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An Introduction To Predictive Marker Of Call Center Technology



If you ever have done their research on the oracle of contact centers anywhere in the call center solution, you may have heard about the marker predictive call center that technology is a key feature of this call center package software. What do you need to know aboutPredictive Dialers marker of call center technology, then? 

First, there are other contact center software needs to be done using the technology of predictive marker. basically, a predictive marker is used today for various tasks such as call centers, the collection of payments, to confirm the appointments, surveys, and doing telemarketing (among others). predictive marker works of access to the list of phone numbers (each of which belongs to a specific perspective or contact) and then proceed to eliminate the calls, busy signals encountered, call answering machines, phone calls and disconnect . at the same time, the predictive marker of call center technology will be able to make a reasonable estimate when you call a human being can take the call.

but predictive marker has a different call center technology in use when it chooses its oracle of contact centers anywhere in the call center solution. Bookmark this predictive call centertechnology has additional features that other call center software does not have, including non-call function; length by ring; percentage of the call rate falls; any frequently asked questions about how campaigns should be drafted The campaign - based on animal pulse, reporting to predict rate decreases, and the actual time in relation to the numbers of response rate based on campaign used. predictive marker technology is basically the automation system so that multiple actors (or multiple users) can be connected to the same infrastructure for contact centers.

The main advantage of using the oracle of contact centers anywhere in the call center is the solutions for actors do not need to fight about in search of the next prospect or contact a call ¨ which is particularly useful for exit call center tasks. with this call center technology, contact centers can deploy with fewer players more outgoing calls allocated by agent. This technology intelligently exit permits phone numbers to be called in order to anticipate when a Telemarketer (or contact center agent) is free to handle the call. it should be noted that aPredictive Dialing marker is different from regular phone dial-automatic or a preview of markers, as a predictive marker is supposed to anticipate when a phone number must be marked next so that the agent will have a call in the queue for him to deal with after he finishes his first campaign call.  

 

Call Center Operation: Design, Operation and Maintenance



Every customer-facing corporation has at least one call center. In the United States, call centers handle a billion calls per year. Call Center Operation gives you complete coverage of the critical issues involved in the design, implementation, organization, and management of a customer call center. Sharp provides information on advanced technology tools for workforce management, workshop examples for training call center staff, and an analysis of the significance of the call center to overall corporate customer relationship strategies. 
A special feature of the book is its focus on call center case studies, describing a number of successful call center strategies and best practices, selected from various business sectors - financial, retail, healthcare, travel, technology, and others. These case studies provide useful guidelines based on successful corporate call centers that will guide you in establishing and maintaining the most effective call center operation for your enterprise.

· Presents key concepts and techniques, including a formal development process, in a real-world context
· Provides extensive management guidelines
· Stresses the importance of staff selection and training
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Call Centre Services - winning YOU more business

In the time it takes you to read this page, we could have alreadyCLOSED A SALE on your behalf!

Papillon Technology are the market leader in the planning, development & delivery of converged solutions for the call centre environment. Our Cambridgeshire based call centre boasts the latest technology in telemarketing software and telephony hardware. Furthermore, our call centre integrates cutting edge broadband internet and VoIP jii developed products are used within our campaigns maximising efficiency, value for money and Return On YOUR Investment!

Our senior multi-disciplinary team of specialists in sales, marketing, IT and telecommunications are able to offer bespoke solutions for your business. We employ excellent high-calibre experienced agents who are thoroughly briefed and directly involved in the management and feedback of your campaign.

New Call Center to Enhance American Euro copter’s Commitment to Customer Service Excellence

Anaheim, Heli-Expo 2009 - American Eurocopter will introduce a new state-of-the-art call service center at the company’s Grand Prairie, Texas, headquarters, providing the centerpiece for its long-term commitment to enhanced customer services.

The call center’s fast-paced construction schedule will lead to its completion and introduction in the second quarter of this year. This facility is to be staffed by supply and service specialists who will be hired based on their helicopter industry experience and aviation skills, joining American Eurocopter’s already strong and experienced team.

The call center is one element in American Eurocopter’s improved customer services offer, which includes an organizational change combining its marketing, sales and customer support into a single streamlined operation. This will allow the new organization to support products from sales and delivery through their full service life.

“Customer support excellence requires relentless attention and investment,” said American Eurocopter President & CEO Marc Paganini. “As the premier helicopter supplier in the U.S. market, we are positioning ourselves to be number one in support for the future as well.” The call center’s construction follows American Eurocopter’s launch of its Customer Service, Support and Satisfaction (CS3) initiative last November, which includes increasing staffing levels, strengthening its logistics infrastructure, and upgrading the tools required for rapid and positive customer response.

“American Eurocopter is fully focused on enhancing its overall customer service, and the new call center will be on the front lines in managing our operators’ most important requirements – both technical and non-technical,” said Larry Roberts, American Eurocopter’s Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Customer Support.

About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. subsidiary of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and the company markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter's headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS and its West Coast Regional Support Facility in Long Beach, CA.

Views on the growth in Australian Call Canters.

Before September 1996 the Australian Call Centre industry was small and dominated by a selected few industries- telecommunications, credit cards, airlines and car-hire & taxi companies. As part of trade liberalisations the Howard Government removed import restrictions on Telecommunication Equipment. This rule had been established to protect local producers of such equipment, and required that any imports must have a 40% local content. According to sources in Canberra this rule had been implemented in the 60's to protect Telecom Australia and its preferred suppliers ( NEC, Ericsson, Nortel to name a few) and to create and protect Australian jobs. Australia then had maybe 800 call centres with possibly 10,000 employees. The technology was really Stone Age dominated by one major vendor Telstra. I have succeeded in locating two call centres with imported ACDs at that time, Qantas Reservation and Silvertop Taxi's in Melbourne.

The trade liberalisation resulted in the arrival of major independent vendors Lucent Technology, Genesys, Aspect, IBM & HP all interested in developing the dormant Call Centre Market. By mid 1997 the large US Outsource Call Centre companies began buying up existing Telemarketing & Call Centre service agencies and today we have Sitel, Excel, Omnicom & The Index Group. Add to that list of 100's of smaller software and CTI vendors who arrived less noticed. Since 1996 the number of Call Centres have exploded from an estimated 800 to 5-6000 sites and employment has grown from probably 10,000 to closer to 100,000.

All because Senator Alston succeeded in removing a trade barrier? We're some, who are happy, then Minister for Industry John Moore didn't railroad that proposal (as he did with the import tariffs on cars)

At the same time politically on all levels of Government a sustained push to provide better service levels at lower cost dominated the agenda with some remarkable results. The Agency ( now known as Centreline), the ATO Customer Service Centres, The Brisbane City Council Call Centre are some of noteworthy initiatives. State sponsored Call Centre Development Offices was set up to attract call centres. Best known are the efforts of the SA & Tasmanian Local Government. Local councils got in on the act- Bendigo, Wollongong, Gold Coast & Hunter Valley were noticeable.

The # 1 Call Center Conferences Is Back!

The 4th Annual Call Center Summit is the fastest growing call center conference providing tactical strategies for improving call center performance and ROI. Four CEOs and 30 award winning industry experts will show you their strategies for retaining customers, leveraging technology, improving agent productivity, cutting costs, and linking each result to the company bottom line. The 4th Annual Call Center Summit will prepare you with the latest information to move your call center forward.

3 Targeted Tracks on: People Management, Tools & Technology, Measurements and Strategic Performance

2 extended site tours inside Contact Centers of America and Disney Destinations

2 new practitioner led workshops

Strategic Takeaways for improving FCR, utilizing speech analytics, benchmarking with Net promoter score, reducing customer churn, improving agent satisfaction

Qualities of a Successful Call Center Supervisor

We compiled this list after conducting and researching several Call Center studies. The responses were taken from multiple interviews with Call Center representatives and Call Center supervisors then paraphrased. This list can be used as a guideline for Call Center Honest and ethical

Good communicator about performance expectations in all areas of work

Excellent Listener uses empathy and compassion

Provides relevant and developmental feedback (both when things are going well and when improvements are needed) to individuals in timely and meaningful manner.

 

Everyone has conflicts with other people from time to time; at work, at home, with our friends. Any time we spend a lot of time with people, eventually we bash heads. With our good friends we work through it. With people we dislike, we often just walk away.

 

But when the conflict happens at work, the walk away option is suddenly taken away. Of course you can walk away from the immediate situation, but the option to never work it out is not a realistic one. So when conflict arises, take a deep breath, and start your way down these five steps to conflict resolution.

 

Canada's Call Center Industry Is Booming

When Cendant first set up in St. John, New Brunswick, three years ago, it was opening a satellite operation to handle its Canadian call volume.

"This summer we will have some 500 to 550 agents at our St. John's center," said Director of Operations Margo Beckwith-Byrne. "We have found that we can practically turn on a dime and get things going very quickly to pick up extra call volume from the U.S. We just can't hire as fast in the U.S."

Beckwith-Byrne credits the NB Tel team for its quick response time.

"They never say 'You can't do that,'" she said.

New Brunswick was the first Canadian province to pursue call centers aggressively and has reaped hand-some benefits.

Ciliate, a health information management provider, and Genesis Telecommunications Laboratories of San Francisco, are just two of the companies that have added their names to a growing list. The story of Cendant is typical of the level of success enjoyed by U.S. centers in New Brunswick.

Cendant operates 70 call centers worldwide and services brands including Days Inn, Ramada, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Avis, Century 21 and Coldwell Banker for its franchisees.

Call centers seem to be a natural fit when one considers Canada's strengths: a long-standing reputation in the field of telecommunications with infrastructure second to none; strong performance in information technology with graduates sought after the world over; and to boot, a significant cost advantage on all counts, further reinforced by a favorable currency exchange.

However, Canada's main attraction for call centers could well be its people: well educated, multilingual, productive and available. Who would think high unemployment could actually become a trump card?

All 10 Canadian provinces are vying for a piece of the action and have all met with some measure of success.

Call Center Pakistan

We at Call Center Pakistan believe in the organization wide mantra of "Quality Drives Performance" 

Call Center Pakistan is always striving to set new standards for quality by maintaining the perfect balance of world class technological resources, best systems and a highly professional team to run them. We understand that nothing is more essential to ensure customer delight than quality. 

That's why at Call Center Pakistan we have established company- wide practices, including : 
» Recording all communication with our customers including voice, email, live chat, and correspondence. 
» We ensure timely reporting to track and improve departmental quality performance. 
» We understand that ensuring world-class quality is a continuous process therefore we have periodic evaluation, documentation, associate feedback, and follow-up training exercises related to contact monitoring sessions. 
» We encourage feedback from both our clients as well as their customers to help us review the quality of customer care professionals. This feedback is also instrumental in reviewing quality of service at the corporate, operation center, and departmental levels at Call Center Pakistan. 
» Our commitment to ensure service quality may be gauged from the fact - the supervisor:agent ratio is as high as 1:7 depending on the service as against the general accepted industry ratio of 1:13. 
» We have developed well-structured call escalation processes to handle more challenging and technical customer requests. 
Call Center Pakistan functions efficiently as your brand ambassador and offer personalized service to your customers through our well-trained Customer Service Representatives.

Call Center Pakistan Inbound Call Centre offer communication services specifically designed to maximize the efficiency of your direct marketing efforts or to be a part of your technical support team. We work together with you as a partner building a strong, successful long-lasting relationship with your customers

 Benefits of Inbound Call Centre Outsourcing 

Increased sales and profits 
Reduced costs per sale 
Maximum phone productivity 
Increased number of appointments 
Increased customer base 
Increased lead generation 
Higher number of qualified leads 

Bringing Call Centers Home: Breaking Away from Traditional Call Centers


When you hear the words "call center" you automatically envision a big open room full of computers, desks and people with headsets talking. You think of a customer service department or a support line. In today's time though there's a new way to see call centers and it's quite there's a new way to see call centers and it's quite different. It's a mom at home with her two children playing in the other room while she is assisting a customer with their order. It's a dad in his home office helping a person with their computer issues. Working at home is an American dream and with today's technology it's more possible than ever. There are at least 30 U.S. Companies that are hiring at home call center agents. That's right. American Infomercial Companies and Customer Service Departments have finally realized that although outsourcing calls overseas is cheaper it's not cost-effective. Mainly because most Americans will hang up on a foreigner and not call back to order the product they wanted. The main reasons of a lost sale are that they can't understand the foreigner or they just don't trust them with their credit card information. On the other hand, those same people if they get an American will most of the time place the order. 
American Call Centers have been thing of the past because it's just not cost-effective. You have to have a large facility, buy all the equipment (computers, headsets, servers), and then hire employees on an hourly basis. It never pays for itself. You don't have quality agents either. Most of the people are there to just a get a check and don't care if they get fired or do a good job. It's hard to even to keep a full staff with all the people that quit or are fired everyday. It's not a good situation for anyone involved. 

Customer satisfaction falls despite call center efforts

A focus on the customer experience over the past year is probably the cause of a significant drop in customer satisfaction levels in the contact center, according to a report issued this week.

The Global Contact Center Benchmarking report found that customer satisfaction levels dropped from 82% last year to 68%. However, that might be a good thing, according to Cara Diamond, editor of the report.

"We think it's not so much because customers are not happy, but because contact centers are doing a better job of measuring satisfaction," she said. "They're more realistic and better at understanding scores. People are paying more attention to analytics, recorded calls and automated survey options. It's a positive for the industry. It shows they're focusing on the customer experience and doing things that will make a difference."

Conducted by Dimension Data plc, a Hauppauge, N.Y.-based IT services firm, the report surveyed 403 contact centers across the globe. This was the tenth year the organization issued its report and, on top of the drop in satisfaction levels, there were some other major changes from last year.

"There was a big jump, unfortunately downwards, in the rate of first-call resolution," Daemon said. "A lot of people measure first-call resolution as a whole. That takes into account all the transfers, bumping callers from one agent to another or [to another] site."

First-call resolution on an agent level -- that is having the issue resolved by the initial agent -- dropped from 87% to 70% this year.

"While people are focused on first-call resolution, there's been quite a lot of effort to look at it as a whole," DeMint said. "Perhaps the next wave is to concentrate on the once-and-done philosophy. It's important having business rules in place, identifying who the caller is, who the best agent is, and all the routing strategies."

Internet protocol (IP) continues to be a major issue for contact centers as well. More than 60% reported they have IP-based PBX/ACDs, up from 50% last year.

"The path to IP is something contact centers continue to be walking down," Dumont said. "The top reason people give is not actually cost savings, but around the flexibility of their architecture, which says a lot of things about the way they're making decisions. They're probably trying to tie in with a broader enterprise technology strategy."

According to the report, 69% chose IP because of the flexibility of its architecture. In addition, 60% of contact centers have an architecture separate from the wider enterprise.

Call Center Intelligence

There is a plethora of technology solutions needed to run a call center today. Call center technology can vary widely, based on the database platforms, vendor offerings and business requirements. But most call center technology packages will feature five core components.

An automatic call distribution software package (ACD) helps to route your customer calls to the appropriate call center associates. This software effectively allocates your incoming calls based on your pre-defined parameters. Choices can include the next available representative, or the group serving a certain type of request.

Often, the automatic call distribution software will route calls based on your integrated voice response (IVR) system. This software provides the automated menu selections that customers often find annoying. “Press one for English“, or “Press two if you’d like an automated balance on your account” are two examples of the types of menu options that these systems offer your inbound customers.

These two components, while not being always the most popular with your customers, are essential to running a cost effective, efficient call center. Together, these packages eliminate the need for live associates to answer each call and transfer them to the appropriate agent. Ivy’s can also be linked to your database in order to provide automated responses to basic, routine requests, like the last five checks cleared, or a confirmation of a scheduled service call.

The third component of a modern call center software system is predictive dialer software. Although most common in outbound calling centers, this package can be set up in either the hardware or software. Software applications are generally less expensive and more flexible, although both are fairly common. The predictive dialer automatically calls phone numbers that are stored in a computer database. Often, these numbers represent existing customer’s contact information, or telephone numbers purchased for marketing purposes. Most packages will identify and eliminate disconnected numbers, retry busy signals and calls that connect with an answering machine.

Of course, for all of the data being used and collected by your call center, you’ll need a good, adaptable database. Although often the least noticeable aspect of call center technology, it is the most important, with the marketing and customer service efforts of the center relying on the information it provides. The information contained in the database should be easy to access and sort, and the database should be reliable as well. Import and export functionality are also crucial, and data conversions (mostly from clients’ formats) should be straightforward and problem free.

Of course, your call center should also have powerful reporting capabilities. Many of the database packages include pre-written reporting functions, but an external reporting package may also be necessary to obtain the information you and your client need in the format required.

Setting up and running your call center need not be confusing or difficult. Include an automatic call distributor, an integrated voice response system, a predictive dialer and a good database package with flexible reporting capabilities and you’ll be up and running in no time.

Answering Service & Call Center Hardware

Here are a few of the leaders in answering service and call center equipment.

AMTELCO
AMTELCO has been a leading provider of customized call center innovations for more than 25 years. With a strong background in the telephone answering service industry, AMTELCO’s primary focus is to design systems that offer cutting-edge technology, which reduces labor costs and increases profitability. Today, AMTELCO’s specialized Call Center Innovations are recognized throughout the industry for improving customer service with straight-forward procedures and trouble-free system maintenance.

AMTELCO is a trusted name in call center communication systems, software applications and XDS technologies for call centers, contact centers, healthcare facilities, higher education facilities, executive suites and developers.

AMTELCO’s award-winning Infinity system is one of the most reliable and profitable pieces of call center equipment on the market. Infinity provides call centers with tools like Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), voice processing, text messaging, PBX capabilities and digital switching to transform businesses into specialized customer resource centers.

In addition to call center systems, AMTELCO offers eCreator, a sophisticated custom web-based scripting application, web-based hosted services and other wireless applications. AMTELCO also designs, manufactures and markets a wide variety of PC, PCI and CompactPCI switching boards to specialized computer-based development companies throughout the world.

Mr. Curtin and AMTELCO have received more than fifteen U.S. patents for telephone switching devices. Today, AMTELCO equipment is in operation in all 50 of the United States and in more than 20 foreign countries.

A Call Center Is the New Touch Point with Customers

Contact centers, commonly known as call centers have become the touch point for customers and business. These contact centers have grown from simple telephone sales to full customer service organizations. From billing issues and quote requests to full sales teams, the call center has delivered on the promise of lower overall costs to many businesses.

Call Centers, from a practical standpoint are actually a technology center that can be used for many things. These include:

Direct telephone answering. Customers call into the center with specific issues or problems.

Support Calls. Any technological product that needs technical support are now using call centers.

Outbound Calling: Calls to existing customers can be placed throughout the world from a centralized contact center.

Outbound Pre-Sales: Prospect calling to develop potential sales opportunities

Quotes: Customers can call in for rate quotes on products

Sales: Handling sales generated from a direct mailing, television or other advertising program

Email: Many call centers now offer direct email processing. Customers can email for specific problems or questions and have them answered usually within 24 hours.

IVR: Interactive Voice Response. Customer interaction with a computer system to obtain information or route the call to the correct department.

The opportunities for a business to benefit from a call center operation are only limited by their imagination. Contact centers are constantly being upgraded with the latest in technology. A good example is the recent growth in the use of voice over Internet protocol or VOIP. This is telephone service over the web.

One of the biggest technological features of many call centers is the predictive dialer. The technology behind a dialer is used for outbound calls like cold calling or pre-sales offerings. Instead of having individual employee-agents dialing numbers, the predictive dialer can manage the number of calls being made at any given point in time and adjust based on the number of available people to accept the call.
This tool is a call management system that is based on logic rules to deliver maximum efficiency.

A Predictive Dialer Can:

Can make and manage hundreds of calls at a time.

Has the ability to monitor the number of agents available to take a call

Can detect call status and route the call based on that status. Busy signals get called again, bad numbers are flagged or removed, a live person is auto routed to an agent, etc.

Auto adjusts the number of calls being dialed based on when an agent is expected to be free to accept the call. The predictive dialer is programmed with basic rules that determine the number of calls being made at any one time. The idea is to have everyone on the phone all the time but also have the process appear seamless to any potential customer. More agents available = more calls. Fewer agents available = less calls.

To much time between calls and the call center cost per call go up, increasing the operating expenses. To little time and the potential customer is held up and is likely to end the call without hearing the offer. Many of the newer predictive dialers actually can learn and adjust the original rules based on how the specific call center is operating. Overall, the call center has made customer support and customer relationship management easier, cheaper and faster.

Best Practices in the Call Center: Make Every Contact Count

It’s no secret that customers aren't buying much these days. The economic engines have locked and stalled, leaving businesses everywhere in freefall. While companies around the globe are jettisoning anything they can to slow the descent, none are ditching CRM . In fact, CRM may be the last remaining parachute: a fact realized during earlier turbulence.

"Like lemmings off a cliff, we watched one company after another make disastrous decisions about cuts to support during the 2001 tech crash: low-quality outsourcing  unannounced cuts to support channels and hours, big support staff layoffs leaving long wait times and stressed agents," John Ragsdale, vice president of Research at SSPA, a large and influential industry trade group for technology service and support professionals, told CRM Buyer.

"This time around we know better: Every change that impacts customer satisfaction impacts the bottom line," Ragsdale explained. "Evaluate how every change made in the name of cost cutting will influence the customer experience: A short-term savings is not worth sacrificing long-term loyalty."

Turning Call Centers into Profit Centers

The consumer backlash against unsolicited telemarketing and e-mails coupled with ever-increasing competition for customer attention has forced companies to take a new look at their inbound call centers.

Long considered a profit drain and necessary evil, inbound call centers are now seen as a critical link between an organization and its customers. Companies that have relied strongly on a carpet-bombing approach to marketing in the past are now using their inbound call centers to better target customers at the right time with the right offers.

The call center business model has historically been based on reducing the amount of time spent on each call in order to reduce costs and personnel. The quantity and not the quality of each call was the driver. Operational efficiency, in this model, was the over-riding goal -- not customer satisfaction, customer retention, cross-selling or up-selling. Rarely was a call center's operation tied to an organization's business goals or strategies.

5 Causes of Call-Center Agent Churn — and How to Beat Them

Agent churn is the bane of call centers. Studies show that the average call center CSR (customer support representative) lasts about six months, while call centers have a 40 percent average annual turnover rate.

Churn is expensive. The Robert Francis Group Inc. estimated that replacing an agent costs between $10,000 and $15,000, conservatively. The group's report on call-center turnover noted that at the lower figure, a 25 percent turnover costs a call center with 100 agents $250,000 per year. That doesn't include the biggest costs — reduced customer satisfaction and business because of inexperienced CSRs.

How do companies combat call-center churn? Money is important, of course. The RFG report suggested making sure the salary you offer is at least in the 75th percentile for similar jobs in your area.

However, money is far from the only consideration in keeping agents. In fact, when it comes to retaining — as opposed to hiring— call-center agents, money falls behind other considerations. Surveys have found that while factors such as pay and location are the main reasons for taking a call-center job, other reasons, especially co-workers, are more important when deciding to leave.

Global or National? An International Comparison of Call Centre’s

In spite of globalization, working conditions in call centers around the world are still governed by national regulations. That was the result of a major study supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, which looked at 2,400 call centers in 17 countries. As a follow-up to this study, the FWF is now funding further international analyses and case studies that will compare conditions in Austrian call centres with those in other countries.

Throughout the world, the number of call centres is growing. These facilities offer companies aiming to achieve effective forms of customer care a great deal of flexibility. Working conditions are often atypical with staff being employed on a temporary or freelance basis, for example, and cutting-edge technologies mean that operations can easily be outsourced to other locations, at home or abroad.

The employment conditions in call centres throughout the world have now been investigated as part of the Global Call Center Industry Project, coordinated by Cornell University (USA), the Institute of Work Psychology (UK) and FORBA (the Working Life Research Centre, Austria). This international project set out to analyse whether the global spread of call centres is being accompanied by a growing convergence in working conditions. Or whether the opposite is the case, i.e. whether working conditions at these call centres continue to be shaped by national standards and rules. The study has found that call centres are perhaps not as "global" as one might assume. For example, working conditions at call centres in coordinated market economies such as Austria, Germany and Denmark are significantly better than in liberal market economies such as the UK and USA.

 

CALL CENTER CONFERENCE TO TACKLE GLOBAL ECONOMIC IMPACT

Some of the biggest names in the call center industry are expected to discuss critical issues about the economy and the industry during the upcoming CCAP Annual Call Center Conference & Expo 2008 in a CEO panel discussion entitled, “Call Center CEOs: Rising to the Challenges of the New Global Economy.”

These country managers and chief executives represent some of the member companies of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), and include Benedict Hernandez of eTelecare, Dan Reyes of Sitel, Marife Zamora of Convergys, Vic Endaya of Advanced Contact Solutions, Bong Borja of PeopleSupport, Maulik Parekh of TeleTech, John Langford of ICT Group, Beaver Lopez of PacificHub, and Raffy David of Pilipinas Teleserv, among others.

They will share their experience operating in the Philippines, including challenges, opportunities, and growth plans. They will also assess global competition from emerging call center destinations as well as the impact of the latest economic issues such as the forex fluctuations, increasing inflation, the US recession, etc.

To further address these issues during the two-day event, the CCAP Annual Call Center Conference & Expo 2008 will also feature keynote addresses from four high-profile personalities: Senate President Manny Villar, Senate Majority Floor Leader Francis Pangilinan, former NEDA (National Economic Development Authority) secretary Felipe Medalla, and CICT (Commission on Information and Communication Technology) secretary Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III.

“This is going to be the hottest lineup of speakers and panelists we have ever gathered for our annual conference,” says Raffy David, head of the CCAP Membership and Events Committee.

Two other panel discussions during the plenary session also deal with socio-economic issues. The “Call Center Clients: The Philippine Scorecard” panel features clients of third-party contact centers who will share their experience outsourcing to the Philippines in comparison with other countries. The “Support Sectors: The New 24/7 Economy and its Ripple Effects” panel will have various representatives from the food, telco, real estate, and IT sectors talk about the call center market as well as the industry’s impact in their revenues and operations. A special interest group is also scheduled with members of the academe, which will discuss demand and supply trends and issues as well as potential industry-academe alliances and initiatives.

“This year is by far the most ambitious and comprehensive for the two-day flagship convention, exhibit, and job fair of CCAP,” notes David. The event will be held this July 23-24, 2008 at a new venue – the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. Now on its fourth successful run, it is the annual gathering of executives, managers, supervisors, and agents of outsource and in-house contact centers.

The CCAP Annual Call Center Conference & Expo 2008 is already on its fourth run and has drawn thousands of participants every year. Conference fees are P8,000 (instead of P10,000) for a Two-Day Pass and P5,000 (instead of P6,000) for a One-Day Pass if registered before July 22. Group discounts are also available. Other special rates apply to CCAP members. Fees include seminar materials, snacks, lunch, and certificate of participation.

 

Alaska Airlines opens new Phoenix reservations call centre

A new reservations call centre has been opened in south Phoenix, Arizona, USA by Alaska Airlines, replacing its Tempe, Arizona facility, which has been in operation since 1989.

Alaska Airlines said it invested USD5m to develop the 30,000 square foot leased facility into its new centre, which serves customers calling its (800) ALASKAAIR reservations phone line, elite-level frequent fliers and Spanish-speaking customers.

According to Alaska Airlines, the centre, which employs 270 agents including 30 bilingual employees, demonstrates its commitment to its reservations sales agents based in Phoenix.

The airline claimed the centre holds a critical role in serving the airline's Spanish-speaking customers in the language of their choice and confirmed its aim to double the number of bilingual agents by the end of this year.

CUSTOMER DATA "AT RISK" IN CALL CENTRES

New research by the University of Strathclyde has revealed that Scottish contact centers are vulnerable to data theft.

 

The survey was taken by 45 workers in centers across Glasgow and it uncovered evidence of a "serious threat" to security.

 

The research team asserted that staff were secretly stealing customer details, forgetting to ask basic security questions and were regularly offered bribes by criminal gangs to hand over confidential information.

 

Mobile phone cameras, e-mails and even crossword puzzles were some of the techniques used by workers to try to smuggle out lucrative data, the investigation by University of Strathclyde established.

 

Other findings included:

11 per cent of employees allowed customers access to accounts without going through the necessary security questions. 

22 per cent worked with people they thought were suspicious.

6 per cent of employees had been offered money in exchange for information.

 

Dr George Weir, from the university's department of computer and information sciences, said that although the small scale of the study could not give a full 

TV giant opens another call centre

SKY TV is to open another call centre, employing 350 people, in City Walk, Leeds, early next year.

It says that the site will help meet demand for its TV, broadband and home phone services.

Dave Rumble, sales director (pictured), said: “We looked at a number of sites across the UK but we've chosen Leeds because it's a vibrant city with a strong track record in the contact centre sector and excellent transport links.”

Sky claims nearly 9m subscribers in the UK and has 14,500 staff in its other call centers’, mostly in Undermine and Livingstone. It already has 250 call centre employees in Yorkshire.  They are based in Harrogate and handle calls for Sky Bet and Football365.com.

 

New UK call centre’s for web and cosmetics companies

TWO overseas companies are to open UK call centers.
Web loyalty, specialists in online marketing services, has hired Kevin Stillwell as head of customer services.
His remit is to establish a call centre in the UK to cover the company's European members, previously serviced its US call centre.  Web loyalty said rapid growth in Web loyalty’s business had warranted investment in a dedicated operation
Mr. Stilwell said: “Membership numbers are increasing so it is the ideal time to open our first UK-based call centre."
He previously spent eight years as head of customer service operations EMEA for the audio-visual company, DMX Music/Mood Media where he set up and contact centers’ across several sites. 
Web loyalty pays its retailer clients for each member who joins its shopper discounts and rewards programmer through clients’ sites.  It says clients can also benefit from increased site visits as members return to the retailers' sites to use their money-off voucher. 
It quotes Verdict Research as saying UK retailers’ web sites had the potential to generate an extra £130m per year (at end-2007) -- growing to an estimated  £818m by 2011 with such schemes.
Founded in 1999, Web loyalty says it has 2m-plus US members in its programmers’.  As well as shopper discounts and rewards, they include an entertainment and travel programmer with discounts off attractions and dining.  It says that its US clients, with more than 150 sites, benefit from increased revenue and repeat purchases. 
DHC, a Japanese skincare company, has opened its first UK call centre, sited in Wimbledon, south-west London.
Founded in 1980, DHC began with products made from virgin olive oil and stresses that it adds no unnecessary colorings agents or irritating fragrances.  The company also has bases in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and the United States.

FIRST VOIP CALL CENTER IN AFRICA

The arrival of Africa’s first VOIP call centre will have an impact that may send ripples around the continent. Firstly it provides a tangible proof that Africa has the potential to service international markets. The call centre offers a service to North American clients who pay in hard currency. Secondly it must have some collateral effect on the debate over internet-enabled phone calls. VOIP (telephone calls via the internet) is banned in most major African internet markets, notably South Africa. ISP owners in Ghana have been arrested for using it. Can this stance be maintained if countries start offering the service to overseas customers? In the article below Jacques Rotenone describes how the call centre was set up and the problems it has encountered.

Togo is the host of one of the most innovative and exciting e-businesses in Africa. With the help of Pewit International from Canada and financial assistance from the World Bank, C.A.F.E. Informatique of Loma, Togo, has successfully set up what is believed to be the first VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) call center in Africa which is totally dedicated to serving North American clients on a full time basis. This means getting steady revenues in hard currency and incurring costs locally!

The success of the Loma call center is based on three key factors: first, solving several technical problems related to the quality of the net mediated communication. Second, taking full advantage of the fact that human resources represent 75 to 80% of the total operating costs of a typical call center and that Loma’s labor rate are definitely competitive with those in North America. Third, rather than attempting to market its services directly, the Lame call center relies on Pewit International to intermediate with prospective clients.

As the VOIP technology develops further, it appears likely that there will be room for many more call centers based in developing countries. Right now, there are more than one million individuals working in call centers in North America and perhaps half that many in Europe. Some forecasts estimate that given the explosive growth of this industry sector and the drive by companies to outsource to the most cost effective suppliers, developing countries based call centers may employ more than 500,000 operators in five to six years. Given its labor costs advantages, Africa and African entrepreneurs could pick up a sizable chunk of this pie if they act decisively.

 

(UPDATE) Arroyo inaugurates second Dell call center in RP

MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inaugurated Thursday morning Dell's second call center facility in the Philippines at the Eastwood Cyber park in Quezon City.

About 1,200 workers are eyed for the facility, bringing the company's workforce total to 2,600. The Eastwood facility currently employs 200 agents and Dell plans to hire 1,000 more employees this year. 

Dell's other call center facility is located at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City and was opened in February 2006. The facility provides service and technical support to Dell consumer customers in the United States.

Richard Hunter, vice president of Dell's Customer Experience and Support Team, noted that Dell is expanding its global network of customer support centers to keep up with its growth as a company. 

Dell operates facilities in 25 locations, including the Philippines and India.

Asked how Dell's call center operations locally compare with India, he replied: "We are also growing rapidly in other locations. But in terms of percentage basis, growth in the Philippines is higher than anywhere else in our global network."

Hunter declined to divulge how much Dell has invested so far in its Philippine operations.

Texas-based Dell Inc. is one of the world's largest computer companies.

In a statement, Dell said the company selected the Philippines for its customer contact centers "because of the strong language and communication skills of its high-quality workforce." 

"With its English-savvy population, about 100 similar facilities in place and 650,000 students, the Philippines is fast becoming the contact center location of choice in Southeast Asia," the company said.

LiveOps Call Center Exchange Program Extends Industry-Leading SaaS Technology Platform to Call Center Outsourcers

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwise - October 21, 2008) - LiveOps, the virtual call center company, today announced its Call Center Exchange Program aimed at helping call center outsourcers rapidly expand or update their existing technology with the LiveOps On-Demand Call Center Platform. This program extends LiveOps' SaaS-based platform to a broader ecosystem of outsourcing partners. Through the Call Center Exchange Program companies can leverage their specific industry and service expertise while operating on LiveOps' market-leading On-Demand Call Center Platform to run both brick-and-mortar facilities and virtual call centers staffed by home agents.

In conjunction with the launch of the Call Center Exchange Program, LiveOps also announced today that Element Customer Care, back office outsourcer to the cable industry, and Smart Force, a minority- and woman-owned workplace solutions provider servicing the Midwest and specializing in the banking, insurance and manufacturing industries have joined as partners.

"We are pleased to offer the LiveOps Call Center Exchange Program so call center outsourcers like Element Customer Care and Smart Force can leverage our award-winning on-demand call center platform to achieve greater visibility and control in their call center services," said Maynard Webb, Chairman and CEO of LiveOps. "With the LiveOps On-Demand Call Center Platform at the core of their operations, partners can achieve greater efficiencies and performance optimization without compromising on availability, security and scalability."

Element Customer Care and Smart Force First to Join Partner Program

Based in Durham, N.C., Element Customer Care provides billing services, technical support and call center services for cable, broadband and telecommunications operators. "Element has been entirely focused on bringing industry-leading solutions to small and medium sized operators," said Matt Zeon, President, Element Customer Care. "LiveOps has been recognized as a leader in call center technology. Combining their award-winning platform with CSG Systems, the number one cable billing and subscriber management solution in America, is the right decision for our clients and their subscribers."

Smart Force provides technical and workplace solutions to a wide variety of public and commercial clients in the Midwest, including government and higher education organizations. "We are very excited about the opportunity to work with LiveOps. Their call center application will revolutionize the workplace and our background in providing high-quality resources to our clients will enable us to leverage the LiveOps On-Demand Call Center Platform to improve our customers' performance," said Karen Cooper, CEO of Smart Force.