Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Contact Center Solutions Week in Review

May 31, 2014

This was one of the most active news weeks in the Contact Center Solutions Community of the year. And, as usual it illustrates well the myriad of community interests as well as its dynamism.

At the risk of tooting my own horn, a good place to start the review of this week is with my ruminations about what exactly it means to “improve the customer experience” with a look at both vendor and customer perspectives.  You might also like the clip I took from the closing of the movie Casablanca.  You might also be interested in my take about why in an omni-channel world keeping an eye on the growth of the Twitter subscriber base is something to keep an eye on. 

The rest of the news involves such things as the expansion of contact centers and increased employment in various parts of the world, new capabilities, recognition, advice and some interesting odds and ends.

First up is the continuing growth of our community. Items to exemplify this include:

  • Contact center jobs are picking up in the U.S. again. It is estimated that a rather remarkable one in every 25 jobs in the U.S. is in the contact center industry, and these numbers are expected to grow in the future as illustrated by the need in the U.S. furniture capital, High Point, North Carolina which is on a hiring binge.    
  • NY City-based iQor is expanding its operations in Buffalo, NY.
  • Starwood Hotels and Resorts' has moved its Wichita contact center people to a bigger facility to accommodate growth
  • Stifled Emergency Rooms in Houston, TX will be getting relief with the help of the Nurse Health Line.   

There were several items regarding recognition of note. For example, business intelligence solutions provider SAS has been placed in Leader quadrant by Gartner for eighth year in recognition of its campaign management solutions.  U.K. online payment provider Ukash  won the Innovation and Improvement Award at the London and South East Contact Center Forum Awards.  Sevion Global Solutions passed rigorous criteria to become Cisco ATP certified for enterprise contact center solutions. 

As noted there was also some sage advice this week which came in the form of postings from TMC’s writers on strategies for improving contact center performance, and the importance of having a HIPAA and HITECH compliant contact center.

In a category that can best be described as “what’s new” as noted at the top there were some things that are food for thought.  The one that grabbed my attention was one on how Bank of America (BoA) after having so much internal success with its video conferencing capabilities is now going to put video in its branches so customers can interact with subject matter experts who likely might not be in their local branch. It will be interesting to see how many other large multi-location enterprise follow-suite since this was one of the original great ideas for the use of video dating back to over 25 years ago when it was positioned as an important use case.  And, speaking of banks using omni-channel capabilities, in of all places Kazakhstan, their banks are turning to the popular WhatsApp to improve the ability of banks to interact with customers in meaningful and customer-preferred ways.

Again showing the global nature of the business and how banks “get it”, the Commercial Bank of Dubai  launched its new virtual assistant-Ask Sara-powered by Creative Virtual's V-Person technology. 

Two other new things were newsworthy this week.  Huawei unveiled eSpace contact center solutions certified for SAP CRM for Enterprises, and VoiceSage expanded its customer engagement portfolio with a with a new mobile messaging solution.

Finally, while not necessarily a happy note, for those of us who live in the U.S. and have our fixed-line and mobile telephone numbers on the government-administered Do Not Call Registry, it remains a huge nuisance that telemarketers of all types still manage to bother us anyway. In fact, why is it that they always call in the middle of dinner?  The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) takes a very dim view of those who do not comply with the now stricter laws on who you can contact and when, and it settled a complaint against telemarketing firm Veratile Marketing Solutions who was hit with a $3.4 million fine for not obeying Do Not Call Registry rules. 

Weekend Reading

Worried that even after  all of the above you still feel you need more information?  The good news is that our newly re-designed home page is your pathway to constantly updated content which includes:  new eBooks, whitepapers, videos, demos, etc.  And, check out our affiliated channels — Accounts Receivable Management, Business Process Automation, CaaS, Cloud-based Contact Centers and Insurance Technology — for news and insights on specific areas of interest.  And, if you missed it, given the topicality of compliance, the recent The Pitfalls of TCPA and Its Impact on Your Business: Up-Selling, Telemarketing & Collections webinar is worth a watch and listen.  

One final item. If you have not made plans to attend this coming week’s CX Hot Trends Symposium  being held in Indianapolis, IN June 2-4, there is still time to have a chance to listen to our communities top subject matter experts on best practices and what lies ahead.