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February 2009 | Volume 27 / Number 9
Customer Interaction News

Customer Interaction News

• Every second in delay for website visitors to access pages costs firms customers according to new research by Aberdeen Group (www.aberdeen.com), a Harte-Hanks Company. The study revealed that business performance begins to suffer at 5.1 seconds of delay in response times of web applications. The research also revealed that every additional second after that could cause a decline in overall customer satisfaction by 16 percent, page views by 11 percent, and conversations by 7 percent.

Aberdeen (News - Alert) cited higher customer expectations and lower tolerance for performance issues, along with new underlying technologies and usage patterns that are becoming more difficult to predict. To prevent or minimize customer dissatisfaction it says best-in-class firms manage measure application performance from an end-user perspective via passive monitoring. Meanwhile average and what it calls ‘laggard’ organizations predominately rely on internal monitoring of enterprise infrastructure and end-user surveys

• Only 11 percent of companies garnered a rating of ‘excellent’ in the 2008 Customer Experience Index of large U.S. firms by Forrester Research (News - Alert) (www.forrester.com) while 38 percent ranked as poor or very poor.

Barnes & Noble topped Forrester's ranking, while Charter Communications (News - Alert) received the lowest score. Compared with the 2007 survey, banks made the largest improvements, led by U.S. Bancorp, SunTrust, and Citibank. Meanwhile Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable, Charter Communications, and Blue Shield of California had the largest decline. Across verticals hotels and retailers topped the index while medical insurers and TV service providers ended up at the bottom

• Customers of Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert)’s (www.inin.com) solutions who also use Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager can take advantage of both vendors' systems without the need for costly and complex middleware layers. Interactive Intelligence has completed the Cisco interoperability verification testing for the Unified Communications (News - Alert) Manager solution using the session initiation protocol standard. The firm has participated in Cisco interoperability testing since 2001 when it offered integration via Cisco's (News - Alert) telephony application programmer's interface

• Small/midsized firms who have customers living in other countries and who want to enable these buyers to reach them affordably can tap into Phone.com (News - Alert), which has selected Voxbone (www.voxbone.com) to supply DID (direct-inward-dial) numbers outside of the U.S. Phone.com users can choose telephone numbers in those countries that when dialed will ring to their Phone.com ‘Virtual Office.’ The service’s customized auto attendant then can ask for the called person’s extension number and complete the calls. With Phone.com and Voxbone (News - Alert) foreign-terminating calls are local to callers; Voxbone carries them over its managed IP network to Phone.com, which routes them to end-customer with no perceptible delay. Phone.com customers pay a flat monthly rate for each DID. The numbers can also be directed to ring home phones or cell phones, and to change routing by time-of-day rules. DIDs can be ordered for all included cities and countries through Phone.com’s self-service web site, and paid for, like all of the provider’s services, with a credit card.

• Salesforce.com (News - Alert) (www.salesforce.com) now offers a single source for trying, buying, and deploying native Force.com applications. The new solution, Force.com Checkout, permits integrated commerce and interacting with a single vendor for both their salesforce.com and partner subscriptions.

Applications available through Force.com Checkout include: productivity tools from Appirio, compensation management from Callidus, financials and accounting ERP from CODA, non-profit constituent relationship management from Convio, and fleet management solutions from Datasul. Additionally Checkout offers Salesforce CRM administrator tools from DrivEnable, order management ERP solutions from Glovia, a subsidiary of Fujitsu (News - Alert), staffing solutions from Jobscience, and recruiting, real estate, and customer reference tracking from Riptide

• Teleservices firm Thomas L. Cardella & Associates (TLC&A) (www.tlcassociates.com) has been growing rapidly with new and expanded facilities and new hires in Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Keokuk, and Marshalltown, Iowa. It also has at-home agents. TLC&A has been focusing and experiencing strong growth serving the direct marketing needs of Fortune 500 clients in the financial services, insurance, publication, specialty retail, technology, telecom, entertainment, utilities, and travel industries. One of these clients, Office Depot, has contracted with TLC&A to provide B2B teleservices, which led it to announce that hiring will begin immediately for 60 new full time Office Depot account manager positions in Coralville and Cedar Rapids, paying up to $14 per hour

• West Interactive (News - Alert) has selected PerSay (www.persay.com) to provide hosted voice biometrics to authenticate callers and customers. Biometric speaker verification technology uses the power of voice to provide the critical component in an effective multi-factor authentication solution. Like a fingerprint, each person can be identified by the distinct features of their vocal characteristics and speaking patterns. Voice verification is the process of comparing a voice sample with a stored, digital voice model, or voiceprint, for the purpose of verifying identity.

PerSay's flagship product, VocalPassword™, is accent/language independent, standards-based and seamlessly integrates with existing VoiceXML (News - Alert) platforms. By verifying a caller's identity in real-time, using a simple spoken passphrase, VocalPassword provides a convenient, secure method for enabling self-service transactions in the IVR or cost-effectively authenticating a caller to an enterprise's contact center

Verint (News - Alert) Impact 360 for Public Safety Powered by Audiolog

Verint (www.verint.com) has come out with Impact 360 for Public Safety Powered by Audiolog. This is the next generation of the firm’s proven call recording, quality assurance (QA), retrieval and archive solution aimed at emergency service operators such as 9-1-1 contact centers. It features integrated workforce optimization, quality assurance, training, and public feedback applications.

Verint Impact 360 for Public Safety has been written in response to changing and growing needs from emergency operators such liability (and cost) reduction, incident reconstruction, investigation facilitation, and improved effectiveness. It supplies a single platform across IP, TDM and radio, integrated QA, a multi-channel player for incident replay, screen recording, and instant recall for playback of current and recent calls.

Key Features and Components
• Multimedia Recording. Captures telephone and radio interactions and related data—including phone numbers and locations—and helps increase immediacy, accuracy, quality and overall service. It also provides the option for capture of console PC screens

• Quality Assurance. Enables efficient call review and scoring to ensure 9-1-1 agent proficiency, skills enhancement, and supply regular performance feedback, in compliance with state and agency standards. Flexible form creation, embedded call playback and dynamic reporting provide maximum impact from invested QA time

•  Incident Reconstruction and Analytics. Permits call searches and makes the retrieval of important recordings easier through ‘Application Event Triggers’ by tagging calls with key information, such as CAD incident ID or call taker name. The result is the potential for better investigative insights

•  eLearning and Coaching. Delivers learning and timely communication to agents’ desktops, addresses skill gaps, and helps increase productivity and staff retention

• Performance Scorecards. Empowers 9-1-1 agents and dispatchers to view personal performance in relation to agency goals

• Citizen Survey. Provides outbound surveys as follow-ups to citizen calls, thereby introducing a proactive approach to quality reinforcement and citizen satisfaction, and helps to build citizen confidence, and support

System Requirements
System Compatibility: Voice Recording: Analog, Digital stations, T1, E1, VoIP, and Trunked Radio systems. Desktops (Screen Recording): Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista. Audiolog Servers: Windows XP-SP3, Windows Server 2003.

For example, 24 seats of Impact 360 for Public Safety Powered by Audiolog, including software and hardware, starts at $23,000.

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