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Customer Inter@ction Solutions
March 2007 - Volume 25 / Number 10
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Beyond the Humble Reader Board: Display Technologies Roundup

By Tracey E. Schelmetic
Editorial Director, Customer Interaction Solutions


Display Technologies Providers

NEC (News - Alert)

Spectrum Corp.

Symon Communications, Inc.


Telecorp Products, Inc.


Texas Digital Systems, Inc.

Along with the modest headset and the unassuming ergonomic chair, a call center’s message board may be the next most critical but often underappreciated piece of equipment. Large reader boards have been used in call centers for decades to collect data from the ACD and display the information to keep call center employees and managers apprised, at a glance, of whether they were “on” or “off” at any given moment. In the 1980s, the boards offered one-size-fits-all information, and if you weren’t in the board’s direct line of sight, you had a problem. You moved.

Today, the call center wall board, while essentially the same in its functionality, may not be offering up the same old statistics. It may not be on the wall. It may not even be in the call center, if the call center is virtual, home-based or in a small office on the other side of the world.

Display technologies, as the umbrella term goes nowadays, are responsible for keeping track of a host of call center statistics from an array of data sources: not only the ACD, but from IP contact center platforms, workforce management systems and scheduling software, CRM systems, call recording solutions and more. Neither are display technologies “one-size-fits-all”: data can be customized from day-to-day, hour-to-hour or even person-to-person. After all, what an agent wants to see is probably not always the same as what a supervisor wants to see and vice-versa. The COO may want to see much more than the supervisor. And she may want to see it from the other side of the country.

While most medium to large-sized call centers today retain the familiar wall-mounted boards (though they, too, have changed in appearance from the old days), the information can also be replicated on agents’, managers’ and supervisors’ desktops. The data can take on extra importance, should thresholds be crossed or not met, and be turned into screen pops and alerts, e-mails, alarms and phone calls. The information may reveal weaknesses with certain individual agents, work groups or call center locations, prompting extra training. The data yielded by the display/reader board system can be communicated wirelessly to handheld devices such as PDAs, allowing management to keep track of the statistics anywhere and at any time.

Many companies produce reader boards: think of the boards in stock exchanges all over the world, or large city information boards like that found in Times Square in New York. Fewer companies dedicate all or part of their product line to meet the unique needs of call centers. Above is a selection of companies that specialize in the call center market. We encourage you to peruse these companies’ Web sites to learn more about how their products may advantageously match your company’s needs. CIS

By Tracey E. Schelmetic
Editorial Director, Customer Interaction Solutions

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