DSC Tech Library
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to Call Center technology and Best Practices plus software and products.
DSC is a leading provider of contact center technology and software solutions as well as predictive dialer phone systems for the modern call center. Customer contact center software includes CRM software and computer telephony integration solutions. These modern products help call center phone agents communicate effectively with your customers and prospects.
The following article presents product or service information relating to call centers and customer service help desks.
Agent-level Customer Feedback and the Impact on
by Dr. Jodie Monger and Dr. Cherie Keen
First Contact Resolution - Page 2
Effectiveness of service delivery can be measured in many ways in a contact center. The ultimate objective of any quality program is to answer the question, “Are our customers being served well by our contact center?” The measurement methods utilized are critical to having a valid answer to the question. Quality is important to you because in today’s “commoditized” economy, the only differentiating and competitive advantage a company has is the service it provides. All too often companies that have the best product become extinct due to poor service.
Most contact center managers who focus on maintaining a high level of quality service in their center have implemented a call monitoring program. These programs include five to twenty live and remote monitoring occurrences a month of an agent’s contacts with different customers. Through this process, the agent is held accountable to a predetermined set of criteria. The criteria often include courtesy, verbal skills, listening skills, product or service knowledge, willingness to help, sales, and more depending on the industry and product/service.
The standard monitoring form may have been created by different people in the contact center, by a manager, or sometimes by a senior level executive that has a personal expectation of how a contact “should” be conducted. The theory is that if an agent follows the criteria set forth in the monitoring form, the customer will receive a high level of service and the company will retain them as a customer since satisfaction contributes to loyalty.
In reality, this theory leaves a lot of contact center managers scratching their heads in disbelief when any type of customer feedback is captured and the gap between the internal quality scores and the customers’ measured level of service is a negative double digit variance. How is that possible? What is the problem?
The problem is that all customers want to be taken care of efficiently and effectively, but elements to accomplish this vary from one person to the next. Therefore, creating a monitoring form with set criteria that must be adhered to for every contact may be inappropriate, contribute to the above mentioned gap, and even cause some caller dissatisfaction as the agent forces required criteria into the call. A monitoring form should be a dynamic instrument that can handle different types of interactions with the ultimate goal being, “The customer was satisfied and a repeat contact on this issue should not occur”. An internally estimated FCR value is possible; however the customer ultimately provides the input values for the metric.
The methods used most often to capture customer evaluation of service delivery for telephone interactions include: CATs (Completely Automated Telephone Surveys), Email, and internal IVR (Interactive Voice Response). So then, what is the best way for companies to identify the customer’s perceptions? Some companies have realized that traditional survey methods to gather customer intelligence via the contact center do not always work and have sought better alternatives. While traditional methods seem to be the most cost effective, cheap becomes expensive as the voice of the customer is not heard accurately and quickly. Customer feedback that is gathered by a flawed strategy can easily mislead and ultimately misdirect your service strategy.
The measurement system that you use must reflect your mission to be customer-focused and to be easy to do business with and that means congruence with the customer-selected channel of communication. If this is not done, “survey channel slamming” occurs. Survey channel slamming happens when a customer sends you an email and you send them a survey through the post office, or when a customer contacts you by phone and you send them an email survey. This is dangerous to your measurement program and must be avoided. Ignoring customer preferences can generate a service weakness and may create a source of dissatisfaction; this undermines the validity of the voice of the customer measurement program. To best measure the effectiveness of service delivery, an immediate evaluation is needed via your customers’ preferred channel. This will ensure the success of your Voice of the Customer program as well as increase your customers’ satisfaction and loyalty. It creates the ideal situation that contact center managers are searching for.
Surveys on internal IVRs are gaining in popularity although not as quickly as Internet/email surveys. Each of these methodologies has their own drawbacks. A standard IVR is not designed to capture all of the elements necessary to do proper caller satisfaction research. Many companies have tried to upgrade their IVR system to include capturing customer data, often times having to compromise program necessities due to the limitations, therefore restricting their ability to produce actionable intelligence. Using an IVR as a collection tool, one must combat the internal resource limitations that are always great, design and analysis issues, trunk capacity limitations, reporting production, and the inability to capture and transcribe customer comments or to provide service recovery alerts.
CATs, while using IVR-type technology, is more of a complete service solution and the added value secures faster ROIs for the center. The system is more flexible, scalable, and provides greater depth in possible reporting options than an IVR. This system allows callers to be randomly selected to take a survey after an interaction with a contact center agent has concluded. Agents are unaware the caller has been invited to take the survey therefore no differentiation in the quality of service provided with knowledge of a pending evaluation.
This is a method that many contact centers use as part of their incentive pay program because it provides the most accurate results. The system also provides service recovery opportunities by providing Email service recovery alerts to key personnel in the event a customer rates an interaction poorly. The reporting of performance by the CATs system is also extremely flexible and contains in-depth analysis that can be posted electronically, hard copy, on an intranet or the Internet.
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.