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ContactCenterSolutions Contact Center Week in Review

January 18, 2008

Welcome to another edition of the ContactCenterSolutions Contact Center Week in Review. 2008 is off to a busy start in the call center space. This week headlines were flooded with analysis, a look at industry trends, and announcements of new call center openings.

 
Denver-based call center solutions provider TouchStar made headlines this week for their holiday season contributions to Toys for Tots, a charity that collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year for needy children in the community.

The toy drive was part of the TouchStar Community Spirit Program.

"TouchStar strongly encourages our partners, customers, and employees to share,” TouchStar CEO Steve Bederman said in a recent company statement. “Toys for Tots is such a wonderful and respectful organization to partner with in bringing joy to less fortunate families. Our organization certainly grew from this experience, and we value any opportunity to give back to our community. 2008 is TouchStar's year to share and we plan on sharing in big ways."


Also this week, LogistiCare Solutions a non-emergency medical transportation management company, announced the opening of its first Southwest Call Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

The new call center, designed to handle transportation requests from the company’s nationwide health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and other commercial clients, opened successfully in November of 2007 with 50 customer service representatives and employment rates are expected to double over the next 18 months.

“While we have call centers throughout the country to support our Medicaid contracts, Phoenix is the first center to begin taking calls exclusively for our commercial clients,” said LogistiCare’s CEO John L. Shermyen. “The call center will accommodate requests from our expanding commercial client base of HMOs and managed care organizations (MCOs). Additionally, we will be well-situated to service clients and capture growth in one of the nation’s fastest growing regions.”
 
Conseco, a U.S. insurance provider also announced this week that it has expanded its use of the NICE SmartCenter across all four of its contact centers including both domestic and offshore locations.

The expanded deployment will make it possible for Conseco to boost agent performance and improve their contact center operations as well as increase customer satisfaction. Read more HERE
 
The topic of Call Center Recording was also highlighted in an article this week, "Call Center Recording is Essential to Weed Out Agents Hurting the Business," by ContactCenterSolutions's Susan Campbell.
 
"We often talk about the importance of recording calls in the call center to ensure that agents are properly following scripts, to measure customer satisfaction and to assist in proper coaching and training of call center agents. Call center recording is also essential to identify those agents that are hurting the company overall." Read more HERE
 
Also this week, the importance of establishing a quality virtual contact center was examined in the article, "Self-Examination Needed Before Establishing Virtual Contact Center."
 
"While there are many benefits that an organization can achieve by implementing a virtual contact center, the real question is whether or not the company is ready to handle such an endeavor."

"While it is assumed that the organization has access to the necessary technology to make a virtual contact center possible that is really only the first step towards making the virtual contact center a reality. What seems like it should be an easy step can actually create a disaster for the company is it is not done correctly." Read more HERE.
 
Performance management has increased in popularity in the contact center space for its ability to provide improvements in customer satisfaction, agent performance and metrics in the contact center.
 
This week, an interview with Merced Systems on the advantages today's performance management solutions bring to the contact center, is a must READ.
 
Also, an article this week also highlighting performance in the contact center notes that most contact centers are challenged by not knowing exactly how satisfied their customer is and notes a recent  ICMI study on agent empowerment as uncovering that the majority of the study's participants, or 78.4 percent, increasingly rely on input from contact center agents to improve the customer experience.
 
Also be sure to check out this feature article highlighting the growth of the hosted contact center this past year.
 
That’s all for this week, but be sure to check back with ContactCenterSolutions throughout the week for all the latest in contact center-related news as it happens! Until next week…..
 
 
Stefania Viscusi is an established writer and avid reader. To see more of her articles, please visit Stefania Viscusi’s columnist page.
Mark your calendars! Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO — the first major IP communications event of the year — is just days away. It’s not too late to register for the event, which takes place in Miami Beach, FL, January 23–25, 2008. The EXPO will feature three valuable days of exhibits, conferences and networking that you won’t want to miss. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now!
 

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