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Teleservices Group Transforms Business

OEO Annual Teleservices Meeting

Transform Your Teleservices at the 2016 OEO Annual Meeting.


The OnviSource Equipment Owners Association (OEO) members are OnviSource product users strengthening their investments in OnviSource answer service and teleservices solutions in a true member-vendor partnership. If you want a connection to the best and brightest in teleservices, the OEO and OnviSource can help make that happen.

Helping Teleservices Business Owners

The OEO is an association for business owners and operators who believe they are instrumental in their clients’ success and are passionate about their contribution. OEO is a true partnership with its vendor sponsor, OnviSource, a leading provider of teleservices and workforce optimization solutions. Specialized committees work to keep the OEO organization abreast of the latest advancements in their industry.

  • Technical Committee – Works closely with OnviSource engineering to provide feedback regarding products, enhancements, and new feature requests.
  • Education Committee – Develops live and online events periodically to ensure ongoing training and education around topics of interest to the membership.

OEO Teleservices Member Benefits

  •  INNOVATE – Learn firsthand from OnviSource and market leaders about the future of customer service and teleservices. Find opportunities to improve and grow your business.
  • BEST PRACTICES AND TIPS – Learn what other companies are doing. Implement the best practices for your company to maximize the investment in Onvi­Source products. Offer your suggestions for others to learn from you and your company.
  • NEWEST INFORMATION – The OEO is the conduit to communicate the latest product updates and announcements, as well as upcoming products and solutions.
  • COMMUNITY COMMUNICATIONS – Take advantage of the OEO “ListServ”, an online community of like-minded teleservices operators who can directly correspond and research past discussion topics, OnviSource products, and best business practices. The OEO is the conduit to communicate the latest tele­services industry products and solutions, including industry updates and announcements.
  • ANNUAL MEETING – Face-to-face meetings to engage with peers about top-of-mind topics relevant to you, share ideas, receive exclusive training, learn best practices, answer each other’s questions and see product demonstrations.
    • Chance to win generous door prizes throughout the meeting such as an iPad, and OnviSource services.
    • Hear new ideas and insight from new members, and helpful advice from old ones, as you share and discuss familiar problem areas.
    • Learn about new cost-saving products and solutions on the Onvi­Source Product Roadmap.
    • Relax and enjoy social gatherings with other OEO members. Past meetings included cocktail hour, river cruises, outings, and dinners.

Contact Dan L’Heureux , OEO Director, at dan@callconsult.net for additional information.

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The Ascent of Text Analytics

Use text analytics to uncover true customer sentiment.

Valuable customer insight from all data sources is not utilized to its full potential.

The New Frontier – Text Analytics

In this era of progressive improvements to the customer experience, many companies are searching for new avenues to gain insight into the customer journey using text analytics. Text analytics can be defined as a process for analyzing unstructured text, extracting relevant information, and transforming it into useful business intelligence. Large corporations such as Walmart, Amazon, and Google collect massive amounts of customer data in the Petabyte range and beyond. As enterprises of all sizes struggle to uncover true customer sentiment from unstructured data sources such as social media, surveys, notations in CRM software and service notes, blogs, and many other sources, this valuable customer insight is not being utilized to its full potential.

Preventing a Poor Customer Experience

However, most companies use only a fraction of the customer data that is readily available to them. One of the value propositions for using text analytics is its ability to analyze and classify huge quantities of text and automatically extract meaningful data that really needs to be scrutinized. This yields customer experience information that previously might not have been known or recognized, and used to prevent a repeat, poor customer experience. Text analytics reveals insights into why something is happening. For example, a visitor to a website might not be able to find a product or suitable answer to a question. Text analytics can be used to discover if the issue is related to content, FAQs, or navigation problems.

Root Cause Analysis

The data gleaned from text analytics can also be used to determine the root cause of problems (known or unknown), and companies can begin to anticipate or predict problems by analyzing customer interaction data. Just as speech analytics can unveil customer sentiment by automatically identifying key words and phrases from customer telephone calls, text analytics adds to the wealth of unstructured customer information that can be extracted, transformed and loaded into subject-oriented categories delivering new possibilities for enhancing the customer experience.

  • Trend analysis
  • Tool to make strategic business decisions
  • Predict and forecast customer behavior patterns
  • Deliver an improved customer experience
  • Companies are realizing that all employees must listen to their customers, or they will become fair game for the competition

http://bit.ly/1Hpydkn

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Transforming the Customer Experience

Front and back office integration

Contact center and back office integration is critical to the overall customer experience.

Enhancing and Transforming the Customer Experience

Enhancing the customer experience has become an enterprise-wide strategy, not just a job for the contact center. Smart companies have realized that delivering the optimal customer experience occurs when contact center and back office integration becomes a critical factor for success. After all, your customers just want their immediate issue resolved, and no matter whom they talk to, they look at your company brand as one entity.

Easier said than done, with so many ways customers can contact a business (phone, mobile, text, chat, and social media), the complexity of managing multi-channel contact points puts service quality at risk. Aside from numerous stories of downright poor customer service from overworked and stressed agents, the chances of not receiving, or handling a customer contact in a reasonable amount of time, clearly exacerbates the problem.

Managing Valuable Data

A major challenge in the implementation of an integrated and enterprise-wide optimization, automation and unification is in the management of the end-to-end process and the ability to provide a single and holistic view of the critical data. Every part of the customer experience process generates valuable data, so the next step is consolidating and unifying the raw data into a single, holistic, workflow-oriented view covering the entire contact center and enterprise functions.

Creating an Omni-Vision view of the entire enterprise, followed by applying Omni-Channel analytics to various data and media collected in the process enables users to automatically generate actionable knowledge or even automated actions from the simplest to most advanced form without concerns of how each individual product is used in the workflow chain. The goal is to create time saving and actionable reports, notifications, APIs, and even launching applications, from contact center quality assurance and performance management to business intelligence, discovering new customer experience opportunities or obstacles.

View the complete article, Your Enterprise Transformed, recently published in Connections Magazine.

Connections Magazine

Connections Magazine

http://bit.ly/1EpX8nK

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Growing Your Teleservice Business

Workers in every industry rely on teleservices companies.

Teleservices and answering services assist clients in every industry and occupation.

How to Market Your Teleservice Business and Get More Clients

Teleservice and Answering Service companies provide valuable services for all types of businesses. When a customer is in the middle of a crisis, the last thing they want to hear when they call a company for help, is an answering machine or auto-attendant. In a time of need, hearing the simple phrase ‘I’m so sorry to hear about that!’, and “How can I help you?’ may seem trivial, but it’s rarely heard these days from most companies – other than a teleservice operator.

Many small businesses are owned and operated by a single proprietor who may spend the greater portion of their day away from the phone. This makes anyone who works away from their office a great candidate for answering services. In addition, any business taking appointments or dispatching service workers is an excellent target.  For example, this can include:

• Salespeople • Repair services
• On-call jobs (tow services)• Pet services
• Medical & Healthcare facilities• Home improvement contractors
• Landscaping & Lawn service• Funeral homes

Grow Your Teleservice Business with Inexpensive Marketing Tools

Inexpensive ways to market your teleservices business include the local phone book and newspaper, the small “penny saver” type of publications and community bulletin boards. Become a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, letting local businesses know you offer a service and advertise through their channels of communication. Here are other tried and true methods for finding new business:

  • Place ads in newspapers, online and in phone directories.
  • Create a LinkedIn page – it’s professional, free and a great way to connect with contacts through your current clients.
  • Ask clients for referrals and offer them a referral credit as an incentive.
  • Post fliers on bulletin boards in local stores.
  • Attend networking events and give out your business card.
  • Send direct mail advertisements to business owners with seasonal incentives.
  • Have operators make cold calls during times of low call volume.
  • Invest in a simple web site highlighting the services you offer, a brief history (credibility) of your company, testimonials from clients and contact information.

Another opportunity is when new businesses come to your area. Send them an invite and a brief description of the benefits and features of your teleservice operations. Offer them a reduced rate for the first 30 or 60 days of service. You want to highlight how an answering service can save them money and help make their business highly successful.

  • Cost effective when compared to hiring extra office staff – only pay for the calls received (typical savings of 60%-75%).
  • Never miss an important phone call.
  • Use the service only when you need it – after hours, emergency, out-of-office coverage such as illness or vacation, power outages, and much more.
  • Spend your valuable time on your business knowing that you are not missing phone calls.
  • Turn off your mobile phone when you are in important meetings knowing that it will still be answered.

Questions to Ask Prospective Teleservice Customers

Answering these questions may help new clients decide if teleservices is right for them:

  • Is every phone call that comes in being answered by a live person?
  • Is your voice mail overflowing or completely full?
  • Does answering calls and scheduling appointments keep you from attending to business and doing your work?
  • Are you losing clients and potential customers because incoming calls are not handled efficiently and quickly?
  • Are customers frustrated with a lack of response or follow up to their inquiries?
  • Does your company deal with a large volume of client phone calls every day?

Remember to ask your clients for references and referrals to others that they feel could use your services. Your existing, satisfied and happy clients are the best source for new customers!

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Desktop Analytics Delivers Transparency

Desktop Analytics at workplace.

Desktop Analytics delivers great insight into employee desktop usage.

Your employees appear to be working hard with heads down and keyboards clicking away at their desktops. However, low productivity, and frequent errors and omissions could indicate that their attention is focused elsewhere.

According to a Salary.com survey, one of the biggest reasons for a loss of productivity and rise in errors is due to employees surfing the web. The survey revealed 64% of employees visit non-work related websites every day at work. Of that group, 39% spend one hour or less per week, 29% spend two hours per week, 21% waste five hours per week, and only 3% said they waste ten hours or more doing unrelated activities. It’s a well-known fact that employees that know they are being observed (the Hawthorn Effect) will be more aware of how they are performing.

Here’s the good news!  Desktop analytics technologies can track every click. With new insight into when and where staff surfs the Internet, companies can establish policies for Internet usage, implement productivity improvements and, and identify bottlenecks and streamline processes across the enterprise.

Desktop analytics can be applied to both the front (contact center) and back office to improve performance, compliance and actionable knowledge. Benefits of desktop analytics are real-time event detection and user-defined “next-best actions” to automatically guide employees through workflow sequences.

Example 1: When transaction workflows are not followed, desktop alerts can automatically prompt an agent to the correct action.

Example 2: If an employee exceeds the allotted transaction time, an alert is triggered that can identify at what point in a transaction the employee is getting hung up.   Analytics can pinpoint exactly where additional training is required or if a workflow needs to be refined.

Example 3: Desktop analytics applications can also alert if an employee opens a non-work related site like Facebook while in the middle of an automated transaction workflow.

Example 4: If a valued customer calls to cancel a service, a user defined message will screen pop to immediately escalate to a VP of customer service to intervene before the cancellation is completed.

Regulatory compliance is vital to many industries. Desktop analytics can assist with PCI-DSS credit card compliance by automatically detecting the payment card screen and omitting the entry of sensitive data during recording so financial information is not captured.

Although desktop analytics may seem daunting to implement, it’s essential to find a vendor who can identify the root causes you are facing.  Request that they develop a ROI to justify the project using your own data.   You want a vendor who will work with you to implement, test, and deploy the solution.

Adopting a well-developed desktop analytics program can help you

  • Improve employee productivity
  • Realize significant cost savings
  • Deliver a consistent customer experience
  • Assure compliance and policy adherence

http://bit.ly/1Kg02dY

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Justifying Contact Center Speech Analytics

Contact Center Speech Analytics

Used with contact center best practices, speech analytics software can give a company a significant competitive advantage.

Contact Center Data Collection

No department within an enterprise collects more data than your contact center. According to Tony Filippone, executive VP, HfS Research, “Every contact is counted, routed, measured and scored. Agent performance is actively measured.” A Special Report from SearchCRM.com experts stated that, “Analytics is one of the fastest growing segments of the call center technology market. Speech analytics and other analytics tools are appealing because they allow companies to take action on unstructured data from customer interactions and gain rare insight about their customers. When used properly and with contact center best practices, analytics software can give a company a significant competitive advantage.”

ContactBabel research estimates that overall the time taken for a speech analytics solution to pay for itself can be as little as six months (varying up to 18 months). If you have followed best practice and can therefore demonstrate this fact, it will go a long way to saving you another battle with the bean counters by justifying the expansion of the speech analytics project into other areas.

Delivering ROI for Complex Solutions

If you’re having some difficulty selecting a workflow, speech analytics or other analytics and software solutions that you know will make your job easier, deliver a fantastic ROI, and can make you and your business more effective – we can help.  OnviSource has a special service program to do just that.  To make your vendor selection even easier on you, we will let you test the products before you purchase, and even better yet, test it using your own data, processes and methodologies. Ask about our Advantage Program that will be a lifesaver in helping you to understand, select and use the right solutions for your specific and often highly complex, business requirements.  We implement and test the best solution, including providing tailored and customized solutions.  We will be your partner every step of the way as we continue to monitor performance, managing to your expectations, including recognizing your profiled ROI.

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Automated Workflow Offers Huge Rewards

Automated workflow and processes

Using robots and automating manufacturing functions is very common today.  Let’s extend that to simplify operations in the front office (contact center) and back office with automated workflow and processes. Customers view the front office and back office of an enterprise as one entity and expect a positive experience from both. That is one important reason for implementing automated workflow – the front and back office are now linked as a single, cohesive unit to serve your customers. At a high level, a workflow is typically a collection of processes describing pre-set tasks, such as all processes needed to complete a telephone request – from initial contact (interaction) to creating an actual transaction for product or service and shipping.

Automating processes improves productivity and increases usability and ultimately, can improve the overall customer experience.  Workflow automation in the office enables software applications such as desktop analytics to assist agents and employees by automatically guiding them through workflow sequences and “next-best-actions”.

Process analytics helps agent and employee performance by automatically monitoring and evaluating against user-defined parameters such as timing. Other benefits of automated workflow include:

  • Data-workflow exchange enhances the communication process and can automatically account and alert for any discrepancies in the defined process.
  • Automated data conversions between applications, manual report reconciliations and access to historical data that can show you how well you have been doing.  This can include the metrics of each transaction, such as what was requested, how long it took to fulfill the request, and the total length of time for the transaction to be completed.
  • Built-in and automated workflow and approval processes that can optimize the customer experience, empowering workers (improving morale) and minimizing the overall transaction time.
  • You will have access to automated report generation and information distribution.
  • A key benefit is the elimination of manual operations and human errors, and the advantage of seeing where every transaction is in your automated process.

Increase your productivity and usability with automated workflow and processes.

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Unified Data – Your Job Just Got Easier

Unified Data Big Data Challenges

Computers and robotics perform more workplace functions than ever today.  However, there is still much investment and development for one-off systems, applications and business processes creating even more data silos in the enterprise. The cost of data choke holds has resulted in companies searching for, and investing in, the promise of Big Data and analytics solutions into manageable unified data. Key to the data silo dilemma is to unify data into a collaborative and holistic view of everything, utilizing workforce optimization solutions to combine front and back office interactions and processes and the resulting data for analysis and reporting.

Real World Issues Solved with Data Unification

For example, one Company that provides business information, data and marketing solutions required better processes to reconcile data.  The Company utilizes call center agents to perform outbound calls. Each call is considered a customer transaction that starts from the telecom platform, and is recorded and monitored by workforce optimization (WFO) applications. The transaction is then processed using the Salesforce.com, CRM tool. Each transaction requires validation by accessing and playing a specific call recording in order to validate the data and processes utilized during the transaction.

Without unified data, the manual data collection, reconciliation, and transaction verification process imposed extensive costs, labor and delays. It introduced many opportunities for human errors that could further reduce productivity and jeopardize the quality of data collection. Additionally, the Company did not have a unified view of processes and transactions across various platforms in order to improve performance and its customers’ experience.

Data Unification Solution to the Rescue

Deploying an enterprise-wide unification solution, automatically collected relevant, user-defined data from the Company’s enterprise platforms. The solution then normalized, unified and deposited the data in a single place. This significantly improved productivity related to the processing of transactions. Several additional solutions were also employed to provide integrated WFO, including call recording, quality assurance, and desktop analytics with PCI-DSS compliance.

Bottom Line Benefits of Unified Data

  • Unified data offers a significant improvement in productivity, reducing costs and eliminating human errors.
  • Customer transaction journey can be monitored and viewed from a single place in order to evaluate and improve the customer experience and/or processes.
  • One click from the CRM, enables the users to access and utilize the entire WFO set of applications to perform monitoring, quality assurance and analytics functions.
  • Access to previous transactions is simple, eliminating the need for labor intensive, time-consuming investigation and reconciliation of records.

The Company is now effectively managing data, protecting their business and complying with rules and regulatory requirements with the help of unified data.

How are you handling data unification and your disparate systems?

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The Rise of the Home Agent

Home_Agent1Depending on the complexity of your technology environment and the demands of your customers, using work-at-home agents can have its advantages and disadvantages. As technology advancements like VOIP and cloud computing lower operational costs, it is worth a second look to see if utilizing home agents makes sense for your organization. You won’t be alone if you decide to employ home agents – Forrester Research estimates that 63 million Americans will be working from home next year.

Here are just a few things to consider when employing remote, work-at-home agents.

ADVANTAGES of Remote Agents

  • Retain Quality Agents – if a loyal employee decides to move away, you have the option to retain them and make use of their talents and expertise remotely.
  • Flexible Shift Coverage – remote agents can cover short shifts and/or split shifts more easily, instead of having them coming into the office for a short period of time. If you can’t afford to have an employee on for a full shift, you can cut costs by using shorter shifts; and when agents have a busy period and are overwhelmed with calls, they can engage a home agent to help cover peak hours.
  • Preparing for the Unexpected – when weather conditions prohibit travel, employees who have remote capabilities are able to work from home. Remote agents have the option to work from the comfort of their own home if they are sick, instead of coming into the office and potentially infecting co-workers.
  • Reduces Space Limitations – home agents eliminate physical requirements like space, cubicles, and office furniture.

DISADVANTAGES of Using Remote Agents

  • Unreliable Internet – sometimes remote stations are unavailable when there are Internet issues at the office. This is unavoidable, but does cause a problem during busy times.
  • Communication Challenges – remote stations can be harder to communicate with. Chat is great, but it can be difficult to monitor chat while taking calls. Action items can be missed and/or miscommunicated.
  • Remote Limitations – home agents can be limited as to what customers they can handle. Personal Distractions – when working at home, the personal environment can distract from providing a transparent, professional image (i.e., kids, dogs barking, door bell ringing, etc.).
  • Training Challenges – training and monitoring a remote operator can be more difficult. It can be harder to explain certain circumstances without being able to use a hands-on approach to coaching, particularly in real time.

Whether or not you are utilizing remote agents and employees today, or planning on employing work-at-home agents, what are your own personal experiences and thoughts about utilizing home agents in your own organization?

http://bit.ly/1KeyIiX

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Enduring Long On-Hold Times

On-HoldSticking it out while waiting is not a virtue many of us tolerate. Whether it be in a grocery store checkout line, popular restaurant on a busy Saturday night, or a doctor’s waiting room – most of us don’t like the inconvenience of waiting, after all, isn’t our time valuable too?

Without compare, waiting on hold on the telephone has to be the worst form of waiting.  After navigating today’s complex IVR (interactive voice response) menus, only to be told you will now have to wait 30 minutes (after already spending five minutes of your valuable time in the IVR) to speak to a representative – chances are your temper has already started a slow boil, and will explode as soon as that representative answers the phone – that is, if you have decided to wait that long!

Which brings up another reason why companies should NOT compel their customers to wait on hold – first call resolution (FCR)! Not only does answering the call and fixing the customer issue promptly almost guarantee a great customer experience, it can also save the company contact center money by minimizing repeat callers.

A low FCR rate leads to increased call volume, workload, agent payroll expenses, customer dissatisfaction, and loss of customers. Employee moral also sags, as many callers who have simmered to the boiling point vent on the unfortunate call representative. As the Pelorus Group noted, “FCR is an essential metric for any contact center for two simple reasons: it drives customer satisfaction, and reduces operating costs.”

How Long is Too Long to be On-hold?

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