Oakland, CA, January 31, 2018: Businesses can make and receive calls directly within Sugar, as a result of a native integration of Amazon Connect and Aavaz Call Center Accelerator.
Aavaz has resolved a common issue for organizations and teams who make or receive a moderate to large amount of phone calls as part of their day-to-day business and use the Sugar platform to manage their customer relationships. When the telesales software and CRM are isolated instances, the task of maintaining clear and concise records of various customer interactions is a manual one, prone to error and more often, oversight. This in turn has a cascading effect on all follow-up activities and future interactions with the customer. In addition to a denigration of customer data/intelligence, having two siloed solutions is also more time-consuming and costly.
The native integration of Aavaz Call Center Acceleration and SugarCRM bridges that gap by allowing customer service agents to make and receive calls through a “soft phone” while in their Sugar instance. The system automatically tracks and records all key metrics related to the call and allows the agent to instantly record notes and automate follow-up activity. This allows for a more holistic customer service experience, since callers can have unprecedented visibility into all aspects of a customer account. By automatically tracking and recording all metrics related to calls and cross referencing them to contacts, opportunities and tickets, this fully integrated platform speeds up outbound sales and marketing efforts and provides an overall increase in customer satisfaction for support operations.
The integration of Amazon Connect – a “contact center as a service” offering hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud – provides all the benefits of a cloud-based solution including no on-premise hardware, simple set-up and administration and an attractive “pay as you go” pricing model. In addition, Amazon Connect is a proven solution that has been used within Amazon’s own customer contact center for many years. The growing dominance of Amazon and AWS gives users the peace of mind that the solution is stable and dependable and will be well supported in the future.
“This new integration is a significant expansion opportunity for SugarCRM and its customer base,” said Keith Mintzer, Executive Vice President at Aavaz. “Having the ability to tap into a premier cloud-based provider like Amazon offers tremendous value, and the seamless integration with the Aavaz Call Center Accelerator can greatly enhance the level of service, efficiency and functionality of any call-dependent organization.”
To learn more, visit http://www.aavaz.biz/sugar-crm-pbx-ivr-dialer.html
Aavaz (a division of Tekege Solutions Inc.), offers call center productivity tools and a Cloud Call Center Suite (CCCS). The Aavaz CCCS features enhanced dialers, IVRs and PBXs integrated with Contact, Lead and Ticket Management. Aavaz brings call center precision to the forefront and lowers call center set up and operational. Aavaz is the ideal solution for tele-sales, tele-support and telemarketing organizations requiring highly available and scalable systems.
For more information visit: http://www.aavaz.biz/.
About Amazon Connect:
Amazon Connect is a self-service, cloud-based contact center service that makes it easy for any business to deliver better customer service at lower cost. Amazon Connect is based on the same contact center technology used by Amazon customer service associates around the world to power millions of customer conversations. The self-service graphical interface in Amazon Connect makes it easy for non-technical users to design contact flows, manage agents, and track performance metrics – no specialized skills required. There are no up-front payments or long-term commitments and no infrastructure to manage with Amazon Connect; customers pay by the minute for Amazon Connect usage plus any associated telephony services. For more information, visit: https://aws.amazon.com/connect/.
In a contact center, there are various critical functions playing their unique roles to optimize a business. Dialers play one such important role in the process. A business can benefit greatly with the use of a suitable dialer for its calling campaign given the cost savings from productivity increases alone.
The key is to determine which auto-dialer is the best option for your business, campaign or client’s needs. Driven with intelligence and advanced technology, Aavaz possesses a clear understanding of the growing needs of businesses. Here are some of the defining features of auto-dialers and how you might benefit from them:
What is a Predictive Dialer?
Predictive dialers use complex mathematical algorithms to determine precisely when to place calls, predicting completion of current calls and dialing the next before the agents are finished. With multiple dialer options, agents spend most of their time within calls rather than making them- increasing agent efficiency.
Who should use Predictive Dialers?
Predictive dialers are found to be very effective for large call centers and result, on an average, in better talk time per hour for the agents.
Who should not use Predictive Dialers?
We don’t recommend Predictive Dialers for small businesses who have calling campaigns with an agent pool under 15 people. Think of predictive as a large set of “intelligent” marbles that are thrown on the calling hemisphere and are collecting calls to immediately serve to an agent who is wrapping up their prior call. If you only have 15 or less agents- the predictive dialer will not work as efficiently because there isn’t a large enough group of calls for it to masterfully queue calls for 100’s of agents- like it’s supposed to.
In addition, we highly recommend checking the regulations from your specific country before you begin your purchasing process. For example- Ofcom of the United Kingdom, DNC of the United States of America etc.
What is a Power Dialer?
While Aavaz does not offer this feature, a power dialer dials a list of numbers, one number instantly after the other. If a number is busy, disconnected, or there’s no answer, the dialer can immediately move to the next. This saves valuable time for agents.
Who should use Power Dialers?
Companies who are entering into outbound for the first time and do not have the capital to invest in a predictive dialing solution and/or do not want to go down the route of a hosted dialer
Who should not use Power Dialers?
Power dialing should not be used by someone who wants to run an event based campaign or for campaigns that require call-backs for nurturing leads. For eg: if you want to call 100 people for your event- out of the 100 people, you didn’t get through 10 people on the first time of calling. In this situation, a Power dialer will remove these 10 people from the list causing you to lose valuable information and leads and in the case of events- not allowing you to actually confirm attendance.
What is a Preview Dialer?
In this dialer, the system is able to provide agents with information about the callers before a call is being made for the campaign. Things like call history, a website address, notes etc helps an agent to familiarize themselves with the customer’s history before they speak with them within a pre-set amount of time. An agent can be given 30 seconds to review the prospects information before the system starts dialing them automatically.
Who should use Preview Dialer?
This kind of dialer is essential in businesses focused in a dedicated customer relationship management and on agent efficiency.
Who should not use Preview Dialer?
Campaigns who need to make priority calls from a list will not benefit from this dialer. For example, an eCommerce company wanting to target a large segment of people with the same need (ie- buying shoes) will not benefit from preview dialing because their need is one and the same. There is little left to prioritize in that particular scenario.
What is a Progressive Dialer?
At Aavaz, we do not support progressive dialers. What progressive dialers simply do, is auto-dialing numbers one after the other, so that an agent does not have to manually dial the numbers. This will improve contact rates for your campaign tremendously. Predictive dialing is close to progressive dialing but they are not at all the same.
Who should use Progressive Dialer?
On completing the previous call, the system automatically dials the next number on the list. This removes the wait time between calls. This is ideal where the calls are very similar in nature and increases your campaign productivity significantly. Business to business sales campaigns would benefit significantly from using Progressive dialer.
Who should not use Progressive Dialer?
Sales and debt collection campaigns will not be able to benefit from the dialer due to its low talk time per hour rate.
An agent using Progressive Dialer has to manually distinguish if the call is answered by an answering machine or a live contact, this is not suitable for campaigns requiring high contact rates from agents.
We hope we’ve cleared some confusion for you. Any business equipped with these dialers can choose the right dialer for their needs and be well on the path to successful campaigning.
Adopting new technology for large organizations requires preparation, rounds of discussion among department heads, trials and a paradigm shift in the existing system. Despite the challenges, the call-center model is changing from on-premise to cloud-based call technology. What may initially appear as an unwelcome disruption to the established process eventually becomes a pivotal improvement in call center operations. Mature technology streamlines existing processes to simplify employee supervision with virtually no change to call center management practices.
The cost-benefit analysis of the cloud topples the existing dogma that employees must be on-site and visible to the managers. In turn, the supply of this old-model labor is dwindling while the talent pool remains enormously un-tapped. Two major concerns dominate call-center dynamics, whether cloud-hosted or on-site:
● Employee Acquisition, Retention and Attrition
● Beating Attrition with Alternatives that are Quick, Manageable and Reliable
Employee Acquisition, Retention and Attrition
90% of call center managers identify costs and staff related issues as their biggest challenges. They have three primary concerns in maintaining a consistent, competent workforce:
● Manpower shortage
● Providing consistent training
Beating Attrition with Alternatives that are Quick, Manageable and Reliable
The cloud has long held the promise of addressing these issues, but faced the challenge of overcoming the notion among managers that they would lose control of the workforce and its output if they adopted cloud technology.
Cloud call technology provides the tools necessary to maintain control through strong reporting and monitoring tools that are now available even for distributed centers. This technology provides three essential components to meet the traditional challenges of on-premise call centers:
● Easier than ever on-boarding
● Meeting quantitative goals
● Ensuring quality delivery
This white paper addresses each of these on-premise problem areas and states the case for cloud operations as a solution to these problems.
With average turnover rates at a call center as high as 50%, the resources going into recruiting, on-boarding and training are 50% wasted and surrendered to attrition. Call centers have learned to mechanize and automate their business processes in anticipation of this waste. It is a part of their business model.
Essentially, traditional call centers embed excessive business costs into their processes because they have to account for the fact that 50% of their employees will leave. Over-investments are made into employee insurance, travel arrangements to and from the centers, security, program installation, training, IT related activity (computer, usernames/passwords, computer hardware maintenance, system crashes etc), additional rental space and overstaffing of campaigns to ensure SLA’s are met. All these over-investments hurt the bottom line— and call centers are all about controlling the bottom line, both for their clients and their competitive edge.
Lifestyle and career development issues contribute heavily to turnover. Employees typically change jobs for three reasons:
● Dissatisfaction with the workplace which manifests from co-workers and/or office politics
● Life changes like moving, getting married or relocating for a spouse’s career
● Vertical improvements within career such as promotions or salary increases
Unlike the on-premise model cloud technology enables companies to offer employment opportunities that allow staff to remain on the job as their lives and circumstances change.
“The average longevity of my staff with TSRI is over 5 years– something almost no other call centers could ever boast”- Rick Meares
Additionally, cloud technology alleviates the manager’s challenge of scrambling to replace these employees. Hiring new employees can be done swiftly and without the stress of arranging travel, office orientation, equipment installation or any other typical office chores.
A company can easily maintain a standby pool of employees for emergencies—think highly educated stay at home moms or physically disabled but perfectly call center-abled people who are waiting to turn their free time and talents to income. A variety of people would happily be associated with a call center if they were allowed to bypass the demands of commute and lifestyle by working from home.
If an employer needs a common work environment for their staff – imagine a small center that requires only a Wi-Fi connection and basic laptops. This minimal investment was previously unimaginable as every center once required heavy investment in telephony and server equipment and faced issues with data silos. Now call centers can hire full time employees in these small centers that live outside of the typical call center locations such as Tier 2, 3 and even Tier 4 cities. Centers would be fully connected via the cloud to form a larger whole. Employers can challenge the norm by managing a (grateful) workforce remotely.
Rick Meares, the founder and COO of TSRI in Florida and an early adopter of cloud call center technology, operates an entirely remote workforce of over 100 well-trained, full time stay at home employees says “The average longevity of my staff with TSRI is over 5 years– something almost no other call centers could ever boast”. His company has been operating this way for over 10 years and he sees no other way of conducting business than using cloud technology.
2. Manpower Shortage
When call centers are limited to denser areas, the manpower shortage is more acute. In countries like the Philippines, India and other large call center locations, the demand is greater than the supply.
Manpower shortages present themselves in many ways. Not every call center agent is the same. An employer may need specific skills in financial areas, or technical support or health care. There may be labor available, but without the right skills. The cloud enables managers to tap into skilled labor wherever it exists.
The cloud also enables a workforce to scale on demand. As clients grow, campaign test metrics need proving or marketing campaigns cause a surge in call traffic, management is not limited to hire from the surrounding geographic area.
3. Providing Consistent Training
Traditional training in business processes is cumbersome, involving complex software and complicated procedural requirements to safely store and exchange data. The advantage to using a Cloud-based model is two-fold:
1. Its cutting-edge technology automatically means better usability, making training and caller logic fool proof:
● Ease of use by natural virtue of newer generation technology
The latest generation of cloud call center solutions requires almost no training and can work through a browser or mobile phone, on low-end configured laptops or even inexpensive Chrome books. Planned on-boarding sessions can easily be achieved with pre-recorded or live webinars.
Business process training can also be done remotely. When moving to a distributed model, insist on the system that requires the minimum software overhead, as supporting a multitude of software can become tricky. The best in bunch literally work on a browser or Chrome book.
2. Cloud accessibility: on-demand training and remote monitoring make training attractive and more accurate for a manager and a caller
● Meets quantitative goals
Quantitative reporting is crucial beyond measure to clients as well as managers who are running call centers and calling campaigns. With detailed call reporting, managers are armed with a viable account of metrics based on real activity. Detailed metrics like call length, and disposition can be gathered on the fly, making information gained more timely and therefore more valuable..
Quantitative reporting is the catalyst for quality assurance and SLA compliance. All campaigns fall into statistical norms when it comes to certain metrics. Experienced call center managers are good at being able to identify and spot issues that arise simply by looking at the numbers.
For outbound campaigns, metrics can largely be divided into 3 large categories
● Dial metrics
● Call disposition metrics
● Performance metrics
Dial metrics largely depend on the quality of the lists. These typically yield an overall indicator of dials per hour, good or bad numbers or answering machines – numbers that measure what happens before your agent speaks to someone. Call disposition metrics give an indication of how well the people on the list respond to the message being delivered; and performance metrics give an indication of how well the caller is achieving the high level goal of the campaign -whether appointments per hour or event registrations per day.
A simple example: If calling businesses, then most calls will be answered. Limitations naturally fall at a max of about 30 calls an hour. Consumers on the other hand can vary a lot more. When cold-calling [or dirty-dialing] out to unknown numbers – the number of dials could be very high, with a much smaller number of connects.
All call center systems should provide these metrics. But with the real-time, tight integration between the voice carrier technology and the contact management, cloud call systems leave the on-premise model in the dust when it comes to catching problems- as they are actually occurring. No time is wasted walking around and listening to agents. Instead, a manager’s valuable time is spent processing the results and addressing the problem areas the technology identifies.
● Ensures Quality Delivery
According to FlexJobs.com, “regular telecommuting grew by 79.7 percent between 2005 and 2012, and that doesn’t even count people who are self-employed and working from home”.
Often, and understandably, the biggest barrier to transforming operations from on-premise to cloud is the failing to understand that statistics prove that telecommuting is on the rise without detriment to business operations. Businesses that discount this trend lose ground to those who accept it.
Quality delivery depends on quality hiring. Cloud technology expands the labor pool beyond the geographic area. Good hiring must include interviews on the phone: a perfect opportunity to judge a candidate’s phone manner and learning-curve on the software with screen share; and to record their disposition for your boss to approve; and to monitor their phone disposition. A hiring manager wouldn’t have to worry about much else.
Quality control for the typical on-premise call center depends on he wasteful practice of several managers listening into live calls.
The better way is to review the quantitative reports and identify metrics that don’t fit the statistical norm. Cloud call centers have evolved to allow for managers to listen, whisper or cut in to live calls to fulfill the needs of the old ways But the greatest value of cloud technology is the ease and speed it offers managers in identifying problem areas. Once identified, they can dig up the detailed call reports or listen to the recordings of the particular campaign or caller in question. The recordings and metrics point to the solution whether it’s training, tweaking the message, or some other solution.
Good detailed call records, that are easy to access and even easier to share also solve customer disagreements. When the client feels that certain SLA’s are not being met, the reports and recordings help to have meaningful discussions with real metrics and real live information that help to resolve matters quickly.
Cloud call center software helps alleviate attrition and manpower shortages by offering advantages unavailable to on-premise centers. The rapidly advancing technology presents the ability to run extremely detailed quantitative reports with recordings as well as live monitoring. This combination delivers a higher level of performance and more flexible, agile solutions than the traditional on-premise model.
The question of converting operations has been answered. Cloud technology is inevitable and evolutionary. With limited barriers to entry- it is a no brainer. Don’t get left behind.
With the establishment of multi-national companies world-wide, the global economy has forced the physical vastness of miles to turn into communities connected intimately by technology. You have experienced this when you’ve called your “local” cable provider to troubleshoot your cable modem and been serviced by a Filipino call center, or changing your travel plans and been answered by an Indian with a name like “Mike” or “John”.
Times have changed as the call centers have learned a from their own mistakes.
The “Gold Rush” of outsourced call centers in the early 2000s, while great for the companies saving hoards of money, was not met with warmth or patience by the English speaking countries. The US/Western economy has an unusually keen distaste for tolerating accents. For what seemed like overnight- , they were being ostensibly forced to understand Indian and Filipino (along with some African, Eastern & European thrown in) accents and were blasting outsourced customer services from their couches. We saw comedic acts by the likes of Jimmy Kimmel joking about Indian call centers and as well established American consumer- it seemed like Indians were either driving taxis, working at 7-eleven or in a call center- the back lash was felt world-wide. There were reports of people being incredibly rude to international call center agents and hanging up on them because they didn’t understand their accents. Americans were especially intolerant in such situations.
But now- it’s 2015.
More and more call centers are being encouraged to speak in their own accents (still with standard English and not grossly deterring from the “understandable” levels) but to focus on sound grammar and authenticity. It appears the world of call centers has literally changed in the last 10 years.
Let’s look at some of the trends we are seeing particularly in the Indian Call Center environment:
1. FAKE NAMES:
Indian Call Centers were notorious for using fake American names so their western counter-parts could address them with ease. Names like Hritesh, Mukesh, Arya were too foreign- understandably. While it was right to change the names- the ill-gotten American accents that came with those names was proving unauthentic and intolerable.
Trend: Today, we have called several companies that have routed to call centers in India where they are using their actual names, agents are not faking American accents and they’re doing a good job
Large call centers give their agents cultural training and keep them informed about important cultural references so as to relate to their clients on the phone. Again- this was understandable but not properly executed. Pretending to be sitting in the same country, with your put on accent and throwing out cultural references were not effective. Annoying the customers was inevitable (It was clear they were not in Kansas anymore!)
Trend: The trend now is to acknowledge cultural events but to stay away from acting as if you are in that culture as well.
During those “un-scripted” moments, call center agents would use, what we’ve already established as fake accents and throw in Americanisms which when it happened to you, felt like driving past an 18 car pile-up that you slowed down to watch unfold.
The trend now- is to put the client on hold- even briefly- so that there is no demand for uncomfortable silences to be met with really bad grammar or worse- slang.
So what’s changed?
It’s 2015- the western world has become more acclimated to the sudden shift of their call centers moving off-shore and have been primed to be more tolerant of this world becoming their community. As the call centers commit to more authentic and careful about casually behaving as though they live right next door- we are seeing positive improvements for the off-shore telecommunications industry as a whole.
What does this mean?
If you’re thinking of starting a calling operation, or hiring a call center- you can feel assured that the industry and tolerance levels have shifted to your benefit. With the trend of off-shoring calling operations is another emerging trend of off-premise call centers with agents sitting at home or remote offices.
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Cold calling is about sorting prospects and not only selling them products/services.
Always think back, a successful partnership depends on establishing these 3 things over the phone: