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Virtual Observer Increases Efficiency and Call Quality


TMCnews Featured Article

October 14, 2008

Virtual Observer Increases Efficiency and Call Quality

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Lockheed Federal Credit Union (LFCU), known as one of the strongest and largest credit unions in the nation, partnered with Avaya (News - Alert) in 2007 in an effort to advance the technology in the LFCU call center. 

This area of the organization primarily receives calls from members, while also responding to loan requests and other product sales. As it is a primary point of contact for customers, an excellent customer experience was important for the credit union. 

LFCU just recently enabled Live Chat integration to its phone systems, secured e-mail and screen pops. To deliver effective integration, certain issues had to be addressed, including the consistency of information provided to members and communication of accurate information by new employees.

The credit union also wanted to reduce phone menu options to allow members easier access to the appropriate parties. Each of these areas of focus can contribute to a satisfying or frustrating experience for the member, depending on the approach of the credit union and its subsequent systems.

LFCU was seeking an enterprise-quality phone system that could deliver robust call recording features. The successful implementation enabled the credit union to attain its goals of logging all calls and improving member response time.
North American Communications Resources (NACR) was able to bundle a solution for LFCU. This implementation included an Avaya phone system and the Virtual Observer call logging and quality monitoring system in the member service center.

"Avaya solutions, as presented by NACR, provided us the biggest benefit of products and features offered in combination with what the Member Service Call Center was currently operating and also the ability to grow," said Kara Fitzgerald, director of call center sales and service at LFCU, in a Tuesday statement.

"We chose Avaya due to its flexibility, and the tenure of the ACD product compared to others. NACR showed they were the best fit for us, and we were impressed with their strengths in implementation. NACR also did a great job pointing out the differences between other call recording systems and those offered by Coordinated Systems and Virtual Observer."

LFCU looked at several competing systems and decided on Virtual Observer because the features were suited for a credit union. In addition, Virtual Observer had proven the value and effectiveness of its solution in similar environments.
"Virtual Observer was an easy choice to make for our center. The features, such as the thumbnail view of agent desktops and the ability to chat with agents while on a call, are extremely valuable,” Fitzgerald said. “This allows us to quickly assist agents when they have questions with which they might be struggling. We appreciate the ability to have several call observation forms and the ability to change them on the fly. In addition, the price was right."

Once the credit union completed upgrading the phone system to the Avaya VoIP platform, Coordinated Systems, Inc., (CSI) was called in to install Virtual Observer (VO) so that100 percent of the calls can be recorded.

"We are still in the process of demonstrating its functionality to agents," Fitzgerald said. "I believe this is important so that call monitoring does not have a big brother feeling, and for the agents to be aware of the technology the call center is using to ensure quality to our membership."

The LFCU sought a solution that would increase response time. Since the implementation of the Virtual Observer, the credit union has benefited from the solution’s extremely fast search and filtering capabilities.

In addition, LFCU’s call quality has become more consistent, with improved adherence to industry call quality standards such as voice tone, usage of first name, and authentication.

Fitzgerald went on to add that the company has seen an increase in following these standards in its service cycles and have been able to ramp up its new staff members more quickly with the ability to search for calls that were directed to its internal help queue for assistance.

There are several solutions available on the market that promise to improve the operational efficiency of the call center, but at the end of the day, it is those solutions that deliver measurable results that will dominate the market.

Virtual Observer is one player that has proven time and again to be able to deliver the value that it promises its customers. As such, the company continues to drive growth in this market, delivering a strong performance in a competitive landscape.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Eve Sullivan

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