Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Contact Center Solutions Week in Review

August 23, 2014

As the wealth of news and insights in the Contact Center Solutions Community attests this week what is typically called “The Dog Days of Summer,” in the Northern Hemisphere is a mischaracterization. There was plenty to report on to say the least.

In fact, community host Interactive Intelligence has been very active on the news front. This includes the forthcoming general availability of its PureCloud solution which I had an opportunity to review with Jason Alley, the Interactive Intelligence Cloud Solutions Marketing Manager. A multi-tenant, distributed architecture solution hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the addition to the Interactive Intelligence portfolio is bother a harbinger of where our community is heading along with being illustrative of the capabilities the market is looking for along with attractive price points and options to fit their unique requirements.

I also wish to highlight two items of interest from our hosts which I have highlighted for several years now as “Doing well by doing good.” The first is the September 13th event hosted by the Interactive Intelligence Foundation that will raise money for at-risk children. It will feature IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter and the proceeds are designated for several great charities. The second has to do with the results of the company’s ongoing “Goat Program.” Done in conjunction with international non-profit Oxfam, the program provides a donation to Oxfam to donate a very valuable goat to a family in an impoverished country if your company meets with a company representative to discuss your customer experience needs. Interactive Intelligence revealed that to-date the campaign has been able to have Oxfam donate 524 goats and counting.    

In other industry news as usual it spans both community interests as well as the world.

In the areas of new capabilities, partnerships and industry recognition items included:

  • Enterprise software support services firm Rimini Street won three Stevie Awards for outstanding customer experiences
  • Avaya via an extended partnership with T-Systems is extending the reach of its UC and contact center capabilities across Europe. 
  • CallTrackingMetrics has introduced a new keyword spotting solution to help advertisers better manage inbound calls coming from campaigns. 
  • BatCrab is out with a solution that can turn any personal smartphone into a full-featured business call center that includes voice greetings, call waiting, hold music, announcements, and call status features.
  • In the critical area of protecting customer information, TantaComm announced that it had achieved PCI DSS V3.0 Certification.
  • Star2Star Communications released StarCenter SMART (StarCenter Monitoring Alerting & Reporting Tool) and other new features for their advanced call center solution. 
  • My colleague Gary Kim, had an interesting piece on how a company named GoCare, a mobile customer care platform aimed at the mid-market broadband operators, is using standard text messaging to allow mobile customers to interact with back office systems to deliver routine customer account status and information.

We also highlighted some different perspectives regarding the customer experience, both good and bad.

The good is represented by MediCare International, a company that offers flexible medical insurance plans, revealing that 95 percent of its customers are either very satisfied or satisfied with their overall service experience. The company recently did a survey to identify any loopholes in their customer service. 

In the less than thrilled category, I wrote a bit of a rant in reaction to the continuing dialog about the viral recording of a disgruntled Comcast customer a few weeks back and an article I read about how to deal with the situation. Unfortunately, the promise of that Huffington Post item did not live up to its headline billing, but I did provide some tips that have proven useful in helping you have a better customer experience.  

Not being pleased with the customer experience is a global thing. In fact, even regional differences can surface as the posting about Australian consumers being more expressive online about their feelings about good and bad customer experiences versus what consumers in the U.K and U.S. highlights.  And, clearly cellular phone customer service in Israel is not very good as the article about Cellcom wanting to improve things in line with Israeli Ministry of Communications (MOC) customer experience concerns.

Last but not least is the article, Are You Optimizing the Customer Experience? The answer for most companies is no. However, there will be a free webinar, What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience on Tuesday, August 26th at 11:30AM EDT where you can get your questions answered on this key subject.  

Weekend Reading

If you feel like you are in the dog days and wish to be invigorated, our recently re-designed community home page is the place to start. It provides links to constantly up-dated industry news, eBooks, whitepapers, videos, insights and even links to interesting demos. In fact, in front of the webinar mentioned in the last item you may wish to read the white paper, Contact Center Metrics that Matter

Plus, visit our affiliated channels — Accounts Receivable Management, Business Process Automation, CaaS, Cloud-based Contact Centers and Insurance Technology —which contain news and insights on specific areas  of interest. 

Finally, if you were unable to join us for the popular webinar, “Business Process Automation Best Practices For Improving Customer Complaint Resolution,” click on the link and view the archived version of the event. And, there is still time to participate live in the webinar Four Ways Next-gen Cloud Communications Improve the Customer Experience, August 27, 2014 2;00 PM EDT (click here