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ContactCenterSolutions Contact Center Week In Review

January 16, 2009

Welcome to the latest edition of ContactCenterSolutions's Contact Center Week in Review, from a chilly, frost-bitten East Coast. Whether you're keeping warm near a fire, or spending time on the beach in other, sunnier parts of the world, take some time and catch up on the latest contact center related headlines from this past week.

 
In the current state of the economy, consumers as well as organizations throughout the world are looking to cost savings as a way to stay ahead. In the contact center space this is also holding true along with an added focus on improving customer service to increase loyalty and keep customers throughout the economic storm.
 
This week, eglue announced it has improved customer experiences at UPC Netherlands Call Centers through the use of their InterAct Suite.
 
With the solution, the cable, broadband Internet, digital telephony and video-on-demand service provider offering services to 2.1 million houses in the Netherlands, has been able to reduce average handle times in its call centers as well as raise the rate of sales and services-to-sales conversions.
 
To improve customer experiences in the retail industry, Avaya also announced this week that it developed advanced retailer customer service solutions that bring the power of unified communications and contact centers to the sales floor.
 
The new solutions, the Avaya In-Store Connect solution, and the Avaya Video Assist, make it possible for retailers and associates to more efficiently and effectively collaborate and address customer needs including the use of IP phones located throughout different locations in the store and the use of 2-way video communications with off-site experts to help deliver the best possible customer experiences.
 
Auto dealers are also placing a specific focus on improved customer services in a bid to keep customers happy. One way @utoRevenue, a provider of cost-effective customer contact solutions for auto dealerships is helping dealers to do this is by providing extended communications channels to meet today's customer's needs.
 
The company recently announced their @utoText offering that allows dealers to communicate with customers via text messages. The offering makes use of a hosted portal to deliver the text messages to customers during the service appointment lifecycle and makes it possible for the company to send text messages, get approvals on repair orders, service status updates and other important information.
 
Another report on ContactCenterSolutions this week focusing on improved customer service looks at a study by Aberdeen Group that found tight integration between front and back office operations helps to improve customer service for companies.
 
According to the report, "69 percent of survey respondents believe the number one strategy for reducing cost and improving the customer experience is to gain a deep understanding of the link between back-office operations and customer service."
 
A free copy of the report is available here.
 
As the Aberdeen report noted, service and support solutions are key to improving customer services.  It seems Salesforce.com had this in mind with their latest announcement, The Service Could, which brings customer service and technical support to the next level.
 
The new offering brings together live agent support, email, chat and social networks and communities to make it possible for contact center agents and support reps to have a presence-like tool which allows them to quickly reach out to experts and get direct information from companies.
 
In more call center related news, Interactive Intelligence had reason to celebrate this week as contact center customers ranked the company the top Unified Communications vendor in a recent Datamonitor report. Survey respondents said they placed the most trust in the company to deliver unified communications solutions.
 
“Interactive Intelligence is well known as an all-in-one contact center solutions provider in North America and has been able to use that to its advantage in gaining mindshare among respondents,” said Datamonitor associate analyst and report author, Aphrodite Brinsmead.
 
ContactCenterSolutions also added a number of new contact center-related sponsors to its channel program this week.
 
VendorSeek a business-to- business matchmaking service launched the Call Center Outsourcing channel this week.
 
Check out some of the articles already being posted on the channel:
 
 
Also this week, Monet Software announced the launch of the Call Center Management Channel on ContactCenterSolutions which promotes workforce management solutions, and call center scheduling solutions.
 
Here are some articles posted to the channel just this week:
 
 
In addition, Spectrum Corporation, offering advanced call center database management software solutions, launched the Call Center Digital Signage Channel on ContactCenterSolutions.
 
Check out these articles to find out more:
 
 
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 assignment editor for ContactCenterSolutions, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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