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Startel Vendor Profile 2023

Startel contact center software that delivers happiness to your customers

Startel Contact Center Solutions, that “bring happiness to your customers,” has been a leader in the ever-changing contact center and answering service landscape. Since 1980, Startel has responded and adapted to new technologies and paradigm shifts in the industry, and they continue to apply that expertise to prepare for tomorrow’s challenges.

Startel provides solutions that are both affordable (for small family-owned answering services) and scalable (to accommodate large contact centers), which makes Startel’s CMC a platform that grows with you.

Here is a look at some of Startel’s latest developments that are sure to give your contact center the edge, no matter what stage of growth you’re in.


Startel’s CMC RestAPI can improve agent efficiency by securely providing the data collected from callers directly to the applications your clients use every day. Rather than the agent needing to learn the client’s specialized software to manually re-enter that information, our RESTful API allows automation to synchronize data behind the scenes without agent intervention.

This reduces the need for manual dispatching. Rather than agents making lots of quick decisions in real-time to ensure individual messages end up where they should be, your organization can make deliberate, focused decisions to redirect the flow of data en masse according to the client’s requests.

Beyond just the data collected from callers, the RestAPI can also be used to retrieve statistical call data, manage client on call schedules, or track agent status in real-time, as well as make that information available to your customers to integrate with their own tools.

Zapier Integration

The capabilities of Startel’s CMC RestAPI are expanded even further through an integration with Zapier. Zapier is a do-it-yourself solution that allows you to harness the power of Startel’s CMC RestAPI without requiring expensive development or on-staff programmers. This web-based platform empowers you to automate your workflow across more than 5,000 popular apps without writing a single line of code.

CMC Partner Nexus

Partnerships between contact centers are never that simple unless you are using Startel, then everything is easy. The CMC Partner Nexus allows contact centers to share heavy-volume accounts and provide call overflow support. With a Partner Nexus established, you can also divert traffic to a partner CMC in case of an emergency in your local area. The Nexus will allow for messages from the partner site to seamlessly be inserted into the home system of the client. Sharing clients and agents has never been easier.

Startel PocketVantage


PocketVantage is Startel’s mobile app for Android and Apple devices. The app provides clients with a vantage point to view and update their on-call schedule, review and manage their messages, and access their team’s contacts from the convenience of their smart phone. Users of the app can also be given access to update their own contact information or create their own status updates and emergency notifications that display right in the CMC Flexible Agent Interface.

Startel's Flex Agent Interface

Flexible Agent Interface

Startel users continue to rave about how quickly they can train agents using the Startel Flexible Agent Interface (Flex). Now Flex is even more powerful as Startel developers continue to make this customizable agent interface more intuitive, which makes training new agents even faster.

Here are some features that make Startel’s Flexible Agent Interface an easy agent interface to use when training new agents.

  • Active search for directory lookups and menu selection
  • Dynamic automated dispatching: agent simply follows script and saves messages; Flex triggers the appropriate dispatch method based on time of day, who’s on call for a specific trade/specialty or the caller’s response to specific questions; and flawless automated dispatch even in unusual circumstance
  • Online/offline status indicators when transferring messages between agents
  • Streamlined board check (or message check) tool
  • Improved handling of client presences (statuses)
  • Advanced configuration options for holidays
  • Abandon call actions automatically generate reminders for agents to return calls to callers that hung up without reaching an agent. Allows you to reclaim lost revenue for your contact center and provide better service to your clients.

Flex can be adjusted to suit your contact center environment preferences. If you are considering changing platforms, the interface screen can be designed to have a similar look and feel to your current platform interface. Message scripts/forms, client information pages, on call assignments, and other elements can be moved to different areas of the screen. The different elements can even be split into multiple windows so that the agent can better utilize a multi monitor environment. Further customization can be done by selecting different fonts, font sizes, and colors that can be saved as part of the agent layouts.

Pairing Startel’s Flexible Agent Interface with Startel’s Agent Scripting and automated dispatching reduces the amount of reading and searching for information agents must do which will improve agent efficiency and minimize errors.


StartelNOW isStartel’s web-based Agent Interface, which is currently in the beta testing phase. This interface can be used by current customers with the CMC platform and is provided at no extra cost as part of Startel’s Software Assurance.

StartelNOW allows an agent, anywhere in the world, to log in to the contact center from a website, on any device with a solid internet connection, and start handling interactions without any specialized software training. Agents will not be required to know and retain knowledge of special keystrokes to do things like sending an email or a secure message to a client. Paired with the other features of the CMC platform, agents will be able to follow the client’s unique script, get all the pertinent information from the caller, and save the message.

About Startel

Since its founding in 1980, Startel has established a loyal customer base from a variety of industries, including contact centers, education, government, healthcare, insurance, telephone answering service, and utilities.

Today, Startel has customers in 43 states across the United States as well as Canada, Central America, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Our customers depend on Startel’s solutions and services to increase business efficiencies, identify performance opportunities, and deliver quick, secure, and accurate communication 24/7 x 365.


To discover for yourself why so many contact center owners and managers say success starts with Startel, visit or call 800-782-7835.

Improve Agent Performance and Customer Satisfaction with Analytics

Amtelco Cloud-Based Platform Solution

By Kevin Beale

One of the biggest challenges we face in the call center industry is hiring, training, evaluating, and retaining agents. When a call center is fortunate enough to find a new candidate, it’s critical to train and help them become productive as quickly as possible. Advanced analytic tools can reduce training time, streamline evaluations, and consistently increase customer satisfaction.

Agents that are not properly trained or lack the knowledge and confidence to complete calls result in poor caller satisfaction and loss of revenue, both for the call center and for the clients the call center serves. Those agents typically will not last if they continue to struggle.

Training an agent has traditionally started with sitting with the agent as they take calls, providing feedback and direction on how to improve. As the agent progresses, the process shifts to the recording of their calls and listening to those recordings. With more agents working remotely, that traditional onboarding and training process becomes much more difficult.

Systems that utilize automated scripting with dynamic prompting and automated dispatching, such as Amtelco’s Genesis Intelligent Series with Web Agent, can reduce the training time. Web Agent guides an agent through each step of a call, providing a user friendly, intuitive interface. This can be a big benefit but is not enough on its own.

As agents become more experienced, they can process calls independently. This is when the next phase of training and evaluation kicks in. This phase typically involves a manager listening to a small number of each agent’s calls per shift. Managers listening to the call recordings typically have an evaluation form they fill out as they listen to each call. This process can take several minutes per call. Due to the large volume of calls an agent handles each day, only a small percentage of the calls can be evaluated using this method.

Imagine having a tool that automates this process. This can have a tremendous impact on agent productivity. Agents receive more immediate feedback, enabling them to improve their performance incrementally rather than waiting for an evaluation to take place, or worse yet, waiting for a customer complaint.

Automated evaluations can have a tremendous impact on management productivity, saving valuable time by eliminating the need to listen to call recordings and manually fill out evaluation forms. Many call centers have established a target of evaluating three to five calls per agent shift. This small number is chosen because it is all the management team can handle. Compare that to the benefits of evaluating 100 percent of each agent’s calls.

Active Insights

How can we fully automate listening to calls and evaluating the outcome of the calls? We can use software such as Amtelco’s Active Insights to help us. Active Insights automatically transcribes the call recordings into text and feeds that text into a machine learning and artificial intelligence model to produce an automated evaluation of the call.

Active Insights with artificial intelligence can take common situations that occur every day in a call center and produce a summary of those situations and can raise alarms for situations that require attention and follow up.

Example 1

Here is a sample transcription of a call where a caller became angry because they had called in recently and had to repeat the same information.

Transcription Snippet:

Agent: Thank you for calling ABC Clinic. How may I help you?

Caller: Are you that same operator I just had ten minutes ago? They couldn’t figure out how to get me to my doctor. I need to talk to my doctor. No excuses.

Agent: Well, I’m not sure sir. Uh Let me see if I can help you with that.

Caller: Ok, I sure hope so because my foot really hurts still.

Agent: Uh Can I have your name please?

Caller: Don’t you have my info? I just gave it to you ten minutes ago. Can you pull it up? I don’t wanna have to go through this all again.

Agent: Um I’m sorry sir, but I don’t.

Caller: Ok. Uh fine . . .

As we can see, this call did not go well from the start. The caller was angry that they had to give their information again after calling in a short while ago. Active Insights produced this outcome for this call:

Summary: The caller contacts the call center and expresses frustration that they had spoken to someone ten minutes ago who couldn’t help them reach their doctor. The agent tries to help but the caller is rude and uncooperative. The caller provides their name and phone number but speaks over the agent when they tried to confirm the number. The caller becomes even more frustrated and asks to speak to a supervisor, but the agent says the supervisor is currently at lunch. The caller abruptly ends the call after requesting that the agent contact their doctor and have the doctor call them back. The overall caller sentiment is angry and frustrated.

Active Insights also flagged this call as having an Angry caller. This Angry caller alert can immediately be sent to a manager, alerting them to the problem. This is a valuable tool that can alleviate and address issues before they become a problem.

Caller Angry: The caller became angry because they had spoken to another operator previously who was unable to help them, and they were frustrated that they had to go through the process again.

Example 2

In another example, a caller may become frustrated because the agent lacked the proper knowledge or training to complete the call to the caller’s satisfaction. This can be a valuable teaching tool for agent performance and improvement:

Transcription Snippet

Agent: Thank you for calling ABC Clinic. How may I help you?

Caller: Hi, I’m looking to get in touch with my doctor.

Agent: Oh, well, please, uh, bear with me. I’m new. I’m not sure how to find the doctor for you.

Caller: That’s ok. I have time. So take your time.

Agent: Uh, well, I’m not sure if I’m doing the right things here. But, uh, can I have your name?

Caller: Chris

Agent: And your phone number?

Caller: xxx-xxx-xxxx. (Redaction of PHI is an option.)

Agent: Well, I’m not sure if this is the right thing to do here, but, uh, is there a certain doctor you’d like to speak with?

Caller: Yeah. So that’s ok. So usually when I call and they ask me, uh, who my primary doctor is, and I usually tell them Doctor Smith. So probably Doctor Smith.

Agent: Yeah, I’m not sure how to find Doctor Smith. Um, it might be best if you call the office in the morning . . .

Summary: The caller wanted to get in touch with their doctor and provided their name and phone number to the agent. The agent was new and unsure how to help the caller but offered to take a message for the doctor. The caller asked the agent to tell the doctor that they hurt their foot, but also mentioned they would try calling the office directly. Overall, the caller seems unsatisfied with the conversation, and unsure if the agent was able to help them. Caller sentiment: Negative


The above calls are common situations that occur every day in a call center. Most of these calls would go unnoticed using the traditional method of listening to a small percentage of calls each day. The unsatisfied or angry caller would reach the call center client and would express their frustration directly with the client.

This would degrade the client’s confidence in the call center and could cause the client to leave the service. In addition, without feedback on these calls, the agent would not improve and would continue to struggle, resulting in the probable loss of that agent.

In addition to the above caller sentiment analysis, Active Insights can evaluate agents’ use of grammar, positive attitude, proper manners, and accurate answer phrase.

Automated call analysis can have a positive impact on the day-to-day call center operations and on the bottom line. Agents will quickly come on board, gain confidence, and enjoy their job more because they receive immediate feedback on their performance.

Callers will be satisfied because they are speaking with confident and positive agents. Call center clients will be happy and will remain with the service because their callers are happy.

Kevin Beale is vice president for software, research, and development for Amtelco. Reach out to Amtelco to explore these options with them. They can help you take advantage of advances in technology and improve your call center.

3 Cost-Effective Tips for Brands Looking to Boost Customer Experience

By Rei Kasai

Modern customer service that drives exceptional outcomes is critical to any business’s longevity and long-term success. In fact, 49 percent of consumers said they would stop using a brand after just one bad experience.

If businesses want to keep consumers happy and returning, they must make sure that not only the first impression goes right, but every subsequent interaction. But in a challenging economic environment, many brands are struggling to meet these rising customer demands with diminished budgets and smaller teams.

Businesses that find new and creative ways to deliver what customers want efficiently and cost-effectively will gain a significant competitive advantage. While every industry has its nuances, some of the most innovative and forward-looking customer service teams invest in three areas: Conversational AI, omnichannel capabilities, and employee experience.

Leveraging the Sophistication of Conversational AI

Conversational artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful form of AI that augments the work of customer service agents and creates a better, more personalized customer experience. In the contact center, we typically see this capability deployed as virtual agents. It uses machine learning (ML) algorithms, data science techniques, and large language models to understand human communication and simulate human-like customer interactions.

In many situations, a virtual agent can field a customer’s request and generate an appropriate response without human assistance, freeing live agents to handle more complicated exception scenarios requiring a human touch.

This technology has been around for years. Voice assistants, such as Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, are commonplace in our lives and help us find directions, reorder a favorite product, or find an answer during a debate with friends or family. But rapid digital transformation, further accelerated by the pandemic, forced businesses to fully embrace e-commerce and modern methods of offering the same level of service expected from in-person conversations.

Research reveals that 89 percent of Customer Experience (CX) professionals recognize the importance of AI in the contact center, and 84 percent plan to increase their AI spending in 2025, compared to 2021.

It’s no wonder; customers want to solve their issues faster and on their own. And if they do need to engage with an actual agent, the customer service representative can leverage real-time AI to guide a seamless conversation.

With no hold times and virtual assistants on hand for live agent support, customers receive fast, efficient resolutions. Customers with a wonderful experience will become more loyal and refer friends, family, and colleagues, decreasing churn costs and increasing revenue.

And 2023 has seen the boom of generative AI. ChatGPT, Bard, and other generative AI systems have brought conversational AI to a new level. Virtual agents will no longer be limited to predefined situations, but instead evolve into continuously learning through conversations to handle new situations.

Some brands are already taking advantage of their numerous capabilities to assist and automate agent activity, although it’s still quite early in its commercial rollout for customer-facing applications that will represent a brand. Also, there are ethical concerns, and regulations are sure to come, but there is little doubt generative AI will revolutionize customer service.

Be Everywhere for Everyone

With an omnichannel strategy, businesses can offer a myriad of communication channels, from voice to SMS to chatbot and everything in between, allowing consumers to pick which one they want to use and not be forced to use something less convenient.

Research reveals that 78 percent of consumers want to communicate on their preferred channel, and 72 percent say their preferences change based on context. It’s important to provide not only multiple channels but to ensure it’s easy to switch and use them together to create a richer multi-model customer experience.

For example, a customer might be engaging with a virtual agent to ask a question about a recent purchase. If the virtual agent can’t resolve the problem, the customer might decide it would be better to speak with a live agent.

An omnichannel contact center provides the customer a seamless transition to escalate the virtual agent chat experience to a live chat or voice experience, while providing all the key information about the interaction to the next customer service agent in queue. The agent can immediately continue assisting the customer without asking them to start from the beginning, creating a bottleneck that frustrates both sides.

Everything ties back to an excellent CX. Customers can use the channels they want and are more comfortable on, leading to more effective, efficient support experiences.

Happy Employees = Happy Customers

Turnover in the contact center has always been a significant problem. It’s demanding work, often with little reward. Agents deal with a lot of frustrated customers and have few support mechanisms to lean on, which can quickly turn into burn out. It’s difficult to be empathetic and build rapport with a customer when you are just going through the motions.

Engaging in meaningful work is incredibly important for job satisfaction. When an agent must routinely provide answers to the same questions or engage in tedious after-call work, it can have a negative impact on their work experience. AI in the contact center can automate much of the mundane activities and processes, and free up the agent to solve more important and complex customer problems.

Contact centers are already using generative AI to summarize interactions and automatically set customer dispositions. Previously, this could take up to an hour of an agent’s day to manually regurgitate what they just heard. This eliminates the point of pain from their experience.

Another problem for customer service agents is the number of CX systems they must access to help a single customer. It’s not unusual for an agent to access six or more different systems in one interaction. It slows down communication, makes the customer more impatient, and distracts the agent. It’s not a positive experience for the customer or the agent.

Unifying all these CX systems into a single workspace for the agent can make a dramatic difference to the agent’s experience. By providing direct access to all vital CX applications and data on a single screen, the agent no longer must jump between browser tabs and can seamlessly transition between handling live interactions, managing voicemails, and completing after-call work. This saves them a lot of time and frustration.

Anything that improves the employee experience—no matter how minute—will have a positive impact on the customer experience.


Implementing innovative technology, engaging with customers on their terms, and investing in employees are three strong and proven customer service strategies to gain a leg up on your competition. In times of economic uncertainty, it’s important to continue to invest in the future, but to invest wisely. Ensuring customer loyalty will accelerate revenue and opportunity as market conditions improve.

Rei Kasai is the SVP/global head of product and engineering at Talkdesk, which helps enterprises modernize their customer service.

Integrating ChatGPT with Advanced Answering Service Platforms

Unlocking the Power of AI for Answering Services

By Michael C. McMillan

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to permeate various industries, the answering service sector is no exception. AI-powered language models, such as ChatGPT, offer innovative solutions for improving customer service and enhancing call center management. Integrating ChatGPT with established answering service system platforms can unlock a new level of efficiency and customer satisfaction.

In this article, we’ll explore specific applications of ChatGPT within the answering service systems and discuss the benefits of this AI-driven collaboration.

AI-Assisted Call Routing

One of the key applications of ChatGPT within the answering service platforms is enhancing the call routing process. By leveraging AI, the platforms can analyze incoming calls based on the customer’s query, language, and tone. This information enables the system to route calls more accurately to the most suitable agent, improving customer experience, and reducing wait times.

Automated Customer Support

ChatGPT’s natural language processing capabilities can be used to create intelligent virtual assistants that provide instant and accurate responses to customer queries. This integration with the platforms can handle routine inquiries and resolve simple issues, freeing up human agents to tackle more complex tasks. With this feature, businesses can reduce operational costs and enhance the overall customer experience.

Sentiment Analysis and Agent Evaluation

The integration of ChatGPT with answering service platforms can enable real-time sentiment analysis during customer interactions. The system can provide valuable insights to supervisors and agents by gauging the customer’s emotions and satisfaction level. This data-driven approach can help companies identify areas of improvement and develop targeted training programs for their staff.

Personalized Customer Experience

ChatGPT can help answering service systems offer a personalized customer experience by analyzing customer data and previous interactions. The AI-driven system can tailor responses, product recommendations, and promotional offers based on customer preferences and behavior. This level of personalization can lead to higher customer engagement and increased brand loyalty.

Streamlined Workflows and Enhanced Collaboration

Integrating ChatGPT with these platforms can streamline internal communication and workflows. The AI-driven system can assist in managing schedules, routing internal messages, and tracking agent performance. This seamless collaboration can improve overall efficiency, reducing the time spent on administrative tasks and allowing agents to focus on delivering exceptional customer service.


The collaboration between ChatGPT and established answering service platforms promises to revolutionize the industry by leveraging the power of AI. By embracing this innovative technology, businesses can enhance customer experiences, streamline workflows, and optimize call center management.

As AI continues to evolve, the possibilities for its application in the answering service sector are boundless, and early adopters will undoubtedly reap the rewards of this innovative integration.

Michael McMillan is an influential thought leader and keynote speaker specializing in customer experience (CX) and patient experience innovation. With a strong background in healthcare and technology, Michael serves as the Chief Revenue Officer of MedCall Plus (, a leading telehealth solutions provider. His passion for delivering exceptional experiences led him to the TEDx stage, where he delivered a powerful speech highlighting the importance of empathy and human connection. Michael’s expertise at the intersection of technology, healthcare, and customer experience makes him a trailblazer in his field.

Knowledge Management Will Enhance CX

By Donna Fluss

Knowledge management (KM) is a process for authoring, collecting, organizing, presenting, maintaining, and storing information in a manner that is readily accessible and easily consumable by all organizational constituents. It can include content from internal (databases, documents, manuals, training materials, policies, procedures, best practices, employees, etc.) and external (the Internet, user communities/forums, customers, etc.) sources.

Knowledge management solutions transform data and other information into knowledge assets (also referred to as “articles,” “content,” or “objects”). The knowledge assets can be leveraged in internal applications that target contact center agents and enterprise employees, as well as for external-facing purposes that are focused on customers, clients, prospects, partners, etc. A knowledge management solution should use a responsive design approach to render the data in the form most appropriate for each channel and/or device and confine the presentation to what each audience needs to know.

KM in Contact Centers (and Beyond)

Knowledge management solutions equip front-line employees, both on-site and remote, with the information to deliver a great customer experience. Knowledge management solutions help companies institutionalize their knowledge and provide a “single source of the truth” so that consistent information can be provided to enterprise employees or customers. They are also increasingly being used to support self-service solutions and other enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives that need a large data repository in order to be successful.

KM Reduces Risk

Knowledge management reduces the risks of having essential enterprise knowledge reside in its employees, as is the case in many contact centers where senior representatives are the “go-to” people (subject matter experts) for resolving certain types of customer inquiries and issues. In these organizations, critical information is often lost when these employees retire or leave the organization before doing a knowledge transfer. So, in addition to addressing explicit information, knowledge management solutions should be used to capture and preserve tacit or “tribal” knowledge (which can include best practices, lessons learned, postmortems, etc.).

Clients and customers who use an organization’s products and services on a regular basis also possess a wealth of insights that are not available from within the enterprise. Knowledge management solutions that support user communities and crowdsourcing offer an effective method for capturing tacit knowledge from large groups of customers, clients, partners, and user communities.

This approach enables organizations to capture ideas, practices, recommendations, fixes, and a lot more from external constituents. And during a time when improving the customer experience (CX) and retaining employees are critical company priorities, KM is proving to be an excellent and effective way of engaging employees and improving both self-service and agent-assisted service quality and delivery.

Final Thoughts

Today’s KM solutions are generations ahead of the prior versions of these applications. For decades, contact center and service leaders have agreed that KM solutions have the potential to improve the CX, reduce agent handling and onboarding time, and improve the agent experience, but they still did not invest. What’s different now is that the newer KM solutions are built on better technology and apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to make them much easier to use and maintain, enabling companies to realize the promised benefits.

Donna Fluss, founder and president of DMG Consulting LLC, provides a unique and unparalleled understanding of the people, processes and technology that drive the strategic direction of the dynamic and rapidly transforming contact center and back-office markets. Donna can be reached at

Avoid the Covid Excuse in Your Call Center

Admit Your Service Faults Instead of Blaming the Pandemic

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.

Different countries around the world and various areas within have had differing responses to the covid pandemic. For some it is but a memory—albeit a painful one. Others, however, are only now beginning to emerge from its grip, with its influence lingering on. Regardless, it’s impacted our call centers and how we do business. Many are quick to blame it for their staffing shortfalls and service failures. I call this the covid excuse.

Citing the covid excuse for low staffing levels, reduced hours of support, and delayed response times may be truthful, but it’s wearing thin. Some businesses have successfully responded to the pandemic and rebounded appropriately, returning to their prior levels of service, or even surpassing them.

Yet others continue to struggle. They blame covid for their ongoing issues. And, for the most part, using the covid excuse to justify their shortcomings reached a receptive audience. But don’t expect the public’s acceptance of covid as the explanation for continued ongoing service problems to last much longer.

Initially, virtually every company was quick to use the covid excuse as justification for everything that went wrong. But as we inched forward, many companies have moved away from blaming the pandemic. And wisely so.

The purpose of call centers is to serve customers and react to prospects. If there’s a service shortfall, regardless of the reason, that’s a bad reflection on the call center and poor customer service. It must be corrected, covid or not.

Provide Excellence

Many call centers initially struggled as they attempted to deal with lockdown restrictions, work-at-home mandates, and employee concerns. Yet they adjusted and adapted. They persisted in holding high their ideals of providing excellent customer service.

And despite having glitches along the way, they soon stopped using the covid excuse and simply assumed responsibility for their service shortfalls. Not having enough agents working or seeing key performance indicator slip didn’t matter if it was pandemic related or not. Instead, it was something to fix, and they fixed it.

They focused on providing service excellence, pandemic or not.

Use the Covid Excuse

Other operations, however, took the opposite approach. They used the covid excuse whenever they could, and they continue to do so—even when it’s not true. This occurs for understaffing, offering poor customer service, and failing to meet caller needs.

While the pandemic may have initially caused these problems to surface, it’s disingenuous to continue to use the explanation—even if there remains an element of truth to it. The covid excuse is blamed for price increases, service delays, and supply chain issues.

The public is tired of hearing it; they don’t care. They expect service and expect companies to deliver. It’s that simple.

Moving Forward

Every person and every company had to navigate the covid pandemic. While we may never forget it and the long-ranging effects it produced, it is time to move beyond it. It’s time to focus on serving our clients and not blame circumstances when we failed to deliver.

Peter Lyle DeHaan is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Connections Magazine. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time. Learn about his books and read more of his articles at  Peter Lyle DeHaan.

Do Your Call Center Employees Believe They Receive Adequate Recognition?

By Mike Hill

If you are like most companies, you have a mix of employees working full-time from the office and others working full-time from a remote office, or a third group that work sometimes from the office and some from a remote location. Whichever case you have, you need to make sure all your employees receive adequate recognition.

Without recognizing your employees’ contributions, they can feel disconnected from your organization, and disconnected employees are the ones that are the least productive. In this article, we will concentrate on employees working from a call center. Without having face-to-face contact, recognition can be challenging, but it can be done.

Recognition has been described as a “core” human need. So, what can recognition do for your organization?

  • It can boost the employee experience helping them to feel more competent and boost their self-esteem.
  • It can help lower turnover. When employees’ achievements and efforts are recognized, they feel connected and valued. This acts as a motivator to repeat excellent performance.
  • When you become known as a company that recognizes your employees, as compared to a company that does not, you will attract that level of employee that will make your company successful.

So, how do you take advantage of an employee recognition program for call centers?

You use some of the same techniques you use to recognize any other employee:

  • Make sure the employee is aware of what results will be recognized. Think measurable criteria.
  • Decide on what the rewards will be. Ask for employee input.
  • Make it personal. Call the employee; visit them in person.
  • Announce to the rest of the call center who you’re recognizing and why.

Finally, and this is particularly important to call center employees: a recognition program helps your agents to find the why with regard to their job. Author Simon Sinek states that when an employee knows their why behind their job, they become more engaged, more motivated to perform at a higher level, and more inspired.

How do you know when you are meeting or even exceeding your employees desire to be recognized? You need to ask them. Do not assume you know what they are thinking or feeling.

Mike Hill is the employee experience expert at Mobius Vendor Partners and author of Measuring to Manage. At Mobius Vendor Partners, their employee experience team has the expertise and software to make sure employees are equipped with the material and tools to make them productive.

Vendor Profile on Amtelco

Amtelco Cloud-Based Platform Solution

The core of Amtelco’s guiding values is prioritizing its family members, including customers and employees, which leads to a five-star support experience. Amtelco creates reliable products empowering others to communicate quickly and securely while thoughtfully growing and improving to meet long-term needs. Moreover, Amtelco is known for embracing its family with compassion and transparency while encouraging innovation and creativity from all members.

Employees and customers are part of the family at Amtelco which has led the company to be awarded a Top Workplaces honor for four years. Amtelco’s customers and partners can attest to the value of its services. For instance, Gerald Brosseau, the president of Always On Call, shared how moving to the Amtelco system was the best decision they’ve ever made as a business. “The relationships are invaluable, and you feel like you are a partner within their company,” he said. 

Amtelco has also taken its commitment to environmental responsibility to new heights. The company has been eco-minded and dedicated to recycling in the office for years, but now Amtelco has gone a step further by setting the goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 59 percent with the help of solar panels. This move aligns with the company’s mission to invest in the community through renewable energy.

Tom Curtin, CEO of Amtelco, expressed his excitement: “For many years, it was just a wonderful wish to reduce the greenhouse gas contribution we make. We are fortunate that Amtelco has been successful.” Recently, Amtelco participated in the Trex Company’s Recycle Beyond the Bag program, collecting eligible plastic bags, films, and wraps for six months to earn a Trex® bench made from recycled materials. The company’s dedication to recycling and reducing its carbon footprint benefits the environment and sets an example for other businesses to follow.

Reliable Five-Star Support 

Amtelco provides the best contact center software on the market, backed by the best support available in the industry. Amtelco has a reputation for complete, professional system support, offering training, installation, and technical support staff on call on a 24-hour basis. Amtelco’s customer support staff provides fast and reliable service when they need assistance with their contact center solutions. Customer advocates, solutions architects, and product managers are available to help customers and answer questions before, during, and after the sale.

Welcome to the Next Generation with Active Insights

Active Insights is a cloud-based platform that optimizes contact center performance and helps users make data-driven decisions. Its various features enable users to enhance customer satisfaction, streamline operations, and improve call quality. With an intuitive interface and easy deployment, users can get started quickly. Its customizable call-scoring scripts allow users to create tailored rating criteria, enabling them to identify areas of excellence and opportunities for improvement. The platform also provides comprehensive statistics and call overviews, allowing users to adjust based on the figures. Active Insights is accessible through a secure web portal, making it easily accessible from any browser.

Hosting Options That Work as Hard as You Do

Amtelco offers customizable contact center solutions to cater to the specific needs of businesses. Cloud-based and hosted services both help companies control costs and ensure state-of-the-art disaster recovery. Cloud service allows contact centers to purchase virtual servers and networking resources maintained by the provider while the contact center manages them through easy-to-use websites or help desks.

On the other hand, hosted solutions place the necessary hardware in a secure data center, with Amtelco taking care of all server updates. Contact centers can use either of these services to eliminate on-premises hardware and software, reduce maintenance costs, and focus more on their primary goals. Partnering with a company like Amtelco can alleviate the need for technical support, allowing businesses to streamline their operations and enhance productivity.

Genesis Software: Designed with Evolution in Mind

The Genesis software solution provides a virtualized, cloud-based, and entirely software-based system that offers skill-based automatic call distribution (ACD), built-in speech recognition, text-to-speech (TTS), and voice services, improving call routing and management. Designed for flexibility and growth, the database-driven call scripts with prompts, lookups, and navigation ensure agent training happens quickly and easily. 

Technology Made to Simplify and Streamline

Web Agent is a powerful and versatile browser-based telephone agent interface that allows agents to process multi-channel calls through their desktop computers or laptops, increasing their efficiency and productivity. With up to six call lines and the ability to configure the number of calls they receive at once, agents can handle more calls in less time. In addition, Web Agent simplifies call handling with customized toolbar buttons for clients, reduces IT admin and infrastructure dependencies, and provides a reliable, web-server-only connection.

Web Supervisor is the ultimate tool for supervisors seeking convenient and easy access to configuration settings, scripting tools, and monitoring features, all from the comfort of a web browser. Web Supervisor users can access the program from any computer browser, laptop, or tablet, making it perfect for system administrators who need to manage settings remotely. Say goodbye to complicated configurations and hello to a user-friendly, web-based solution with Web Supervisor.

Secure All-In-One Messaging Solution

MiSecureMessages, Amtelco’s encrypted messaging solution, offers an intuitive design to provide end-to-end encryption for communications. The tool is perfect for all industries that must ensure secure communications, including healthcare and enterprises. MiSecureMessages allows users to track the progress of messages, increase agent efficiency, improve security, and reduce errors.

Right Message, Right Time, Every Time

Amtelco’s notification software is the perfect solution for organizations needing to notify large groups, small groups, and individuals quickly and accurately about planned and unplanned events such as emergencies, service outages, meetings, and natural disasters.

This web-based, script-driven feature combines preprogrammed automated call dialing with text-to-speech (TTS) translation and web accessibility, enabling organizations to contact the appropriate personnel promptly. With Amtelco’s notification solutions, businesses can easily set up and trigger automated or on-demand alerts from any computer with an Internet connection, giving them the power to be better prepared for any situation.

No More Merger Mayhem and Less Growing Pains

For contact centers experiencing growth or transitioning, Contracted Services provides expert support and guidance to streamline operations, update technologies, and boost productivity. Amtelco’s system assessment service offers comprehensive reviews and recommendations for conversion processes, giving businesses the confidence to make informed decisions.

Contracted Services provide a wide range of services and advice options to help add new accounts, update existing ones, merge departments, and lay out best practices for teams. With Contracted Services, contact centers can trust that they have access to the experience and expertise needed to navigate any challenge and reach their goals.

Amtelco and Telescan

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AI in Answering Services

A Shift Towards High Complexity Roles and Greater Profitability

By Michael C. McMillan

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to evolve and permeate various industries, the call center sector is experiencing a significant transformation. In the answering service domain, AI is expected to automate many tasks, leading to concerns about job loss.

This article, however, aims to emphasize the positive aspects of this technological revolution: the enhancement of job roles, increased profitability, and, ultimately, better compensation for employees.

AI-driven tools like chatbots, virtual assistants, and automated voice systems have made their mark in the call center industry. They can handle simple inquiries and complaints, freeing human agents to focus on more complex tasks.

This shift is predicted to create new job opportunities as employees transition into high-complexity roles that require critical thinking, problem-solving, and empathy.

Some of the new roles that may emerge because of AI integration in answering services include:

  • AI Trainer: AI systems must be fed substantial amounts of data and fine-tuned to interact with customers effectively. AI Trainers will ensure these systems function optimally, providing feedback and corrections to improve performance.
  • AI Integration Specialist: As AI technology advances, it becomes crucial for businesses to seamlessly integrate AI solutions into their existing systems. AI Integration Specialists will oversee implementing and maintaining AI-driven tools, ensuring a smooth transition for employees and customers.
  • Customer Experience Strategist: Customer satisfaction remains the top priority for any answering service. As AI takes over routine tasks, human agents will focus on enhancing customer interactions and providing personalized solutions. Customer Experience Strategists will develop strategies to improve the overall customer experience and ensure satisfaction.
  • Data Analyst: AI-driven systems generate vast amounts of data. Data Analysts will be responsible for analyzing and interpreting this data to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the answering service, identify trends, and drive business growth.

These high-complexity roles will offer a more challenging and fulfilling work environment and lead to higher compensation. As AI automates mundane tasks, businesses can focus on providing exceptional service and personalized solutions, leading to increased customer loyalty and repeat business. This, in turn, results in higher profitability, allowing companies to invest in employee development and pay them more for their expertise.

In conclusion, the AI revolution in the answering service industry presents an opportunity for businesses to enhance their service offerings and profitability. By automating routine tasks, human agents can concentrate on high-complexity roles that require advanced skills and contribute to a better customer experience.

As a result, companies can expect higher profits and better compensation for their employees. Embracing AI in the call center sector will lead to a more sustainable and prosperous future for businesses and their employees.

Michael McMillan is an influential thought leader and keynote speaker specializing in customer experience (CX) and patient experience innovation. With a strong background in healthcare and technology, Michael serves as the Chief Revenue Officer of MedCall Plus (, a leading telehealth solutions provider. His passion for delivering exceptional experiences led him to the TEDx stage, where he delivered a powerful speech highlighting the importance of empathy and human connection. Michael’s expertise at the intersection of technology, healthcare, and customer experience makes him a trailblazer in his field.

How Conversational AI Can Power Up Your Contact Center

SingleComm: cloud-native omnichannel TAS solutions

Presented by The SingleComm Team

“Like any other tool, AI should be viewed as something that can improve the performance of the humans on your team rather than something that replaces them altogether,” says Michael Puccinelli, CEO and founder of SingleComm.

As a business leader, you know how important it is for your customer service team to have the right tools in place. 

If you’re looking to improve efficiency and reduce costs in your contact center—and we all know that you are—implementing features that leverage conversational AI (artificial intelligence) can be a tremendous help.

What is Conversational AI?

Conversational AI is the use of artificial intelligence to simulate natural conversations between two or more parties. It is used in a variety of applications, from customer service chatbots to voice assistants. With conversational AI, computers can understand natural language and respond in meaningful ways, allowing humans to have conversations with machines that mimic human interactions. By using machine learning algorithms, conversational AI systems can comprehend and respond to questions more accurately than ever before, making them invaluable tools for businesses and individuals alike.

The Basics of Conversational AI and its Benefits

Conversational AI leverages natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to enable businesses to automate routine tasks and engage with their customers, such as to answer questions, collect information, and schedule appointments.

From customer service chatbots to virtual assistants, conversational AI is revolutionizing how businesses interact with their customers. Benefits of this technology include increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, improved efficiency, and reduced operational costs. By understanding the basics of conversational AI, businesses can achieve a competitive edge and stay ahead of the game in today’s digital marketplace.

IVR Helps Save Time and Money

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a prime example of an AI-powered technology contact centers can deploy today to streamline operations and reduce costs. With its advanced automation capabilities, the IVR platform can handle a wide range of customer queries and transactions without human intervention. This means that your team can focus on higher-value tasks while the IVR handles routine requests.

IVR technology can be customized to meet the specific needs of any business. With the IVR, customers answer pre-qualifying questions and are directed to the right department or representative. The IVR can even consider a customer’s location and current events, such as recent weather disruptions, to provide relevant and timely information. This feature saves customers time and ensures they receive the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Another benefit of using an IVR system is call routing based on scoring. When a customer calls in, they go through a series of questions that determine which agent is best suited to handle their call. In contact centers that prioritize sales, better lead scoring equates to more deals. In centers that help customers get their questions answered, better lead scoring means higher first-contact resolution rates.

One of the greatest benefits of using an AI-powered IVR system is the relief it provides to customers. Not only are they able to get the assistance they need faster and more efficiently, but they can do so at any time of the day or night. IVR systems are available 24/7, so customers can get help outside regular business hours. This is especially useful for companies that have customers all over the world, as they can receive assistance no matter what time zone they’re in.

Automating Chatbots Powered by Conversational AI

Chatbots powered by conversational AI can help contact centers streamline operations and provide faster, more efficient customer service.

With the ability to automate repetitive tasks like answering common customer inquiries and scheduling appointments, chatbots not only allow companies to save time and resources but also enhance the customer experience by providing instant support around the clock. 

Notably, businesses can deploy chatbots without the need to write any code. 

Conversational AI/Contact Center Workflow Integration Productivity Gains

By leveraging advanced natural language processing technology, contact centers can enhance the customer experience by providing more personalized, efficient service. Not only does this lead to greater customer satisfaction, but it also allows agents to handle more requests in less time, resulting in improved productivity levels. 

With the ability to handle a variety of tasks, such as scheduling appointments, answering frequently asked questions, and processing payments, conversational AI is proving to be a valuable tool in boosting productivity and improving overall customer service.

SingleComm: TAS solutions

Whether you are a business just starting out or have been around for decades, SingleComm’s IVR, chatbots, and additional AI features can help your contact center handle queries faster, free up your agent’s time, and raise customer satisfaction. Click here to set up a time to talk about your business and how we can help you achieve your customer service goals and save you time and money.