Amazon Connect Review

amazon connect call centerKnowledge is power, especially in the fast-paced world of technology where things are changing so quickly. At Bicom Systems we like to research and even test new products as they come out so that we know what we are up against. One of our developers recently spent some time looking at the Amazon Contact Center solution and wrote a review for all of you:

Amazon Connect: A Review

GUI

The GUI is not anywhere near where it should be. The content is breaking out and overflowing. Components take up too much space that you do not needed. Everything is fixed, you cannot adjust the window size, etc.

Contact Flow

Creating call flow logic is very easy with their graphical interface. You have components in which you add and connect with wires and then make logic. The starting position is the number which callers will dial and then enter into the system. I tried some custom, it was not too complex and it worked. But the question is how it will behave in a more complex situation. There are still some GUI problems. For example, when you move or edit a component, the connection is lost and you have to wire it again. After publishing it will show you errors and where you should fix it.

Prompts and Text-To-Speech

Prompts have the capability to use text-to-speech or recording. Text-to-speech is great for building small prompts, but of course it only works only with English.

Statistics

Amazon went with customizable reports, so it allows you to choose fields from a list and then you can save and run it again. This sound nice, but as I tried making a few reports – BAM – I would run into errors or fields that showed no data. If you want to talk optimization, well we know there is none. Even with little data, it requires a couple of seconds to build every report. And if you add fields, it takes longer and longer. So handling large data may not be possible.

The most annoying thing that I ran into was that when I was expecting certain data, it would not show at all or would show lower values than expected. So data accuracy is a big issue.

Also, unlike in our statistics, you cannot filter by time, for example from 8:00 to 11:00. You cannot break the data down to see all the CDRs an agent had at that time.

So statistics gets a big thumbs down. Though it may have plenty of filters and features, everything comes down to speed and accuracy.

Conclusion

Amazon took the approach of making everything customizable. But even with that in mind, there are too many things missing. First of all, you cannot create any queue strategies. You could create flows, but you cannot achieve automatization. Also, there are many instances of queue configuration on our system which would require big flows or be impossible to make. Statistics covers a lot of fields, but accuracy and speed are big problems here.

They have this simple WRTC softphone that works for simple functions – dial, hangup, transfer – but real call centers agents often need to see with whom they are talking. For now, the agent is put in this “after call work” state for every call, so there are no options like wrap-up time, auto pause, etc.

In conclusion, this software does not yet provide a good solution for large call centers. And even for small call centers, there are lot of bugs and GUI problems that need to solved.

If you would like to learn about our own call center solution, please visit our website.

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Call Center PBX: An Enhanced Software

call center pbxI recently stumbled upon an article claiming that PBX phone systems cannot replace call center software. My initial reaction was to scoff and dismiss it, but the article kept coming back to me as a response formed in my mind.

Rather than replying: “Yes, PBX can replace call center software”, I began to wonder why it has to be a question of one or the other – is it necessarily a replacement?

A PBX phone system that is dedicated to call centers is essentially enhanced call center software. Not a replacement, per se, but an improvement.

The aforementioned article challenged PBX phone systems on the basis that they do not offer the following features: Advanced routing, Call queueing, Live call monitoring, and Live reporting. The article further criticized PBX systems as less scalable than traditional call center software. Let’s go through these allegedly absent features one-by-one…

1. Advanced routing

Call centers are, by definition, dedicated to call management, so advanced call routing is essential. Call Center PBX solutions like PBXware offer skills-based routing, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Automated Call Distribution (ACD). Our skills-based routing supports the following criteria: skill level, training level, performance, availability, call priority, and queue load. Additionally, should a call need to be manually transferred, gloCOM shows the real-time status of other agents and supports instant drag-and-drop transfers to whoever is available.

2. Call queueing

Queues are, without a doubt, indispensable in any busy call center. PBXware supports not only unlimited queues and optional callback, but also real-time queue monitoring and statistics. Live wallboards with real-time queue stats enable call center agents to monitor and keep up with call traffic. Queue reports enable supervisors to achieve better customer service by forecasting call volumes, calculating agent requirements, and comparing results with expectations.

3. Live call monitoring

Constant call monitoring ensures optimum customer service quality and satisfaction. PBXware supports real-time agent monitoring and barging. Supervisors can drop in on calls unannounced and unnoticed to verify that call quality standards are being met. Alternatively, they could jump on a call to provide input or assistance without ever placing the caller on hold or transferring them. Call center agents perform more consistently when they know that a supervisor could be listening in at any moment.

4. Live reporting

Real-time reporting of call center statistics inspires agents to perform better and keeps supervisors informed on progress. PBXware gives data on queue statistics, call detail records (CDR), actions logs, and system CLI messages. Many call centers put these stats on wallboards so that progress is at the center of attention throughout the day. Detailed reports can also be run after the fact and delivered at a specified interval.

5. Scalability

One of our primary goals at Bicom Systems is to enable partners to grow. Your success is our success and we have helped entrepreneurs start from the ground up as well as large corporations expand even beyond what the knew they could. PBXware is highly flexible and can scale both up and down fluidly. Bicom Systems is committed to giving you a solution as small or large as you need to get started. We are confident you will grow, so we are happy to start slow and grow with you.

Call Center PBX solutions do not need to be an alternative to call center software, but an enhancement of the traditional software. PBXware Call Center PBX is a powerhouse under-the-hood with all of the features and technologies that busy call centers need, but wrapped up in a simple and user-friendly interface.

Learn more about our Call Center PBX solution on our website.

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Is VoIP driving business away from you?

voipOver the years I have noticed that more and more of our new customers are no longer VoIP Entrepreneurs wanting to join the telephony provider venture. Seems like the more VoIP becomes the present and defines the future of communications, the more industries it touches.

These days, any business that provides IT industry related services is somehow related to, or forced to be related to, the communications infrastructure of their customers. Even better if the customer has some knowledge or is at least aware of the unified communications experience.  

Industries like Internet service provides, cable services, and/or fiber providers have already joined, are planning to join, or at least know the future is to integrate in order to gain and retain customers. To mention a few of the most common that will ring my desk, I should start with hosted service providers. Either hardware, software, or a mix of the two, is something that, sooner or later, VoIP has to become an integrated part of. Either a multi-tenant platform like ours in order to centralize all hosted PBXs, or separate Call Center/Custom environments, this is something that, along with other value-added features, a hosted service provider will get asked for pretty often.  

Other industries, less related to network services or hosted services like IT Managed Services, will encounter themselves one way or another supporting an IP Phone, a local PBX, or a PBX hosted by someone else. They will notice the additional revenue and increased customer retention will come as soon as they can also take care of the telephony needs. 

Many of my customers will often express how VoIP service may be just one service out of many, and maybe not the one that bring the most revenue in from customers. But VoIP is an essential piece of the relationship since it is the part that allows their customers to unify their communications, in addition to the suite of services it provides.

This article is a ‘heads up’ to all those out there that think VoIP services ‘could be’. Soon VoIP will be a ‘major’ part of any one proposal because it will become part of the request. The end-user likes to feel a level of unification that provides them the security that a single provider can serve, understand, and support all their technology components.

VoIP is so flexible that anyone that has a customer base and provides any type of service, even non-technology, could find a way to integrate it into their suite of services with a huge value and even bigger retaining element. Make it drive business towards you, not away from you. At this very moment deals are been turned down because the competitor shows a unified set of services with telephony, or impressed the customer with an additional service made possible by VoIP. 

Just because everyone related is getting involved does not mean that it is easy. We still hear horror stories. Even that the voice quality is not working out, loss of RTP, but less. More and more it’s ‘how do I?’ Whether CRM integration or producing better reporting and so control of daily lives.

If you would like to explore your options, whether you are related to technology services or not, Bicom Systems would be happy to assist with whatever ideas you may have. We have not seen it all yet, but with the many we have worked with already, I’m sure you are at the right place for finding a solution. Our IPPBX PBXware comes in a Single Tenant Business Edition, Multi-Tenant Edition, and Call Center Edition, and the mix of all of them is as customizable and flexible as it comes.

3 Ways UC Increases Call Resolution Rates in Call Centers

call centerWe have talked about Hosted VoIP in call centers as well as PBX Call Center software, but today is specifically about Unified Communications. What is the general purpose of any call center? Call resolution. That is exactly what a call center is created for – to answer and resolve calls.

Unified Communications contributes to improved Call Resolution Rates in a number of ways. Three specific features are:

1. Presence – Call Center agents that are on call can use Presence to quickly identify colleagues that are available to join the call or provide advice in another way like IM. This way the agent can stay on the call while seeking a solution rather than putting the caller on hold or sending them to unavailable extensions or voicemail.

2. Collaboration – Unified Communications makes it possible for Call Center agents to work together more quickly and seamlessly. Tools like IM, screensharing, or drag-and-drop conferencing mean a resolution is reached more quickly and efficiently. Agents that are on another call can still be reached through alternative methods.

3. Remote Agents – The ability to work from home or on the road means increased availability and flexibility. When more agents are available at more times, it becomes easier to resolve calls efficiently.

These and many other features make Unified Communications an ideal solution for Call Centers that wish to increase their call resolution rate. Our gloCOM app is the piece that ties together the rest of our telephony solution, putting all of our UC tools in one simple interface for your desktop or mobile phone. Learn more about gloCOM on our website.

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3 Ways PBX Call Center Software Improves the Customer Experience

pbx call centerThe title says three ways to improve customer experience, but we all know there is really only one way to do that – by enabling and inspiring our agents, the ones who deal directly with customers. So these are really three tools that will inspire or enable your agents to enhance the customer experience.

1. Share Statistics – What better way to drive better customer service than to let agents see the positive impact of doing so. And of course a bit of healthy competition works well too. Call Center PBX even lets you show stats on a wallboard where agents can see it constantly.

2. Focus on Problem Solving – Rather than using call center software that focuses only on answering voice calls, expand to a unified communications solution that can shift the focus to actually addressing customer problems rather than just taking calls. gloCOM lets agents transfer calls, drag users into an instant conference, silently IM during a call, and much more. These tools let agents collaborate with other agents or supervisors to get to the root of a problem quickly and efficiently.

3. Make it Easy – Finally, cloud call center software is user-friendly, has a streamlined interface, and requires little to no IT help. If the technical side of call management is easy for agents, they will be happier, less stressed, and better equipped to deal with the personal side. Call Center PBX even offers a way for agents to take breaks so they can come back recharged, place themselves on “Do Not Disturb” so they can escape distractions, and much more.

If you are interested in learning more about Call Center PBX or downloading a demo, please visit our product page or sign-up for a free account to get in touch with an Account Manager!

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