Outbound Call Centers From Robocalls to Gamification

callcenter_774.png CCPA regulations overlap – though not entirely – with GDPR compliance. As such, many of the requirements will be addressed directly by our customers when the January 2020 compliance deadline arrives. What about GDPR in the EU and CCPA in California?Solutions should be built with data security and encryption to ensure personal customer data stays private. For GDPR specifically, organizations that leverage technology manage their customers’ data and lists, so handling is subject to their internal standards and processes. In fact, we only need an individual’s phone number; our customers can store sensitive information locally and access as needed. The database should be tailored to include fields that store communications preferences, such as opt-in/opt-out, which can be filtered when building lists. Hodges_Chris_headshot_250.png What is gamification and how does it help the agents?Gamification is a unified employee engagement platform designed to increase agent productivity and reduce attrition in call centers. The call center platform should offer integrated gamification for learning and coaching, and leverage machine learning to predict score card success. Decoding Dialogflow: Enabling Voice Brent Kelly September 16, 2019 The seventh in a multi-article series focusing on building intelligent bots using Google Dialogflow and Contact Center AI What is the value and benefit of outbound dialing?Outbound dialers improve business outcomes by empowering agents with the tools to be more efficient and productive. Sales, debt collection, telemarketing, cross-selling, and market research are a few everyday examples of the numerous use cases for which these solutions apply. Gamification clarifies for agents what is expected of them, rewards them for achieving targets, and ensures employee activity is positioned to realize company objectives. Gamification creates engagement for personnel — from the CEO and executive leadership to agents, supervisors, and line-of-business managers. See All in Contact Center & Customer Experience » Chris Hodges Outbound TechnologyTo learn more about outbound calling products, especially given the introduction of GDPR in the EU and CCPA in California, I contacted Chris Hodges, SVP of Sales and Marketing at Noble Systems. Hodges has 35 years of experience in this field, and his company Noble Systems has received the 2018 Market Leadership Award for Outbound Dialing Systems from Frost & Sullivan, making him an excellent resource on the topic. I asked Hodges several questions about outbound technology’s value and his responses follow. What’s Trending in CX Today Blair Pleasant September 17, 2019 Organizations that truly care about customer service start with a understanding of what digital consumers really want. As an example, three months after going live, Sekure Merchant Solutions achieved greater revenue and profitability than ever before through gamification. Efficiency skyrocketed. Sekure calculated it saved 1,500 management hours. Supervisors hit their team goals 40-60% more often, reduced deployment costs by $35,000, and first-day, on-the-job exit interviews asking new hires if they understood their goals, shot up from a before-rate of 45% to 90% after implementing gamification. Sekure’s gamification campaign also affected operational metrics, including a sharp decline in agent turnover.Tags:Q and Acall centersoutbound dialinggamificationGDPRCCPAContact Center & Customer ExperienceRegulationUser Adoption & Training Articles You Might Like How do you measure gamification success?Every enterprise has specific needs that are unique to its contact center, and as such, each business measures performance differently. Common success indicators include increased productivity, decline in employee turnover, higher profits, reduced training costs, improved employee morale, and accelerated learning. Why You Need to Care About CX of Connected Consumers Blair Pleasant September 30, 2019 Today, enterprises are distinguishing themselves with personal, robust customer experiences. But can it be too much? For contact center agents, call management, list control, and workflow management reduce idle time by increasing right-party contacts and first-call resolutions. For contact center managers, real-time monitoring capabilities provide supervisory control and the visibility to observe agents, ensuring quality and accuracy. Customers value gamification’s ability to prevent attrition in contact centers with employee engagement strategies that incentivize and motivate agents, as well as increase loyalty. This is especially important as retaining talent is a top priority for organizations of all sizes and in all markets. A significant business benefit of outbound solutions is compliance; tier-1 offerings are compliance-ready for “Do-Not-Contact” laws and legislative regulations like TCPA and the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). Violating these regulations can result in heavy fines. Cisco Touts Webex Contact Center-Calling Integration Beth Schultz September 23, 2019 Company talks up other enhancements to cloud platform, as contact center partners make service news of their own. When discussing outbound call centers, many people think of robocalls, the frustrating outbound calls you likely don’t want to receive from companies with which you likely don’t have any relationship. But putting robocalls aside, there are plenty of valid reasons for outbound call centers. How to Plan a Smooth Contact Center Cloud Migration Elizabeth Magill September 24, 2019 A strategic migration plan must answer three important questions. An outbound call center is one where agents make outbound calls (manually or automated) to former or present customers on behalf of a business, government, political or charitable organization, or client. Calls made from the center may involve telemarketing, sales, or fund-raising. Other calls may include contact list updating, surveys, or verification services. Log in or register to post comments read more

3 Problems Still Facing Voice Services

Malicious robocallers also don’t sit by idly. Forms of bypassing various blockages will be improved, and disingenuous robocallers will continue until they see a return on their investment. That’s the main reason why phone spam can’t be completely eradicated. 3. Teleconference Audio QualityThe third problem, mainly faced by business users, is the mediocre quality of sound during teleconferences. The traditional solution for this problem is the “sound” preparation of the room, which minimizes the reflection of sound waves from the walls (the same echo and rumble), reduces the penetration of sounds from external sources, and determines the best arrangement of speakers and microphones based on the forecasted number of call participants. It’s not the most affordable decision, mostly reserved for large companies. To recap, here is where things stand for voice services and its infamous problems:Mass spam calls made with the help of bots. Regulators and technology companies are addressing spam calls, but robocalling will stay with us for a time to come.Quality of transmitted signal at interconnect. So far, the solution seems to be a mass implementation of 5G and global usage of VoIP. However, this won’t happen at once.Poor quality of communication during teleconferences. This problem is gradually being solved by improving AI that can process the signal in real-time.Tags:News & ViewsPOTStelecomvoiceVideo Collaboration & A/VAI & Speech TechnologiesConferencingMeetingsReal-Time Communications Articles You Might Like Below, we look at three problems that persist in voice services and what is being done to address them. Meetings Made Easy: One Video Platform or More Beth Schultz September 09, 2019 Standardizing on a single platform or enabling platform-agnostic collaboration are two ways to go about reducing friction in the meeting room. Solutions tend to come in two forms. First, regulatory initiatives in many countries enforce legal penalties to nefarious robocallers, with stiffer penalties for robocall schemes that involve personal data. Second, technology companies are fighting back. For example, Google introduced an intelligent answering machine into Pixel that can “answer” an incoming call instead of the user. If the call is recognized by the algorithms as “spam,” the robot hangs up. This problem is global and can be solved by creating a common network – not the Internet. The Internet, in this case, acts in its original purpose: connecting different networks into a single global system. The issue begins when voice moves from one network to another. Part of the solution will be the ubiquitous implementation of 5G. This will allow the maximum number of users to apply various VoIP-solutions, avoiding the usual telephone networks. This is an interesting solution but resource intensive. Moreover, the number of Google Pixel phone owners to the total number of subscribers is close to the statistical error. If operators included such intelligent assistants to their lines, their networks would “fall” because the entire infrastructure will need to analyze billions of calls almost daily. 2. Interconnectivity IssuesThere are a great number of telecom operators in the world, each with their infrastructure that works well – as long as you stay in network. If you make a call in the same infrastructure, your call comes through in high quality and without distortion. However, when someone calls a cloud-based contact center outside the network, the call “flows” through the telephone network and produces a lower quality recording. The reverse process happens too. As a result, both the caller and the call center employee (a person or bot) hear lower-quality audio. Video Communication Must Improve, Even as It Hits Its Stride Michael Helmbrecht September 12, 2019 Video conferencing at work has boomed. Now we need to fully deliver on its promise. 5G might be too hopeful though, not only in terms of voice services. Even after the implementation stage, not all operators will be covered. Thus, the interconnect problem remains. In contrast to telephone spam, we can at least see the probability that voice quality will improve year-over-year. See All in Video Collaboration & A/V » The other way is artificial intelligence (AI), which processes the outbound signal in real-time, “cutting off” unnecessary noises and emphasizing the voice. It’s a real computational challenge since unintended noises are different and can change constantly. There are already solutions ( Krisp, Solicall, etc.), but it isn’t possible to call them universally. For example, a colleague outside meeting with such a timbre that AI will flag him as a meeting participant might increase the volume of the voice for the listeners. Such systems still have a long way to go, although they’re doing a good job today. 1. RobocallingRobocalling, or good old-fashion spam, has continued to impact voice services. With the development of voice bots, this has reached a new level. Previously, there were reasonable physical limitations to spam calling – operators could only make one call at a time. Today, automated call centers can handle hundreds to thousands of calls per minute. There is nothing more familiar in the electronic communications world than a phone call. While it might seem “under the hood” of phone services that everything has changed, many problems from the last Millennium still plague voice services, with many new “challenges” surfacing with each new technology. Though a solution to these problems would be nice, the bad news is that some of these issues will remain with voice services for some time to come. They don’t reflect some lack of technology but rather elements of human nature and interpersonal relationships. A lot needs to be done to perfect other technologies, like live voice translation. Google is actively working on it, but these systems are currently in the active machine learning stage. On the fly, this is an extremely difficult task because unlike machine translation, which machines have learned to do, voice contains a lot of nuances. If you lose them in translation, then the meaning of what you’ve said can be quite different. Reflections on the Zoom/Mac Security Debacle Dave Michels July 16, 2019 The vulnerability is all patched up, but questions linger. What’s Up in AV? 4 Trends to Watch Jimmy Vaughan August 02, 2019 A look at some of the problem-solving solutions I saw at the recent InfoComm 2019 event. Log in or register to post comments Don’t Get Ripped Off with Video Conferencing Pricing Chris Heinemann July 30, 2019 Financially, the cost of video conferencing isn’t just high, it’s unpredictable. It’s time for a different approach. phone-1074238_1280.jpg read more

Two best friends survival story

Two best friends, two separate events that nearly took their lives. We learned about the bond that kept Joey Hackett and Brandon Clark fighting to survive.In April of 2016, a man armed with a shotgun opened fire on Brandon Clark and his friends during a get-together. Brandon was shot in the back before he could escape.Joe Hackett, Brandon’s best friend since grade school, was supposed to be out with him that night but opted to stay home with his then pregnant wife. But when he got the call, he sprung into action. “I drove right to the building where it happened, I was still in my pajamas, you heard someone was killed. You don’t know who it was and you can’t find two of your friends, it’s one of the worst feelings” says, Hackett.Brandon suffered serious internal injuries, his spleen was removed and his abdominal wall had to be rebuilt. He was hospitalized for five weeks, but he wasn’t alone.Just 16 months later, the friends switched spots. Hackett, now a father of a baby boy was caught in a freak accident when an 18-tonne road grater crushed him.Found without a pulse, Joey was rushed to the operating room and immediately put into a medically-induced coma.Three days later, “When my eyes first opened, Brandon was in front of me. Brandon called my parents, called my wife and told everyone ‘he’s waking up come to the hospital.’While Joey’s injuries and recovery were more extensive than his best friend, Brandon’s own brush with death and subsequent bounce back encouraged him.Both credit the regional trauma centres’ team for giving each of them a second chance at life.Two years after Joey’s accident, both men are living fuller lives and now share a friendship that near tragedy couldn’t break.Both men will be taking part in next month’s ‘Strides for the General’ to raise money for treatments not normally covered by OHIP. The run is in it’s 8th year and looks to raise $1-million this year. read more

Man stabbed in late night fight

Police are in the early stages of an investigation into a stabbing in east Hamilton last night.They began investigating after a man with stab wounds was brought to Hamilton General around 4 am by his girlfriend.The investigation has led to 77 Tindale Ct, near Quigley Rd & King, where police believe some sort of fight led to the stabbing around 11 pm last night.Officers have gathered witness statements, but are waiting to talk to the victim in hospital.He’s expected to recover.

Parks Canada offering free annual passes

Parks Canada is offering free annual passes to visit Canada’s natural treasures as part of the country’s 150th birthday celebration.Parks Canada Discovery Pass holders will receive free admission to all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada. You will also receive lockage at Parks Canada’s historic canals and waterways.Parks Canada says that regular fees still apply for other experiences and services including camping, backcountry, Canadian Rockies Hot Springs, mooring, reservation fees guided tours and hikes, firewood and backcountry overnight use.If you are travelling in a family or group, only one pass is needed per vehicle. Click here for more information and to order a pass. read more

RBC and TD seeking settlements over currency traders sharing confidential info

TORONTO — Canada’s two largest banks are seeking to settle allegations that their currency traders used confidential information in chatrooms to gain potential advantage in foreign exchange transactions between 2011 and 2013.The Ontario Securities Commission will conduct hearings Friday to determine whether it’s in the public interest to approve settlement agreements between the regulator’s staff and the Royal Bank of Canada along with the Toronto-Dominion Bank.In statements of allegations, the OSC says there are “many hundreds” of examples of inappropriate or improper behaviour at each bank.The statements allege confidential information, including trade sizes, timing, price, or stop-loss levels, was shared by the bank’s traders with others participants in chatrooms or received to gain a potential advantage in the market over traders at other firms who did not have access to this information.While exchanging “market colour” including economic analysis relating to the movement of currencies was acceptable, the OSC says traders inappropriately sought and disclosed specific transaction details to gain advantage in the market.The OSC says the two banks failed to have sufficient supervision and controls in its currency trading business. It says compliance monitoring issues continued into 2015 despite banning multi-dealer chatrooms in November 2013.The Canadian Press read more

Port Dover Lions update sign

The Port Dover Lions recently upgraded the entrance sign at Lions Silver Lake Park, almost 20 years after purchasing the land.The 28-acre park purchased about 20 years ago from the former Ivey Greenhouse Company is the anchor property for the Lions Club in Port Dover.It takes a whole crew of Lions to maintain the land for the various community events that are hosted in Silver Lake Park, the club said in a media release. These events include weekly Saturday Markets, Canada Day celebrations, the Show & Shine Car Show, youth soccer, Shakespeare in the Park, and weddings. read more

Students transform junk into award winner

Norfolk students returned from the Motorama car show with three awards to showcase their hard work.The Motorama Show was held at Toronto’s International Centre in early March. The show featured almost 400 custom cars, hot rods, street tuners, and race cars.Simcoe Composite School and Delhi District Secondary School worked together over three years and many classes to restore a truck they were able to enter into the show alongside some of Canada’s best.“We’ve taken our students to Motorama for multiple years, just because it’s a great show,” said Terry Oosting, a Simcoe teacher. This was the first year the students have been able to see a vehicle they have worked on at the show.The truck had the mechanical work done in Simcoe, the organizing and woodwork done in Delhi, and the body work done by Flat-Out Automotive in Jarvis.The titles awarded to the truck at Motorama were Best in Class – Restored/Original 45-57, Best First Time Shown Antique and BASF Best Paint Antique/Restore.“Working on cars that come into the garage that will never go on the road again isn’t exciting for the kids. Our goal is to have them see something transform from a piece of junk to a show car,” said Harvey Van Der Meer, the Delhi teacher involved in this project.The goal is to keep the students doing as much hands-on work as possible, and to keep them excited about the end result.The application process to get the truck into the event included sending photos to the Motorama planners, meeting their standards, and being approved.“We told them about what we were doing here in the schools, and they were excited about it so they asked us to come to the show,” Van Der Meer explained.The awards totaled together for a $150 prize, which was put towards paying for the investment of the truck.astaylor@postmedia.com read more