Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Finding those disgruntled callers...automatically

Contact center supervisors are now using Speech Analytics to automate the process of identifying the calls they really want to listen to.

With some centers recording 10s of 1000s of calls per day, the process of finding the calls was like trying to find the needle in the proverbial haystack.

 The process was made simpler if the contact center agent tagged the call, or if the supervisor knew details about the call - customer name, caller id or agent name, you could then cross-reference a query against those call details, if your system had that information.

Customers now can have all of their recorded calls processed and "listened to".

By creating a category of specific keyword phrases, such as "Disgruntled Callers", the query can be run against the index of analyzed calls and matches can be displayed on screen in seconds.

 What kind of keyword phrases could you use to identify "Disgruntled Callers"?

 "speak to a supervisor"
"mad as hell"
"cancel my service"
"not very happy"
"have to call again"
"need a refund"
"just doesn't work"
"same old runaround"
"find a better deal"
"getting angry"
"HULK SMASH"...and so on.

 There are many different types of speech analytics systems, but they can usually be broken down into two categories: The “Dictionary” based and the “Phonetic” based.

The dictionary-based systems require users to define words and phrases in advance so the speech engine can look for or “spot” those words as the engine is analyzing the audio.

The “Phonetic Based Indexing Engines” are much faster and don't require you to program words in advance.

Our solution, "Virtual Observer Call Insight" is a phonetic-based, enterprise-class Speech Analytics solution that is simple, effective and affordable enough for contact centers of all sizes.

Call Insight provides the ability to receive important search results in real-time within our web-based interface.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Customer service in the age of social sharing

There isn't much room for customer service mistakes these days.

After all, every business has a CRM system, a quality monitoring solution, hundreds of years of coaching and training knowledge, speech analytics tools, desktop monitoring and analytic tools, etc., all implemented with the common goal of improving customer service.

With the proliferation of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as smartphones which can transform a quick thought into a viral message before the thought is reconsidered, a lone customer service error can grow into a whole lot more.

Salesforce acquired a company called Radian6 with the purpose of integrating social media monitoring with your CRM dashboards.

If someone's mentioning your brand on Twitter, it's now automatically posted on a dashboard immediately. Forward-thinking companies will have a social response team patrolling these feeds, responding with honesty and integrity. If they don't, it will only make it worse.

Yesterday I had walked into a convenience store and showed them an item I had bought which had an expired date. I simply wanted to return it. They didn't even apologize for selling me the item, never mind offering me a new one.

My first reaction, the emotional outrage, was to break out my Droid Razr, snap a picture of the date on the item and then of the store logo and post it to Twitter. Why would anyone want to do business with this store?

Of course, after a few seconds, I thought about it. Maybe the cashier was having a rough day, and maybe this incident isn't representative of the entire store chain.

The Droid Razr went back into my pocket.

How often does the reconsideration not happen, and the blistering comment get posted?

Does your company have anyone who is actively monitoring social media for brand mentions?

Are they equipped to respond?

We're now enabling multi-channel monitoring in our call recording and quality monitoring suite, Virtual Observer, where you can record web chats, emails, social media response, etc., and bring those interactions into your evaluation and scoring process.

If you're going to be out there responding, optimize the way these situations are handled and include them in the quality initative.

Note: since this incident, a highly reputable, upscale store whom I don't frequent, happened to ship me a pair of totally used (thought we were purchasing new) rain boots for my 3 year old son. Crazy!

I tried to call and give them a chance to put their stellar reputation to work and they proceeded to make me transfer and re-tell my story three times. Frustrating.

I returned the boots to the local store, went home and ordered them on Zappos for the same price. Zappos shipped them to me next day, for free.

I ended up relaying the pleasurable Zappos customer experience to the store I had previously purchased the boots from, and the clerk actually told me "I know. Zappos is great. I can't believe we had actually shipped you the ones you returned to us (they were not only worn but discolored.)."

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Flatten Your Global Cost of Ownership for Call Monitoring

Back in 2011, we launched the latest version of the Virtual Observer (VO) quality optimization solution, ushering in a new web interface along with a fresh and redesigned layout for the application. As the system has seen fast adoption within our customer base, some of the side benefits have begun to emerge.

VO has always offered businesses the lowest cost of ownership in our space, a crowded space (over 30 competitors at last count!), mainly attributable to agile development, minimized overhead costs, fair pricing and managed expenses.

We've been able to scale VO to enterprises across multiple locations, globally, with hybrid voice system integration and mixed business needs.

The new version completely flattens the global cost of ownership for customers in a variety of ways, making it far more affordable to scale recording to the far reaches of your enterprise.

- VO is now accessible anywhere in the world with a simple web browser. Remote workers or customers can now be authorized, with proper permissions, to play back or score calls without having to install any software.

- Virtualized environments: in most environments, customers can spin up a virtual machine as opposed to having to buy hardware or audio boards. This not only will reduce your carbon footprint but also your bottom-line IT expenses.

- The emergence of active recording methods utilizing API (application programming interface) integration directly within the phone system (Avaya's DMCC integration, Cisco active recording, Nortel DMS, Mitel, ShoreTel, etc.) also removes the need for audio boards.

- Reduced training time is created by the ease of use and familiarity of the browser. Training is now performed more often than not via remote teleconference/webinar methods, reducing travel expenses and out-of-the-office time for your key employees.

- Virtual Observer customers enjoy painless upgrade paths to our latest version of product at zero software dollars. They pay only a nominal professional services fee to have the new system installed. This is in stark contrast to the expensive forced upgrade path our industry is used to.

- Agent development and training can now be accelerated with the introduction of VO's Agent Portal features, which brings the agent into the quality optimization process and actually humanizes the automated elements of quality monitoring.
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