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Call Centre breakthrough improves glib answer quotient

Excuse Software set to revolutionise user experience
Fri Mar 12 2004, 10:47
ASC TELECOMS has introduced an exciting new application to help call centres fob us off with glib answers more efficiently.

Here's how interprets the claims made by ASC's marketing manager Maria Boxley.

The SmartContact Centre, supplied by ASC to customers like British Gas and Vertex, helps call centre workers to collaborate more efficiently, heightening their ability to either bother you or think up excuses to fend off your awkward questions.

Say a call centre worker finds a caller on the line who is about to go postal. Maybe it's a British Gas customer who has been on hold for two days while his house burns down. Or perhaps it's someone who has got out of the bath to take a call from his wife in hospital, only to find it's another phantom call from Vertex, which today happens to be doing customer relationship management for health insurance.

Questions like "What the f***** hell is your game, eh?" might find the call agent out of his depth. In which case they may well lose the opportunity to make a cross sell or upsell, which is what customer stalking call centres are about. In traditional call centre systems, the agent would then have to find a supervisor to help him out. Since supervisors are the only people who can use the toilet without permission, and call centre agents are chained to their desks, this frequently means the call isn't dealt with.

Similarly, a supervisor may have disappeared to another office to take a potentially embarrassing call. Perhaps they said they could speak French on their CV, and now a French caller has been directed to them. While the supervisor uses crude pidgin French before hanging up on the caller, they will be unobtainable to less experienced agents.

Not any more. If they use the SmartContactCentre, the agent can press a button which alerts their supervisor that help is needed. The supervisor can then listen in on the conversation and whisper encouragement in the agent's ear. All the user will hear is a short period of silence, after which the agent will repeat fresh glib statements, seemingly of their own volition.

The Smart Contact Centre recently won an ward for best contact centre technology, somewhere in America, so we can all look forward to better customer stalking in the coming year. µ


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