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Contact Center and Teleservice Money Saving Tips

Contact Center Agent

High attrition rates in the contact center are a major concern.

There are many ways you can save money in a contact center environment. The tools available today that can lower costs have a profound effect on your bottom line. Workforce Optimization (WFO) solutions have been around for a while, and along with implementing technologies such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) into your contact center, they can really save you money. Here are a few money-saving tips to consider.

Save on Contact Center Telecom Costs with VoIP

Many companies are investigating VoIP to save on telecom costs. VoIP can help eliminate conventional landlines, and it is significantly cheaper than placing your calls through traditional telephone service providers. Overall, implementing VoIP can be relatively simple if you’re looking for a hosted service. VoIP providers handle all the infrastructure offsite, delivering calls to your phones and software clients.

The alternative is to implement a self-hosted, on-site VoIP system. No matter which option you choose, an IP-based, VoIP-friendly version of the PBX phone systems that many offices use is required to route your calls to the appropriate phones on your network. Vendors such as OnviSource can help you decide on the correct configuration for your needs such as a device called a PSTN (public switched telephone network) gateway. The PSTN gateway sits between the IP-PBX software and the analog signals of the PSTN and converts calls to and from digital signals. The benefits of both VoIP options are lower costs and easy configuration management.

Managing Your Contact Center Workforce

One of the biggest cost centers for any company is its labor force. The contact center is no different and having the right staff in place at the right time is not only cost efficient but also contributes to a better overall customer experience. Implementing workforce management (WFM) software allows you to plan more accurately and develop a positive work environment for your agents by taking into account their availability, skills, level of seniority and earned time off. This contributes to a drop in absenteeism and retention rate improvements. WFM has a direct impact on lowering the attrition rate and can also improve agent inefficiency, and minimize idle time.

Workforce optimization software is another essential and money saving contact center tool that has been around for a long time. The basic starting point when using workforce optimzation is call recording. Call recording is a valuable component because it can help you get the most out of your human resources by evaluating and optimizing the performance of your people. Monitoring their daily customer interactions ensures a consistent message and adherence to internal call processes. Call recording can be used as a real world training tool.  Evaluating and playing back recorded calls helps teach and assist new or low performing agents in proper call handling and policy adherence. Call recording may even be mandatory as many organizations are required to record all transactions including telesales, debt collection, finance and banking.  As regulations and consumer demand continue to increase, this requirement will become even more necessary and valuable.

Recording calls isn’t enough. You need a tool to help you evaluate them for quality assurance, making sure your agents are doing a good job. Listening to every call is near impossible if your time is limited, especially if you operate a contact center with many agents. Using a software tool for Quality Assurance (QA) allows you to regularly monitor, support, and give your agent’s with feedback and training to assure and maintain high standards. Bonus and incentive programs can be based on QA scores based on how agents handle calls and their overall performance.

Of course automating the entire QA process will not only save you time, but also eliminate the need for additional personnel engaged in the QA process. When you have the ability to measure and score every interaction, agent performance can be actively measured.

Automated analytics is one of the fastest growing segments of the contact center technology market. Speech analytics and other analytics tools are appealing because they allow companies to take action using unstructured data from customer interactions to gain new insight about their customers.

When used to evaluate agent performance and adherence to internal and external policies and processes, analytics software can give you a significant competitive advantage. A realistic return on investment (ROI) for a speech analytics solution can be as little as six months (up to 18 months).

Voice Messaging can also lower costs by reducing the need for live answer. For example, by front ending calls with voice mail, basic inquiries for information such as office hours can be answered automatically. Voice messaging can increase productivity, improve internal communication, enhance customer service, and reduce message-taking costs. Using a voice-message system ensures accurate messages, reduces the need for live message taking, and frees users from time zone dependency. A properly implemented voice messaging system can leave a positive first and lasting impression on callers.

Improving Contact Center Cash Management and Flexibility

Finally, contact centers of all sizes can improve their cash management and create flexibility by using a vendor with varied payment options. Leasing can help businesses preserve cash flow by making predictable and affordable payments, freeing up capital that would otherwise be tied up. For example, a large contact center chooses a three-year lease instead of purchasing IT and office equipment. Instead of paying $100,000 up front, the company will pay $85,000 over three years. By working with a vendor that is accustomed to lease agreements, purchasers can obtain leases that are structured to preserve their cash and create financial flexibility.  Lease to buy programs are also potential money saving options worth investigating.

Every business has unique operating circumstances, so make sure you select a vendor that can offer multiple payment options and delivery methods. This should include premise based, software and equipment purchases, cloud based solutions and even outsourcing services.

Leading Reasons for Call Center Agent Attrition

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8th Annual OnviSource Equipment Owners Meeting

OEO 8th Annual Meeting

OEO Association 8th Annual Meeting

The 8th Annual Meeting of the OnviSource Equipment Owners Association was held in Dallas, Texas, April 4 – 6, 2016. This year’s theme was Transform Your Telephone Answering Service.

Day One

The Annual Meeting started off with a presentation from OEO member Danny Koester, followed by an open forum discussion among the OnviSource team and OEO members related to questions they had about their system, business, or service support.

Training and Open Forum Discussions

Annual Meeting Training and Open Forum

The end of the first day found attendees relaxing during a cocktail hour and dinner party at OnviSource’s CEO, Ray Naeini’s beautiful home.

OEO Social Event

OEO Social Event

There was plenty of good food and drinks and a surprise that generated lots of laughs – a caricature artist created a complimentary portrait for each association member. Below, Lisa Mills, OEO Board VP, poses for her caricature.

Lisa Mills sits for artist.

Lisa Mills, Operations Manager, ProComm Professional Communication Services, sits for artist.

Day Two

On day two, meetings and new OnviSource product overviews were conducted at the OnviSource headquarters. Members had the opportunity to meet the OnviSource family. They enjoyed putting a face to the “voice” of OnviSource staff that they regularly contact for customer service, support and other programs. Meeting in the new OnviSource training center, attendees were given a tour of OnviSource headquarters, including the call center operations, the data center, and the service and support center.

Open forum Q&A session.

Open forum Q&A session.

The afternoon session was dedicated to OnviCom, the new all-inclusive, software only and integrated suite of customer interaction applications and TAS products. A live demo and discussion of cost effective migration paths and re-usability of members existing investments concluded the session.

Day Three

The Annual Meeting ended on Day 3 with a morning round table that provided an open forum for all attendees to discuss any and all topics related to the TAS industry. Meaningful discussion was had with input coming from each participant. Discussion topics covered this year are as follows:

  • Concerns and projected consequences of an increase in the minimum wage across the U.S.
  • Advantages of using barter to gain new clients and incent employees
  • Revenue per minute
  • Importance of establishing your company in a niche market
  • OnviGuard installation, procedures and documentation for marketing to the end client

Great ideas were contributed for the 2017 meeting that will be held next April. Additional details related to the 2017 event will be announced at a later date. Immediately following the round table, OEO Association Director, Dan L’Heureux, presented a plaque of recognition and thanks to Darren McGillvrey for his dedication to the OEO Association as Board President.

Out-going OEO President, Darren_McGillvrey

Out-going OEO President, Darren McGillvrey

One of the meeting highlights was the election of new OEO Board President, Mr. James Galvin (below), Advance Communications, Inc.

OEO President James Galvin

James Galvin, President, OEO Association

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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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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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