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Aspect Communications Discussion Day Archive - 04/10/2002

Aspect Communications Discussion Day Archive - 04/10/2002

Aspect Communications Discussion Day Archive - 04/10/2002

Author: searchCRM
Subject: Discussion Day April 10th with Aspect Communications
Date Posted: 04/10/2002

Join us all day today, April 10th, for a discussion with Gary Barnett, Aspect's CTO. Gary will be monitoring this discussion board throughout the day, responding to your questions and comments. This is your chance to get answers to your most important questions, so post them now.

Gary Barnett, Executive Vice President, Products, and Chief Technical Officer, leads the design, development and product management of Aspect's products. Mr. Barnett is recognized globally as an expert in all areas of contact center technologies, including VoIP, multichannel contact routing, workforce management, computer-telephony integration and self-service technologies. At Aspect, Mr. Barnett provides the vision and sets policy for the technological foundation of all Aspect products. He is the company's public evangelist for products and serves as Aspect's key technology spokesperson.

Mr. Barnett has a distinguished history as a driving force in communications technology. Mr. Barnett was a founding engineer at Octel Communications, where he was one of the developers of Octel's first voice-messaging system. At Octel, Mr. Barnett did early groundbreaking work in the field of unified messaging. Mr. Barnett left Octel to become a founding engineer at Aspect, where he played a key role in the development of the company's first automatic call distributor, which transformed customer service and the telecommunications industry. Mr. Barnett was a leader in Aspect's successful effort to develop the first ACD software that ran on standard hardware systems. In 1987, Mr. Barnett became a founder of Prospect Software, a company that pioneered computer-telephony integration in the early 1990s. Mr. Barnett returned to Aspect in 1996 when the company acquired Prospect Software. Mr. Barnett holds a bachelor's degree from Western Kentucky University and a master's degree in computer science from the University of Kentucky.


Author: searchCRM
Subject: Pressure to cut budgets vs.improved customer service
Date Posted: 04/10/2002

How are companies today finding a balance between pressure to cut budgets and increased pressure to improve customer satisfaction? Realistically, can it even be done?

Posted in response to: Pressure to cut budgets vs.improved customer service
Author: GaryBarnettASPECT
Subject: Re: Pressure to cut budgets vs.improved customer service
Date Posted: 04/10/2002

Absolutely. Those two pressures you mention are the reason self-service software is experiencing a rebirth this year. Today's self-service software is not the automated "Press 1" and "Press 2" of yesterday. Today's self-service incorporates voice print technology that can identify you just by the sound of your voice -- it's like a fingerprint of your voice. This added security means companies can offer a while new range of functions that customers want to conduct without speaking to an agent, but never could before. And self-service transactions are a lot less expensive. We had one customer that increased sales by $30,000.00 in ONE DAY after implementing self-service!

Author: searchCRM
Subject: Aspect and VoIP
Date Posted: 04/10/2002

What is Aspect doing in the area of VoIP?

Posted in response to: Aspect and VoIP
Author: GaryBarnettASPECT
Subject: Re: Aspect and VoIP
Date Posted: 04/10/2002

IP is the next big evolution in contact center technology. Just as we helped to invent the original concept of a call center, Aspect is helping to lead the vision of VoIP in contact center technology. Along with our work in defining the standards for VoIP contact centers, Aspect launched its IP Contact Suite last year and we just announced the latest version of IP Contact Suite 1.1, which includes upgrades such as voice messaging via email, adapter for Lotus Domino and expanded support for IP phones.

Author: searchCRM
Subject: Contact center in a bad economy
Date Posted: 04/10/2002

How important is the contact center in keeping customers in an economic slump?

Posted in response to: Contact center in a bad economy
Author: GaryBarnettASPECT
Subject: Re: Contact center in a bad economy
Date Posted: 04/10/2002

Since the customer service function is likely the first interaction a customer has with a company, the contact center is integral to a company's success – especially during an economic slump. So, it's important to provide the best level of service possible when customers have ample opportunity to take their business elsewhere. It costs much less to retain a customer than to acquire a new one, therefore, contact centers should blends all of a customer's information into a single view to ensure consistent levels of customer satisfaction no matter how they interact with a business – via email, telephone, Web chat or fax.

Author: lilja37
Subject: Call center evolution
Date Posted: 04/10/2002

As the call center has evolved into a "contact center" how has the role of the call center manager changed and what kinds of responsibilities are eliminated with emerging technology?

Posted in response to: Call center evolution
Author: GaryBarnettASPECT
Date Posted: 04/10/2002

As call centers evolve into multichannel contact centers, the demands on contact center managers arguably become greater. Agent skills become more of an issue as CSRs are asked to interact with customers over communication channels they may not be familiar with, requiring additional training, and additional attention from the manager. (One customer, for example, discovered that their top voice agents were not particularly adept spellers or grammarians.) Issues such as these can be reduced with new technology such as skills based routing, workforce management solutions capable of handling schedule forecasting in a multichannel environment, and analytical components capable of identifying agent performance problems. Having said this, what's also true is that managers will probably have much better information available to them in multichannel environments, information that can help them better meet customer needs while improving the morale of their workforce. Companies managing their voice communications, e-mails, faxes, and web interactions as silos are probably not disseminating customer contact information across channels. This leaves customers with the feeling that they're actually interacting with multiple companies, so little information does a voice agent have about an e-mail received by another department. Consolidating the silos and implementing some form of CTI to deliver cradle-to-grave customer information to an agent's desktop at the time a contact is routed has the potential to greatly reduce answer-time, thereby improving service levels and customer satisfaction. In addition, using what you know about customer to route an incoming contact has the added benefit of better leveraging agent skills, and thereby improving morale.

Author: Swiss23
Subject: IP in contact centers
Date Posted: 04/10/2002

What's the advantage of having IP capabilities in contact centers? Can you speak to specific ROI?

Posted in response to: IP in contact centers
Author: GaryBarnettASPECT
Date Posted: 04/10/2002

There are several advantages to having IP capabilities in contact centers. First, it allows a more simplified infrastructure, so companies are only managing one network. IP lets organizations converge their voice and data networks into a single pipe, which makes it easier to manage contact center operations. Second, it provides more flexibility for businesses giving them the ability to scale up or down on a moment's notice to meet demand. You no longer need to rely on building huge infrastructures to add more agents because IP-based systems no longer rely on having to have a telephony switch at each business location. IP provides the ability for contact centers to add agents quickly, simply by hooking them up to a managed IP network connection where they can manage both voice and data interactions independent of the server location. And of course, IP improves service for the consumer, making it faster and more seamless to access their information and thus help them solve their problems. Aspect recently announced the latest upgrade to our IP Contact Suite 1.1, and one of the new key features will provide for voice messaging, so consumers can leave a message that can be converted into an email file, travel over a data line and sent to a qualified agent's desk top. Companies that are working with Aspect are finding that IP is helping them preserve their contact center investment while allowing them to transition to this exciting new technology.

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