19 June 2017

Facebook: Find your customers where they already are

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Contact Center

It’s no secret that most of the online world is on Facebook. With nearly 2 billion active users1, it is no longer a question whether you should communicate with your customers on Facebook. The questions now are “when” and “how.”


Conversing with customers

There is clear value for a business to be on Facebook, but simply having a presence on the platform is not enough. The true value arises from conversations between businesses and customers. Facebook reports that 2 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses each month. This statistic includes automated (chatbot) and human-initiated messages. The company also reports that 53% of people say that they are more likely to do business with a company that they can message. Whether through chatbots or agents, businesses must provide instantaneous access to information and support.

Meet customers on their platform

Your customers are already on Facebook. So are you. It is imperative that customers can have a dialogue with your business, without ever leaving Facebook. Consider the ecosystem of Microsoft Office 365 or Apple’s device and application ecosystem. These platforms are designed so that users can perform all of their tasks in a familiar place, with a familiar UX, without ever having to leave the ecosystem. The same rationale applies to customer conversations on Facebook. Your customers are familiar with Facebook and they already use the platform. Enabling customer conversations on Facebook removes the perception that receiving support is an arduous or time-consuming process.

28 March 2017

Making sense of the upheaval in the UC market

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Contact Center, Unified Communications

As recent events have shown, there is no question that the UC market is in the midst of a rapid transformation. The market’s landscape is changing, as big players exit stage right, and new names come to the forefront. Clearly, the biggest news in the industry is Avaya’s chapter 11 bankruptcy declaration. Don’t forget that only two months before that, Genesys acquired Interactive Intelligence. This same Interactive Intelligence had seen a $41 million decrease in economic earnings over the previous 5 years after moving to the cloud. (Forbes) Earlier in the same year, Aspect Software also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, emerging quickly and repositioning itself in the market as part of the process. 

Despite this apparent turmoil for some of the longest-standing companies in the industry, the cloud contact center market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 22.9% by 2022.

So where is this growth coming from? We know that many of the largest players are struggling to maintain pace in the growing cloud sector of the market. 

06 February 2017

Providers in turmoil: futureproofing your contact center

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Contact Center, Unified Communications

The technology world is evolving too fast for some companies to keep pace. Contact center solution providers are no exception in this. As companies file for bankruptcy or merge, it becomes apparent who will innovate and who will be left behind. Customers are left wondering if their contact center will be supported next year, next month, or even tomorrow.

A contact center investment is crucial to any business. The worst outcomes are that this key investment reaches end-of-life or end-of-support. Luckily for customers, there are alternatives: a select few solutions are capable of performing a fast, effortless upgrade to a futureproof contact center. With this in mind, let's look at what to avoid and what to look for in a solution provider:

  1. PBX Agnostic Solution: Some organizations cannot upgrade all components of a PBX solution at once, yet some contact center providers don't offer options to integrate with other PBXs. To prevent service interruptions, contact centers require full functionality during the upgrade process. It is crucial to work with a provider offering PBX agnostic compatibility with your current solution, to upgrade one piece at a time.

  2. Innovation: Does your contact center offer social media integration? Does the solution offer hybrid cloud/premises capabilities? What new technologies does your provider enable you to leverage? If the answer to any of these questions is no, the solution is not future-proof. These concepts are here to stay, and you need a provider that offers them now, not as roadmap items.

  3. Homegrown Solution: As companies purchase smaller providers and attempt to integrate multiple solutions, it has become clear that this approach simply doesn't work. Rather than a multi-functional product, it results in independent products masquerading as a unified solution. Find a provider with a homegrown solution to ensure that your products are seamlessly compatible.

  4. Preparation for the Future: Many contact centers cannot upgrade overnight, in 6 months or even in a year. If your supplier won't be around next year, neither will the upgrade. Look for a provider that can see an upgrade through to fruition- at your pace, not theirs.


One final question remains: how does one find a contact center provider with these capabilities? You've come to the right place! ComputerTalk does it all and more- our solutions are endlessly configurable to suit your needs. Contact us today and see how we can help you futureproof your contact center.

 

25 October 2016

6 Benefits of Incorporating IVR Into Your Customer Service Strategy

Written by Nicole Robinson, Posted in Contact Center, Unified Communications

An IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system is an automated telephony system that interacts with callers. All of us have interacted with one before. You many have used an IVR system to get routed to the correct department or person, receive answers to FAQs, book or cancel appointments, check accounts, or more over the phone. Some IVR systems use speech recognition to allow you to communicate your needs. Below are some common benefits that organizations experience from adding an IVR system to their organization.

6 Benefits

1. Increase customer satisfaction

With an easy to use and reliable IVR, customers are directed to the correct agent or department who can answer their inquires. IVR systems are always available to customers regardless of the time or day. IVR systems can be programed with personalized greetings and queue treatment based on the caller’s number or ID information.

2. Decrease call times

IVR systems answer calls on the first ring. Callers can receive quick and informative answers to their questions such as account information, hours of operation and FAQs. If the IVR is unable to resolve the caller’s problem, the call is directed to the appropriate agent or department to handle their inquiry. The information the caller has provided the IVR is presented to the agent preventing them from repeating themselves.

3. Increase first contact resolution

Calls are routed to the appropriate agent or department that is most qualified to meet the caller’s needs. This reduces the likelihood of the call being transferred.

4. Improve efficiency and productivity

With an IVR directing calls, more calls can be answered simultaneously. Agents are presented with the information callers provided to the IVR system. Agents will be matched with customers in need of their specific expertise. This increases the speed in which they can provide appropriate answers and reduces the likelihood of transferring the customer to another agent. Agents can focus on other tasks or handle more calls as the IVR resolves a portion of the calls.

5. Reduce operational costs

The improved efficiency and productivity from the IVR system will reduce operational costs. IVR auto attendant systems can replace receptionists or a customer service agent who directs calls lowering head count.

Agents are experts within their area of expertise. Since they do not need to be trained on all areas this reduces training costs.

6. Improve company image

Smaller companies can create a larger and more professional image with an IVR system fronting their greeting. At the same time, a larger company can use an IVR system to maintain consistency with their greetings and handle higher call volumes.


These are just a few of the common benefits organizations experience by adding an IVR system. Let us know if you have experienced any of these benefits or other benefits by leaving a message in the comment section below. If you would like more information on IVR benefits or applications message us or request a demo.

 

28 September 2016

Ignite 2016 - Drive real-world success with Skype for Business platform solutions

Written by Nicole Robinson, Posted in Contact Center, ComputerTalk, Events

What break out sessions are you attending at Ignite 2016? Join Microsoft and ComputerTalk Friday September 30th at 9am to learn more about enhancing productivity by integrating communications into your everyday business processes.

James Skay, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft will be presenting Drive real-world success with Skype for Business platform solutions.

Join us in room C108/109 or click here to watch the live stream.

LIVE STREAM ENDED. ON DEMAND VIDEO WILL BE POSTED SOON. PLEASE CHECK BACK.

This session highlights real-world partner solutions built upon Skype for Business. ComputerTalk is excited to present ice Contact Center for Skype for Business and will be the only contact center solution showcased. Chris Bardon, Chief Software Architect and Brandon Viamonte, Director US Sales and Partnerships at ComputerTalk will discuss how ice Contact Center can maximize your Microsoft investment and increase business productivity.

ice, Intelligent Communications Exchange, contact center is the only enterprise-class, native Skype for Business contact center. It opens up channels of communication, so your customers, prospects, and partners can contact you in ways that are most convenient for them.

Interested in learning more about ice Contact Center for Skype for Business? Request a demo!

 

 

12 July 2016

ice Contact Center for Skype for Business is one of the first to become certified for Skype for Business Server 2015

Posted in Contact Center, Microsoft, ComputerTalk, Press Release

Richmond Hill, Ontario – July 12, 2016 – ComputerTalk Technology Inc. today announces that ice, the Intelligent Communications Exchange, is Certified for Skype for Business! The certification indicates that ice has passed rigorous third party testing offered by Microsoft for Skype for Business solutions. ice is a native Skype for Business Contact Center platform that allows users to build communications workflows that connect users with the right subject matter experts. It is one of the first contact centers to receive this designation.

“I’m excited that we’ve been able to partner with Microsoft on this certification for ice on Skype for Business,” says Chris Bardon, Chief Software Architect at ComputerTalk, “It gives us independent validation that ice integrate well with Skype for Business and that Skype for Business supports all of the features that ice implements. This certification includes validation of our outbound calling platform, as well as scenarios involving hybrid and cloud users, which will give our customers the confidence to deploy all of the features of ice on the latest releases and topologies that Microsoft supports.”

ice provides an extensible and powerful interface to create contact center applications. Using ice, organizations can leverage CRM data, skills, and speech to route, record, and report on voice, email, IM, webchat, SMS, video and desktop sharing in a UC contact center. Organizations in all industry verticals can use ice to integrate their business applications into their contact center and transform the way they interact with customers, their own employees, and partners. ice brings together information silos, improving contact center productivity to knowledge-based workers.

The Skype for Business App Certification Program is designed to offer Microsoft customers the added assurance of third-party solutions that have demonstrated a high quality experience and compatibility when deployed with Skype for Business. Only products that pass the specifications outlined in the Skype for Business Certification Program can be associated with this designation. All products that pass this certification program are listed on http://apps.skypeforbusiness.com/.

Founded in 1987, ComputerTalk, is headquartered in Richmond Hill, Canada. ComputerTalk is a global provider of enterprise-class Skype for Business native and PBX-agnostic contact center products, cloud hosting services and custom application development. ComputerTalk is a contact center member of the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance and a Microsoft Gold Application Development and Gold Communications partner. For more information, please visit http://www.computer-talk.com/en/enterprise-products/ice-contact-center-for-skype-for-business