Tag Archives: industry news

Compliance Seminar For Call Centers Focusing On Dominican Republic

BetterWRX, a NobelBiz company, along with the Dominican Republic Export & Investment Center (CEI-DR) joined efforts on July 23 and 24 to host a compliance seminar for Dominican call centers. This seminar was the brainchild of two of the most renowned telecommunications attorneys in the United States: Mitchell Roth and Joe Sanscrainte.

The objective of the seminar series was to educate Dominican and offshore call centers on the best practices for maintaining compliance with the multitude of laws that govern telemarketing, online marketing, consumer privacy, and debt collections. The focus of the seminar was to provide the attendees with the latest updates on the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) and its effect on cell phone calling.

Over 150 people attended, including Dr. Jean Alain Rodriguez, Secretary of State and Executive Director of CEI-RD. “Over 76% of the industry operations are done in the US,” Rodriguez stated, “Hence it is extremely important for the Dominican workforce to know the law and stay compliant.” The call center industry is important for the Dominican Republic economy, as it generates over 35,000 jobs. Seminars like this strengthen the business that promotes employment and international investment.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

VoiceNation Participates in Cell Phones For Soldiers

VoiceNation, a call center partner for thousands of businesses nationwide, recently participated in the Cell Phones for Soldiers Recycling Program within their organization in an effort to support troops and keep cell phone waste out of landfills. With donations from VoiceNation staff, active-duty military members and veterans will receive a total of 5,235 free cell phone minutes and nineteen gently used cell phones to help them connect with their families.

According to the Cell Phones for Soldiers’ fact sheet, “An estimated 100 to 130 million cell phones are no longer being used, many languishing in storage. Recycling cell phones reduces greenhouse gas emissions, keeps valuable material out of landfills and incinerators, and conserves natural resources.”

VoiceNation is dedicated to making a difference in the world. Their purpose, “To make the world a better place for those in it” is exemplified by the steps they take towards changing lives by helping others in the community and around the globe through specific volunteer initiatives such as collecting and donating cell phones to military members.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Relevate Helps Telemarketers Comply with FCC Wireless Number Regulation

In a Report and Order issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in February 2012, several new requirements for telemarketers were put into effect pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991(TCPA). Relevate® announced its Wireless Telephone Identification Service is available to telemarketers who need to accurately identify wireless telephone numbers in order to comply with the new regulations going into effect on October 16, 2013.

One of the new obligations requires that companies must obtain prior express written consent from consumers prior to using an auto dialer to make telemarketing calls to their wireless numbers. The significant change is that the consent must be written and signed, and the “existing business relationship” exclusion has been removed.

This provision does not apply to purely informational or transactional calls or messages, such as flight updates, calls by or on behalf of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, calls for political purposes, surveys, or bank account fraud alerts. The rule for the delivery of an autodialed or prerecorded non-marketing call or text message to a cell phone remains the same: only prior express consent is required, provided that the call or message contains no upsell or marketing content.

Aspect Software to Acquire Voxeo

Aspect Software, a provider of integrated customer interaction management, workforce optimization, and back-office solutions, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Voxeo Corporation, a provider of hosted and on-premise Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solutions and a platform provider for communications enabled business processes. Once complete, the acquisition is expected to enhance Aspect’s ability to support cloud, hybrid, and premise-based deployments while adding IVR and multi-channel self-service capability to the company’s portfolio.

“Today’s consumers are demanding more from the brands they interact with, taking more control over when, where, and how they conduct that engagement. And enterprises are responding by seeking out vendors who can help them address these changes in the market,” said Chris Koziol, president and general manager of the Interaction Management division at Aspect. “We share Voxeo’s vision for the future of customer contact and are thrilled to expand and integrate our offerings to provide the kind of flexible solutions that deliver seamless service across proactive outbound, inbound, mobile, and SMS channels.”

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Web Chat Is Fastest-Growing Contact Centers Technologies

New research published by ContactBabel, the contact center industry analysts, reveals that web chat (or instant messaging) is one of the fastest-growing technologies used by US contact centers. Forty-three percent of this year’s survey respondents offer web chat as a customer service channel, compared to only 15% five years ago, with volumes of web chat increasing by 125% over the same time. Furthermore, 18% of respondents state they intend to implement web chat over the next twelve months, the highest of any of the thirteen contact center technologies surveyed in the report.

“While web chat has been around for many years, we are seeing a definite increase in the use of this channel, which has huge potential,” stated Steve Morrell, the report’s author. “The real-time nature of web chat means it is akin to a voice conversation in immediacy, giving it an advantage over email. Multiple concurrent web chat sessions can be run, cutting cost per interaction, which means there are sound commercial reasons for businesses to support this channel.

The US Contact Center Decision-Makers’ Guide looked at all areas of performance, investment, technology, HR, and strategy. It is available at www.contactbabel.com.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

TextGen Text-Enables Landlines

TextGen released its new communications platform that allows businesses to reach their customers by text enabling their existing ten-digit landline number. The TextGen platform is useful in nearly any industry and offers communications solutions to both enterprise and small business. Now, companies can text their customers with the same number they use for voice and automated response systems – no longer making text a toy for teens but a tool for business.

TextGen provides businesses with an innovative and affordable solution to customer communication, and was developed through partners Noah Rafalko (CEO of TSG Global, Inc.), Gary Pudles (CEO of AnswerNet and Wharton instructor of entrepreneurship) and early developer of VoIP and ADSL technology, Thomas Howe.

“Imagine ordering pizza, talking to customer service, or activating your electronics through a simple text without the need of mobile apps or a smart phone,” said Pudles. “If you can text on your cell phone, you can use the TextGen system.”

The inaugural TextGen customer, Westinghouse Digital, LLC, has seen great success using TextGen to pre-active the tuners in more than 700,000 of their televisions. By eliminating consumers’ needs to contact customer service, Westinghouse has reduced labor costs and improved productivity immensely.

“TextGen redefines traditional business communication. Using a cloud-based service, organizations can now reach their customers and retain data simultaneously, in real time,” said Howe.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Genesys to Acquire SoundBite Communications

Genesys Extends Cloud Contact Center Leadership Position with Addition of Proactive Collections and Payments, Mobile Marketing Applications, and Customer Service Solutions

Genesys, a provider of customer engagement and contact center solutions, announced it signed a definitive agreement to acquire SoundBite Communications for a price of $5.00 per share. SoundBite delivers cloud-based proactive collections, payments, and mobile marketing applications, as well as proactive customer service solutions to enterprises.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of SoundBite and also by Genesys, will be accomplished pursuant to a cash tender offer followed by a second step merger. The $5.00 per share cash offer price represents a total equity value of SoundBite of approximately $100.4 million, on a fully-diluted basis. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur early in the third quarter of 2013.

The proposed acquisition will strengthen the Genesys cloud solutions portfolio, building on its recent acquisition of Angel for self-service and contact center solutions. Cloud-based sales, marketing, and customer service solutions provide companies with the ability to better acquire, service, and grow their business with new and existing customers by offering purpose-built applications that can be deployed quickly by business users. Those users can be located in departments across the enterprise including marketing, accounts receivable, collections, and contact centers.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

ContactBabel Updates US Contact Center Research

The US Contact Center Decision-Makers’ Guide (2013) from ContactBabel is the sixth edition of the largest and most comprehensive study of the American contact center industry, which directly employs over 5,500,000 people.

Having surveyed over two hundred contact centers of all sizes and business sectors, some of this year’s findings include:

  • Email now accounts for one in eight contact center interactions, with an average cost of an email being 43% of that of a phone call.
  • Average salaries for new agents are almost $29,000.
  • Talk time has declined to 56% of an average agent’s time.
  • Customer satisfaction rates, first-call resolution, and speed to answer are seen as the three most important contact center metrics.
  • Web chat, workforce management, and mobile customer service applications are the most likely new solutions to be implemented within the next twelve months.

With key statistics and insight into all elements of the American contact center industry – including technology, HR, benchmarking, strategy and investments – The US Contact Center Decision-Makers’ Guide (2013) is available to download, free of charge, from www.contactbabel.com/reports.cfm.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Twilio’s Extends Communications API Platform to Contact Centers

Twilio, a cloud communications company, announced capabilities that extend Twilio’s communications API platform into the rapidly growing cloud contact center market. Designed to enable a new breed of contact center, these capabilities allow enterprises to migrate their traditional contact centers to the cloud, add new capabilities to existing on-premises systems, and build new cloud contact centers from scratch using standard web programming languages.

“Traditional contact center solutions, both on-premise and hosted, took a one-size fits-all approach,” said Jeff Lawson, president and CEO of Twilio. Twilio has been extending its communications API platform with additional contact center-focused capabilities. Twilio (www.twilio.com), the cloud communications company, is merging the worlds of cloud computing, web services and telecommunications.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Quality Voice & Data Announces Cloud Based BrandGuard Service

Quality Voice & Data, Inc. announced BrandGuard Connect, a solution to protect the seller’s brand, increase campaign answer rates, provide upsell opportunities, minimize DNC opt-out, and centralize DNC collection.

  • BrandGuard CallerID increases answer rates as much as 30% by displaying the seller’s brand name and a local phone number on Caller ID.
  • BrandGuard Message Pro reduces DNC requests by as much as 25% with customized effective messaging.
  • BrandGuard IVR provides customers with a great experience when they call back, providing options for a live agent and centralized DNC collection. Sellers take control over how CallerID-generated callbacks are handled.

“We have been offering CallerID solutions for about five years, and we still see that many sellers are not in control of what their vendors are using for CallerID on outbound calls. Some vendors display an 800 number, some vendors display their company name and some are using the seller name. We’ve seen a gap in consistency, which causes consumers to be wary of who the caller really represents. A lot of companies don’t have an effective way to handle the volume of incoming calls that are generated by the CallerID imprint either. Many calls go unanswered which results in consumer frustration, increased DNC requests and ultimately more complaints to federal and state agencies. Bottom line is if you give a customer a great experience when they call back your Caller ID number, you earn the opportunity to call again,” said Dean Garfinkel, president.

Learn more about BrandGuard.

[Posted by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD  for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]