Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Virtual Observer selected by Home Depot Bath Remodeling for Avaya VoIP Logging and Quality Monitoring

We are pleased to announce that Home Depot Bath Remodeling, located in Kansas City, Missouri, has selected CSI’s Virtual Observer Professional VoIP logger for call recording and quality monitoring.

The system will be logging calls off of Home Depot Bath Remodeling's Avaya phone system.

Home Depot Bath Remodeling chose CSI based on robust quality monitoring features as well as CSI's solution-sales approach.

About Home Depot Home Services:
Home Depot Bath Remodeling provides a team of on-time, courteous, insured professionals providing total project management – delivering the materials, performing the work and thoroughly cleaning the jobsite, creating a new bathroom for you to relax and enjoy. Home Depot Bath Remodeling focuses on customer satisfaction and accountability throughout the entire remodeling experience. expectations.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

A. Duie Pyle leverages call center quality monitoring solution from CSI

A. Duie Pyle offers a complete transportation and logistics service throughout the Northeast United States. On-time performance of A. Duie Pyle exceeds 99% on all shipments delivered direct throughout the Northeast.

Investment in technology for customer service has helped Pyle win numerous quality-recognition awards from 1989 to the present.

Two members of the Pyle team, Jeannine Risley, Director of Customer Service, and Jim Dobson, Director of Information Technology, were able to discuss the technology initiatives which have been put in place to continue meeting quality objectives.

In describing the Pyle contact center, Risley stated that "Our objective is to continue to answer the highest percentage of calls within 20 seconds or less. At least 90% of our calls are getting answered within three rings to provide the highest level of customer service possible. Our focus is to be proactive in service, as opposed to the typical call center model where you wait for customers to identify a problem and call you. We make quite a few outbound calls to preempt the inbound calls that otherwise might come." As far as staffing, in 2003 Pyle had 21 people in the contact center and has since expanded to two facilities with 50 people between the two.

When it came down to choosing a vendor for call recording and quality monitoring, Pyle selected CSI’s Virtual Observer solution. "Price and functionality were the two main contributors. They were considerably less expensive than the solution offered by our PBX vendor. And they didn’t just offer the call monitoring. They offered the call evaluation package as well. We really got more for our money. And they were very helpful before we even finalized the contract by customizing the evaluation forms and things like that so that we could have a true sense of what it would look like should we sign a contract with them," Dobson reported.

"It was more than just cost, though. They actually scheduled time with us, including all of our supervisors, so that we could go through a web demonstration and actually see how we could use it. Where Virtual Observer enables to deliver a quality experience to our customers is the way calls are always being monitored. We can go in and review them at our convenience. There’s a call monitoring form that goes over everything, from the way that the call is opened to the conclusion and of course making sure that accurate and appropriate information is given in between. So, we want to make sure that we’re answering the calls quickly and that once we answer them, that we’re providing the highest level of service possible," added Risley.

Read the entire A. Duie Pyle & Virtual Observer success story here



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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

CSI included in article on "Four Technology Companies Continue to Innovate"

While Connecticut has yet to be confused with Silicon Valley, or even Silicon Alley for that matter, technology companies in the Nutmeg state are providing vital services throughout the world, and those offering money saving services and products are likely to continue growing.

It’s rough out there these days. No reasonable person is going to try to tell you otherwise. However, as so often happens during lean economic times, with crisis comes innovation.

And perhaps there is no greater motivation to innovate than the desire to cut costs. The companies that stay on top during the lean times often do so through developing cost saving technologies that others need. In fact, the technology industry has historically had cycles apart from the larger economy precisely because innovation creates the ability to overpower the normal market fluctuations.

One technology-based company that has long roots in the Nutmeg state is Coordinated Systems, Inc., established in 1972. The company has continually evolved their solutions, growing a thriving business built on high quality long term relationships with customers and partners.

Coordinated Systems’ flagship product, Virtual Observer (VO), a call recording and quality assurance solution for call centers, is helping others make strides within the industry in recent years by offering a robust, user friendly feature set that provides high value and exceeds client requirements and enhances client satisfaction.

"We consistently continue to add new features to Virtual Observer,” said Rich Marcia, marketing director at Coordinated Systems, Inc. “There are three driving forces which enable us to sustain innovation. The first is by listening to our customers and responding to their needs. The second is by working with partners to create connectors which can allow our system to work with other, complimentary call center solutions. The third is the creativity of our engineering team. They are consummate professionals who never fail to deliver beyond expectations." - Read the complete article here

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Survey of LinkedIn Network members asks: What's the most significant customer service technology breakthrough?

I recently asked the LinkedIn network "What's the most significant customer service breakthrough you've seen in your time, from a technology standpoint? Is it your CRM? Workforce management? Quality monitoring? E-Learning? Web Chat? Google Services?"

As a testament to the power of social networking, I was able to get 27+ responses from business professionals. Now I can take this feedback, and through the blog, have it reach readers who can then share the story over various other social media. The story may even make it back to LinkedIn eventually, as LinkedIn had recently opened up and allowed external applications to dip into their pool.

While the answers were varied, they can be categorized into a few distinct yet connected areas:

1) Analytics:
"I am speaking as a customer rather than a service provider, but I have to point to "targeted service levels" based on data analytics. The example that comes to mind is a recent transaction with amazon.com. My daughter received a kindle for her birthday and within 15 days had downloaded 15 books and within 30 days had broken the device. Technically the accident wasn't covered by the warranty, but I have to believe that amazon.com understood this revenue stream (in the same way they know what I want better than my husband) and replaced the kindle, no questions asked. The incident created a delighted customer (who will spend many more hours and dollars at amazon) and, in the end, a happy amazon. This was win-win customer service."
- NancyLachance, Director at DeVry Inc.

"I think that the inmplementation of "membership clubs" made the biggest impact on customer service and led to today's emphasis on CRM. It was initially a way to incentivize people to frequently purchase to gain rewards; thereby increasing sales, but it led to the collection of a massive amount of data which led to good database marketing opportunities. Later, through more sophistication, these programs became for interactive and real time with the availability of providing preferences sections. One this opened up, a clerk could provide very personal service to a customer by reading/seeing their profile. This tool is still expanding and technology is being furthered (such as data chips, RFIDs, etc.) It's a very exciting area that all started by incentivizing folks to buy more stuff ;)"
- Mary Mussard, GSD

"Customer service is or ought to be an all-encompassing thing. Hence, in the use of a technology platform, I have to suggest Amazon as the most significant customer service breakthrough of the Internet Age thus far. They set the standard as to how e-commerce and customer service work, from the customized greeting and recommendations to the safe and secure one-click check out process and then product fulfillment. The entire process is flawless. And in a sense, customer service is what Amazon offers -- not its products."
- Frank Feather, Keynote Speaker + Strategy Consultant, CEO + Business Futurist + ex-Banker

"I believe knowledge management (KM) represents a true break-through in customer service. A KM solution harnesses the vast base of experience and knowledge that exist within a company and its universe of customers, to answer questions, empower self-service online and drive better agent-assisted support in the call center, Serena Software gives a great real-life testimonial in this brief but powerful video: http://www.youtube.com/user/SmartOnQ It's based on real customer service challenges addressed by a knowledge management solution."
- Gonzalo Mannucci, Director, Lead Generation at InQuira

2) The Internet:
"The most significant development in my opinion has been the internet - providing easy ways to communicate, exchange documents, etc. This increased the “touch” points dramatically"
- Brian Casto, CEO Group 19, Sales Consulting & Outsourcing

"I agree it is the Net. Specifically Google. The ability to enter any error code or model number and get information is a breakthrough."
- Bruce LeRoy, Retired Puerto Rican Programmer

"Of all the things that catch me by surprise, it's Twitter. I have learned more about SAP in three weeks by reading their tweets than any press release would have ever provided.

I think we're going to see more of this personal, bit-direct interaction in the future. It makes it more personal. Really amazing example is how Comcast is using tweets to talk to people."
- Cristin Merritt, Global Marketing at Insite Objects, Inc.

"I would not put my finger on a single one breakthrough, yet if I had to point one thing out it would be the Wikis as an elegant solution to knowledge bases.
That of course precludes, the internet, the lan , the ethernet, the linux server, open source, a call center , voip possibly etc. that need to be in place for a wiki user to be actually productive."
- Angelos Karageorgiou, Internet Architect && IT Strategist

"The internet has created a real opportunity for companies to get fast, easy interaction with the customer. BUT - far too many companies think of net support only in terms of lower cost. It’s real strength is to provide a higher quality customer support for the same price. But if your customer service costs less, your cutting quality. If you question that think about your last time you contacted a vendor for customer support.
- Allen Laudenslager, Independent technical documentation professional

"Graphical Browsers made Internet a conduit for all elements of the purchase transaction. It had been around previously but 1994-1995 was when it began to penetrate the non-techie space opening the door to all that most consumers take for granted today. Shopping Research, Mass Customization, E-Commerce, Post Sale Customer Service and resale have all been made possible by this presentation tool. Its hard to imagine life today without the ability to get nearly any question answered and the ability to purchase nearly anything."
- Don Waskiewicz, Deep Blue Insights

"I feel that Live Chat is one of the most useful forms of customer service. When I am online and need an answer, I want it quick. This allows me to not only get my question answered immediately but raise other questions as needed, without waiting for back and forth email."
- Deborah Ferraro, Controller/HR Manager at customedialabs

"Live chat customer service online. It breaks through the language barrier, is fast, effective and interactive."
- Allan Katz, Owner, Loyalty Marketing Institute

3) Telecom:
"I think that "the internet" is too broad an answer because it isn't specific to customer service. I actually think it's 2.0 voice and messaging services. The fact that my credit card can text me when I approach my credit limit, that I book a product delivery with an automated call-based calendar, and that my doctor's office can automatically ring me when a free appointment comes up is pretty amazing and delivers real value to me as a customer."
- Sabrina Dent, Owner, SabrinaDent.com

"The iPhone is a technological breakthrough for me. If you are running an online, small business via your website, being able to respond to emails, make website changes and do minor research from a mobile device is a milestone. Portability and mobility is an asset to any business."
- Rommel C. Caibal, Creative Director

"By far the most significant technology breaktrhough has been the standard telephone. It gave the ability for customers to make a phone call and talk in person with a companies representitives that would actualy provide service to assist then in their problem resolution. It helped build company and brand loyalty on the part of consumers. The worst invention was the auto atendent and voice mail. The more technology that stands between the personal interaction between a consumer and the business, the worse it makes the experience. 15 years ago I was extremely impressed with the technical support offered by a company called Sybase. You not only reached a live person right away but got the help you needed to resolve any and all problems you had. Today companies of all sizes are getting away from the human experince in their technical support. Sure it saves cost in the budget, however it hurts the bottom line in other ways. Some companies its impossible to talk to a person to have your issues resolved. How does that build loyalty?"
- Gary Estridge, IT and Services Professional Consultant

4) Software As A Service:
"Move from batch to real-time administration of policy transactions - reported on to customers via CRM and variety of admin sx web based interfaces.
- Gail Johnson Morris, Customer-centric Financial Services Executive - in transition.

"Customer service hasn't gotten better, it has in general, declined. The best advancement that can be made is the people who work in customer service, which of course depends on the CRM package they use."
- Lee Stevens, Microsoft Support Engineer

5) Outsourced Services:
"Managed Services - it has increased our abilities to deliver a consistent, stable experience to the user in multiple ways.
- Nathan Vincent, Owner, NextX Communications

6) Open Source:
"For me it would have to be companies open sourcing their software (transparency, really). When a company's product is open source I rarely, if ever, have to contact their support department. Solving a problem goes from waiting on hold or waiting for the "right" support person to simply taking a closer look at how the product works (the code) or performing a simple Internet search.

The more "open" a company is with their products the less I have to deal with their support department and to me, that is the best customer service you can get. All of the following are huge (to me) when it comes to customer service:

1) Public forums where you can search for previous questions/answers from other users of the product.
2) Publicly published code and documentation (that is indexed by search engines).
3) A public bug reporting system where anyone can submit or query bugs.

Customer support people come and go (especially the good ones) but the above items ensure that no matter what happens to the company or their employees I can continue to use their product efficiently and overcome any problems.

Some other really great customer service breakthroughs in recent years:

- Including a return shipping label with shipped products (and/or an automated online system to get an RMA number and print your own label on demand). Zappos and ShoeBuy are good examples.
- ATMs (though, I was just a kid).
- Self check-out lanes (the kind that work well--not the kind at Walmart and Lowes).

...and various other technologies that allow customers to take care of things on their own without having to deal with waiting or other slow/manual processes.

I suspect that in the future things like RFID, biometrics, and video conferencing will provide further breakthroughs in customer service."
- Dan McDougall, IT Security and Linux Expert

7) Other:
"Different industries benefited in different technologies but here I think were the top 5 technologies: VOIP, CRM, RFID, WIKI and SAAS."
- Duke del Prado, Manager-Financial Info Systems at Intralinks, Inc.

"The most significant breakthrough is the discovery that it's possible to run a company in a "service industry" without providing much customer service."
- John Nagle, Owner, SiteTruth

"Self service that works - the airlines do it, amazon do it, ebay do it. End to end service and no people contact - but great customer service when it works."
- Stuart Jolly, Development Director at Teleperformance

"Depending on what you want to service! If your customer service scenario involves hardware shipments (like spare parts or supplies) and/or involves forms of data exchange (like software updating, or simply customer's feedbacks) there might be different levels of enhancements. However, I'd say that any kind of possible "remote data connections" (like the Internet, but also Cellular Modems/phones) is THE big breakthrough. What you need is to move data, not people and parts."
- Fulvio Giacobbe, R&D Developement at OPM

"Our breakthrough has been customer extranets. We have started using an intranet and extranet tool called HyperOffice. In addition to setting up intranet workspaces it allows us to quickly set up extranet workspaces for each client. These extranet workspaces are password protected virtual spaces accessible from any web browser where we can store relevant documents for documents (specifications, forms, training, policy), collaborate with clients on documents, manage joint tasks, keep them abreast of events with group calendars, provide them relevant contact information with address books, have discussions on forums, or conduct feedback surveys using online polls. It literally takes just a few minutes to set up a basic extranet workspace. Moreover we can customize and brand each workspace with logos, easily manage the layout, content, hyperlinking, collaboration tools etc. This has greatly enhanced our client relationships, as well as simplified management of these relationships."
- Pankaj Taneja, Business Dev. Exec. at Second Foundation

"I would absolutely agree with the note in a few posts here - customer service is an all encompassing enterprise wide activity, however, that aside, from a technology perspective I think the most significant advancement has been automated engineer scheduling. Scheduling tools pull together location, skill set, priorities, contract / service credit information and so on to schedule engineers with the right know how, the right parts and the right approach to be in the right place at the right time - if your service model relies on man in a van, you will no doubt recognise the need for all of these to fall into place. On every key metric on the B/S I have found this a winner - commercially costs are saved in mileage, dead time, spares etc; from a people perspective engineers are working and not kris-krossing a city; from a customer perspective they get the right service, carefully managed; and from a learning perspective it helps all understand the gaps in the service offering. Clearly this doesn't help in certain environments - mainly where service engineers are not needed used (e.g. the Amazon example). However where people are core to the offering, I have seen scheduling technology revolutionise services in road side assistance businesses, white goods businesses, technology businesses and a number of other industries, all be it there needs to be a specific business model in place to be beneficial."
- Richard Ackroyd, Application Governance Manager at Siemens

"I've found community forums for self help to be the most significant break-through. Really great providers of services and products create interaction between prospects, partners and customers."
- Marc Pitre, Chief Marketing Officer at AmeriStart

"WebEx - GotoMeeting - These products have enhanced our ability to service our customers immediately. We no longer have to wait for data to load or faxes to be sent for screenshots. We use these relatively inexpensive tools to be on the phone and shared desktop with our client to see exactly what is taking place. Take all of the guess work out of customer support. Brings customer service and satisfaction to a new level."
- Scott White, Allegro, Energy Trading Risk Management, Oil&Gas Accounting, Document Imaging

"'the voice of the customer' - its true, but our ability as consumers to gather together in communities, with the speed and velocity of the internet has meant organizations need to react quickly to consumerism!. A perfect example is the UK Bank Charges case, sites like moneysavingsexpert.co.uk. These forums and communities have changed the way companies now interact and provide service. Another good example is the CEO of a UK based HiFi brand - Arcam, comments on boards themselves, giving that extra personal touch. Other companies are following suit having experts or champions protect and manage their online brands and ensure the customer experience is protected well.."
- Nigel Walsh, General Manager, UKISA & Southern Region

"My vote is Web Self Service applications. Self Service for customer service is like Blackberry to Email. Self Service applications have given SMB companies the ability to give 24x7x365 service to customers without the heavy cost burden. Visibility into knowledge bases, incident management, and self admin tasks have increased customer satisfaction levels with a cost effective solution."
- Hoyt Mann, President and Co-Founder

CSI Partner NACR celebrates 15 years of Success

North American Communications Resource, Inc. marks 15 years in the communications business with a yearlong celebration including special events for employees, customers, and partners.

NACR
is a leading provider of comprehensive communications solutions including Voice over IP (VoIP), convergence, mobility, collaboration, unified messaging, and contact centers; network readiness, design, implementation, and testing services; and ongoing consultative, maintenance, repair, and technical support.

NACR partners with CSI to bundle Virtual Observer for call recording and quality monitoring on Avaya platforms. Virtual Observer's versatile and robust recording methodologies make it a great fit for NACR's customer base.

Click here to read the entire news article on NACR's 15 year celebration.

Click here to read the latest CSI-NACR success story.


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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Scalability, Feature Set Drive 1&1 Internet to select Virtual Observer

We are pleased to announce that 1&1 Internet will be implementing Virtual Observer to record calls on their Alcatel phone system to enhance their customer service quality program. Virtual Observer quality monitoring features which will be utilized include Integrated Evaluation, Integrated Screen Capture, E-Learning, SMDR Integration, Media Encryption, and Auditing.
"At 1&1 Internet our customers expect the best when it comes to customer service. With 1&1’s many years of experience in global customer care, we appreciate Coordinated Systems Inc.’s (CSI) special approach with prospective clients. The informative presentations and availability of experts during the evaluation process from CSI were extremely helpful --
Virtual Observer not only offers an excellent and scalable platform, but also provides a better interface and feature set compared to other well-known brands. Virtual Observer is a great value for the price, and it will quickly become one of the most important assets for our customer service quality program."
- Dirk Moreno Arias, VP International Customer Care, 1&1 Internet

1&1 Internet is the world’s largest web hosting provider by known servers with over 7.7 million customers worldwide. 1&1 currently serves over 10 million domain names at its 55,000 server strong worldwide data centers. 1&1 Internet is a subsidiary of United Internet Group, a public company of over 3,000 employees.

Founded in 1988, 1&1 has pioneered the ‘one stop shop’ approach to web solutions. 1&1’s product portfolio caters to the home user, as well as the professional web developer. 1&1 offers a full range services such as domain names, web hosting, dedicated servers, virtual servers, eShops and MailXchange.






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Monday, October 13, 2008

Adding to the Virtual Observer - LFCU Success Story

Today the news wires featured a story about how "Virtual Observer helped Lockheed Federal Credit Union deliver timely member services".


One noteworthy addition we need to mention with this article was that not only were we recording their main call center with nearly 100 phones, but we'd also record their 10 satellite offices, each with a handful of phones.

The LFCU implementation is a true enterprise-caliber solution with a central data repository, and multiple harvest remote harvest points, illustrating how Virtual Observer is a natural selection for smaller and mid-sized credit unions, but VO also is a perfect choice for large and enterprise-scale credit union call recording needs as well.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Earning trust in today's tough economic climate

There is something to be said about being in business for 36 years.

Experience builds character and a big part of that character is stability.

It’s easy to go through the up times, but it’s the economic down times that strengthen businesses.

Stability comes from the experience of living through those down times and making the sometimes painful changes necessary to endure.

Frequently, crisis become a lesson learned for the future.

We at CSI have learned a lot in 36 years and are proud of our stability. We've been allowed to plan, build and sell a high quality product at a fair price.

Our longevity stems from our core philosophy of making sure everything we do is simple, effective and affordable.

We have continued to accomplish this by learning to keep away from the excesses that would require adding inflated costs to our products and even more paramount to swallow up capital should something happen to our economy.

And now as our country is facing a financial crisis, we'll continue to spend wisely, improve our products, and take care of our customers. Having no financial debt, we feel we are in a good position for growth.

We think this will have a major bearing on who prospective customers trust to do business with today and in the future.

We will continue to do our part by providing the best value to price in the industry, as well as the overall lowest cost of ownership.

Friday, September 26, 2008

GameStop chooses Virtual Observer to boost quality monitoring initiative

We are pleased to announce that GameStop, Inc., with headquarters located in Grapevine, Texas, has selected CSI’s Virtual Observer call recording and quality monitoring solution for their Nortel phone system.

"We chose Virtual Observer because it offered the flexibility we needed for our growing customer support center. I found Virtual Obesrver to be an economical yet powerful call recording system that is very easy to use and can be easily expanded as our needs change."
- Kent Morris, Director of Customer Service, GameStop

GameStop is the world's largest video game retailer. The company operates 5,557 retail stores throughout the United States, Austria, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The company also owns two e-commerce sites, GameStop.com and ebgames.com, and GameInformer(R) magazine, a leading multi-platform video game publication. GameStop Corp. sells new and used video game software, hardware and accessories for video game systems from Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. In addition, the company sells PC entertainment software, related accessories, and other merchandise.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

ShoreTel VoIP News Round Up

We've gathered up some of the latest news relating to the ShoreTel VoIP phone system:
You can also visit the ShoreTel.com News Page or the ShoreTel Blog or you can view this real-time, dynamically updated rss feed (typically not viewable in your email or news readers, so come back to this blog post to view):



You can also read about the Virtual Observer Logger for ShoreTel.



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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Boston Scientific chooses Virtual Observer for Avaya Call Recording & Quality Monitoring

Boston Scientific We are pleased to announce that Boston Scientific, Inc., located in Natick, MA, has selected CSI’s Virtual Observer call recording and quality monitoring solution for recording calls off of their Avaya phone system in their Valenica, CA location (Neuromodulation division). "We are very excited about the opportunities that Virtual Observer will give us to bring our Customer Service Staff to the next level. Over the past several years we have focused on skills training, product knowledge as well as phone skills. VO will give us an opportunity to evaluate our individual representatives in this area and help them to improve their skills through real life interactions. We chose VO (and CSI) by features, price as well as meetings with the professional staff during our evaluation process."
- Gary Peyser, Director of Customer Service, Boston Scientific

Boston Scientifics’ pain management business is the innovation leader in less invasive microelectronic implantable technologies used to treat chronic neuropathic pain. The use of minute pulses of electricity delivered directly to nerves, known as Spinal Cord Stimulation, has been in use for more than 30 years.

Without the unwanted side effects and long term costs associated with pain medications, and less invasive than surgical procedures such as spinal fusion, Spinal Cord Stimulation is a reversible therapy that has helped thousands of people find relief from chronic pain.

For more information on pain management, please visit http://www.controlyourpain.com from Boston Scientific.

Please visit our website for more information on call recording solutions for the Avaya platform.






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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

CSI announces enhancements to corporate website

We are pleased to announce a redesigned look for our corporate website.

While the old version of csiworld.com was very effective (targeted traffic and conversions doubled from the previous incarnation), it was time we enhanced the look and feel and incorporated some of the new content we had been planning to roll out.

One new section of the website, "Solutions by Industry", takes a look at each of the vertical spaces we've had success in. Besides touching on features which hold strong value for each specific space, we've also collected quite a few success stories and quotes which are distributed throughout the section.

We've also added a "Supported Phone Systems" section with details on the most popular phone systems which Virtual Observer can connect with.

We also wanted to refresh our "Professional Services" content and really emphasize how well we work with others. API integrations and technology partnerships are presented to us regularly, and we definitely are eager to keep the discussions happening.

Posts from this blog are now automatically integrated with other CSI news in our revamped "NewsCenter". 

From a cosmetic perspective, the colors are a bit louder, and we've added icons which are representative of our main themes. You'll find them throughout the site. 

We've kept the overall navigation and layout similar because there really is no need to change what works. As the immortal Yogi Berra once said, "if it ain't broke"....

You'll find even more changes as we press forward into the next year. As always, we welcome any suggestions or ideas for how to make our website even better. Please comment below with your thoughts.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

SRA Associates chooses Virtual Observer for call logging and quality monitoring

We are pleased to announce that SRA Associates, Inc., located in Hi-Nella, New Jersey, has selected CSI’s Virtual Observer for call logging and quality monitoring.

SRA Associates has a Samsung phone system and will be using the Virtual Observer Professional Logging Edition to capture all calls and to also automate their contact center's quality initiatives.

"From a standpoint of price and options that worked with our current phone environment, Virtual Observer made the most sense for our company."
- John Ciara, President, SRA Associates

SRA Associates is a nationally licensed and bonded receivables management services organization located in Southern New Jersey. Founded in 1994, SRA Associates quickly established a reputation for delivering superior debt liquidation results while also providing unmatched customer service.

SRA Associates has developed into one of the most dependable results-oriented service providers in the recoverables industry, offering a cost-effective extension to customers' in-house recovery efforts.
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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Leading pharmacy claims management company selects Virtual Observer for Cisco call recording

We are pleased to announce that eRx Network, LLC, located in Asheville, NC has selected CSI’s Virtual Observer for call recording and quality monitoring.

eRx Network, LLC has a Cisco VoIP phone system and will be using the Virtual Observer Professional Logging Edition to capture all calls and to automate their contact center's quality initiatives.

"We received positive feedback from existing CSI customers, but ultimately, our decision was based on value. We felt that the features and functionality that VO had to offer as well as the relatively low cost of ownership were more in line with our company’s needs. In addition, we felt that the associated ongoing costs would allow us to scale the product as our company and customer service organization grew."
- Joseph Balcken, Director, Customer Service, eRx Network

eRx Network is a leading provider of third-party claims management and analysis services, Medicare and Medicaid DME billing services, and electronic prescribing services to the retail pharmacy industry. eRx solutions provide their customers the tools necessary for improving their profitability, efficiency, and accuracy.

eRx Network's success lies in the exceptional service, innovative technology, and industry expertise offered to customers, ensuring e-commerce products, billing services, data center solutions, and network infrastructure are designed to meet the evolving needs of a complex industry.






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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Virtual Observer call recording system becomes even more flexible

What's all that ruckus up in the CSI and Virtual Observer labs?

Must be the engineering team banging out more new features for Virtual Observer.

Among the highlights:

* The Virtual Observer screen capture module now captures and makes note of all screen activity from log in to log out. These screen frames can be used for any combination of capture rates, from a simple percentage to 100% screens. Of course this can be tuned by audio calls, chats, emails, campaigns, DNIS, Queue, Skill, you name it. Consider setting a filter for “Filler”, i.e., screen only events, to see what your agents are doing when they are not on calls, emails, web, or chats.

* DMCC (Device Media Call Control) is a method of recording via the Avaya API. This is a pure software-based call recording solution using softphones, service observe and single step conferences to capture audio without the need for packet sniffing or expensive telephony recording boards.

* Dual Screen VO Live - Virtual Observer now has the ability to view dual screens from within the VO Live suite of features (in VO Live, supervisors can view all agent screen activity, chat with them, or take control of their desktops if they need assistance.)

* Microsoft Vista Compliance – The Virtual Observer Agent Client and Supervisor Clients are now both fully compatible with Microsoft Vista Operating systems (Both32-bit and 64-bit).

* Email, Chat, & Web Interactions – The Virtual Observer AES data connector now supports email, web and chat call types and coupled with our screen capture component, ensuring these events are captured and accounted for.

If you'd like any additional information on any of these new features, or to find out what else you can accomplish with Virtual Observer, please contact your account representative today.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Avaya News: Avaya Appoints new GM and VP of Contact Center Division

Avaya announced it has appointed Bob Lyons to lead the company’s global contact center organization.

The move adds focus on helping companies turn customer service into a competitive asset.

As general manager and vice president of Avaya’s customer service applications division, Lyons will oversee a business that plays a central role in driving customer service for thousands of companies around the world.

Lyons joins Avaya from Convergys, a global leader in relationship management that provides customer service outsourcing, where he first served as CIO and then increased his responsibilities to oversee operations for the company.

Prior to joining Convergys, he was the vice president of enterprise operations and technology at United Health Group, a managed healthcare company.

Lyons was also executive vice president and CIO at Telespectrum, a call center customer services organization, and has been a software entrepreneur and consultant.

Lyons believes that customer satisfaction is a profit-driving asset that can help differentiate companies in a highly competitive business environment. To help companies tap the full potential of customer service, he will focus on leading Avaya to deliver a new generation of contact center solutions that integrate advanced communications technologies, including the ‘always on’ capabilities of Avaya’s unified communications portfolio. Click here to read the full article...
Zemanta Pixie

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rounding up latest news from our supported phone systems

Virtual Observer supports many popular connectivities, and occasionally we like to move the spotlight to shine on some of the news those companies are making. The communications world is evolving fast. We also have a news feed on the sidebar which displays real time news for phone system vendors as well, so you can keep up on a daily basis.

Avaya Communications announced the release of an update to desktop solutions from Cicero benefitting users of ACS (Avaya Communication Manager) and Avaya Agent IP solutions. The updated solution will help to increase the workflow of those using the software, resulting in a better contact center desktop environment. Cicero is a member of Avaya DevConnect. Click here to read the full article...

Cisco Systems has purchased Nuova Systems, a California-based telecommunications business. Click here to read the full article...

Siemens will be providing 550 mail sorting systems for the USPS, replacing an outdated product which has been utilized for over 20 years. Click here to read the full article...

ShoreTel recently announced changes designed to increase simplicity and ease of use. With new features like message tabs for conversation and message history, updated client interfaces, and easier to use personal interfaces, ShoreTel is providing more efficient work methods for customers. Changes in the Professional Call Manager range from basic voice communications to automatic and on-demand video communications. Upgrades in instant messaging and phone operations have given ShoreTel the ability serve call center with up to 300 agents. New voice switches, titled ShoreGear24A and ShoreGear 3.0, will increase flexibility and assist customer branch locations. Click here to read the full article...

While these stories highlighted above stem from Avaya, Shoretel, Cisco, and Siemens, we also support Nortel, Mitel, 3com, as well as other popular phone systems.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

30+ years later, one of our biggest differentiators is still our people

In trying to stand out from the crowd of call recording vendors, it helps to have a little history on our side. Being around since 1972 gives our management team quite a bit of experience in dealing with an up and down economy, rapidly changing technologies, and adapting to new marketplaces as needed.

Another differentiator is our ability to deliver rapid implementations. We have had customers up and running and recording calls within two days of getting the order. Installation and On-site training included.

What enables rapid implementation is the fact we've always taken pride in hiring only the right people - people with experience and insight into our customers' needs. People who treat each other like customers, and treat customers like partners.

Being able to thrive and constantly evolve over three decades requires a skilled workforce which is willing to adapt to an ever-changing technology landscape, as well as recruiting and training new members to the team, who often bring fresh, game-changing ideas.

Our people come from diverse backgrounds such as call center managers, classroom teachers, and call center technology engineers. This lends itself well to the way we relate so well with our customers. It's why we're able to maintain a 97.5% customer retention in a highly competitive marketplace. It's why our people are still our biggest differentiator.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Virtual Observer Call Recording Solution Now Rated Avaya Compliant

The Virtual Observer call recording and quality monitoring application is now compatible with key Avaya call center and IP telephony solutions (including DMCC/CMAPI)

We're pleased to announce today that Virtual Observer (VO) is now compliant with all call center telephony solutions from Avaya, a leading global provider of business communications applications, systems and services.

VO is compliance-tested by Avaya for compatibility with Avaya Communication Manager 5.0 and Avaya Application Enablement Services R4.1. VO will now be able to offer DMCC (CMAPI) call recording -- recording through direct integration to the Avaya system, across multiple locations.

CSI has been delivering bulletproof call recording solutions for the Avaya Platform for many years, including implementations sold through their partners. The CSI partner channel continues to grow through strategic alignment with Avaya Platinum Business Partners.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Call Recording should be a one-time purchase

Why should call recording be a one-time purchase?

The initial selection of a call recording vendor typically entails quite a bit of work:

1) research and identification of requirements

2) market comparison of industry vendors

3) due diligence

If the relationship is maintained properly, the customer should never have to go through those steps again. The selected call recording vendor should be able to provide exemplary service, seamless transitions through evolving phone system technologies, consistent introduction of value-added enhancements, and an extremely high value to price.

Let's dispel some myths relative to the purchase of a call recording solution:

- Upgrade paths do not need to be a complete call recording rebuy
Updates and full upgrades/point releases should be included as part of your maintenance program. New features should be added continually as part of a valuable product evolution, rather than to save for the next big release with a hefty upgrade price tag.

Upgrading to VoIP shouldn’t require a entirely new call recording system
- At most, the recording methodologies may change, but you shouldn’t need to purchase an entire new solution. - VoIP recording systems use either Packet Sniffers or API connections with the phone system itself.

Implementing a new phone system should not necessitate a new call recording solution
- Many call recording methodologies interact with different phone systems in the same manner using the same equipment. - Direct API recording would require a different connector dependent on which phone system you have.
- You may be changing phone systems, but you’ll still be using the same core software solution.

The bottom line is you shouldn't have to rebuy your entire call recording solution every time your environment changes.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Use Screen Capture to Improve Agent Performance

Virtual Observer's Screen Capture functionality is more than a "big brother" feature. It is an extremely powerful training tool which can help to identify where your call center agents are making crucial mistakes in navigating your CRM applications. Watching recorded screen activity (which should be synchronized with the audio recording) during the evaluation process allows you to properly evaluate the entire interaction from start to finish, across all media.

Virtual Observers's Screen Capture feature creates a true full-motion video. The video is a smooth, real time capture of your MS-Windows desktop environment, including dual-monitor environments.

Additional Benefits:
- Reduce Call Wrap-Up by improving CRM process flow
- Produce "New Hire" Training Materials which include recorded screen activity
- Include Screen Recordings in Content Deliverables and e-Learning

One of our more recent feature releases, "VO Live", also offers real-time viewing of agent screen activity in a thumbnail view. Supervisors can watch everyone's screens at the same time, enlarge and take control of an agents' screens, and chat with an agent to assist them.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Latest from Avaya: New App Unifies Channel Partners, Road Warriors, At Home Workers & Corporate Employees

From CRMBUYER: New Avaya App Unifies Presence Info Across Multiple Channels

An excerpt from the article:
"The immediate use of Avaya's latest addition to its product line is likely to be corporate. For example, a company with many reps on the road would know how to best to reach each of its staff members at any particular moment -- by cell, instant message or e-mail.

Avaya has introduced Intelligence Presence, a new software application that gives users -- both in corporate environments and call centers -- the ability to view so-called presence information across multiple sources.

For example, it would allow a contact center rep engaged with a caller to see if a partner company had a rep available to provide answers about shipping schedules or rates."

CSI is an Avaya DevConnect Gold Partner.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

FYI: Article shows importance of CRM in Credit Unions

Recently ran across this gem in my news feeds: "Gearing Up for CRM 2.0 in Credit Unions". The article was written By Terence Roche.

Article Summary: Changes in how we access credit union services (atms, web services, drive throughs, cell phone banking) are impacting how CRM is integrated and deployed within the organization. Credit unions who are able to use CRM to sustain customer loyalty amidst all of the emerging changes are the ones who will succeed.

Excerpt from article:
"For years, credit unions have differentiated themselves from banks and other competitors by creating strong "trusted advisor" relationships and superior banking experiences for their members. But the rules of the game are changing quickly and in a big way.

This change all starts with the concept of customer relationship management. CRM is a strategy that has been pursued by credit unions ever since the term started being used in the early 1990s. Credit unions have also used the term member relationship management.

Over the years, there have been several different definitions of CRM, but they have always encompassed some common themes:

* CRM organizes processes and delivery of banking services to provide maximum member satisfaction.

* CRM should optimize revenue and profitability.

* CRM customizes strategies and delivery based on the needs and preferences of unique member segments.

* CRM must be planned and articulated at the enterprise level to achieve the desired return.

While these components have not really changed significantly in recent years, it has become apparent that the traditional strategies that worked so well in the past must be challenged and altered going forward. Three major things are forcing this evolution.

1. New channels are quickly changing the entire nature of relationship management. Until as recently as five years ago, members demonstrated a preference for accessing the CU via three main channels: the branch; the ATM, which was largely a transaction processing tool but not a sales or relationship management channel; and the telephone, in the form of an automated voice-response unit or a call center."

Continue on to CRM-Daily and read the rest of the story...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Federal credit union call center director gives feedback on Virtual Observer training

Lockheed Martin Federal Credit Union recently completed Virtual Observer training at their corporate location.

Here is a quote from Kara Fitzgerald, Director of Call Centers:

"I have had many experiences with call monitoring in the past. I LOVE Virtual Observer from its thumbnails of desktops to its ability to interact with employees while they are on a call. I also have positive comments for the training as it is tailored around who is attending. The more interactive the participants the better the training was. The trainer was excellent!"

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Polar Extremes of Customer Service

Recently I encountered two extremes in customer service. This isn't call center-related, but it's relevant never-the-less because it again proves why customer service is the single most important thing in business.

I went down to the Ikea store in New Haven, CT, wanting to browse some of the room interior designs for ideas. Typically, I've received good service at Ikea, but this particular event was so bad I simply had to post about it. I was looking at a rack of bathroom mirrors, and didn't see the one I wanted in stock. I looked over, and thankfully, there was an Ikea employee nearby. I asked if he'd mind helping me with a quick question. He grunted, rolled his eyes, and told me he didn't really have time. Now, I didn't overreact, or report him, or anything, but I'm sure the good folks at Ikea would appreciate the incident report. When I told the employee to "never mind", he simply turned and went back to what he was doing, with no further communication. I couldn't believe it.

My second experience (a few weeks back) found me trying out a new wing chain in Milford, CT. I had heard of "Buffalo Wild Wings" during various super bowl and march madness advertising campaigns, and I always wanted to try them. What a wonderful experience. Not only did they have great food and a pleasant atmosphere, but the waitress was filling up my soda glass before I was even finished. That's a good sign of a good operation. Three other employees stopped by our booth to see how everything was. They were going out of their way to show us how much they appreciate our business, and it really made the whole experience shine.

I will be back to Buffalo Wild Wings soon, but it will be awhile before I return to Ikea.

Lessons learned here for all. Stellar service rules. In the call center industry, contact center agents should never, ever forget that they're expected to give stellar service. Every contact center should hang a motivational banner as a constant reminder. Maybe the team should all agree on what it should say - that way, all the individual members can take ownership. You can get your banners printed at your local PIP printing - I've had excellent service there, so I don't mind giving them the referral. If you noticed, Ikea got no link love today.

Starbucks yesterday closed its' stores from 5-9 pm EST for barista retraining - an obvious PR move to show how committed they are to quality of service. They left a sign in their drive-through window which read "We are currently closed so that we can improve the quality of our products." It was a bold move, and it is more likely that complete retraining and improvement would require weeks of ongoing training - but nonetheless, it makes a statement about Starbucks' re-commitment to quality.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Growing catalog and internet company uses Virtual Observer for quality training

This came in this week from Stephen McDevitt, Call Center Manager for Cigars International:

"As the Call Center Manager for a growing catalog and internet company, sales call quality and customer service call quality are paramount.

In our industry what separates one company from another is the level of service.

We recognized that in order to raise the bar (to become the company of choice) we need to do something more, continually improve on call quality.

After a lengthy due diligence we chose Coordinated Systems Inc’s Virtual Observer as the application to assist us in our quest to be number one.

Virtual Observer has provided us with exactly what we need to guide our representatives to success.

I have used several applications in my career and this system is as straightforward as you can get.

The support team made training and implementation a breeze; making the bottom line cost of the entire application very affordable."

What preceded this testimonial?

The best kind of lead, a referral from an extremely satisfied customer.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Credit Union customers speak to Virtual Observer's impact

As a marketing director, it is extremely beneficial to have the kind of customer retention which we have at CSI. One particular market where Virtual Observer (VO) performs extremely well is the credit union market. Credit Unions benefit from both call logging (for legal/liability/compliance) and from the powerful quality monitoring and employee development toolset which comes included with VO.

In a conversation with a quality and training manager from Eastern Florida Financial Credit Union, he spoke of the many ways which VO has helped improve call center agent performance:

- "It has helped our call center by giving our coaches and supervisors the ability to provide our phone agents with concrete examples of where their opportunities may be."

- "VO has improved the use of our company’s resources when offering services."

- " We can identify good/not-so-good service and habits and has helped is in the development of our task force."

- "We can maintain a very high level of service by providing us the ability to see and listen to our agents in action."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Call Center Technology Posts from around the blogosphere

I've created a news feed of the latest blog posts relative to "call center technology". This feed will always be updated, so you can bookmark and come back here anytime. You can also add this feed into your feed reader, Google Reader is a recommended one.

Email subscribers: you may have to come back to the web version of this post if your email client or RSS feed reader doesn't support JavaScript.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Making your call recording changes seamless

It's important to CSI that we make our customer transitions seamless. Whatever changes are taking place, we like it to be behind the scenes, with the only impact being to your continued call center performance improvement.

Change is also a continuous thing, sometimes happening slowly, other times it needs to happen yesterday.

What kinds of changes do we encounter?

- Changing from one phone system to another. We recently added Shoretel support because three of our customers moved to the Shoretel IP telephony platform.

- Changing from a block-of-time recording model to call-by-call recording. This happens when we can capture your phone system's SMDR feed. Most phone systems provide SMDR feeds.

- Changing from selective recording to capturing all calls. Depending on your industry, many companies face new regulations requiring all calls to be recorded. Some companies have also wanted to simply record all calls in order to help resolve disputes or "just in case".

- Changing from analog/digital/TDM to VoIP or hybrid environments. Every company's next phone system purchase may indeed be a VoIP system. We're one of the industry leaders with support for Avaya, Cisco, Nortel, Siemens, 3com, Shoretel and Mitel VoIP.

- Change from expansion or adding locations to be recorded. Many growing companies add locations. Some have centralized networks, some have completely different phone systems in each site. We have such a large array of supported platforms, it may have little impact. Going VoIP allows many companies to extend their internal network to any location, and even to at-home agents.

- Change from one version to the next. All CSI customers with active support agreements are brought along to the latest version of product. We also make periodic updates throughout the year with product enhancements.

- Change from other recording vendors to Virtual Observer (VO). We've rescued many companies from call recording vendors who force re-buy situations every time they have a new point release. Many companies also switch over to us because VO is a very user-friendly system with robust features which may be added as needed.

Whatever your change may be, our goal is to make it as seamless as possible to your day-to-day business operations.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Call recording technologies are found in more than just large call centers

When people think of call recording or quality monitoring, they usually associate it with call centers, customer service centers, etc -- Dozens or hundreds of people taking thousands of calls. We also have quite a few customers running Virtual Observer in much smaller customer service centers where the call volume is much lower, yet the importance of the calls is just as high.

In one telling example, a convenience store chain has a small center with three to four service agents answering the incoming calls from store managers at the individual stores. These calls are equally as important to the business as customer service calls may be to other businesses. The calls are recorded to prevent and resolve disputes, and in one particular recorded interaction, the resulting call yielded an investigation which solved the theft of store credit cards. Read more about this convenience store's call recording implementation.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Keyword traffic helps to understand reader interests

Much of our traffic to this blog is from customers and partners, looking for company and product updates. We also serve a number of readers from the wide-ranging call center industries. In order to serve them better, every now and then I'll examine our recent keyword traffic to see what web users are searching for...what brought them to our blog? Can I develop content to speak to their specific searches?

First thing I'll do is categorize the phrases.

Call Recording:
"why record contact center"
"call center call recording"
"benefits of call monitoring system"
"call center recording blog"

Screen Capture:
"call center agent screen"
"benefit of recording screening"
"call recording with screens"

Customer Service:
"Customer Service Call Center Industry"
"Great customer service stories about health benefits"
"CSI marketing customer service"

Agent Performance:
"call center agent quote"
"quotes for call center agents"
"Virtual customer service agent"
"employee phone performance call center"

Questions:
"How do companies use SMDR?"
"why is a call center important?"
"what is another name for the call center?"
"what makes a good call center agent?"
"how to create call center training material?"

Tips:
"questions call center tips"
"tips for call center agents"
"tips for call center solution"
"Call Center Agent Tips and Techniques"

News:
"call center news"

Motivation:
"motivational quotes customer sales"
"5 most motivational quotes"
"call center motivational stories"
"call center motivational speech"
"motivation quotes of call centers"
"call center motivation"
"inspirational speech for call center"

Phone system references:
"asterisk queue call volume allocation percentage"
"cisco ipcc express call recording DNIS"
"shoretel compatability ip phones"

Related technology:
"SMDR business that use"
"call center operations VOIP solutions"
"benefit of cti"
"CTI triggers"

Companies mentioned:
"applications for costco call center jobs in yakima washington"
"harry and david supervisor eugene call center"
"sitel call center erwin"
"costco call center yakima"
"LinkedIn connecticare"
"harry & david"
"verizon call center wireless"
"harry and david hebron ohio phone number"
"call center costco"

Reader is most likely coming from the UK:
"how to speak correctly on phone in a call centre"
"recording tips for call centres"
"call centre standard reports"
"the effect of call centre management in telecommunication in industry"
"call center projects in uk"
"call centre training and development blog"

International:
"Philippine call center blog"
"call center philippines blog"

Keyword searches simply related to our website address:
"call center customer service stories"
"call centre stories"
"call center true stories"
"call center story"
"call monitoring stories"
"call center blogs"
"life in a call center blog"
"call center stories"
"call center management blog"
"call center blog"
"call center jobs good stories"
"call center stories christmas 2007"
"call center technology blogs"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Virtual Observer Tips: Dynamic User Layouts

Do you ever want to change the layout of your screen area during playback of calls?

With Virtual Observer's (VO) dynamic views, you can eliminate data windows, resize certain components, and save your current layout as a different or preferred layout.

The next time you go to use VO, the screen will appear as you saved it the last time.

If you need to bring back a screen element you had previously removed, don't worry, it is always available from the drop down menus.

Every VO user can thus have their own unique preferred user interface.

Monday, January 21, 2008

More call center news sources

Occasionally, I try to take inventory of all of the various call center news portals, blogs and news sites which I have managed by Google Reader (a great tool for reading RSS feeds), and remove the ones whom I never read.

Here are some of the newer ones I've found which I'll be evaluating. If they provide interest, I'll then add them to Google Reader. If you've read them, let me know what you think by commenting below. Also, comment with other recommendations:

T1 Rex’s Business Telecom Explainer Blog

Call Center and Call Center Outsourcing Information and News

Light Reading: Networking the Telecom Industry

Total Telecom

New York Times Bits

Telecommunications Magazine

Monday, January 14, 2008

Automating and creating custom call center performance reports

Do you run certain reports every day, week, or month (agent performance, question performance, etc.)?
It's easy to use our automated report scheduler and have the report run automatically according to your schedule. You can then have the report print to paper, create a .pdf or attach to an email. Need to send weekly progress or team reports to the boss? This can be automated and delivered to their email address on a weekly basis (or of course, any frequency you prefer).

How do I create custom reports in VO 3.0?
Besides being packed with many standard performance and agent reports, using Virtual Observer's Custom Report Writer, you can design your own reports that will display the data you are looking for in the specific way you want to present it.

> Select "Reports" from the main menu
> Select "Custom Report Writer"
> Pick "Create New Report"
> Click "Next"
> Select "Primary Table" for the data you'd like to report on.
> Select "Supporting Table(s)" for any related data.
> Add "Additional Options"
> Select "Finish"

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Friday: Call Center News Stories

A Healthy Work Environment
Sitel Philippines, a call center organization, possesses a distinctive healthcare program that takes great care of its employees. “Our Health, Our Wealth,” was created to assist the call center agents with all of the hardships that they have to deal with. When it first began, the program insured 1,600 employees at two sites, but has now spread to three more sites. “Our Health, Our Wealth” allows agents to attend lectures concerning catching sleep during shifting schedules, maintaining a healthy heart, correctly utilizing ear devices, and avoiding unhealthy habits. Along with this, they receive blood work, bone screening, electrocardiogram tests, and nutrition surveillance. These services don’t stop with the agents, though. It also includes the communities and families of the employees. Sitel is also working with Baguio city government, Lingap Center, and HopeHouse to provide a multitude of services. It was the only company in the call center industry to be awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Philippines. Read the full story in the Business Inquirer

Flourishing Costco Opens New Call Center
Costco Wholesale Corporation has officially outgrown its call center in Issaquah, Washington, forcing the company to open a new one to accommodate other employees. The new center is located in Yakima, and ran Costco $2.6 million for the 36,000-square-foot building. There is no exact amount of employees the organization is looking to hire for the location, but Jim Sinegal, CEO of Costco, plans to hire locals. Currently, Costco Wholesale Corporation has 529 warehouses in the United States, Canada, England, Mexico, and Asia employing approximately 236,000 workers. Read more in the Yakima Herald.

New Call Center Needs Agents
Alorica, Inc. has recently opened a new call center in El Paso, California, and is encouraging people to apply. For the month of January, Alorica is seeking to hire 250 employees and 700 by the end of 2008. These positions could lead to higher-skilled positions, the company said. Alorica currently employs 7,100 people and is headquartered in Chino, California. Read more in the El Paso Times

Erwin Agrees to New Call Center
Governor Sptizer has decided to place a new call center in the town of Erwin, New York. Sitel will place a call center in an Erwin building formerly used to be a photonics facility. It will provide people in the area with about 600 jobs. Read all about it on News10Now.com.

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