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.
Beyond the Phone: Benefits of the Integrated Contact Center
By: Ananthraman Iyer, CTO, Talisma Corporation
There is an explosion of communication channels now available between companies and customers. They include multiple traditional and electronic technologies, from phone and fax to e-mail, chat, and Web sites. This proliferation of media is having a significant impact on the operations of today's customer service departments. Companies are transforming their telephone-only call centers into integrated multimedia contact centers to handle all communication channels in an integrated fashion and see dramatic benefits from doing so.
From a business perspective, two primary benefits justify a contact center investment:
- Customer satisfaction
- Cost savings
Improving Customer Satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction is a critical requirement of any support center-and the result of effective customer service. A sure way to improve customer service is to accommodate changing customer preferences. Today's call center customer's expectation of service is-The CHANNEL they want, WHEN they want it, on the DEVICE they are using. NOT the way YOU offer it. In order to improve customer service, companies not only need to offer multiple channels of communication but also integrate these channels.
Offer Customers a Choice of Ways to do Business with Your Company.
Significant research has been conducted on customers' use of various communication channels and the relative satisfaction levels of each. An example of this research is shown below. The bar chart shows the percentage of customers who use a particular media to access customer service assistance. The line chart shows the percentage of customers rating the service on that media as 'highly satisfactory.'
The research clearly indicates that Web media (chat, e-mail, Web self help) includes critical communication channels. Furthermore, Web chat had the highest satisfaction rating of any channel, with e-mail being roughly equal to phone and in-person service. Clearly, providing customers with multiple communication channels, especially electronic ones, is not only necessary but also an effective way to increase customer satisfaction.
Integrate Your Communication Channel.
Another practice that leads to poor customer service is simply adding more communication channels in a haphazard fashion, or without bothering to integrate them. Customers resent having to repeat the same explanation every time they contact you about a problem. Savvy customers expect you to have a record of any time they contact you, too, regardless of how they reach you-phone call, e-mail, chat session, and so forth. Furthermore, you can reduce resolution time, increase satisfaction levels, and even increase job satisfaction among your customer service representatives (CSRs) by providing them with a complete, up-to-date, 360-degree view of all customer interactions, regardless of the medium. Let's say a customer initiates a chat session with one of your CSRs.
Give Customers Consistent Response Across Channels.
Customers expect the same level of service, regardless of how they get in touch with you. Blending media channels lets you control response time and service level based on your priorities or agreements and gives customers the same favorable experience no matter how they contact you.
Implement Cost Savings
This approach can dramatically increase the quality of customer service you provide while significantly reducing costs. The cost savings fall in the following areas:
Migrate Customers to Less Expensive Communication Channels.
There are significant differences in the cost of servicing customers using various communication channels. Below are the results of the Giga Group's research on the relative costs of providing customer service using various communication channels:
- Telephone calls have the highest per interaction cost of all service and support media. Integrated contact centers allow companies to migrate customers from the phone to cheaper electronic channels and reap significant savings.
Save CSR Costs by Improving Their Efficiency and Effectiveness.
Investing in an integrated contact center increases CSR output and professionalism by providing them with these powerful tools:
With enhanced efficiency and effectiveness, fewer CSRs can handle the same number of customer requests.
- Complete information about the customer to effectively manage the customer.
- Knowledge base of proven answers to resolve queries and reduce dependence on experts.
- Automated processes to complete routine tasks.
- Productivity tools to improve task efficiency.
Reduce Staffing with Multi-skilled CSRs Using Blended Media.
You can make better use of your staffing resources by maintaining a small pool of multi-skilled CSRs working with blended media. If you maintain separate groups of agents for different media, you may be supporting more agents than you actually need. A smaller pool of multi-skilled agents, working in a blended media environment, can most likely accomplish as much as many more CSRs working in the confinement of media silos.
Service centers today are in a process of evolution—changing from simple phone-based call centers to completely integrated multi-media contact centers. In addition to providing higher levels of customer service, modern contact centers are also much more cost-effective. If you don't provide this level of service to your customers, in a profitable manner, eventually your competition will. Again and again we hear that customer service is the key differentiator in today's fast-paced business climate.
Ananthraman Iyer, CTO, Talisma Corporation
Talisma Corporation is a provider of customer solutions that provide integrated full customer lifecycle management. Talisma leverages web driven technologies to provide solutions that increase the responsiveness and efficiency of customer service, while dramatically impacting cost and profitability. They allow for businesses to create a 360? view of customer interactions and information across a company or organization that can be leveraged for enhanced customer service as well as prospecting and sales.
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.