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Avaya Outbound Contact Express Helps Call Centers Get Proactive
Avaya Outbound Contact Express Helps Call Centers Get Proactive

By Jennifer LeClaire
June 5, 2013 9:50AM

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The typical contact center focuses on being available when the customer is ready to initiate contact. But there is also tremendous value to "adopting a proactive contact strategy that can alert customers and others when there is information they need to know," said analyst Ken Landoline, speaking about Avaya's Outbound Contact Express.

Avaya has announced new tools for proactive outbound calling at midsize contact centers, with worldwide availability planned for this summer. Designed as a self-contained, turnkey solution, Avaya Outbound Contact Express streamlines implementation and management of outbound customer communications.

Outbound Contact Express includes the hardware, software and support services required to get more proactive with customer experience options, and Avaya says it is easy to set up and maintain.

"Establishing proactive customer experience operations has previously required companies to engage in a long, arduous process and with several vendors, and was often out of the reach of midsized operations," said Mark de la Vega, Avaya's vice president and general manager for Contact Center. He said the company's new product changes that.

An Express Solution

Outbound Contact Express is a pre-integrated solution for the midsize contact center with 25-250 agents and as many as 500 trunks. Avaya put "express" in the product name, in part, because the approach slashes time to service from a baseline of 30 days to one or two.

The new tool taps call detection and advanced, patented predictive and preview dialing algorithms to drive more effective use of agent time and a lower cost per call to reach customers. Meanwhile, a single contact for all maintenance and support helps to reduce the costs and complexity associated with day-to-day operations and maintenance of traditional, multi-vendor solutions.

"The typical contact center operation is largely focused on being available through a variety of means when the customer is ready to initiate contact," said Ken Landoline, principal analyst at Current Analysis. "But, there is tremendous value to adopting a proactive contact strategy that can alert customers and others when there is information they need to know. Single-vendor, turnkey technology solutions make adopting a proactive strategy much more feasible, and can remove many of the hesitations that may prevent organizations from going down this path."

Thinking Like a Customer

Outbound Contact Express includes an administrative Web client for defining campaigns and a dialer with promised call detection accuracy. The solution also offers agent scripting to ensure consistent, successful customer interactions and reporting and call recording to ensure quality and compliance.

Avaya Speech Analytics aims to drive insight and improvement to agent performance and operations. Avaya also includes 24x7 support and Expert systems monitoring and software upgrade protection as well as optional parts support.

We caught up with Matt McConnell, CEO at Intradiem, which provides intra-day management solutions for contact centers, to get his take on the growing emphasis on contact centers for mid-sized firms. He told us contact centers have a big opportunity for operational improvement, especially when considering the customer experience.

"If you think like a customer -- they want their issues resolved by a knowledgeable agent, during their first call. But companies don't typically staff their contact centers with the customer experience in mind," he said. "Most schedule enough agents for 85 percent occupancy, leaving the customer to wait for the next available agent because it's seen as too expensive otherwise.

Dan Ferguson, president and CEO, AdvanTel Networks, a company that integrates converged communications solutions into business environments, is working with Avaya's Outbound Contact Express. "We see a significant opportunity for a comprehensive, turnkey, proactive contact solution for the midsize contact center," he said. "This is a largely underserved market due to the complexity and cost of traditional, multi-vendor solutions."

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