Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How smaller call centers can attain world class status

This case study was recently published on Contact Center World and tells the tale of a convenience store chain that was able to leverage emerging call center technologies and become a world class call center.

An interesting side note is that on the first day of using their new call recording system, Maverik, Inc. was able to use the recordings to help the police nab suspects who had perpetrated credit card fraud.

Click here to read this case study (requires registration on ContactCenterWorld)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Call recording and quality monitoring can benefit your marketing efforts

The benefits of implementing a call recording and quality monitoring solution are well known. Improved customer service performance, more upsells, less cancellations, and less turnover are just a few of the many results of a quality assurance initiative.

One aspect that many organizations have not taken advantage of is to tout their internal quality monitoring process as proof of commitment to their potential customers - "not only are we promising you better customer service than our competitor, we have the system in place and the performance analytics to prove it!"

The next time your marketing department is seeking more content for their website or a differentiator for their presentations, tell them about your quality objectives and help them to craft a compelling case study that just may help them win their next big opportunity.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

How far will Skype be able to go?

How do companies make money off a free instant messaging application?

That question was posed several years ago, as AIM, Yahoo and MSN Messenger launched, and later Google Talk, to attract millions of users in anticipation of an advertising-supported revenue stream.

What if that was not the best plan? What if the "free IM" model could have resulted in the total overthrow of the established telecom industry?

What if Skype is able to do just that?

Skype, an Ebay company, is a communications application which allows for free phone calls over the internet using VoIP. At first you could only make Skype-to-Skype calls to other computers that had Skype installed.

Last year the innovative company allowed free calls to land lines domestically for approximately a year. It worked pretty well, although you still occassionally had the VoIP hiccups.

When Ebay purchased Skype, the thought was they would integrate it into their auctions to allow people to conduct transactions in real time as they communicated using the Instant Messenger-like tool. Ebay has gone as far as to let Skype continue to develop its' own business and revenue streams. Like with Ebay itself, The API is open and stimulates innovation from developers and entrepreneurs. Third party companies are emerging that simply support Ebay and Skype (see the Isoldit company).

Skype has since added wireless connectivity, skype phones, video, and much more. Soon they are adding their own TV Channels in order to compete with cable tv and the networks. It will undoubtedly offer Tivo-like functionality.

Some businesses have begun to adopt Skype as a communications tool, and once security, reliability and trust is established, more will use it to communicate with vendors, employees, prospects and customers. It can reduce expenses dramatically and offers the instant gratification fix that so many of today's generations crave.

Students expect IM in their everyday communications - it's how they talk to their peers and it's how they'll conduct business in the future. The communications application that attracts the most users will ultimately win and gain leverage and power across the board.

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