Tag Archives: Call Center Management Articles

Contact Center Software Boosts Agent Productivity

SingleComm: cloud-native omnichannel TAS solutions

No matter what you’re selling or where you’re located, the same issues tend to arise when it comes to providing excellent customer service. Perhaps your agents spend twice the amount of time they should interacting with customers. Or maybe your virtual call center’s employees are on different time zones and struggle to efficiently communicate with each other. Or it could just be that new hires can’t find the information they need to properly assist your clients.

No matter what your challenges are, implementing call and contact center software could drastically improve your business.

It’s not always easy keeping your call center organized. Many companies feel their employees aren’t being productive. In fact, an estimated 75 percent of managers in the customer service industry are dissatisfied with their agents’ performance. However, they could just be lacking the right tools. In this article, we’ll look at what contact center management entails and how contact center software can boost productivity.

What is Contact Center Management?

A contact center is a hub for inbound and outbound calls designated to assist existing customers and reach out to potential clients. Having a contact center and managing one aren’t necessarily the same. Contact center management entails professionally training each agent, making sure they have access to necessary tools, information, and real time analysis to ensure that customers’ problems are being solved.

Without proper management of your onsite or virtual contact centers, you may encounter several problems that send your employees running and leave your clients unhappy. Fortunately, there are affordable solutions that can prevent you from hitting these roadblocks.

Is Contact Center Software Necessary?

If your business caters to more than five people, then your company would benefit from software for call and contact centers. Without it, you could be complicating your employees’ jobs and increasing their turn-over rate.

Consider the following pain points. Are you faced with challenges like these? Do your agents:

  • stay on calls longer than needed?
  • have multiple tabs or applications open while handling a single customer?
  • require time-consuming training for each product?
  • often miscommunicate with each other?
  • say they don’t have access to the information they need?
  • face frustration with long training times?
  • complain about their day-to-day tasks being too complicated?
  • tend to quit soon after being hired?

Your contact center agents are often the first and last point of human contact for your clients. If they feel overwhelmed or underappreciated, this will reflect poorly on your business itself. It’s crucial that they are not only in line with your company’s goals, but also have the tools to be efficient workers. By simplifying their jobs, you make your organization work more smoothly and pave the way toward success.

Boost Contact Center Agent Productivity

The average contact center agent turnover rate is upwards of 50 percent. In addition, it costs a minimum of $5,000 to train just one employee, ramp-up time is six to nine months, and only 20 to 50 percent of training content gets implemented on the job.

By taking away unnecessary busy work and simplifying their jobs, agents are likely to produce better quality work and be happier with their jobs. This translates into higher sales, more personalized customer service experiences, and longer-term employees.

When it comes to empowering and optimizing agents’ productivity, streamlined call and contact center software is the solution. The right software eliminates the need for infinite open tabs, providing your agents with all the necessary information on one screen. Also, be sure to choose solutions that work for both onsite and remote agents.

The right technology helps simplify agents’ workflow while increasing their productivity and job satisfaction. They can easily provide more clients with a compassionate, individualized customer service experience.

SingleComm: TAS solutions

To find out more about how to increase contact center agent productivity, visit SingleComm, request a demo, or call 800-960-7153.

How Will Fraudsters Adapt to Robocall Legislation?

By Robert McKay

Officially enacted by the FCC on July 1, the STIR/SHAKEN (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited /Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs) framework will help telephone carriers combat the scourge of fraudulent robocalls that cross their networks by verifying and authenticating the source of those calls. The goal of this legislation is to help rebuild the trust that consumers once had in the phone channel. 

This will make it easier to distinguish legitimate calls from questionable ones while enabling carriers to track down the criminal organizations abusing their networks. STIR/SHAKEN has already demonstrated that it can make high-volume calling campaigns via automated caller ID spoofing less effective and, hopefully, much less common. 

STIR/SHAKEN Creates New Hurdles for Fraudsters

Caller ID spoofing has been a staple in the fraudster’s toolbox for the better part of the past two decades. While more sophisticated groups write their own software or modify existing code, countless available apps and tools are available for purchase on black market deep web forums. It gives criminals easy access to methods that present any number as the originating calling number for their fraudulent calls. This allows them to easily impersonate real customers by having a legitimate customer’s phone number displayed when calling into a contact center. 

Until the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN, these organizations on the receiving end of a spoofed call could not easily authenticate a customer with their phone number alone. Now a criminal will have to work much harder to keep spoofed calls from raising suspicion and receiving a low attestation, a mechanism by which the originating service provider verifies the call’s degree of trust by the ID and calling number. 

It also helps mitigate account takeover attempts via call spoofing by flagging calls as questionable before they reach an IVR or call center agent. That said, there’s little doubt that fraudsters will evolve. The question is, “How?”

Criminals Are Masters of Adaptation

While we can’t say for certain how bad actors will evolve their techniques, history has shown us that they will find creative ways to respond. Fortunately, we already have a sense of how criminals will react to STIR/SHAKEN. Prior to enacting the standards in STIR/SHAKEN, a variety of third-party tools were available to help carriers and their customers distinguish legitimate calls from those that are likely spoofed. 

Although these tools had their shortcomings (such as a higher volume of false-positive calls, which tagged legitimate calls as suspect) they did succeed in making it more difficult to spoof calls at scale. To avoid these tools, many fraudsters adopted virtual calling services to continue their attempts at account takeover fraud over the phone. Most phone calls originate from unique physical devices such as a mobile phone or landline device. Virtual services originate calls from mobile apps, personal computers, and even PBX systems. Many can be used anonymously from anywhere in the world—the perfect tool for a criminal. Virtual apps have been particularly attractive in this category. 

There are large players such as Skype and Google Voice, both of which require identifying information when creating an account. Criminals are obviously keen to avoid this. However, extending beyond the long shadow cast by Skype and Google Voice are hundreds of smaller virtual call services that allow fraudsters to preserve their anonymity during account creation. 

Criminals have flocked to these services that enable them to place authentic looking calls from anywhere in the world using any area code of their choosing. Not only do these services preserve anonymity and limit call tracing, but because they originate from apps that are not spoofed, they can receive a high-level STIR/SHAKEN attestation. 

Criminals are already gravitating to virtual call services, with fraud attempts using virtual apps rising sharply over the past eighteen months. Market studies, such as the State of Call Center Authentication survey, also demonstrate a rapid adoption of virtual call apps to target call centers. As STIR/SHAKEN makes it more challenging to successfully place spoofed calls, expect to see an increasing number of criminals turn to virtual call services.

5 Proactive Considerations That Look Beyond First-Generation Caller ID Spoofing 

The enactment of STIR/SHAKEN was the result of a broad cross-industry collaboration that will undoubtedly make call spoofing more difficult for criminals. But expecting it to prevent all future fraud is dangerous thinking. Inbound call centers will need to anticipate the alternative paths and vectors criminals will use to conduct their illegal activity. 

Such considerations should include:

  1. Remember that the original intent of STIR/SHAKEN was to create a framework to help call tracing and reduce the utility of robocalls, not to protect against all potential vectors of fraud. 
  2. Invest in call evaluation systems that can improve the identification of virtual call technology and, within that segment of calls, isolate calls coming from virtual apps. 
  3. Partner with a phone call validation service to share information on attack patterns so your organization stays current on the latest virtual tools used by criminal networks. While the number and nature of these tools vary widely, efficient and timely information sharing within the call center industry can hamper their effectiveness. 
  4. Deploy services to identify and stratify risk of virtual calls. Then develop call flows to treat callers using high-risk virtual apps appropriately. Consider employing risk-based, stepped-up authentication practices, routing callers to agents that specialize in high-risk engagements, and within this context, limit the scope of activities a flagged caller can perform. 
  5. Monitor for other behavioral partners that can signal an account takeover attack, such as a recent number reassignment and anomalous calling patterns. Of course, remain vigilant for spoofed calls too, as enterprising fraudsters will identify new ways to mask their identity.


The STIR/SHAKEN framework will go a long way toward improving consumer trust in the phone calls they receive. 

As an added benefit, STIR/SHAKEN should also make it more challenging for fraudsters to take over consumer accounts. However, if past is indeed prologue, we know that fraudsters are an enterprising bunch and will work assiduously to evolve their methods and techniques. 

While these methods may change, by thinking proactively and investing in the right tools and processes, inbound call centers can better prepare for an unknown future.

Robert McKay is the senior vice president, risk solutions at Neustar, Inc.

Call Center Innovation Provides Fresh Opportunities

Develop a mindset of ongoing change to produce meaningful results

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan

Most call center owners and managers want to see innovation in their call center. They yearn for leading-edge solutions that will promote quality and drive client loyalty. These are lofty goals. And they are also equally hard to realize.

In truth, connecting call center innovation with actionable outcomes presents a challenging situation. So, instead of seeking big, revolutionary business overhauls, look for simpler ways to integrate innovation in the day-to-day operation of your call center.

Each time an innovation opportunity presents itself, don’t first seek ways you could tap it to revamp your operation. Instead look for ways call center innovation can provide incremental change to what you already have. Here are three considerations.

1. Enhance Existing Services

With each new opportunity that presents itself, consider how it can enhance what you’re already doing. This is simply looking for new ways to do what you’re currently doing better.

For example, when voicemail first came on the scene, the industry assumed automated message taking would replace people doing the same thing and would do it for less. Yet these fears were unfounded.

Yes, this did happen to a small extent, and some visionaries built new businesses around this ground-breaking technology, but most operations adapted the technology to enhance what they were already doing. The result included voicemail message retrieval, customized greetings, and personalized auto answer to list a few common innovations.

Each one expanded what the call center could do. So, look for these types of opportunities with each new solution that presents itself.

2. Offer New Services

Another consideration when call center innovation presents itself is to consider what new services you could offer because of it. This is what many outsource call centers did when voicemail came along. 

They continued offering their agent voice services as they always had. And they now had a new service using voicemail technology: automated message taking and delivery.

Voicemail didn’t replace what they were doing but added to it in the form of a new service.

3. Expand into New Markets

Sometimes an innovation can allow you to expand into new markets. For example, as answering service software became more sophisticated, it allowed its users to move into telephone order taking, appointment setting, and database integration.


Call center innovation need not happen in huge, revolutionary jumps. We can better apply innovation as manageable tweaks on a consistent basis over time. This is the best and easiest way to find new opportunities for your call center.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Connections Magazine and the author of Sticky Customer Service. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time.

Top 5 Competencies for Outsource Call Center Agents

By JoAnna Montgomery

It may not be possible to find the absolute perfect call center agents on a reasonable budget, but you can find highly effective ones by looking for the right competencies. No, I’m not talking about finding agents with five to ten years of experience, although that is a plus. I’m talking about the competencies required for the job that don’t necessarily require experience. 

Instead of setting standards for an agent, look for these five practical skills needed for agent success. 

1. Customer Service People Skills

This is by far the most important skill that every agent must have. Here’s why: 

Agents not only represent the outsource call center, but they also represent the companies that use their service. Therefore, being able to communicate with customers in a friendly and helpful manner is beneficial in representing both companies well. 

When the end customer has a pleasant experience with your agents, it will keep your clients happy. Just one unpleasant experience can turn away a customer for good and frustrate your clients. 

The other side of customer service is the ability to listen to the customer. Good listeners will be able to help identify quickly what the customer needs, so they can pass the information on to the correct recipient. If the customer feels heard and understood by the agent, then they’re more likely to continue using the company’s services.

2. Information Retention 

The ability to retain and use information appropriately is vital for any employee, but it’s especially important for call center agents. 

Agents have the responsibility to learn the material provided to them by the companies that use their services. Of course, the agent will not be as knowledgeable as an actual employee of that company. However, they do need to be able to answer frequently asked questions or find the resources provided with that company to give a response.

With most call center software, there will be detailed scripts along with places for extra documents and essential information. Agents should be able to quickly recall where to navigate to find information and take the appropriate steps to handle the call. If you have a large operation, it’s helpful to divide agents between clients so the same agents will continue to get increasingly comfortable and familiar with certain clients over time.

3. Problem-Solving 

For every incoming call there will be a script. However, we know that callers don’t always speak exactly as we expect them to. Often, they don’t use the right terminology, and no script can account for every single scenario agents will encounter. The agent must have adequate problem-solving skills when phone calls go off script or when the circumstances are unique. 

Thinking fast on their feet helps to make the call run smoothly even when an issue arises. Whether the solution is transferring the caller to someone else in the company to help or quickly finding the solution themselves, agents must be comfortable and confident in their critical thinking ability.

4. Time Management and Multitasking

Being an agent is a lot like working a drive thru at a fast-food restaurant during the lunch hour. If you have never worked a drive thru during a rush, consider yourself lucky. Trying to listen and put in the customer’s order while also helping the person at the window and make the drinks is difficult to say the least. However, once you have a rhythm down, it is manageable. 

The same is true for agents. Listening, typing, and navigating the software simultaneously are agent requirements. Look for individuals that thrive at managing their time and multitasking. It isn’t just a plus to have this, it’s necessary.

5. Organized 

Someone who is scatterbrained is not going to do well in this job. There are reminders to set, calls to follow-up on, and information to send or share. 

This type of job requires someone who can maneuver the call center software efficiently, knowing what each tab, button, and drop down does and where to find it. Furthermore, being able to follow instructions in note taking and call handling must occur in an organized manner so there is uniformity and a formal process.

This also ties into time management and multitasking. The more organized the agent is with the data the quicker they can get the software to do the task they need it to do. 


As we mentioned, hiring experienced agents is great, but they are hard to find, and who is to say just because they have experience that they will be excellent at their job. 

Since you don’t always have the luxury of finding experienced agents, use this list of competencies to look for as you hire your agents. With these skills checked off the list, agents will learn all other training more quickly, so you can focus on running your call center.

JoAnna Montgomery is a research and content analyst at Electronic Voice Services (EVS7), a Dallas-based software company providing cloud calling solutions for the telephone answering service industry. EVS7 helps answering services transition to all-inclusive flexible modern software.

How Call Center Service Providers Impact Customer Experience

By Megan Fallis 

Why is it that people dread hearing from or calling a call center? Think about the last time you called customer support. What was your experience like? I can remember mine, and it wasn’t great. 

Omnichannel and multichannel technologies are ideal for call centers because they provide support for communication beyond the telephone. Text, email, and chat are the preferred methods for many to communicate, which adds another factor in the overall customer experience. 

Call centers have a big opportunity—and responsibility—to focus on the operational components that influence customer experience. But this is easier to say than to do. 

Here are five areas call center service providers and those companies who use call centers need to evaluate to elevate the customer experience. 

1. Training

The customer experience call center service providers can deliver depends on how prepared the agents are. Consistent and effective training will help build a foundation for delivering an experience that will yield long-term happy customers. 

Since we all learn differently, instruction should include a blend of teaching methods. Good training transfers essential information in a way that allows the agent to learn the material. 

Identify and train knowledge gaps. Leverage best practices from the top performing agents and train the rest of the team on what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

Most importantly, training shouldn’t stop after an employee is onboarded; it’s ongoing and continual. Your agents need regular training to help increase their knowledge. Knowledge helps agents be confident and leads to a positive customer experience. 

2. Quality Monitoring 

Call center service providers that have an uncompromising focus on customer experience know the importance and significance of quality monitoring. Quality assurance helps call centers become stronger. With a stronger team, your call center provides better service, has elevated interactions, and positively impacts the customer experience overall. 

Agents won’t know if they’re on track to meet their goals unless you provide input. To offer constructive feedback, you need to understand where agents struggle and how they can improve.

Monitor interactions to identify where experienced agents deliver outstanding service while uncovering training and coaching opportunities. Evaluate all customer communication touchpoints to positively impact the customer experience, including chat, email, text, and traditional phone calls. Collaborate with the agents and review the information. 

3. Agent Support and Motivation

How can call centers provide a high-quality customer experience when employees are unsatisfied with their work environment and lack motivation? They can’t. 

A McKinsey study found a direct correlation between customer satisfaction and employee engagement. It’s worth taking the time to read the research as it discusses performance, agent retention, and operating costs. The best part is that companies already have the tools they need to make an impact. 

When employees feel supported, they perform better. 

4. Metrics

Data is crucial for running a call center successfully. It’s essential to balance the need for operational efficiency and meet customer expectations while providing an excellent customer experience.

A single customer service misstep can cause customers to leave.

According to industry analyst firm CEB, customer satisfaction suffers after high-effort or time-intensive interactions. Customers cited these as the most frustrating issues: “62 percent had to re-contact the organization, 56 percent had to re-explain their issue, 59 percent were transferred, and 59 percent had to put forth moderate to high additional effort to resolve their issue.”

It’s essential to track proven customer experience call center metrics to determine if the call center operation meets customer expectations. 

5. Focus on Internal Communication 

Would you want to engage with a call center service provider that focuses on communicating with its customers but doesn’t effectively communicate internally? The lack of or even poor internal communication will significantly impact agents and negatively affect customer experience. 

Effective internal communication is crucial to ensure everyone is in agreement and working towards the same goal. Here are some tips to improve internal communication.

Hold regular team meetings: Set aside time where the entire team comes together. It’s necessary to ensure everyone is moving toward the same goal in the same way.

Schedule all hands meetings: An all-hands meeting is company-wide, virtual, or in person, where all employees and executives come together. Typically hosted by senior leadership, the goal is to: 

  • Introduce new companywide ideas, initiatives, and strategies.
  • Provide performance updates.
  • Align teams on common goals.
  • Address employee questions.
  • Celebrate achievements and discuss challenges.

Make it simple: It should be easy to communicate, collaborate, and access the resources needed to do the job effectively. Consider using a collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams to help keep it simple. Teams allow call center agents and team leaders alike to communicate with team members through voice, video, and chat capabilities. 

Call center service providers need an uncompromised focus on customer experience to see change. Remember, behind every phone call, email, chat, or text there is a customer. 

The question becomes, what kind of customer experience will your call center provide?

Megan Fallis is the copywriter and editor for Quality Contact Solutions. Megan’s experience includes working as an outbound telemarketing manager for a Fortune 100 company for many years. Megan has been both a client and an employee of QCS, so she knows first-hand the quality, productivity, and passion the team brings to work each day. Reach Megan at megan@qualitycontactsolutions.com or 516-656-5120.

The Benefits of Home-Based Call Center Agents

Discover Why Every Call Center Should Move Toward Having a Remote Staff

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

Peter Lyle DeHaan, Publisher and Editor of Connections Magazine

Many businesses struggle to find entry-level employees. This includes the call center industry. Though the technology to allow for remote work has existed for a long time—and continues to get better—some call centers are reluctant to embrace the option of home-based call center agents.

This may be due to several factors. A key one is the challenge of managing a distributed workforce. Another is being able to ensure quality. A third is a tendency to want to continue doing what we’ve always done and are comfortable doing.

Yet business dynamics continue to change. And the rate of change has accelerated in the past year. If your call center continues to pursue a paradigm of having all employees work from a centralized location, now is the time to challenge that perception and reconfigure your operation to address today’s needs and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities.

Here are some of the key benefits of hiring home-based call center agents.

Tap Homebound Workers

Some otherwise-qualified employees want to work but for varying reasons are homebound. This may be due to their preference or their circumstances, but the fact remains that they are eager candidates. It’s just that they can’t go to work, so you need to bring the work to them. Fortunately, this is easy to do, as well as being a perfect fit, for call center work.

Though some situations don’t fit, such as people tasked with childcare or eldercare, other contexts are a nonissue. This includes people who lack transportation, live too far away from your office, have mobility issues, or struggle with social anxieties. These people can potentially work remotely and function as ideal home-based call center agents.

Expanded Labor Pool

If your local labor market lacks qualified or willing candidates, has unrealistic compensation expectations, or suffers from a low unemployment rate, explore an untapped or under reached labor market to find home-based call center agents to staff your operation and round out your roster.

Flexible Scheduling

Many call centers could benefit by scheduling people for split shifts, working an hour or two at various times throughout the day to meet traffic peaks. In addition is the dream of having on-demand workers who could login to process calls to deal with an unexpected deluge of traffic, be it for a few minutes or several hours.

Both these dreams are a realistic option with home-based call center agents. Many are willing to accept odd schedules or be available for on-demand work. They measure their commute in steps, not miles or minutes. And, unless your operation uses videoconferencing, their appearance doesn’t matter. They don’t need to follow an office-based dress code. Since there working from home, they can login within seconds and take calls for short shifts or on-demand, as well as regular shifts.

Of course, not every home-based employee will embrace this paradigm, but some will, and they may even prefer it.

Save on Facility Costs

With home-based call center agents, you have less people working in your office. This means you can scale back on your facility. Taken to its logical conclusion, you will have no staff working in your office. As a result, you’ll be able to close your office or sell your building. This will cut your costs and bolster your profits.

Provide Safe Employment

Though this concern is not as high as it once was, we should prepare for the possibility that it could one day reemerge, perhaps as an even more dangerous threat.

These are all benefits that have been around for as long as home-based call center agents have been a possibility. Yet there is one more benefit—a key consideration in this uncertain time—that you should not overlook and will be wise to embrace. This is, quite simply, working from home removes employees from the physical contact of others, eliminating the possibility of getting a virus from their coworkers.

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.

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. 


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.

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

Startel contact center software that delivers happiness to your customers

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.


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.

5 Reasons to Implement Call Center Scripting

Amtelco Cloud-Based Platform Solution

By Amtelco

One of the first person-to-person connections a customer makes with an organization is often through a phone call. Whether the caller’s intent is to schedule an appointment, ask a question, or another reason, the way an agent handles that call plays a key role in customer service and satisfaction. Every phone call is an opportunity for the agent to uphold an organization’s values and provide excellent service. 

Call center scripting helps agents guide customers through phone calls by asking the right questions and providing the right answers. Once the scripts have been programmed into the call center software, agents simply read the prompts and follow the script. Call centers that implement scripting benefit from reduced errors, increased productivity, decreased training time, consistency, and improved customer and agent satisfaction.

1. Reduce Errors

Scripting removes the guesswork by providing agents with the right answers to caller questions. Scripting ensures the agent collects the right data from the caller, the caller receives the most updated information, and the correct action occurs at the end of the call. 

For example, a Midwest company has a call center that uses scripting to manage 850,000 calls per year. The call center supports multiple departments that have departments within departments, so their scripting needs can be quite complex. However, their staff, who may have limited or no IS experience, can easily build customized scripts for any type of call for any department in as little as twenty minutes.

2. Increase Productivity

Call centers typically receive hundreds if not thousands of calls every day. Instead of putting the caller on hold and searching for answers, agents whose call centers use scripting have the information they need in just a couple of clicks. This allows call processing in a matter of seconds. 

“Two-thirds of consumers report that the most frustrating aspect of getting customer service is waiting on hold or having to explain the same information to multiple representatives.” HubSpot Research Consumer Customer Support Survey, 2018.

Scripts help ensure the call center agent gets the right data from the caller, reducing the need to make a return call to request more information or to make a correction in the information provided.

3. Decrease Training Time

Agent training progresses more quickly when scripts are involved. With decision making programmed into the script, new agents can be trained to handle any kind of call in less time. After programming, the system easily guides agents through each call, and provides them with a custom script with the exact information they need, at the time they need it.

4. Promote Consistency

When the call center agent is the front line of an organization’s customer service, what they say matters because they could be creating the customer’s first impression of the organization. Scripting can use language that adheres to the organization’s policy. For example, an organization can include an empathy statement the agent reads before ending or transferring a call. 

Scripts also keep the agents from violating any regulations because they know the next thing to say. And it ensures the agent always keeps the customer’s needs first.

5. Increase Customer and Agent Satisfaction

Efficient and accurate call handling makes everyone happier. Callers no longer need to wait on hold for agents to track down answers to their questions. The agent instills confidence in callers through a series of logical questions to provide clear, succinct answers. Customers can trust the correct entry of their details when the agent is able to read the information back to them without errors. 

Because scripting helps reduce call times and the need to put callers on hold, agents are more likely to meet their goals for number of calls answered per day, length of call, length of hold times, and other metrics deemed significant by their organization. Teams who meet and even exceed their goals report greater job satisfaction and reduced stress. 

Scripting also simplifies the agent’s job, however complicated it may be. 


When it’s time to choose a scripting program for your call center, look for software that is easy to edit and integrates with your other systems for further efficiency and accuracy gains. 

Amtelco logo

Amtelco and Telescan have a strong history in the telemessaging industry and were founded in 1976 to provide communication solutions to the answering service and medical messaging industry. In operation in all fifty of the United States and more than twenty countries, Amtelco and Telescan focus on providing call center solutions that meet or exceed customer expectations and are backed by top notch service and support. Amtelco and Telescan systems and software process millions of calls every day. By working closely with customers, Amtelco and Telescan continue to develop innovative features and products. 

The Future is Human: Tapping Video Technology as a Call Center Solution

By Craig Radford

In today’s fast-paced and ever-diversifying American society, keeping your call center’s best practices attuned to the needs of all customers can be overwhelming. There are so many languages, communication modalities, and cultural nuances to consider. Customer service and satisfaction have always been an important part of call center work, but with today’s younger consumers making purchasing decisions based on whether a brand or business reflects their own inclusive values, being culturally responsive can mean the difference between gaining a loyal customer and losing one forever. 

One essential piece of ensuring your company is as inclusive as possible is to focus on accommodating callers with disabilities. Deaf and hard-of-hearing customers are largely left out of the conversation about customer service, which means your business is missing out on an entire consumer base.

Capture Lost Business

Though America’s 11.5 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people represent an $86 billion dollar market share, many businesses are unsure how to best serve these customers. The lack of information and training surrounding optimized customer service for the deaf and hard-of-hearing can be frustrating for both callers and agents. Agents who are unprepared for communicating with deaf callers are likely to experience wasted time, skewed metrics, and unnecessary escalations and callbacks. 

One of the main sources of confusion is the use of third-party relay services by deaf customers. As the name suggests, these services relay information between deaf and hearing users. In a text-based relay model, a typist facilitates a conversation by transcribing the hearing person’s speech, then reading the deaf person’s typed message aloud. 

In the more popular Video Relay Service (VRS) model, an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter translates between spoken English and ASL via video call. In both models, the process of transcription or translation takes time and leaves repeated opportunities for miscommunication, especially if the interpreter is unfamiliar with company lingo or call context, which is often the case. 

Cloud-based contact center tools provide the capacity to move seamlessly between modes of communication, like jumping from a telephone call to a text-based chat box, to best serve callers’ preferences. But what if this technology went beyond two-dimensional? What if we eliminate the middleman altogether in interactions with deaf customers? What if a caller could in effect “press one” for English, “two” for Spanish… and “three” for American Sign Language?

American Sign Language Differs from English 

Just like spoken languages, ASL developed organically between people over centuries and is a separate language from English. It has its own grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and cultural context different from, and uninfluenced by, English conventions. In fact, ASL shares more structural similarities with French Sign Language or even spoken Japanese than it does English. 

While many deaf people are bilingual in ASL and English, some deaf people struggle with written English proficiency, just as some hearing people who are bilingual struggle with written proficiency in their second language. 

For the deaf community, this issue is exacerbated by language deprivation, caused by long-standing discrimination and substandard access to educational resources. While English text-based chat boxes may be useful for some deaf clients, for others they remain a frequent source of frustration and miscommunication. 

Implementing an ASL-fluent Team

Providing deaf representatives who are fluent in ASL and trained in company-specific terminology, either by hiring deaf employees or contracting with a specialized ASL call center, is already making tremendous changes: call centers that have ASL-fluent representatives shortened call times by 33-42 percent and increased deaf customer engagement by 300-533 percent. In one case study, Google found that providing an ASL-speaking representative resulted in 83 percent shorter average handle time when compared to using relay services.

Integration Video Communication Between Agent and Caller 

Deaf customers are already using videophones to make calls. So why not leverage the benefits for those callers? For a customer, being able to see a representative restores the element of human connection that only face-to-face interaction can truly offer. For a representative, being able to see a caller can provide valuable context on who that customer is and eliminate friction that stems from miscommunication. 

Psychologists studying human communication concluded that that just 7 percent of meaning comes from words themselves. Thirty-eight percent of the information we pick up on comes from voice tone and volume, and the majority, 55 percent, is from body language. This means traditional phone interactions miss out on more than half of communication potential. A video interface reintroduces a person’s natural use of body language and gestures into call center communication, offering not only a more organic communication experience, but a more efficient one as well. 

The Future of Call Centers Is Visual and Human-Centered

Using video makes spatially-oriented tasks that are typically hard to describe—like demonstrating a product’s functions or explaining which buttons a caller needs to press during a troubleshooting process—intuitive and fast. Video calls also give representatives and callers the ability to screenshare or demonstrate solutions using the product as a prop. 

Agents can show users a button or how to navigate to a site tab, instead of having to explain the step-by-step process. And callers can show agents the errors or problems they’re encountering. A quick game of customer show-and-tell can cut costly minutes off call times, without negatively affecting the value of a customer’s experience and making sure their needs are being met.


The future of call centers is multi-dimensional: a change that mirrors our evolving society and allows companies to be more inclusive and accessible than ever. Whether it’s using the latest technology to better serve deaf and disabled customers or just having a more individualized customer service experience for any customer, cloud-based computing and video calling can be a momentous change agent. 

With it, call centers can continue to highlight their best asset: human connection.

Craig Radford has been shaping the advancement of the deaf community for more than 20 years. Craig helped launch Connect Direct, a subsidiary of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), where he is the vice president of strategy and business development. He works with organizations to help their customer service teams to eliminate the need for third-party translation. Craig has championed the creation of jobs specifically targeted for qualified deaf candidates.