fierce competition among companies to provide customers with an as-convenient-as-possible customer experience. As we already talked about in a previous article, one particularly popular method you can use to provide customers with a superior experience is by offering personalized customer service. Another less-known but equally important way is by leveraging customer segmentation, a method that allows companies to take personalized customer service to a whole new level.

So, let’s take a quick look at what customer segmentation is, and why your call center needs to be leveraging it!  

What is customer segmentation?

In short, customer segmentation is the method of treating customers in different ways based on predefined segments. For example, if a customer has recently experienced a number of issues with a business, then chances are that the company will place them in a segment for special treatment, in order to keep them as their customer.

Customer segmentation, however, is more than just offering special treatment to certain customers. It can be based on a number of factors, including demographics, customer loyalty and satisfaction, behaviors, needs and so on. Customer segmentation can also help companies decide which channel they should use to reach out to customers, in order to increase both customer satisfaction and the company’s benefit from the interaction.  

So what are the most important benefits of customer segmentation? Let’s dive in!

Meeting customer expectations and needs

One thing every business strives to achieve is to meet their customers’ expectations. And customer segmentation is a great method to help you do that.

Customer segments allow businesses to divide customers into segments based on their needs and interests, and reach out to them with personalized offers. You can also create segments based on new customers and old customers, or, using purchasing history data, satisfied customers and not-so-satisfied customers.

Analyzing customer data and purchasing history is vital when creating customer segments. In fact, if you can understand your customers’ expectations and needs by analyzing their data, then you can offer personalized offers that are a better fit than what your competitors offer.

Increased profits

With customer segmentation, you can also create segments based on value, so that you can work out who your high-value customers are. Value-based segments will allow you to evaluate your customers in terms of the revenue they generate and the costs of retaining them.

Let’s say, for example, that your call center is focusing on collecting debts. We all know these days that debt collectors utilize a number of channels to reach out to debtors. So how can you decide which channel to use with certain customers? With customer segmentation, of course.

By basing your customer segmentation on the value of their debts, you can utilize low-cost channels such as SMS reminders for customers who only owe your company a comparatively low amount of money, thus allowing your agents to focus on higher-value customers.  

Efficient customer retention

Perhaps the most important benefit of customer segmentation is that it helps companies create an efficient customer retention strategy.

Customers don’t like to repeat themselves when talking to a company, especially if they have been the company’s customer for a long time. As such, interacting with long-term customers on a more personal level is key when trying to provide a better quality of customer service.

Additionally, customers don’t tend to forget how you handled their past issues, so showing them you know their history by leveraging customer segments will definitely help you gain their loyalty for life.

You could, for example, create a segment for long-time customers who experienced issues with your services recently and offer them some kind of compensation. You can be sure that actions like this will increase their loyalty to your brand.

With customers’ ever-increasing expectations, it’s vital to leverage customer segmentation in the call center to meet those expectations, increase the call center’s profit and most importantly retain established customers.