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Contact Center Solutions Week in Review

November 23, 2013

It is always fascinating to watch developments in the Contact Center Solutions community every week because there are always surprises.  In fact, the big surprise this week, in contrast to the past several, which were heavy on customer wins and news products, was the attention commanded by reports and advice. 


The great thing about a week with so many findings is the wealth of sights about market trends and customer views that can be gained.  In fact, a good place to start is with the release of the results of a customer service experience survey community host Interactive Intelligence conducted back in June and July of this year in the Middle East. I made it my “Editor’s Choice” because the findings actually accentuate the fact that while there are regional differences to some extent regarding the importance and need to improve the customer experience through adoption of next gen technologies, it turns out that contact center managers around the world have a lot in common. 

Other reports and advice include:   

  • TechNavio’s Global Human Capital Management Market (GHCM) report covering SaaS solutions being a big part of projected growth in automating GHCM. Integration with such capabilities is something contact centers need to consider.
  • The Pindrop Security report, "KYF: Know Your Fraudster - Phone Fraud in Financial Institution Call Centers 1H 2013," is something that commands attention. Financial services contact centers are clearly large and inviting targets and growing more so.
  •  A new survey from Aspect Software says customer care is going to be one of the scariest parts of the holiday season. One of many findings highlighted in this article are that the number of users believing that in-person and e-mail contacts are best starts stands at 21 percent through much of the year, but when the holidays hit, those two channels jump to 25 percent. 
  • Measuring customer care performance is the business of analytics provider ForeSee.  So far in 2013 it has been a great year with 19 new companies using ForeSee to keep tabs on how their customer interactions stack up.
  • Business decision makers will pay up to 30 percent premium for improved customer experiences, according to an Avanade survey
  • There was also some advice on the need to protect contact centers with the right power source so that in the case of emergencies when they are most needed they can stay online.   

Other industry news was more along what we usually see in terms of new capabilities, partnerships and customer deployments.  In fact, a pullout is how despite all of the hoopla over Amazon's "Mayday" button (a free video conferencing session with a live agent available 24 hours a day for Amazon Kindle users who run into trouble), Google is stirring up some customer support revolution of its own in the form of Google Helpouts

On the customer side of things, in the U.S., the Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) -- Safe Harbor call center has successfully provided non-medical care information to seriously wounded, ill and injured sailors and Coast Guardsmen.  And, MGM Resorts International has selected Medallia's Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions to empower its employees to improve the customer/guest experience across all its resorts. 

The rest of the news this week involved a little bit of everything ranging from integrations to recognition.  It included

  • Sytel integrated its Softdial Contact Center (SCC) platform with Salesforce.com, a leading customer relationship management (CRM) system. 
  •  Lexifone 2 was unveiled offering natural and real-time translation for several major languages and dialects.  
  • In its recently published 'Magic Quadrant for Unified Communication as a Service, North America' report, Gartner has named Evolve IP as a Visionary recognizing its capability to deliver a comprehensive UC solution. 
  • Cloud applications developer Intelliverse has refreshed its brand with an identity meant to demonstrate the company’s focus on solutions that make businesses more successful through improved customer interactions. In particular, the brand is meant to emphasize easy-to-use and quick-to-implement solutions. 

Weekend reading  

If you have time this weekend, and hopefully you do, the resources accessible from the community home page are a great way to stay up-to-date. The resources are constantly being updated, with videos, white papers, access to demos etc., all aimed at keeping you in the know.  And for more information and insights on specific areas of interest, our affiliated channels — Accounts Receivable Management, Business Process Automation, CaaS, Cloud-based Contact Centers and Insurance Technology — are places to visit and bookmark.

Finally, in case you were not able to participate, I want to reiterate the value of the November 14 webinar, “A Practical Guide for Moving Your Contact Center to the Cloud.” The event featured Drew Kraus, Research Vice President, Gartner; Donna Fluss, president, DMG Research, and Joe Staples, chief marketing officer, Interactive Intelligence.  It was packed with extremely useful insights and information to say the least.  



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