Virtual Agents: Home-Based CSRs Deliver New Benefits to the Contact Center

Anybody talking to me about the benefits - both to employer and employee - of working at home is preaching to the converted. I have happily, and very productively, I think, done my jobs from living quarters for most of the past two decades. And because my employers have granted me the awesome benefit of telecommuting, I always try to go the extra mile for them....

Feature Articles

It Pays to be Positive: The Cost Benefits of a Positive Call Center Culture
Customers expect a lot from agents. They want them to have a good attitude, be knowledgeable, and have the ability to resolve issues on the first attempt. Research shows that happy agents ultimately lead to happy customers.

Breaking Business Boundaries with Virtual Contact Center Efficiency
Customer retention and the need to create loyalty building initiatives are topics for every customer care organization. Plans for these initiatives frequently hit a brick wall when the need to reduce costs is considered equally important as such corporate directives. These seemingly divergent customer care requirements are really not mutually exclusive if a hosted (or often referred to as “virtual”) contact center solution is considered.


DVS Helps Organizations Leverage the Contact Center as a Competitive Differentiator
As companies like Apple teach us the value of customer experience, more companies appear to be looking inward to figure out how they can improve both their products and their outward-facing operations and brands. Yet when it comes to customer interaction solutions, many businesses to date seem to have put more emphasis on cost cutting via automated systems and offshore call centers than on how to harness new solutions to meet and exceed customer expectations and drive new revenues. If this sounds familiar, perhaps it's time to take a closer look at your customer contact strategy.


Enhancing Agent Communications
The advent of new communications methods offers innovative ways that companies interact with their customers. Many simple transactions or straightforward phone calls that used to be the bulk of the call center interactions are increasingly handled effectively through self-service channels. What remains are often more challenging or complicated queries. In addition, centers are increasingly focused on improving first call resolution - being able to address effectively the caller's issue without callbacks or delays.

Call Center, CTI Pioneer Kuhn Offer Perspective on Industry Trends
Envision is a pioneer in delivering team coaching and performance improvement products and services to the contact center. The company’s Click2Coach integrates quality monitoring and management, e-learning, automated coaching, and analytics and performance management capabilities. Click2Coach and Envision Workforce Management are offered via that Envision Centricity web-based workforce optimization platform.


Cutting Customer Churn in the Collections Business
For a long time, building customer loyalty was arguably the business world's equivalent of the weather. Lots of people talked about it, but very few seemed committed to doing anything about it. In the presence of an increasing number of well-managed customer retention programs, research confirms that customers who are targeted by a retention program demonstrate higher loyalty to a business.

Capturing the Value of Voice, E-Mail Information
Organizations are losing loads of important and actionable data that is communicated during conference calls and other interactions that never make it into databases, or is stored but is not easily accessible. However, there is a movement afoot to capture such information and put it to good use.


CIS Congratulates TMC Labs Innovation Awards Winners
We are proud to bestow this award to 17 worthy companies, listed in full in the September issue of Customer Interaction Solutions magazine and online at TMCnet. CIS divided between two magazine issues the detailed write ups of the winning products and services. You can find the first installment in the October issue of CIS magazine. Here is the second installment.


Publisher’s Outlook

Marketing Consistency is Key in Building Brand, Business
As I look out at the technology landscape, I find it surprising that replacements of marketing personnel - whether initiated by the company or people resigning - seems to be near an all-time high.


Does Your Brand Have Friends?
Do you know what else half of them do as part of their social networking activities? They connect to brands like yours (or your competitors), and 36 percent have posted some form of content on their social networks about those brands (according to InSites Consulting).

Ask the Experts

Home Agents: The Big Game Changer
When organizations successfully reach beyond the confines of bricks and mortar sourcing, they tap into a vast labor pool filled with unprecedented talent. And when they re-engineer their scheduling models to enable more flexibility, employee satisfaction climbs and the customer experience improves. So says Michele Rowan of At Home Customer Contacts, in the first of a three-part series with Interactive Intelligence on the growing home agent trend.


Considering the Customer Experience
Despite the significant investment in customer experience management made by telecoms, banking, retail and IT, customer experiences with these organizations remain largely poor. That's the word from Beyond Philosophy, which recently released its 2011 Global Customer Experience Management Survey.