In days past, recording and quality monitoring systems were 'silos' strictly responsible for recording voice calls and evaluating an agent's performance. Today, more and more of these systems have evolved to integrate with several other systems to track all forms of communication, including e-mail, chat, Web and even screen activity synchronized with the voice call. All of this functionality is rolled into a single seamless and integrated package resulting in much more accurate reporting of all communication between customers and agents. Another important trend is to provide not only record and playback functionality, but also evaluation tools, reporting analysis and coaching of agents to improve the customer experience.
TMC Labs recently tested Envision Telephony's Click2Coach MultiSite Edition, which goes well beyond simple quality monitoring. Click2Coach integrates traditional quality monitoring with integrated evaluation forms, personalized training and coaching tools. It also provides call recording, screen capture, evaluation tools, training capabilities, live monitoring and more. Click2Coach is based on Windows NT, uses a SQL back-end database and is comprised of three primary components: Click2Coach Agent, Click2Coach Supervisor and Click2Coach Trainer.
Envision Telephony has taken a unique approach to call recording versus many of its competitors. Click2Coach was not designed to record each and every call. Although technically the product could record all calls, Envision Telephony's system is much more than just a call logger/recorder.
Rather than record everything, Envision Telephony's strength is that it was designed to record just a sampling of the calls using a specified schedule along with nth number of calls (i.e., record every fifth call). For most business applications, recording a sample of calls is sufficient, unless you are in the financial, legal, emergency health care and law enforcement and other industries that require 100 percent call recording. In any event, the supervisor can evaluate the sample of calls, then provide the completed evaluation form to the agent along with any training clips (if necessary) to improve the agent's performance.
There are too many features to list, so we'll highlight some of the more important ones. First, the agent's Web-based interface, aptly called 'Agent'
(see Figure 1) is very powerful and extremely valuable. Agents can view a personalized inbox that stores evaluated customer interactions (voice, e-mail and Web chat), training videos and more. In addition, via the Web interface, agents can instantly record their own calls on-demand for self-evaluation or escalation. A personal effectiveness graph shows an individual's performance scores, providing instant gratification if they have improved. Agents also have access to personalized, ongoing training in the form of brief videos which consist of a voice recording and synchronized screen capture of any application.
Figure 1. The Web-based agent interface.
One nice feature is that the evaluations are integrated with the customer interaction records, which lets agents play back customer interaction records while simultaneously reviewing their personal evaluations online. Another important feature of Click2Coach is that it doesn't simply stop recording once the call has ended. You can
set a 'wrap-up time' to record for some predetermined amount of time after the call
has ended to ensure proper capture of any data entry on the screen.
One of the most powerful features of Click2Coach is its ability to quickly create customizable evaluation templates used to measure an agent's performance. Once the templates are published, all supervisors in the contact center can take advantage of them. Similarly, Click2Coach features extensive reporting capabilities. It provides a wide range of standard reports, such as Quality versus Productivity, Effectiveness and Average Quality Score by Group. Since the product has a back-end SQL database, customized reports can be run either manually or using third-party reporting packages such as Crystal Reports.
Envision Telephony visited us in our lab to install their product and integrate it with our Comdial DXP PBX. While Envision Telephony supports CTI integration with most PBXs, it also supports non-CTI environments. With CTI-integration, users can accurately determine the start and end times for the calls, associate caller I.D./ANI, and more. Since we did not have the Comdial DXP's CTI software up and running, we used voice detection to determine the start and end of the call. While not as precise as a CTI implementation, it works quite well. We should also mention that tone detection is available to determine start/end call times.
Some recording and monitoring solutions do trunk-side recording. The disadvantage of this implementation is that it cannot record internal extension calls. Envision Telephony's solution actually performs its recording by 'listening' in on each extension while emulating a supervisor's analog or digital phone set. By terminating the physical connections using actual phone extension ports, it can record both internal calls and outbound/trunk-side calls. This platform allows users to record agents using a PBX's service observation feature, rather than conferencing, to record agents. This enables the system to silently record the call (recording using conferencing is detectable).
We tested the various Click2Coach components, which include the Administrator program and the three major components: Supervisor, Agent and Trainer.
Administrator. From the Administrator application we defined our users and groups, set up our channels, entered our service observation code (to allow the system to observe/record the agents) and configured other miscellaneous settings. The interface was very well organized and featured an Outlook-like interface
(see Figure 2).
Figure 2. Administrator application for
configuring the system.
The administrator has the ability to allow or disallow agents to stop scheduled recordings. In addition, from the Administrator program, users can choose if and when to auto-delete call recordings. If a user decides to auto-delete recordings, he or she can also choose to delete only those recordings that have been reviewed or delete both reviewed and un-reviewed recordings. A user can also lock or archive a recording to prevent auto-deletion.
The Administrator program also allows users to scale the screen capture from 25 percent to 100 percent, though we found leaving it on 100 percent scaling to be the most useful, since it has a direct one-to-one aspect ratio on the screen when performing playback of a recorded screen capture. We also had the option to select eight-bit color as opposed to full color to save storage space.
We were also able to define the telephony and switch settings and storage parameters, launch the Web-based reporting module, look at server statistics and monitor who was connected to the server. Overall, we were very pleased with the Administrator interface. Our only complaint is that it needs right-click functionality. For instance, the ability to right-click and 'add user' within a specific group would be nice. Another drawback is that we could not right-click on users or groups within the Admin program and perform a delete or rename operation.
Supervisor. The Supervisor application (see Figure
3) is used for scheduling and reviewing the recordings. The scheduling capabilities are some of the most important features of Click2Coach and truly are the 'heart and soul' of the product. The Supervisor application empowers supervisors to coach agents for success by providing the ability to evaluate, train and motivate agents.
From this application you can set up automated scheduling as well as live recording of voice and screen activity. Using the powerful scheduling feature, you can set it to record at a certain date/time range as well as record every nth call, record X total number of calls, record calls at least X seconds long, record X seconds of wrap-up time and more. In addition to scheduled recorded interactions, supervisors can initiate 'live recording.'
Figure 3. Used for scheduling
recordings, evaluation, sending training clips.
From the Supervisor application, a user can evaluate calls and then distribute evaluated records and training materials to the agents. If you look at
Figure 3, you will notice very useful icons next to each recorded activity that indicate whether it was a scheduled voice call (timer icon), if the screen was captured (camcorder icon) and whether the call record was evaluated or not (large 'E' icon).
We liked the fact that when you evaluate a call, you simply select the evaluation template form, at which time the form is launched from within the Supervisor application along with a built-in multimedia player for playing back the voice and/or screen activity. Having it embedded within a single window makes it easier to listen to the call, pause the playback and then make the appropriate annotations in the evaluation form.
If you look at Figure 4, you will see both the evaluation form and the screen activity being displayed simultaneously. We were concerned that since the evaluation form and the screen activity are two separate windows, the screen activity window would 'hide' behind the evaluation form once we changed the focus to the evaluation form window, making it difficult to listen to the call and fill out the evaluation form, while all the while still viewing the screen activity. Fortunately, Envision Telephony designed it so the screen playback window always stays on top of the evaluation form, allowing users to type information into the evaluation form and rate the agent's performance while simultaneously viewing what the agent was doing on his screen during the call. We should mention that the screen playback window can be adjusted to a small window or even full-screen if necessary. One nice feature worthy of note within the multimedia player is that users can set up as many as eight bookmarks in a recording for easier re-playback.
Figure 4. Supervisor evaluating a call
along with screen activity playback.
Agent. Click2Coach Agent is a Web-based application that gives agents the ability to review training videos, look at evaluated customer interactions, examine supervisor notes and view contact center statistics
(see Figure 1). In addition, since it is a Web-based application, often times this Web portal is used for displaying incentives and awards such as 'Employee of the Month.' Another important feature of the Web-based Agent application is that an agent can perform 'on demand' recording of a any customer interaction should the need arise. We liked that this application is Web-based, which means easier deployment in a large call center environment.
Trainer. This application is used to create video clips consisting of a voice recording synchronized with the PC's screen activity. This means a supervisor can demonstrate exactly what to do in any application by creating a training clip and then forwarding the clip to agents. This is done by simply clicking the record button, which records the mouse movement, screen activity and the supervisor's annotated instructions all into a single training clip file which can then be forwarded. We tested this application by capturing both the screen and our voice instructions as we described how to set up junk e-mail filter rules within Microsoft Outlook. We then forwarded this training clip to another agent and the screen playback was perfectly synchronized with the voice instructions.
Room For Improvement
We came up with a few usability suggestions to improve the product. For instance, within the Supervisor application, we would like to see bubble help (tool tip) on the multimedia player. We'd like to see support for playing back voice recordings across the LAN to a sound card. Also, as previously mentioned, there was no right-click functionality within the applications. When sending training/recording, it should automatically select the previously highlighted user rather than have to expand the tree, scroll down and then choose the user. Scrolling and finding the specific user that we had already selected in the previous screen was a bit tedious.
Within the Web interface, there were no keyboard shortcuts (i.e., delete key) to quickly perform a particular operation. In addition, we had some trouble figuring out how to delete groups. When we had a specific group highlighted on the Supervisor application's left-hand pane, the menu option to delete a group was grayed out. We eventually figured out that we had to highlight the server name, then highlight the group name on the right-hand pane and finally we could delete the group.
Also within the Supervisor app, we couldn't add a 'regarding' comment without first opening the call record. We would like to be able to single-click a call record to 'rename' the blank 'regarding' field to some meaningful text, in a similar manner to Windows Explorer where you can highlight a filename and then single-click to perform a 'rename' function. This also holds true for the Trainer application, where we would have liked to rename the title field. We should point out, however, that we were able to single-click to rename the folders within this application.
Another feature missing is the ability to drag-and-drop users from one group to another from the Administrator program. Since a user can be part of multiple groups, perhaps the control key could be used when 'copying' the user to another group and not pressing the control key could result in the user being 'moved' to another group. A warning could be issued if the user is a member of multiple groups and is being moved to a single group to prevent accidental disassociation with the other groups. Our only non-usability complaint was that when we created a schedule for a particular user, it took five minutes or longer to show up within the Supervisor application. We would have liked to see the Schedule take effect almost immediately, if technically possible.
In the end, all our complaints pertain to minor user interface or usability improvements. We were, in fact, very pleased with the user interface of Click2Coach. We've merely been so spoiled by certain keyboard shortcuts, right-click functionality and other usability shortcuts that we expect to see them all the time. Once we got the hang of using Click2Coach, we got used to the quirks and were able to use the product with no problem. For that reason, we gave the product an excellent overall GUI rating of 4.75.
If we had to sum up what the product does, essentially Click2Coach gives contact center supervisors the tools to coach agents for success. Click2Coach provides training, quality monitoring and evaluation tools for supervisors while providing e-learning capabilities for agents. By recording customer interactions (including both voice and screen activity), then providing the evaluation tools to evaluate these recordings, and finally giving supervisors the ability to send evaluations and even training video/audio clips to agents, this solution encompasses both the supervisor and agent experience. More important, by providing a comprehensive set of tools that handles both the supervisor and agent experience, the product will not only improve agent productivity and morale, but will improve customer service as well. TMC Labs would not hesitate to recommend this product.
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