The Evolution Of The New Agent Desktop

September, 2010

This month’s blog looks at the current and forthcoming challenges faced by contact centers at the agent desktop, and outlines a way forward for contact centers struggling to cope.

This month’s blog looks at the current and forthcoming challenges faced by contact centers at the agent desktop with call script software, and outlines a way forward for call centers struggling to cope.

Until now, there have been a couple of possibilities at the agent desktop, each with its own drawbacks:

  • CRM software(Customer relationship management software)
    Great out of the box, but may take considerable effort and programming skill to integrate into a legacy environment. As most CRM software grew out of the corporate world they are built to manage and organise customer data. As they were not designed and built specifically for call centers, it is increasing difficult to make a straight CRM system do the job required of it. Even with an easy visual page designer, the fact of its design limitations remains.
  • The Home-Grown Solution
    Those (increasing few) players with in-house IT expertise can build their own calling script tool. Following the necessity to be web-based, this means typically, ASP.NET, PHP or Javascript. The problem is that as time goes on, programmers move on, code is extended and the system can become a tangled mess before you know it – unwieldy, unmanageable and unstable.
  • CRM plus Call Script Software
    This has been the standard for many contact centers, and addresses many of the current needs. But how will it fare faced with imminent challenges?

Two needs are becoming increasingly apparent:

  1. To customise each project to a different set of requirements. If you are to stay in business you have to be able to say, ‘yes, we can do that’. Chances are you will be asked to stretch your capabilities beyond that which is currently available.
  2. To accommodate an increasing range of contact options. Life was simple when the choice of consumer contact was either landline (fast) or mail (slow). Now there is a need to handle email, SMS, chat, voice and increasingly video.

So how can you fulfil these requirements? You can’t pass them on to your software vendor; by the time new requests have gone through the development, test and release cycle, either the business has been lost, or requirements have moved on.

So you are left with frustration, rather like being stuck driving behind a slow moving tractor. What you really need is the ability to take matters into your own hands, press the accelerator and overtake; you need the power to create, extend and integrate your agent script software without the need for a large IT department; to meet requirements yourself, to extend the functionality of the core product in the way that fits your circumstances.

Consider this example:

You have a database of 10 million customers. The requirement is for separate contact strategies for those who prefer contact by phone, email, Facebook, SMS. What do you do?

You need software that can

  1. handle any media type, and connect to the various necessary APIs
  2. manage the workflow involved in queuing and processing for each type

Maybe you have spent a good deal of effort on creating an agent script environment that works for you, and you don’t want to ditch it. Therefore you need software that will allow you to link directly to other services, in effect extending functionality without rip and replace.

You also need a sandboxed execution environment so that should anything stuff up, there is no impact on production.

If this makes sense to you, and you feel like you are stuck behind the tractor with your current setup, talk to us. We should be able to get you moving.

P.S. We usually try to keep any sales message at least subliminal but we see so many call centers struggling, we decided to be a bit bolder in this blog.

What We Offer

Sytel Limited develops and supplies Softdial Contact Center® (SCC), offering multimedia, multichannel, fully blended cloud contact center solutions, for quick and easy deployment by partners offering CCaaS or enterprise users. All Sytel cloud components are secure, resilient and scale seamlessly from 10 agents to 10,000+, whether local, mobile or remote.

  • Flexible Contact Center Platform

    Softdial Contact Center™ - tightly integrated modules, designed to deliver at scale

  • Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

    Partners can run a functionally rich and flexible contact center stack in the cloud

  • Blended Media Desktop

    Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace

  • Work Anywhere

    Browser-based tools, no software installation required

  • Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

    Scalable, resilient, secure, proven

  • Customise, Localise, White Label

    Design all user interfaces to individual requirements

  • Integration Via APIs

    'Swap out' components and integrate with 3rd party apps

  • World Class Development

    Continuous evolution pushing technical boundaries

Capabilities

Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) is designed to be flexible, extensible and scalable, integrating with any legacy equipment, and meeting the most complex of requirements.

  • All Media Types

    Voice, chat, email, social, etc - fully integrated and blended

  • Agent Multi-Tasking

    Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media type
  • Dynamic Workforce Management

    Automated, ‘best available’ decisions to manage agents & balance work load, across all media types

  • Predictive Dialing

    Best-of-breed performance under compliance

  • Optimised Inbound Routing

    Smart rules and 'best-available' decisions to drive great customer service

  • Agent Scripts

    Help agents achieve and maintain excellence

  • Voice and Screen Recording

    See and hear exactly how agents are interacting

  • Analytics and Data Feeds

    Measure and evaluate performance at every level

  • IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

    Design effective automated flows or integrate with 3rd party providers

  • Customer Journey Tracking

    Stored customer contact history, to aid routing and add context to conversations

Modules

A complete suite of tools, with unique flexibility to extend and swap out modules to deliver a tailored contact center solution for any environment
  • Softdial One™

    Highly flexible unified web UI for agents, supervisors and administrators
  • Softdial Scripter™

    Create complex process flow scripts for agents, IVR, chatbots and other applications

  • Sytel AI Dialer™

    Best-of-breed predictive dialer; maximum performance under any compliance rules

  • Softdial Pathfinder™

    Precise routing rules for 'best available' connection
  • Softdial Media Server™

    Core telephony functions to manage all inbound/ outbound SIP calls

  • Softdial Reporter™ 5

    Fully customisable performance stats, charts and reports, across all channels

  • Softdial Publisher™

    Comprehensive data output to build your own reports

  • Softdial Recording Monitor™

    Audio and screen recording of agent activity to ensure the highest standards
  • Softdial Campaign Manager™

    Automation to optimise any outreach strategy
  • Softdial Repository™

    Central storage and configuration of common resources
  • Sytel Global Compliance™

    Flexible 'no contact' rules to protect contact center and consumer

Markets

Performance and efficiency for a wide range of business applications

  • Customer Service

    Connect quickly to well equipped agents

  • Sales & Telemarketing

    Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing

  • Healthcare

    Secure, highly-configurable multichannel communications for excellence in patient care

  • Market Research

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration

  • Collections

    Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app