DSC Tech Library
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to Call Center Company Technology and Best Practices plus software and products.
Since the Company's inception in 1978, DSC has specialized in the development of communications software and systems. Beginning with our CRM and call center applications, DSC has developed computer telephony integration software and PC based phone systems. These products have been developed to run on a wide variety of telecom computer systems and environments.
The following article presents product or service information relating to Call Center Vendors and customer service help desks.
Monitoring Your Agents, But Not Your Self-Service Applications? Think Again
Brian VanLaarhoven, Manager of Professional Services
Companies that only monitor their agent-based calls are gaining a lopsided view of the customer experience.
Although the majority of customer service calls are completed in the IVR without ever reaching an agent, most companies monitor their agents, but not their voice applications. Add to this the fact that many calls reach an agent after frustrated customers zero out of poorly performing IVRs, and one begins to see the logic behind testing and monitoring contact center technology.
Companies that monitor their agents--and most do--purport to be doing so in the interest of better quality service. We've all heard the recording while on hold: "This call may be monitored for quality assurance." Yet, companies that only monitor their agent-based calls are gaining a lopsided view of the customer experience.
A study performed by Purdue University in 2002 found that 92 percent of U.S. consumers form their image of a company based on their first experience using the company's call center. That same study found that 63 percent of U.S. consumers will stop using a company's products based on a negative call-center experience (that figure soars to 100 percent for consumers ages 18 to 25). Chances are good that these customers will never reach an agent during any given transaction. So shouldn't companies be more concerned with their IVR and voice application performance?
Improving the quality and performance of voice applications is relatively simple. Test prior to deployment by duplicating real-world call volumes and traffic, to pinpoint and resolve quality and performance bottlenecks. After an application goes live, monitor the system by dialing in to it the same way a customer would, tracking response times, prompt quality, and other metrics. Immediately alert technicians if performance thresholds are exceeded, so potential problems can be addressed before they affect the customer experience.
The trick is to do this at frequent enough intervals and high enough volumes that potential problems are detected and corrected before they become noticeable to your customers. This is best achieved through automation. Companies can purchase products that will enable them to automate testing and monitoring in-house, or they can outsource the work to an experienced vendor. Costs can be as low as a few thousand dollars a month--pocket change when compared with the cost of churning customers.
Testing and monitoring can improve contact center productivity in a number of ways:
As the saying goes, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Ensure that your voice applications make a good one by testing their performance from the customer perspective prior to deployment, and by monitoring them after deployment at regular intervals.
- Customers who receive fast, efficient service via self-service channels will be more satisfied and thus less likely to defect.
- Because routine transactions are efficiently handled in the IVR, fewer calls need to go to agents. This helps reduce costs, as self-service transactions generally cost about 45 cents, versus $5.50 for an agent-assisted call. (In some cases companies can even reduce the number of agents in their center, thus trimming labor costs.)
- Toll charges can be reduced as customers can complete their transactions more quickly without queuing for an agent and in just one call.
- Fewer customers zeroing out due to poorly performing automated systems means fewer angry customers for agents to deal with. This in turn can help improve agent morale, and happy employees are more productive.
- Companies can get more out of their CTI infrastructure investments to ensure that the right call gets routed to the right agent in the right amount of time, and that the screen pop occurs.
Brian VanLaarhoven, Manager of Professional Services
CRM Call Center Software
Database Systems Corp. (DSC) has been providing CRM Customer Relationship Management solutions to businesses and organizations for 2 decades.
TELEMATION is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application employed in a wide variety of organizations including contact centers, help desks, customer service centers, service bureaus, reservation centers and corporate call centers. The package has extensive CTI features and is fully integrated with our PACER phone system. TELEMATION operates on Linux, Unix or Windows servers. Software programmers can develop call center applications quickly using the robost features found in the Telemation toolkit.
Call Center Phone System
The PACER is a call center phone system that handles inbound and outbound calls for a wide range of contact centers. Calls are either initiated by the phone system or accepted from the outside and distributed in an intelligent fashion to your service agents. The PACER includes ACD and IVR components, plus call recording capability. Using industry standard components, the PACER phone system has features and functions that can only be found in large scale PBX’s, but at a fraction of the cost. And the PACER has predictive dialing capability that cannot be found in most of these larger phone systems. The PACER phone system can connect calls to your employees working at home or in a local or remote office. The PACER communicates with applications written on Unix, Linux, or PC servers over a LAN. For a complete product presentation, download our PACER demo.