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Second Quarter 1998

Selling Smarter With Web Call Back


The Web now has the capability of providing the same instant access to assistance that we have come to expect from the telephone. By Web-enabling the call center, it is possible to create a live link between the call center and Web site visitors. Some of the objectives of Web-enabling the call center include providing better customer service, answering customer questions on the product, improving technical support, and attempting to close the sale.

The link between the Web site and call center can bring prospects who have seen product information in catalogs in contact with sales people who have the skills and tools to close the sale. This is the case at Swift Canoe and Kayak. Swift, a well-known builder of high-end canoes and kayaks, plans to incorporate a "Talk To An Agent" button on their order form. Steve Deeraugh, Swifts’ webmaster, says that they have been very successful marketing on the Web and feels that Web call back is the next step in making the Web site a self-sustaining sales tool.

Visitors to Swift’s Web site will be able to click on Response Interactive’s (Toronto Ontario) WebExchange "Talk To An Agent" button and have their call displayed on the desktop of sales people via screen pop. Swift’s sales people will be able to respond to the Web call by telephone call back, live e-mail chat using Microsoft NetMeeting, or via voice over Internet using Quicknet Technologies’ Internet PhoneJack.

Web sites are already used to provide customer support. With Web call back, it is possible to improve online help through live contact with a technician. In fact, Computer Support Technology has created a site where visitors can have their computers worked on remotely — the technician controls the machine over the Internet while speaking to the client on the phone. Incorporated in Computer Support’s Rescue product is Response Interactive’s "Talk To An Agent" button, which allows the customer seeking tech support to speak to the technician repairing their machine.

Call centers that provide fulfillment or inbound/outbound services for other companies have also found that they can offer Web call back or call through from their clients’ Web sites. TeleSales, Inc., a leader in the field of telesales and telemarketing solutions for the high technology industry, is using WebExchange on their Web site and plans to offer the service to their customers. A typical TeleSales client would display the "Click & Connect" button on their Web site — but when a Web site visitor clicks on the button, they would be speaking to an agent at the TeleSales call center. The agent receives a call from the ACD at the same time as a screen pop advising them of the caller’s identity, and the Web site from which the call originated.

As demonstrated by these examples, Web call back or call through can allow you to use your Web site as part of your overall customer contact strategy. Web site visitors can have immediate access to a live agent, either via telephone call back, live e-mail chat, or voice over Internet. In the future, potential customers may even be able to be greeted by one of your call center agents as soon as they arrive at your Web site.

David Barker is marketing manager of Response Interactive, Inc. Response Interactive is a subsidiary of Digitcom Telecommunications, which is a leading provider of computer telephony, interactive voice response, voice mail, and fax-on-demand applications. For more information, contact the company at 416-783-7890, or visit their Web site at www.responseinc.com and try the "Talk To An Agent" button yourself.

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