The Modern Contact Center

Trends Driving Customer Service and Experience

By Aakash Kumar

Today’s customers require new and varied ways of interacting with businesses. The traditional call center has proven ineffective and is therefore becoming obsolete. In a dynamic, tech-savvy, digital world with consumers demanding excellent customer relations, a fixed number of phone agents working standard shifts doesn’t efficiently or effectively meet stakeholder needs. 

Traditional Contact Centers Must Evolve Beyond Phones and Full-Time Agents

Traditional contact centers are inherently constrained by the number of available stations. Whether an organization uses an internal contact center staffed by a set number of employees or an outsourced model, its ability to handle spikes and react to market changes (a worldwide pandemic, for example) faces constraints.

Prior to COVID-19, those limitations were not ideal, but managers continued to apply existing scheduling tools semi-effectively. Companies were able to hire seasonal employees and create schedules based on history or forecasts tied to marketing plans such as holiday rushes or new product announcements. Months prior to these anticipated increases in consumer calls, training was developed and schedules adjusted to meet predictable surges in call traffic. 

Organizations relied on past records to create forecasts to plan for their staffing needs. As expected, they were often over or understaffed leaving consumers unhappy with their service or product which, in turn, affected revenue. 

This is no longer the case. Businesses must now be prepared to shift in a moment, adapting instantly to changing circumstances. It may be prudent to consider outsourcing the call center functions to a firm specializing in flexible contact centers powered by the modern workforce.

Every city, state, and country faces its own combination of government restrictions and consumer behaviors, and all those elements can evolve daily. From surviving through imposed lockdowns, severe weather events, volatile governments, and the boom in online shopping, organizations need to be able to react quickly to maintain quality customer service.

The Modern, Digitally Diverse Contact Center 

Two interdependent trends define the modern era of customer service: 

  • The expectation of an always-on, digital customer support experience
  • The importance of that experience to consumers’ buying decisions

In 2019, 78 percent of customers reported that they preferred to use different channels depending on their context. That number has continued to grow since COVID-19 forced so many interactions online. Now most of the purchasing process happens digitally, and consumers want to engage with brands via chat, social channels, and email. 

Consumers continue to migrate to digital customer service offerings because the experience is convenient and faster. 

Ninety percent of customers rate an immediate response as important or very important when they have a support question, and 82 percent expect immediate answers to their sales and marketing questions. Consumers define “immediate” as thirty minutes or less, a measurement that shrinks each year. In addition, 40 percent of consumers prefer on-line self-service options rather than communicating with customer support agents. (This, however, implies 60 percent prefer the telephone.)

The consumer’s experience makes a significant impact on future buying decisions. Consider these statistics:

  • Fifty-one percent of customers will no longer do business with a company after just one negative experience.
  • Ninety-three percent of customers are more likely to purchase again from brands with exceptional customer service.
  • Fifty-nine percent of customers care more about customer experience when they decide what company to support or buy from than they did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and another 38 percent care the same as they did pre-COVID, which was already high. 

Given these numbers, “waiting for the next representative” is a tremendous cost to the business.

Four Ways to Modernize the Customer Contact Center 

Consumers now demand immediate customer support, on their preferred channel, which is rarely the phone. It’s clear that traditional call centers must evolve into modern, multi-channel contact centers that can adjust on the fly and keep up with today’s always-changing climate. 

A successful modern contact center requires four things:

1. Able to react quickly: It’s impossible to accurately forecast agent needs in three, six, or twelve months in this dynamic, globally interconnected environment. Once dependable forecasting models can no longer be trusted. Organizations must find a more flexible option for staffing their contact centers that enables them to react quickly—within hours and days, not months—and across multiple channels.

A flex model contact center provides the ability to manage increases and decreases in demand to improve utilization and reduce costs. Businesses can adjust their workforce hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. 

2. Good talent: An exceptional customer experience depends on the people who provide it and the processes that support them. 

Tens of thousands of people became used to a new work model while working from home during the past year. Those individuals are now looking for flexible, remote work. Organizations that embrace a remote contact center model can build a strong bench that brings new skills into the agent pool.

3. Multi-channel approach: It bears repeating: modern consumers demand customer support that spans digital channels. 

Diversifying across the digital landscape benefits businesses as well. Highly skilled workers can span multiple channels at once, providing coverage across any vehicle that a customer may choose. With skilled talent, businesses gain the opportunity to create a contact center where agents can answer phones, respond to emails, tweets, Facebook messages, chats, and other channels. 

4. Automation and self-service: Remember, many consumers don’t want to talk to anyone at all. Automation and self-service, often powered by AI, will continue to grow as efficient and often preferred outlets for customer service. 

Summary

Organizations that plan to modernize their contact centers should consider how to combine the best people with the best technology to optimize their customer service capabilities. 

Aakash Kumar founded Shiftsmart to execute his vision of empowering today’s rapidly expanding labor workforce to maximize their employment opportunities and help usher in a future where they can work exclusively based on their preferences. Along with providing strategic thought leadership, Kumar is responsible for developing and ensuring that Shiftsmart’s “people-first” philosophy is pervasive throughout all aspects of the company’s relationships and technology.

How to Keep Remote Agents Engaged

By Jennifer Lee 

In 2020 BP (Before Pandemic), contact center agents typically spent their days navigating between upset customers and harried supervisors. Stress was often high, but the supporting structures of office and colleagues in proximity usually made it manageable. Then the pandemic sent agents home to work, cutting off those vital support structures.

The good news is that intelligent automation technology was already proving effective at helping customer service centers increase engagement, reduce costs, and boost productivity. The better news is that it also provides the connection, camaraderie, and shared culture that agents need to stay engaged while working remotely.

Connection: Teamwork Starts Here

There’s certainly some truth to the notion that “people quit their bosses, not their jobs.” But those bosses are not always to blame. Often, they’re just overwhelmed, and simply unable to avoid passing some of their burden on to agents.

Manual execution of repetitive tasks is a big part of the problem, eating up time that could otherwise go for training and coaching, which not only improve agents’ skills but also nourish the vital connection between agents and supervisors. But when call volume spikes, training and coaching are quickly put aside. This can leave agents feeling like their professional development is not a company priority, which may in turn cause them to disengage from their work. The complexity of scheduling training and coaching in the context of unpredictable shifts in service-level demands got a lot more difficult with the addition of a remote workforce into the mix.

Intelligent automation attacks this problem from two angles: First, automating time-consuming, repetitive tasks yields back time that agents can dedicate to customer service, or to training. Second, an AI-based solution able to process millions of data points can detect idle agents or a dip in calling demand in real time, and immediately deliver offers to complete training or coaching opportunities. This helps maintain the vital connection between agents and supervisors even when they don’t share an office. 

Camaraderie: We Are Family

A shared sense that “we’re all in this together” has always been a useful antidote to the unrelenting pressures of call center work, especially for extroverted agents who thrive on personal contact. In the office, physical proximity made it possible for agents to compare notes and share stories with each other, or for supervisors to detect troubled agents and call team huddles to correct personal or process problems that arose. But that’s impossible when the whole team is working remotely. 

An AI-based, intelligent automation solution—integrated with ACD and WFM systems and able to monitor activity in real time—can quickly identify struggling or idle agents and send offers of assistance, training, or other ways to reestablish occupancy. Armed with real-time visibility into call flow and agent activity, supervisors are free to focus more on the human side of being team leaders. When supervisors and agents engage each other as human beings, it strengthens their shared commitment to working together to deliver the high-level service that customers demand.

Culture: Appreciation Creates a Virtuous Circle

Customers demand a lot, and agents get an earful whenever a customer feels poorly served. That’s not fair—the problem is seldom within the agent’s control. To counteract agents’ exposure to the wrath of unhappy customers, companies need to cultivate a culture of appreciation in their customer service departments. Sending messages of recognition for a job well done, birthday wishes, or offers to leave early when call volume falls off reminds agents that they’re valued as people as well as agents. This contributes to their sense of belonging, which in turn deepens their commitment, which in turn results in better customer service. And around and around.

Intelligent automation encourages this virtuous circle. An AI-based solution, monitoring activity in real time, provides a dashboard of relevant stats—agent performance, relative seniority, and call volume—that helps supervisors guide distribution of the personal, morale-boosting messages mentioned above. 

Conclusion

Agents are often the face (voice, really) of a business, interacting directly with customers who are rarely calling to give a compliment. Anybody can have a difficult day or moment, but when an agent does, it may cost a business a customer for life. And thanks to social media, that negative impression can be amplified further and faster than ever before.

A contact center agent’s job was already stressful, and the shift to remote work has removed the connection, camaraderie, and office culture that helped make that stress bearable. But intelligent automation technology reestablishes these vital links and enables customer service departments to thrive in the post-pandemic business world.

Jennifer Lee is the chief strategy officer at Intradiem.

Wisconsin State Journal Names Amtelco “Top Workplace”

Amtelco banner

Amtelco was awarded a Top Workplaces 2021 honor by Wisconsin State Journal Top Workplaces. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures fifteen culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization, including alignment, execution, and connection. 

“During this very challenging time, Top Workplaces has proven to be a beacon of light for organizations, as well as a sign of resiliency and strong business performance,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward. Top Workplaces draw on real-time insights into what works best for their organization, so they can make informed decisions that have a positive impact on their people and their business.”

Amtelco, a family-owned business located in McFarland, Wisconsin, has been a trusted name in call center communication systems, software applications, and telephone switching technologies for forty-five years. Founder Bill Curtin II and Amtelco have received more than thirty U.S. Patents for telephony software, data handling methodologies, and telephone switching devices.

Amtelco logo

Amtelco president Tom Curtin continues to be proud of the entire Amtelco employee team. He stated, “While 2020 proved to be very different from any other time in recent history, the Amtelco team stepped up and customer support became the top priority for every one of us. Our customers provide essential call center services to their communities, so we reached out to them to find out how we could help. Since our beginning in 1976, many challenges have arisen, and each time the Amtelco team prevailed, as we did once again in 2020.”

Paying Attention to Agent Well-Being Will Improve Your Brand



By Donna Fluss

The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on contact centers, most of it positive. As described in DMG’s new report, Contact Centers in a Post-Pandemic World: A Strategic and Tactical Guide to the Future, COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation by two to six years. This is driving major upgrades and enhancements in existing operating systems, expansion of digital channel support, a self-service replacement cycle, as well as investments in new artificial intelligence (AI) and automation-enabled applications. All these activities were long overdue for contact centers and, if executed properly, should enhance the customer and agent experience and improve productivity.

An Agent Perspective 

The pandemic is also driving enterprise and contact center executives to consider the ramifications on agents of having to deal with consumers. While, in general, customers are pleasant or at least civil, the negative conversations (both voice and digital) take a toll on agents. Studies show that in normal times, fewer than 5 percent of interactions are difficult, but in troubling times, like during a pandemic, the percentage is much higher. 

The degree of difficulty in handling live interactions with customers varies based on many factors, but the challenge is incredibly significant when an agent cannot do anything to fix a situation. This occurs when an agent must uphold a company policy that they agree is outdated or unfair. Another scenario occurs when a customer, mistreated by someone else in the company, takes out their frustration on the agent. Or when a customer experiences something traumatic that they dump on an agent, just to mention a few common scenarios. I have joked for years that contact centers double as free counseling centers. Unfortunately, it’s not funny for the agents who must deal with these tough situations. 

Sure, training can help agents handle tough situations, but agents are human, and it’s going to impact them. Many an agent will talk about how one bad customer ruined their day. And since agents cannot take a break after a difficult experience (because they typically must wait until their scheduled break time), it often carries over into their subsequent inquiries, which is not pleasant for the agent or their customers. 

It’s tough to be a contact center agent. While striving to deal effectively with consumers, management often pushes them to reduce their average handle time, which doesn’t allow them to show the empathy that most of them would, if they had the time. And when not encouraged to shorten interactions, an alternate expectation is to sell additional products and services, even when they know customers are not interested. 

Agents must know the details of dozens of products and services and navigate anywhere from a few to over fifty operating systems while managing interactions within tight time frames. It often requires them to stay at their desks except for three times during the day: their scheduled lunch and two breaks. And they earn the lowest rate of any employee in many companies. The question is what companies should do to address this situation. 

Positive Changes

The good news is that enterprise leadership is finally acknowledging the challenges of being a contact center agent, and we can thank the COVID-19 crisis for these insights. During the pandemic, contact center agents were the first responders and, for a time, may have been the only responders in some organizations. Agents all over the world demonstrated their agility and mettle in dealing with extremely stressful situations while keeping their own emotions and concerns under control. 

It’s great that executives are finally recognizing the amazing contributions contact center agents make to their companies, but this recognition needs to translate into action if companies want to retain these highly valuable employees. Companies should re-evaluate and increase the salary structure for their agents to pay them fairly for the work they do. 

Contact centers should give their supervisors the time they need to be available to assist, coach, and encourage their agents, instead of pulling them for projects and reporting. Invite agents to select training and coaching sessions in addition to the courses assigned to them by quality monitoring systems.

Contact centers should transform their agent evaluations and scorecards to measure what matters most, which should not be average handle time and the number of transactions per day. Last, elevate the overall agent role, as these employees have one of the broadest bases of knowledge in a company, which if given the opportunity, could effectively work in other parts of the organization. 

Conclusion

Contact centers should be employers of choice, and it’s time for enterprise executives to make this happen, for the benefit of their employees, customers, and the bottom line. 

Donna Fluss (donna.fluss@dmgconsult.com) is the president of DMG Consulting, a provider of contact center and back-office market research and consulting services. 

March 2021 Issue of Connections Magazine

The March 2021 Issue of Connections Magazine, covering call centers and the teleservice industry

Feature Content:

The Future is Human: Tapping Video Technology as a Call Center Solution by Craig Radford
The future of call centers is multi-dimensional. Cloud-based computing and video calling can be a momentous change agent. . . . read more >>

From the Publisher: A Vast Repository of Call Center Industry Articles, by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
Read over 1,600 call center industry articles, spanning three decades, available from Connections Magazine. . . . read more >>

Guest Column: 6 Tips to Improve Your Call Center’s Brand on Social Media by Vince Vitale
Every call center needs a social media plan, but if you don’t have one in place, don’t despair. This article will get you started. . . . read more >>

5 Reasons to Implement Call Center Scripting by Amtelco
When it’s time to choose a call center scripting program, look for software that’s easy to edit and integrates with other systems for further efficiency and accuracy. . . . read more >>

How Outsource Telemarketing Can Help Franchises Grow by Steve Korn
A well-planned outsourced telemarketing effort, for both inbound and outbound, can benefit any B2B franchise organization. . . . read more >>

Ten Years Ago: Top Ten Call Center Best Practices to Improve FCR by Mike Desmarais
Implement these top ten best practices, and you’ll soon begin improving your call center’s FCR. . . . read more >>

Twenty Years Ago:  Streamlining Your Business by Nina Fernandes
Streamline your outsource call center to make it more profitable while increasing your service level and decreasing staff turnover. . . . read more >>

Marketplace Directory of leading Contact Center Vendors.

Classified Ads of opportunites for you.

Industry News

Send us your call center news for consideration in the next issue of Connections Magazine.

About Connections Magazine 

Connections Magazine is the premier publication for the call center industry, providing news and information for call centers, sent at no cost to qualified readers at call centers, contact centers, teleservice agencies, phone answering services, and telemessaging companies.

For more information, email Peter DeHaan

A Vast Repository of Call Center Industry Articles

Three Decades of Valuable Industry Content Available at No Charge

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

Peter Lyle DeHaan, Publisher and Editor of Connections Magazine

Every article that appeared in Connections Magazine for the past twenty years is available here online, as well as most of the articles that occurred in the eight years prior to that, starting with Volume 1, Number 1 in July 1993. That’s twenty-eight years of valuable industry articles.

I’ve grouped each one of these articles by topic, allowing you to quickly find all our content relating to a specific subject. You can also use the above search option to find content by keyword, author, or company.

ConnectionsMagazine.com currently has over 1,600 call center industry articles and over 600 news items. That’s a lot of content waiting for you to explore and use. Though we incurred much expense to curate, edit, and post this information, we happily provide it to you at no charge. Our sponsors and other advertisers, which you can see on the left sidebar, make this treasure trove of information available to you whenever you need it. Please join me in thanking them for their continued and invaluable support.

More Peter Lyle DeHaan Articles

This column marks my 188th column for Connections Magazine, give or take a couple. As shocking as it sounds, that means I’ve written over 11 percent of the articles on this website. 

Besides 188 articles here, I’ve so far written 95 for TAS Trader, 140 for AnswerStat, and 56 for Medical Call Center News. That’s 479 industry-related articles.

People sometimes ask if I’ve published an article about a certain topic. Most of the time, I can’t remember. Over my career, I’ve written millions of words, so please don’t be too critical if my words began to blur. And when I have a vague inkling that I’ve covered a subject, I’m not sure which publication it might have been in.

To address this, I’ve combined all my call center industry articles in one place. (I also include over 100 articles about business and 600 about writing and publishing, for over 1,400 of my articles all in one place.) On that website, I grouped my articles by category. It also has a handy search feature.

Peter Lyle DeHaan Books

With all this content, you might wonder if they will ever appear in book form. The answer is yes. They will. I’ll start with some general business books—with an underlying call center perspective—covering customer service, leadership, and sales and marketing.

Look for the first of these books, Sticky Customer Service: Stop Churning Customers and Start Growing Your Business, later this year. More books in the Sticky series will soon follow. 

I’ll also compile content from my various publications to produce some call center industry books as well. These are also in progress. All I need is the time to complete them.

I will announce these books’ availability here as soon as they’re available.

Thank you for reading these call center industry articles and thank you for your encouragement. It keeps me writing.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, 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.  Read more of his articles at PeterDeHaanPublishing.com.

6 Tips to Improve Your Call Center’s Brand on Social Media


Startel delivers best-in-call contact center solutions

It’s no secret that the use of advanced technology and social media is empowering potential clients and team members like never before. This empowerment is requiring call centers to refine their social media strategies to attract the best quality job candidates as well as nurture lasting relationships with clients.

By Vince Vitale

Here are some tips to help refine your social media branding so that you can attract and keep new clients and team members.

1. Be Personable

Social media forums like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter help promote your company culture and humanize your brand. Engaging infographics, photos of company events, smiling employees, and captivating content contribute to that.

Present your business as having a friendly and welcoming culture. This helps attract talented candidates, but it also appeals to prospective clients and customers. 

Be genuine. People can easily tell when a call center is just giving off a perception rather than living and breathing the culture. One place you can start is by referring to staff as “teammates” rather than employees. It’s easier for team members to believe in their stake in a company while those dubbed “employees” don’t retain that same perception of themselves.

Be professional, but don’t hesitate to inject humor and personality into photo captions and content. Just make sure it’s appropriate and relevant. It is all part of humanizing your brand.

2. Use Team Created Content

User-generated content involves posts and images created by your audience, which in many cases, especially at call centers, is your team. This demonstrates how much they enjoy being part of your company.

Engaging with the company on social media should not be mandatory but do encourage participation. Suggest posting group photos at company events and outings. Recommend that team members share these images on their own social media accounts as well as your company’s. Consider offering incentives like rewarding the post with the most likes. 

Do not set unnecessary barriers to the content your team members can contribute. Providing a glimpse behind the scenes allows potential team members and customers alike to better understand what your company culture is all about. So if there is something in your office you don’t want your audience to see, fix it. 

Too many barriers will lead to less posting.

3. Showcase Your Team Members

A post with a picture always garners more engagement than plain text.

Content, videos, and photos of those who receive Team Member of the Month recognition, win industry-related awards, celebrate a work anniversary, or make positive contributions to the community make team members feel appreciated and positively promotes your call center’s culture.

Remember to get permission before posting photos of your team, especially before tagging and sharing on their personal Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media profiles. Consider having them sign a waiver on the first day of employment that is valid for the team member’s entire time at the company. 

4. Engage

Don’t just look at posts. Responding to comments represents another opportunity to reflect a positive company culture; it lets followers know you notice them and value their feedback.

A key element of building and maintaining a positive company culture is reflecting your values by how you interact with existing and prospective customers as well as team members.

Listen to your customers and engage in conversations regarding your brand. Create content and hashtags on social media that communicate the “why” factor of your service. Your customers are constantly conversing about their issues, experiences, reviews, and much more about anything and everything. 

The trick is to have sharp ears and a vocal mouth. 

+Invest in social media management applications to help find relevant conversations you should be aware of. Hootsuite for example allows you to set up, monitor, and manage all your social media accounts in one place. It also has a neat feature called “Social Media Listening” that allows you to track key phrases and terms across other users posts. This can be an excellent way to bring in new clients. Other paid platforms with similar features include HubSpot, Marketo and Social Pilot. There are also plenty of free alternatives, but features vary.

Social media is where many customers directly interact with their brands regarding doubts and queries. As much as you may want to overlook negative comments, never miss an occasion to cultivate a better relationship with your customer by responding to both positive and negative interactions. 

Simply informing customers on social media of protocols is the best way to interact with those who are upset. When things become complicated it’s best to handle the problem offline. 

5. Video is King

Instead of relying solely on online job sites, expand your reach by creating videos to post on your social media forums. Engaging videos display your company’s energy and enthusiasm. 

Another strategy many call centers use is the creation of a behind-the-scenes video tour with graphics and music. It gives clients and potential team members a snapshot of places you deem worthy of highlighting in your office. 

Keep in mind that call center customers are interested in exactly who answers their calls. Wherever possible, post real people from your call center and not stock footage of actors. Stock photos can cause people to ask, “What are you hiding?” So be careful. 

6. Implement a Diverse but Consistent Social Media Strategy

If you visit a company’s social media platform and notice the latest posts were from a year ago, chances are you will not return. Call centers must remain active with their audience on a regular basis. Develop an editorial calendar, and post regularly with relevant and engaging content.

Start conversations that will attract visitors and give people a reason to return. Writing general posts that ask readers for their insight and viewpoints can foster more engagement then just telling clients what to do. 

A consistent experience for customers across all channels is essential in promoting your call center. The voice of your posts should reflect your call center’s values. The overall tone, regardless of the matter, must be steady and clear. You must cross-check the consistency between what you tell customers on social media and what you communicate over phone or email.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t have a social media plan in place, don’t despair. You can implement a sound social media strategy within hours. The best place to start is in highlighting your team and your accomplishments. Start small and before you realize it your plans will grow.

Startel

Vince Vitale is the marketing director for Startel, a leading provider of best-in-class contact center solutions. He has over fifteen years of marketing experience in education, urgent care, and the call center industries. Before his years in marketing Vince worked in journalism as a writer, producer, and reporter for several TV news stations.

Telemarketing Services Firm QCS Hires SOC 2 Auditor



Quality Contact Solutions (QCS) hired Align Assurance, a third-party independent audit firm to perform a SOC 2 audit. A SOC (System and Organization Controls) 2 audit report provides detailed information and assurance about a service organization’s security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy controls, based on their compliance with the AICPA’s (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) TSC (Trust Services Criteria). Over the past year the company has prepared and is now ready to begin the audit process.

“We are committed to ensuring the privacy and security of our client data and systems,” said Angela Garfinkel president and founder of Quality Contact Solutions. “To demonstrate our commitment, we are investing in SOC 2 Type II certification. The certification will assure current and future clients of our commitment to data safety.”

Align Assurance will handle the audit. The expected SOC 2 Type 1 certification completion is June 2021, with SOC 2 Type II certification completion expected by October 2021. 

Designed by the AICPA, the SOC 2 examinations assists organizations of any size, regardless of industry and scope, by ensuring the protection of the personal assets of their potential and existing customers. The SOC 2 attestation demonstrates that the services and systems assessed to achieve the rigorous security standards, processing integrity, confidentiality, privacy, and availability. 

Dean Garfinkel, QCS’s chief operating officer, will lead the project along with his team of IT and compliance professionals. “SOC 2 Type II certification is considered to be the benchmark for data security. By no means is the process quick and easy but it’s essential. We believe an in-depth review will demonstrate our commitment to data security and meeting the compliance needs of our clients today and in the future.”

Quality Contact Solutions is a certified woman-owned business enterprise and an industry leader in call center and telemarketing services solutions, including B2B and B2C programs. QCS offers many telemarketing services, including outsourced sales, upselling, cross-selling, surveys, lead generation, sales lead qualification, appointment setting, inside sales, and inbound customer service. 

Amtelco Receives Auditing Communication Sessions Patent


Amtelco banner

Amtelco announced it received U.S. patent 10,917,524 for “Auditing Communication Sessions.” The patentable element is Amtelco’s systems and methods for auditing communication sessions. 

This improved system makes it possible to audit diverse types of communication sessions (such as calls and web chats) that provide accurate and efficient client notifications. It provides flexibility with respect to call auditing methods and allows the client to audit the communication session in a way that is suitable to their circumstances.

“The ability to audit different types of communication sessions is important to the success of our customers and their clients,” said Amtelco president Tom Curtin. “This accurate, efficient, and flexible method ensures that the quality of a caller’s interaction with the call center is satisfactory.”

Founded in 1976 to provide communication solutions to the answering service and medical messaging industry, Amtelco has a strong history in the telemessaging industry. Amtelco focuses on providing call center solutions that meet or exceed customer expectations, backed by top notch service and support. Millions of telephone calls are processed every day by Amtelco systems and software in operation around the world.

2021 NAEO Convention to Go Virtual



The National Amtelco Equipment Owners (NAEO) announced that the 2021 NAEO Annual Conference will be held virtually rather than live in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will run from April 13–15 and 21, 2021. With continued substantial risk for large gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic and so many travel restrictions still in place, the board made the difficult decision to hold the 2021 conference virtually. 

“While we are disappointed not to be able to meet in person, we believe this virtual option will open new opportunities for our membership this year,” said association president Marvin Cooper. “Over the past year we have grown accustomed to virtual events and are more equipped to get the most out of this option. We will be able to involve more people at our offices than may have been possible in the past, hear from some new voices and minds that may not have been at past live conventions, and save on travel costs.” This year’s theme is Resilience and Reinvention.

In other news, NAEO welcomes Marie McGuire of AnswerTel in Athens, Alabama who was elected to a second term, Kelly Cammack of Apollo Answering Service in Houston, Texas who was elected to an initial term, and Michael Lebowitz of Call Experts in Charleston, South Carolina who was elected to an initial contemporary term after having served two terms in the past.

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