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September 04, 2013

Calabrio Offers Customized Tools to Improve Agent Performance, Customer Experience

By Rachel Ramsey, TMCnet Web Editor

Delivering quality customer service is only as good as your workforce behind it. In today’s world of social media, e-mail, voice and many other outlets for customers to use to contact organizations, companies need to be prepared with the right tools to improve agent efficiency, contact center productivity and workforce optimization to deliver the best customer experiences. Calabrio (News - Alert), a provider of workforce optimization solutions and applications, sets out to enable companies to do this.

I caught up with Kristen Jacobsen, director of marketing at Calabrio, last week at ITEXPO (News - Alert) Las Vegas to discuss the company’s workforce optimization suite, its new desktop analytics solutions, industry trends and participation at ITEXPO – four of Calabrio’s customers spoke on panels and Tom Sullivan, Calabrio’s product manager, spoke in a session, “Is Real Time the Right Time?”

Calabrio’s workforce optimization package is an integration of applications, including call recording, quality monitoring, workforce management, search and desktop analytics and performance management. It originally started serving SMBs in term of the number of agents, but has quickly increased as larger organizations are seeing simpler ways to accomplish their needs. Calabrio’s offerings are very scalable – it can serve anywhere from 10 to 10,000 agents, Jacobsen explained.

These days, a la carte is a popular demand; why pay for what you’re not using, right? Calabrio caters to this by allowing customers to select what apps they need today, and then add on more in the future if needed, enabling them to customize their solutions and workforce optimization management.  

“It’s all there, it’s just a matter of what you want to turn on,” Jacobsen said.

Calabrio’s quality management offering comes with a performance management report and a series of role-based widgets in a dashboard so users can opt to see only relevant information to them and pick what data they want to pay attention to. Whether you’re an agent, a supervisor, an evaluator, a scheduler or an executive, everyone cares about their own sets of data and teams, so this option is another way Calabrio enables customization.

Jacobsen explains that Calabrio spends a lot of time figuring out how its solution will be used. It really focuses on the user experience, how different people will interact with its solutions and what data users will need access to quickly in order to offer a truly productive, workforce optimization solution. Its emphasis is on making it easier for customers to accomplish their goals – meaning solutions should be simple to use and deploy, and doesn’t require analysts or other technical support to use.

In terms of industry trends and challenges, Jacobsen is seeing customers starting to figure out how to solve what agents are doing and the impact the contact center has on the overall organization. A big word in the contact center space is “multichannel” and Calabrio is introducing more capabilities in terms of this to help customers integrate multiple channels of communication into a single interface.

“Our customer base only recently started embracing multichannel – not a lot have figured out how to roll it all together. That’s changing,” she said. “We try and invest in new capabilities for our customers when they’re ready for them.”

Jacobsen says she is also seeing analytics take off – organizations are asking themselves how the contact center is contributing to success and how they can get better at understanding conversations to improve business.

“There’s no way you can listen to every interaction. You need a way to automate that process. More and more customers are embracing analytics, not just because it exists, but because it helps,” she said.

Calabrio’s new desktop analytics option extends its speech analysis offering so organizations and contact centers can understand conversations that agents and customers are having and really understand the behavior of agents. For example, managers can see what type of applications the agents are working in, how much time they’re spending on each and how those correlate with agent performance and customer satisfaction. The solution uses the same engine as the speech analytics, and it ties in what agents are doing to the interaction customers are having – what the impact is of words being sad and tying that in with what’s happening on the agent’s screen.

At ITEXPO Las Vegas, four of Calabrio’s customers spoke on panels, including Green Mountain Coffee, Polaris, AAA and Republic Services. The customers spoke on next-generation technologies, social media, multimedia, unified communications and how they are leveraging technology to make their businesses better.

Sullivan also presented on leveraging the voice of the customer in big data initiatives in a session, “Is Real Time the Right Time?” where the panel discussed how focusing on right-time processing can provide insight into which contacts are larger trends that require attention and action.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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