A matchup between Verizon (News - Alert) and a virtual call center provider is big news, especially when that provider is inContact. The two will work together to provide a cloud-based portfolio of contact center services branded as the Verizon Virtual Contact Center.
InformationWeek recently covered the news
, highlighting that the virtual call center
would manage a wide variety of customer interactions with companies through instant messaging, e-mail, chat and social media. While Verizon has offered contact center solutions of its own in the past, the inContact offering is designed to be more comprehensive, according to Verizon’s Lori Anne Pollock.
As group manager of Verizon contact center services, Pollock noted that Verizon sought a partner that could deliver a carrier-class service and would satisfy Verizon business requirements. They also needed a virtual call center solution that would allow them to service their customers, regardless of how or when they prefer to contact them.
Known as the Verizon Virtual Contact Center, this virtual call center offering is positioned to replace an array of software, hardware and services that companies currently manage with different solutions for phone, email, chat and more. Gaining access to all of these services from one provider and paying for them as a cloud-based service significantly reduces the total cost of ownership.
While the virtual call center handles calls, it could also handle a variety of other communication interactions between the company and the customer. As such, the virtual call center is responsible for reinforcing a positive image of the company on all channels, whether it’s the phone, email or social media.
The inContact virtual call center solution offers such innovative features as an automated call distributor (ACD), that routes incoming calls to the next available agent; interactive voice response (IVR), which recognizes the voice commands issued by the caller; and computer-telephony integration (CTI (News - Alert)), which can query the customer database to inform the operator of the identity of the caller, as well as their account information. An eLearning module is also included to help train agents between calls.
Mariann McDonagh, chief marketing officer at inContact, highlighted that the virtual call center will also integrate features of social media to allow a company to more closely monitor interactions with customers.
"The contact center was actually built as a strategy to keep the customers away from the executives," McDonagh told InformationWeek. "Social media has really done a great job of crossing the bridge over the moat and making the business accountable, and in some ways vulnerable, to the opinions and perspectives of customers."
With so much to offer in the virtual call center, this partnership could spark others and generate a new trend in the industry. Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco