Archive for January, 2012

Turning austerity into prosperity.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

As contact centres move forward the agenda will be about turning ‘austerity’ into prosperity.

Our latest newsletter looks at how blending activities in the contact centre and home working for call centre agents leads to improved operational efficiency.

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Get the mix and get it right

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Successful contact centres are those that have the technology and people to be able to adapt rapidly to changing demands – and that doesn’t have to mean constantly spending more – says Rostrvm Solutions, contact centre software developer.

Doing a thorough overview of the contact centre in terms of what it is trying to achieve, who/what is needed to meet those aims, technology requirements and available budget is the starting point. Sticking to your strengths and speaking to experts who can assist in weaker areas is crucial to gaining a full picture before making any improvements.

Ken Reid of Rostrvm Solutions says, “Having the right mix of people and technology to be flexible is key to optimising resources and reducing expenditure. Contact centre customers still expect to be able to speak to a human being quickly and easily despite the huge growth in web facilities, so blending (swapping staff over to different tasks during down times) will ensure that agents’ skills and time are maximised. Modern software which enables blending will help to keep customers – and staff – happy.”

The rostrvm Prophet contact centre consulting methodology ensures that your contact centre operates to its optimum performance. Our consultants can help when you are first planning the enhancement of your contact centre operation, or used by existing contact centres to identify areas that require further optimisation.

Blending social media in the call centre

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Embracing social media can enhance business. Gaining experience could be the difference between being competitive in 2012 or perhaps losing the race. There are some do’s and don’ts to consider before launching in and here are our top 10…

1. Don’t panic and assume that social media is a must – carry out some research to check that these platforms are relevant and appropriate for your brand and customer base.
2. Do set out a well considered and thorough social media strategy before you start procuring, training, recruiting… merely dabbling can be a dangerous pastime because of the public nature of social media – and you must abide by the rules of each channel. Be prepared and informed so that you get it right first time.
3. Don’t forget customer service! Customers expect the same level of service and the contact centre must remain the human interface whatever medium is being used.
4. Do ensure the platform fits the purpose for which it is being used – for example, Twitter is great for swift responses to customers and listening to what they are saying but it might not be ideal for resolving a customer service issue.
5. Do be aware of ‘social customer service’ where customers assist each other via social media platforms to resolve issues instead of contacting the company concerned. Consider how your organisation can best support blogs and forums and moderate what is being said about it discreetly.
6. Do be transparent and genuine in your communications – social media is about engaging with other people, not manipulating them, and they will quickly see through a ‘heavy sell’ badly disguised as chat. Respond in an informal manner that is acceptable to the user.
7. Do carefully consider how you will integrate social media into your existing channels. For example you can upload your promotional marketing emails onto Facebook, to be shared by recipients on their own Facebook pages free of charge.
8. Do respond to the customer when they are using the company’s online site. This might be by using a Callback system, which recognizes that a user is staying on a particular page and triggers a pop-up window enabling that user to request a telephone call from an agent; or webchat – which is similar but an online live chat session is started by the contact centre agent.
9. Do consider that once social networking is established, contacts into your telephone and email channels will go down and will offset costs to implement social media.
10. Do be aware that social media can be integrated into a contact centre by using software alongside the existing ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) system. Inbound SMS, email, social media, web chat and faxes can be delivered to the relevant agent in each queue.