Friday, June 29, 2007

New Call Center Openings

We try to publish this list of new call center openings on a monthly basis:

Wachovia Looks to Open Philippine Call Center
Wachovia, a prestigious banking center located out of Charlotte, North Carolina, has decided to take their consumer services overseas. They plan to construct and open a new call center in the Philippines early next year, exposing the company to a more global feel. Not only will this increase the diversity and size of their workforce, but it will also assist their 24-hour customer support. With thirteen call center locations within the United States, expanding to the Philippines will effectively cut costs and provide more services to customers.

Phones Being Ringing at Verizon’s New Huntsville Call Center on September 4th
The day following Labor Day, 2007, marks the opening of Verizon’s newest call center in Huntsville, Alabama. The facility will allow for 1,300 employees, consisting of customer service agents, supervisors, IT staff and support, government customer service agents, and corporate sales employees. Located in Thorton Research Park, the call center will be utilized for all forms of consumer support.

Comcast Construct Third Phone Center in Connecticut
On June 22, 2007, the ever-so-popular Comcast introduced a new call center in Enfield, Connecticut. The large cable and communications provider is in need of more customer support staff as their company continues to expand rapidly each day. This building measures out to 77 thousand square feet and provide workspace for more than two hundred employees. This will be Comcast’s third call center in Connecticut, making a total of seven in New England.

DialX Forms Online Call Center in Arizona
DialX, an integrated voice and data management system, has ventured to create an online call center in Phoenix, Arizona. Their automated message dialing service is being targeted to smaller businesses in order to prerecord business notifications using the internet, and construct a more effective consumer experience. Along with these notifications, direct marketing messages are also delivered utilizing the onsite “Do Not Call Filter.” This new software was created to better the communication between businesses and their consumers.

Alorica Inc. Seeks New Employers in July
Alorica, Inc., a provider of quality customer services, is searching for employees to occupy their Topeka call center. The employment events are scheduled to begin July 9th at the Topeka Workforce Center from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The company, known for its exceptional workforce, has grown tremendously, cultivating over 3,000 new employees in three different facilities since they entered the market in 1999.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Emerging web-based voice tools

* Highly useful: CallWave transcribes your voicemail
Callwave is a free cellular voice mail replacement service. It's recently been enhanced with Vtxt, an automated speech-to-text service. Vtxt converts voice mail into text. When someone leaves you a message, the service e-mails or SMSes you the transcription. The conversion is far from perfect, but more than good enough to get the gist of the message.

* Jangl enables private calls, but some could be cold
This tool allows you to talk with people while retaining some anonymity. Running as a service, it allows users with virtual telephone numbers to route calls to your real phone number and messages to your e-mail in-box.

* Dodgeball
This a mobile communication tool that lets you send out SMS messages to individuals or groups with a dash of social networking.

* Grand Central (just bought by Google)
Grandcentral acts as online voice mail. Users can create customized mailboxes and call filters, as well as manage all their voice mail online.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Developing call center reps Into achievers

This looks like an interesting news release. It's from, a consulting firm. Here are some sample statistics from their study:

* More than half of companies expect 80%-100% of their call center reps to assume some cross-selling role and responsibility.

* Sixty percent of companies found that most service reps are willing but not ready to sell and have implemented communication and training programs to prepare them for cross-selling.

* Most top-performing service/sales reps -- in 86% of benchmarked companies -- actively listen and probe for unmet needs to convert a service call into a sale.

* Savvy benchmark partners shrink service rep to manager ratios to 10:1 to enable greater coaching and performance management.

Read the full news release:

Call Center Excellence: Developing Service Representatives Into High-Sales Achievers

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Use Virtual Observer to automatically distribute training material to agents

Virtual Observer's E-Learning module is an essential ingredient in any recipe for agent development.

Let's look at a practical example of how it may be used:

1) Your number one supervisor, Harliss Dondo, has just completed ten evaluations today. Five of them were exceptionally above the average, three were average and two below.

2) Harliss opens one of the exceptionally rated evaluations. He selects "package event" from the Virtual Observer menu. He highlights the call and exports the entire event (evaluation and screens included) to a network folder. He names it "Excellent Customer Greeting 001". He repeats this process several times, and soon he has his top ten evaluations all in one folder.

3) Harliss (or Harley for short) then chooses "Make Media List" from the menu. He then selects all the calls in the folder he just made. The system will then burn them to a cd or ftp them up to a webserver. An instant "greatest hits" compilation is born, perfect for training material for a new hire.

4) In Virtual Observer's E-Learning module, Harley had designated three training documents to be automatically delivered to any agent who scored below the par. The system has already emailed the training docs to the two agents who fared poorly and also included the link to the webserver that contains the greatest hits list, placing them on the road to improvement. On Monday, Harley will hand out a greatest hits training CD to 5 hires during new employee orientation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Catalog industry ranks high in caller satisfaction

In a new article on Advertising Age, healthcare ranked tops among all the industries when call center customer satisfaction was measured.

The following industries were included in the study, followed by percentage of caller satisfaction:

Catalog retailers, 80%

Banking, 77%

Cell phone services, 69%

Cable & satellite television, 68%

Insurance, 68%

Personal computers, 64%

This is putting a positive spin on an article titled "Consumers Aren't Happy With Your Call Centers". It would be interesting to compare the percentage of the companies in each category utilize quality monitoring in their center. With the core objective of using quality monitoring is to improve the performance of call center agents and get those numbers higher with intergated evaluation and e-learning.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Custmer service experiences: you remember the good ones, too!

Everyone talks (or blogs) about the bad customer service experiences you run into. We all know the story about the AOL csr who wouldn't let a subscriber cancel. In fact, the recorded audio was leaked on the net and if you search, you'll find it. In the opposite regard, and trying to focus on the positive, I thought I'd reflect on some of the really good customer service experiences I've had recently.

Maneeleys Catering of South Windsor, CT
Maneeleys has provided exceptional planning and lended a consultative approach to our wedding logistics. They are consummate professionals. They went way out of their way to please us.

New Balance shoes of South Windsor, CT
What a great experience for shoe shopping...not only do they have a wide selection of wides, but they stand behind their products. Our request for a return was met with no problems whatsoever. Highly recommended.
This keyword research service is a valuable tool in any search engine optimization firm's strategy. When I recently asked for a refund, they obliged without a hassle. They even took my recommendations for improvements to their service, which is still very good, but I was looking for something a bit more advanced.

What kinds of customer service experiences have you had recently? Send them in via comment and I'll post the best ones.

Monday, June 04, 2007

CSI seeks candidates for marketing internship

We are seeking a marketing assistant who will assist in executing advertising and marketing campaigns, compiling statistics and metrics, assisting in sales projects, web marketing, and more.

Required skills include working knowledge of Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook. Applicants involved in a business degree program or who plan to enter a business major are encouraged.

Search engine optimization, html and search proficiency is a plus. You will be working in our East Hartford, CT corporate office.

These positions are located in our corporate office in East Hartford, CT. Interested candidates can fill out our employment inquiry form.

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