April 2009 | Volume 27 / Number 11
Customer Interaction News
Customer Interaction News• Aspect (www.aspect.com) has introduced several new unified communications (UC)-based customer service and collections applications that provide this technology with even greater benefits. These include reducing maintenance costs by 20 percent and boosting productivity by 10 percent. The solutions are:
– Seamless Customer Service™, which delivers the tools needed for comprehensive call response, including coordinated self-service/live service and integrated assistance to improve first call resolution and enhance overall customer experience
– Blended Interaction™, which provides inbound, outbound, self service, and workforce optimization functionality – Streamlined Collections™ to automate early stage collections and enable expert agent engagement for a more effective delinquent account targeting strategy
– Optimized Collections™, which utilizes performance, workforce and campaign management to enhance contact and calling strategies by applying the right resources at the right times
– Productive Workforce™ for Aspect® (News - Alert) eWorkforce Management™ , a tool that allows strategic evaluation of multiple staffing plans to ensure having the right number of agents with the right skills, at the right times. Even subject matter experts outside the contact center can be scheduled with this application
• Contactual (News - Alert)’s (www.contactual.com) has updated its offerings with Contactual OnDemand Contact Center Version 6, which offers better security, a new reporting API, and an improved IVR editor. It also has a redesigned agent toolbar, ability to broadcast notices to agent groups, enhanced chat functions and desktop sharing to make agents more productive and improve job satisfaction. Platform capacity, stability and interactive toolbar performance are all significantly improved over previous versions.
Contactual OnDemand Contact Center Version 6 is optimized for supporting home-based agents. The agent interface makes it easy for them to learn and use the application. The solution removes the fears of supervisors of not being able to effectively manage these out-of-sight employees through access to critical contact center metrics in real time. Call reporting, monitoring, service level management, historical reports and more are all available on demand.
• Research firm Datamonitor (www.datamonitor.com) says the contact centers can respond proactively to the struggling economy that has made customer acquisition challenging and to consumers sharing information online by utilizing social networking websites. By integrating Web 2.0 technologies with other communication technologies they can improve customer service at a low cost. Websites such as Twitter will become more ingrained into contact center customer service and CRM strategies, and Google (News - Alert)’s search capabilities are likely to be used for mining information from relevant websites.
• Nortel (www.nortel.com) has integrated its Nortel (News - Alert) Contact Center with Microsoft’s Office Communications Server 2007 R2. This provides a unified presence of experts to contact center agents, and allows new ways for customers to reach contact centers that ensure customer resolution is reached quickly and efficiently on first contact. For example, customers can reach the contact center by phone or IM, and agents can escalate an IM to an audio or a video session. Nortel has also enhanced its services practice to provide Office Communications Server 2007 R2 network assessment, design and deployment capability.
• Oxygen8 Communications (www.oxygen8. com) has launched a new interactive voice broadcasting service, which enables media companies and corporate users to drive new revenue streams. Named ‘Voice Push,’ the new service allows customers to simultaneously mass call thousands of ‘opt-in’ users in any English-speaking market with an interactive voice broadcasting message. Recipients have a choice to either leave a recorded message or get connected to a call center agent if a further action is required. The interface allows calls to be scheduled and set-up by the customer offering flexibility and rapid set-up. Users can set the system to repeat call until it receives a response and according to officials, only successful calls are charged.
• ProPay (www.propay.com) has made accepting credit card payments more secure and easier with ProtectPay™, a new fully encrypted PCI-compliant payment card processing, transmission, and repository service. ProtectPay encrypts sensitive customers’ data directly from the customers so that their data never touches merchants’ systems. It also lows the data to be safely used for repeat billing and ongoing business transactions, ongoing payment data management, and data search and reporting capabilities. The solution also facilitates refunds and credits.
• SupportSoft (www.supportsoft.com) has released Dynamic Agent, a software solution that makes it simple for enterprises and service providers to automatically resolve customers’ routine tech problems, as well as deploy enhanced services. The solution supplies ‘point-of-pain services’ in the form of ‘1-click fixes’ that let organizations provide just-in-time support and help customers resolve their own issues. With Dynamic Agent, organizations can now create a new and convenient marketing channel to orchestrate new methods of driving revenue. With real-time access to the customer’s context and system configuration, personalized and timely offers can be presented. Examples include renewals at or before warranty or subscription expiration, additional data storage upon or before reaching storage capacity, or the latest bandwidth enhancement during periods of high usage.
• Telrex (News - Alert) (www.telrex.com) has released version 3.8 of CallRex Workforce Management ™ software. It has an improved forecasting engine that will allow contact centers to perform what-if scenarios, such as reducing the number of agents on the phones on service levels and budgets. It has also installed a graphical agent roster that will permit supervisors to drag and drop changes such as breaks and lunches into schedules. That avoids manually making changes to each agent’s schedule, saving time and giving a better overview of the workforce.
• Telus (www.telus.com) has opened a new contact center in Las Vegas, Nev. that will eventually house up to 1,000 agents and supervisors. It is also hiring over 2,000 staff at three contact centers in Central America: Guatemala, El Salvador, and Panama. The new Las Vegas site and Central American expansion will provide added customer care and support for Telus’s fast-growing Telus International division, which supplies customer care, IT, and business process outsourcing solutions to enterprises globally. These investments will give the unit much-needed added Spanish language capabilities, along with greater English-language handling capacity.
Braxtel’s Contact Q 1.0 Contact Center
Braxtel (www.braxtel.com), supplier of the Fluency line of customer care solutions, has rolled out Contact Q contact center version 1.0, a Linux-based open source IP-based contact center package, sold through Braxtel’s new Contact Q subsidiary. Contact Q 1.0, which received a Best of Show Award at IT EXPO EAST, has been formulated to deliver IVR, media queuing, ACD, predictive dialing, extensive call recording and agent monitoring as well as comprehensive reporting and management tools.
Contact Q has been built on an open source platform to give it immense flexibility, customization, and affordability. The solution can never go out of date or need to be replaced thanks to its ability of owners to easily modify it and the ongoing development work by both Braxtel and by the exponentially expanding universe of open source developers.
Being open source Contact Q can work with most any switch. It works on industry standards such as SIP, Voice XML (VXML), AJAX (Web 2.0), and XMLRPC. It is designed to work with both VoIP soft switches such Asterisk, Freeswitch, Cisco, Nortel, and Pingtel as well as legacy platforms from Avaya, Siemens and indeed any ISDN compatible PBX (News - Alert). It can be deployed both as a premised based solution and as a hosted solution.
Key Features and Components
• Fully featured multi-media skills based routing ACD including multiple queue modes, overflow to voicemail, queued voicemail, time/day routing rules, agent unavailable types and 9999 skill levels
• Telephony-based agent logon for Office or Home based agents
• Powerful IVR with drag and drop programming tool, configured by SMXML scripts
• Outbound preview, progressive, and predictive dialing modes
• Monitoring and listening-in, and recording with quality monitoring for agent scoring
• Real-time supervisor and agent dashboard web applications, providing agent and queue performance and drill-down statistics
• Full historical reporting delivered via the web browser
• Scalable, supports multiple media-server/gateways and application instances
• IT friendly, supporting LDAP, SNMP protocols
Standard PC. Once you download the free version from www.ContactQ.Org it will wipe the machine clean and install all required components. It will take you straight into the Browser based administration console
Purchased for $1,800 or yearly subscription at $750 per annum