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April 2000

In Focus
Headset Manufacturers' Roundup
Headsets have been a feature in call centers for a very long time, but the incidence of their use has been steadily rising in recent years due to a combination of factors, including OSHA's recent focus on the ergonomic health of both call center and general office workers. While wearing a headset used to be a matter of convenience, studies have shown that repeatedly picking up telephone handsets, or even worse, cradling the telephone between the ear and the shoulder to free up the hands, can cause irreversible musculoskeletal damage. This feature was compiled to provide you with resources for all your headset needs.

Teleservices Outsourcing
C@LL CENTER CRM Solutions� Magazine�s Fifteenth-Annual Top 50 Inbound Teleservices Agency Ranking 

This is the fifteenth year C@LL CENTER CRM Solutions� magazine brings you its "Top 50" Teleservices Agency Ranking. In this issue, we're presenting the "Top 50" inbound portion of the ranking. (The outbound portion of the ranking was highlighted in the March 2000 issue.) Since its inception in 1986, our "Top 50" ranking has been used as the benchmark for choosing large-capacity/ sized teleservices agencies.

A Panoramic View Of What's High-Tech In Florida
By Erik D. Lounsbury, Editorial Director,
C@LL CENTER CRM Solutions�
Way down South, down Florida way, the land is fecund, the air is ripe with growth. But there is more growing in South Florida than citrus and mouse ears, indeed, in this lush land one of the flowering fruits is the call center industry. In July 1999, Deloitte & Touche Fantus Consulting released a report stating that for the second year in a row, Florida led the nation in the creation of new call center jobs, with more than 14,000 potential call center positions in 1998. In addition, Florida is also becoming rich in the call center technology area. South Florida has become a crucible for new and better technologies and services for the call center market.

Customer Relationship Management 
The Quality Of Your Multimedia Contact Center 
By Oscar Alban, Witness Systems, Inc.
Today, there are many ways to research, review and purchase products, as well as seek support and service once the initial sale takes place. How we opt to carry out those communications is ultimately our decision -- and now, more than ever, the choices are plentiful. Traditional sales, support and service have taken place through the telephone. But with the advances the Internet has brought to our lives, many new channels for customer interactions are available. As a result, many of us have turned to the Web to meet our needs -- whether we are on an information gathering mission, making a purchase or investment or simply reaching out for help. While these Internet-based mediums offer great, new advantages, they also carry certain drawbacks, the largest being an assurance for timely, consistent, quality service.

Executing An Integrated E-CRM Infrastructure
By Rene L. White, eCONVERGENT
The Internet is changing the relationship between buyer and seller. This change is driving two primary transitions in the customer relationship management market which, in turn, are improving the effective-ness, productivity and value of customer relationships. Through direct customer interaction, companies can create high-value, long-term customer relationships and deliver new and higher levels of customer satisfaction. With the new generation of more high-touch technologies, companies can provide personalized services and improved problem solving and are moving closer to their customers.

Gotta Serve Somebody
By Erik D. Lounsbury, Editorial Director,
C@LL CENTER CRM Solutions�
With all due apologies to Bob Dylan, who was addressing the world on a spiritual level, the title of his song could become the mantra of the Internet economy. With easy access now available to so many suppliers that only a few years ago would have been totally unfeasible, often the only way companies can differentiate themselves from their competitors is through the levels of service and support they can offer their customers. The author takes a look at two companies that offer different approaches to the same end: providing the best possible support services to their customers to keep them happy and keep them coming back for more.

The Check Is In The (E-) Mail: Web-Based Payment Solutions
By Joseph Grueter, Intell-A-Check Corporation
For Web-based shopping, credit cards have become the tools of choice for making at-home payments and purchases, offering convenience, speed and security. In fact, for merchants, verifying a credit card number is essentially the only way that they can accept a payment directly over the Internet or the telephone. Unfortunately, tens of millions of Americans do not have, or do not want to use, credit cards online. So what's a Web merchant to do?

E-Sales�E-Service.com News

Building The Perfect Call Center
Beyond Next Available Agent: Routing Possibilities
By Audian Paxson, Picazo Communications, Inc.
Scaled-down skills-based routing solutions have been available for smaller companies for a while. However, they often lacked the depth of features and flexibility that were considered standard in larger solutions. Third-party solutions that offered more features were available, but integration was difficult and since they were "third-party," they didn't perform as well as the single manufacturer's total solution. Due to competition, advancement in technology and especially the influence of the PC, the small business no longer faces the same challenge today. Solutions with built-in voice mail, auto-attendant and ACD are common and priced competitively.

April 2000 C@ll Center CRM Solutions Magazine

Publisher's Outlook
High Priority
Technology Highlights
Call Center News™

TelAthena v.4.4

Nortel Meridian Option 11

This month, the technology editors of TMC� Labs evaluate two products. The first is Version 4.4 of TelAthena's call scripting/lead management product. Highlighted are improvements over the previous release, including a new Windows client, a "Web chat" element, powerful new additions to the scripting editor, better documentation and new interfaces to the Equifax credit service and to AVT's RightFAX software.

The second product is a skills-based routing product, the Nortel Meridian Option 11 running with Nortel's Symposium Call Center Server.

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