Data Takes on New Importance in Contact Center Hiring

February 25, 2015

By now most everyone in the enterprise is starting to catch on to the fact that the data you capture from calls and other interactions with your clients has some real value beyond just asking if they’re happy or not.  Once it’s finely chopped and diced, such data can reveal insights that savvy marketers can use to advance their company and get some serious ROI.

But there is an even more important way that this data can be utilized, and smart companies are now waking up to it: Data can be used to help recruit some of the best hires you’ve ever had.

Think about it: The hiring process, as detailed as it is, is still somewhat hit or miss. In a , Gavin Gustafson, Communications Manager at call center leader inContact, took a closer look at data and how it relates to the hiring process.

“The data you are capturing during the quality management process is a gold mine of insight for your business. One very underutilized connection is recruiting,” Gustafson wrote. “Measuring the right behaviors in your quality process is critical to leveraging the data in other departments. So, first let’s talk about some of the basic soft skills that are very commonly measured during the quality process. By comparing some of your soft skills scores to customer satisfaction scores, you can identify the most impactful soft skills to customer satisfaction.”

He goes on to point out that some agents with “top-notch, actively listening skills show a positive correlation to customer satisfaction, where as enthusiastic tone really may not have any.” Consequently, he concludes, that latter trait might not be as critical in the recruiting process as was once believed.

While that’s only one example, Gustafson emphasizes that other correlation methods can be utilized to identify a candidates’ strong points to assure they align with the businesses’ goals.

“Utilize this information to recruit individuals that will be successful and drive positive impacts in your center,” he says. “It’s a win-win for your business because agents want to be successful, and if you are taking the time to identify the right individuals, they will be more satisfied and engaged when they are successful.”

Another ‘Win’ Posted for Call Center Leader

February 24, 2015

Cloud contact center software provider inContact recently released its full-year and Q4 2014 financial results, revealing its substantial growth in revenue and product bookings.

Results of its financial analysis show that inContact has achieved record highs regarding its growth and that overall, as Paul Jarman, the CEO of inContact, puts it, his company had an “outstanding year.” Highlights from the fourth quarter include software segment revenue of $30.3 million, which is up 56 percent year over year, with SaaS ( – ) bookings alone growing 44 percent year over year. The 2014 year as a whole showed software revenue growth to $100.8 million, up 44 percent from 2013’s total revenue of $68.9 million.

Jarman continued: “2014 was an outstanding year for inContact, as we continued to win cloud market share and distance ourselves from the other players in the marketplace. During the quarter and across the full year, inContact achieved record results, including new bookings, customer expansions, competitive wins, new implementations, and software revenue run rate.”

The record number of bookings inContact closed this past year totaled 109 contracts, which comprised 66 logo customers and 43 expansion deals. What is perhaps most impressive about the deals that the company closed is that its competitive win rate was high. Jarman stated that it exceeded 65 percent in the fourth quarter and 60 percent in the whole of 2014. He also commented that inContact doubled the amount of software implementations it reached in 2013. That is another record high for the company.

It appears that inContact is not slowing its pace as the beginning months of 2015 march forward. It recently signed a new contract with a contact center in a well-known and has begun a partnership with Black Box ( – ) Network Services to make it easier for enterprises to to the cloud.

Jarman said he viewed inContact’s outlook as positive and that he expects the company to continue its market dominance through 2015. However, it will need to bolster its sales and partnerships even further if it wishes to step out of the net loss of $5.6 million it experienced in Q4 2014 ($0.09 per share) — up from the loss of $3.9 million ($0.07 per share) it experienced in Q4 2013. Its net loss for the year was helped by a $9.4 million tax credit it gained when it last May. Jarman said he expects continued software revenue growth in 2015 but that a net loss of up to $0.39 per share could accompany that growth.

Vacation Planning Just Got Easier

February 19, 2015

With much of the nation still suffering through winter’s icy hold, many are thinking about jumping on a jet to head for warmer climes. Naturally, planning such a trip might be wise, to get the best value for your hard-earned money. As such, the last thing anyone needs is a travel call center that can’t handle a high volume of calls.

So it was with that thought in mind that an industry-leading travel company has announced it will move 650 agents in ten call centers across the U.S. and internationally to the inContact cloud.

According to a statement from inContact, “This new customer was looking for a single cloud system to connect multiple business units with a flexible but unified system to accommodate growing operations,” something inContact has perfected. “The inContact platform will connect all operations for greater efficiency, and will handle all customer service channels including inbound and outbound voice traffic, chat functionality and email.”

The client – which, as per inContact company protocols was not identified – had a lengthy wish list when it began its provider search. Advanced features, quality and reliability of service were primary considerations for the company when it settled on inContact. What was especially appealing was the core multi-channel and system, integrated with the customer’s existing CRM, and a customized suite of inContact Workforce Optimization tools designed to boost both the efficiency and the effectiveness of the customer experience that it provides.

“Migrating older, disparate systems across multiple locations to the inContact all-in-one cloud solution is a big leap forward for enterprise contact center operations,” said inContact CEO Paul Jarman, in announcing the deal. “Now this customer’s business units will be connected in a completely unified system and they will have the ability to collaborate and share best practices and resources across all operations.”

According to both companies, this implementation will deliver on an extensive wish list of functions that were unavailable through past providers. inContact’s tools will replace time-consuming and costly manual processes with a robust suite of automated forecasting, analytics, and scheduling. In addition, inContact’s all-in-one solution includes comprehensive Quality Management and the ‘’ (ECHO) survey tool, which channels feedback directly to front-line teams for immediate improvements to the customer experience.

Now might be a good time to start packing that bathing suit.

Migrating a Call Center? Help is Here

inContact and Black Box Network Services recently announced that they will being working together to better meet enterprise demand for call center systems.

Outsourcers Need to Manage Workforce for Best Results

February 12, 2015

With companies everywhere looking for that extra “edge” to stay ahead of the competition, everyone is watching the bottom line. Expenses and costs have a way of silently creeping out of control until you find yourself over budget and sinking fast. It’s not a great situation to find yourself in.

One way to keep everything in check is to practice a conscientious management of your workforce. JaNae Forshee, Senior WFO (Workforce Optimization) Practice Manager at call center leader inContact, is a master of the art who knows how effective it can be.

“With 60 to 70 percent of contact center costs associated with labor, companies consistently struggle with having or supporting an effective (WFM) strategy,” Forshee recently wrote in a . “Workforce Management is the foundation block for ensuring your contact center is efficient. WFM is more than just forecasting and scheduling; it’s about ensuring that the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time, [are] across all communication channels.”

Forshee likens effective workforce managers to those in airport traffic control towers, seamlessly managing the ballet of people and responsibilities. She notes that “No matter how large or small your organization may be, the goal, principals, and process remain constant:

  • Do more with less;
  • Handle forecast accuracy and long-term planning;
  • Manage Staff flexibility;
  • Schedule adherence monitoring;
  • Do off phone/work management.”

Taking her knowledge and insights to the next logical step, Forshee will be presenting at a show next month, the “2015 Society of Workforce Planning Professional’s (SWPP) Annual Conference” in Nashville. There, she’ll talk about those five basic steps at length, the ones necessary for any successful WFM process.

According to the organization, the SWPP Conference provides multiple educational sessions, facilitated discussions on relevant topics, a vendor showroom, and more. “Learn from industry experts and your peers in over 60 different sessions during this exciting event,” SWPP says. “Everyone is invited to attend this conference, and anyone in the workforce planning community can benefit from the informative workshops and opportunities to network with peers.”

As Forshee sums it up best, “These repeatable steps are necessary to meet your basic staffing requirements and set your organization up for success.”

Hiring’s Up, So Staffing Center Turns to inContact

February 04, 2015

After several years of a sluggish economy and gloomy employment reports, it appears the U.S. labor force is now growing by leaps and bounds. With the national unemployment rate down to a surprising 5.6 percent as of December 2014 (from 6.6 percent the previous January), things are looking up.

So it should come as no surprise that a major global staffing leader has decided to go with a contact center leader to meet its increasing demands.

inContact has announced the addition of the global staffing solutions provider to its expanding list of clients. The staffing company – which was not identified as per inContact company protocols – was in need of a flexible platform for an expanding division, and so chose inContact’s cloud solution for its new 350-agent contact center.

“With the improving economy, we are seeing companies expand their reach and provide new services to their customers,” said Paul Jarman, CEO at inContact, in commenting on this latest ‘win’. “The cloud offers a flexible platform giving these growing companies a cost-effective, scalable and flexible solution to meet their customers’ needs today and tomorrow.”

According to the HR firm, this new addition to the inContact family needed to service its clients at a superior level with inbound and outbound voice channels, as well as email, text, and chat capabilities, as their recruiting efforts ramped up. The omni-channel cloud contact center software from inContact will enable them to add new channels and agents as needed. Further, the inContact core platform, built upon the multi-channel Automatic Call Distributor and Interactive Voice Response systems, offers seamless, skills-based routing of inbound traffic on any channel to ensure each issue is addressed by the most qualified agent.

But it’s the use of that cloud that really helped cinch the deal. In addition to managing all of their inbound and outbound channel needs, the client will maximize their customer service operations with both cloud-based workforce optimization and performance management tools. It’s a win-win for both parties.

“inContact’s Quality Management suite will provide robust monitoring, evaluation and reporting capabilities through multi-media capture of both audio recordings and desktop activity,” the company said in a statement. “inContact’s inView Customer Dashboard offers real-time performance insight by tracking key metrics with dynamic performance models, and promotes agent engagement and empowerment with gamification incentives.”

Not a bad way to start off the New Year.

inContact Scores Again by Aiding Outsourced Workers

February 02, 2015

One of the largest, most productive yet untapped workforces in America today is the disabled. Those who face challenges in their life have shown time and again to be loyal, hardworking employees who only need a chance to prove themselves. So it makes sense that Direct Interactions, a company that delivers customer interaction solutions utilizing such staff who work from home, would choose to partner with cloud contact center software leader inContact.

It was just announced that Direct Interactions would move its unique workforce and contact center model to the inContact cloud. A leader in the outsourced contact center market utilizing the physically challenged, the Seattle-based company needed a scalable and reliable solution for its work-from-home staff.

“Direct Interactions found an ideal partner for its 150 domestic agents with the customizable and scalable cloud solution from inContact,” the company said in a statement.

“Our distributed workforce requires a flexible contact center platform to support the inherent challenges with remote personnel,” added Matt Storey, president of Direct Interactions. “We also sought a partner that shares our commitment to creating jobs for all Americans including people with disabilities and military families. inContact solutions enable us to employ virtually anyone, in any location, without the overhead of a running an enterprise solution in house.”

Direct Interactions will initially implement inContact’s core cloud solution, built on the multi-channel Automatic Call Distributor and Interactive Voice Response systems, which can easily be scaled up to meet the growing company’s needs.

“We are always excited to welcome a new customer to the inContact cloud, but we are especially honored to have been chosen by Direct Interactions,” noted Paul Jarman, CEO at inContact. “Their commitment to employing persons with disabilities, and to enabling their employees to work where they live, is a testament to their character as a company and a model for future contact centers.”

Direct Interactions delivers customer interaction solutions that utilize staff that work from home. The company was selected as 2014 Employer of the Year by Neurological Vocational Services of Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington, and named 2014 Partner of the Year by AtWork! of Bellevue, for its efforts to hire people with developmental disabilities in King County, Washington.