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December 02, 2008

Telephonetics: IVR, Automation to Aid Call Centers Navigating Recession



By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor


Call center companies say they’ll navigate this economic recession by focusing on customers and emerge in a stronger position by boosting response rates to surveys, according to a new report from a U.K.-based speech recognition and interaction technology provider.

 
Officials at Hertfordshire-based Telephonetics VIP say that companies who keep customers happy while trying to save money will be the “winners” in this slower economy.
 
Not surprisingly, the company hails the benefits of routine and repetition through automation, as a way to deliver a clear, consistent way to manage customer transactions.
 
According to Anthony Mckay, the company’s chief executive officer, there’s a real need for automation within the contact center.
 
“In particular, there is great value in collecting and acting upon information from customers,” Mckay said. “We have seen this need increase steadily and expect to see this trend continue over the coming year especially considering the economic slowdown which will force organizations to save money but not at the expense of customer satisfaction.”
 
Increasingly, contact centers are looking to technology to boost production.
 
On Feb. 3, as part of the Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in Miami, Florida, a panel of experts will weigh in on how IP can improve strategic planning in the contact center.
 
Moderated by Jon Arnold (News - Alert) of J Arnold & Associates, the talk will focus on how the right blend of technology can reduce expenses and improve productivity, turning a contact center into a company plus. The discussion will focus on specific actions that organizations can take to address efficiency in the call center in a Web 2.0 world and why it matters, and will include integration and implementation of a total solution and how to control total cost of ownership.
 
According to the Telephonetics survey, organizations are eager to learn customers’ opinions, but often lack the resources available to collect the data, or worry that the act of asking a customer for input will of itself create customer unhappiness.
 
Sixty percent of respondents took payments over the telephone, although only 25 percent of respondents took 50 percent or more of their payments, according to the survey. But all respondents agreed that payment security was a concern.
 
Telephonetics says that automation for payment services allows customers to make payments at a convenient time, and that removing the need to speak with a human operator enhances privacy of financial data.
 
“Ninety-two percent of respondents found that answering brochure requests was time consuming, did not add value to the customer experience and agreed that automating such requests would be of benefit,” the company says. “With Telephonetics solutions, an organization can transfer between real life interaction and automation, ensuring the transactional piece is done efficiently whilst the customer also has the chance to hear about any new offers or information from a live agent.”
 

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.


Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael´┐Żs articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan


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