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March 23, 2007

Case Study: American Customer Care Scripts 24 x 7 Help Desk

By TMCnet Special Guest
Jeff Velodota

One of the more complex programming challenges we have faced within the past year involved developing on-line scripting for a 24 x 7 help desk hotline/incident reporting program for a telecommunications and server room outsourcer. The challenge related to developing an extensive script covering over 15+ call flows, each with multiple branches, within a short time frame allotted for implementation. The call flows covered any reason for which our client’s customers might call, all of which branches contained database lookups, call recording and filing, email retrieval and distribution, ticket creation, monitoring and follow-up and emergency escalation. 
Our client was faced with transitioning an ongoing, vital program from another outsourcer to American Customer Care, while attempting to improve on their call process flows to accommodate additional types of calls from their customers to improve client satisfaction. During the programming phase, the client realized they were missing certain call flows and/or needed to revise many of the flows. 
Specifically, our challenge was to stay on schedule for the cutover within the time frame allotted (within 2 to 2 ½ weeks) while programming a moving target. 
Amercan Customer Care overcame these challenges by: 
--Working directly with the client to develop a strict timeline for deliverables on both sides and monitoring adherence to those timelines to avoid surprises;
--Setting an aggressive, but reasonable, implementation schedule internally via scheduled meetings on a semi-weekly basis between our account executive on the project and the IT team to monitor progress throughout the process, and;
--Providing the client the opportunity to continually review our scripting, both on-site and remotely, through Internet access to our development screens to keep us on track. 
Our efforts resulted in a very happy client, as they have told us that the experience has now attuned them to the needs of their customers on a grass-roots level by forcing them to focus their efforts on customer needs to deliver customer satisfaction. The program also identified other areas in which they will be able to utilize our services, including outbound “welcome” calls to their new clients, client satisfaction surveys and additional scripting for new types of client incidents. 
--The complex scripting solution resulted in over 60,000 lines of code and counting.
--ACC started off handling customer calls and developed a system that was so seamless that when the client acquired a new company they were able to put them online so quickly and efficiently that their new customers were not affected by the change.
--Our technology allowed us to provide virtual agents to ensure the program was answered 24 X 7. Our systems enabled us to send calls and information to reps at their homes. Over this past very severe winter, we were able to provide uninterrupted service during several blizzards.
--Reporting at the client’s previous vendor was not adequate. They were not able to get information needed for their internal clients and to affect changes for their customers. With our robust reporting capability and experience we developed an extensive set of reports and provided them to the client in a timely manner. This includes modifying the program’s data to meet the varying needs of the client’s internal clients (e.g., marketing, finance, operations, etc.). What’s more, we were able to make these reports available in Web based format. Additionally, our Account Manager has ensured data integrity with their own personal review, which has allowed for larger savings at the client due to a trust factor on the data side that was not provided by their prior vendor.
--Our advanced call transferring capabilities made call escalation for the client easy and cost effective. This includes both internal and external warm transfers.
--Monitoring and listening to/providing recordings of contacts handled at ACC are accomplished in various ways. At any time their program is operating, the clients can dial in (with appropriate security access) and remotely monitor calls from their offices with or without ACC being present during the session. In addition, the client can retrieve recorded calls and email them to their desktop. We can basically retrieve anything that a client wants and then send it to them in a form that suits their needs (e.g., CD, tape, email, etc.).
Jeff Velodota is Vice President of Sales for American Customer Care Inc., a Savannah, GA-based supplier of customer contact services. The company's web site is

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