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inContact 13.2 Helps Agents Make a Personal Connection

inContact 13.2 Helps Agents Make a Personal Connection

A pacing engine algorithm included in the new software is designed to maximize agent efficiency and minimize abandoned calls."The best way to explain it is that the agent is already connected as the multiple predictive calls are made and is able to speak instantly when a live voice comes on the phone," explained Madelyn Gengelbach, the company's director of market intelligence.

By Erika Morphy CRM Buyer ECT News Network
10/07/13 5:00 AM PT

inContact recently debuted the second major release this year of its cloud contact center software. Version 13.2 offers new call prediction technology, mobile functionality and a new agent console that was written natively on Force.com for Salesforce.com users.

inContact
(click to enlarge)

There are other features and upgrades as well, Madelyn Gengelbach, director of market intelligence at inContact, told CRM Buyer, but the new call prediction feature is the company's pride and joy for this particular release.

"It is called Personal Connection and we have put a lot of work into it, not to mention three patents on the technology," Gengelbach said.

'The Agent Is Already Connected'

"Just about any consumer with a phone has gotten a call from an unknown number, and when they picked it up they were greeted with dead air," Gengelbach explained. "That, of course, was an outbound contact center calling that person -- along with a score of other people."

That glitch happens because a process within most predictive calling technologies -- call progress analysis -- can take up to several seconds to determine if a live person has picked up the phone. It can take several more seconds to find the right agent to take the call.

inContact's Personal Connection addresses that problem with its own version of call progress analysis, Gengelbach said.

"The best way to explain it is that the agent is already connected as the multiple predictive calls are made and is able to speak instantly when a live voice comes on the phone," she said.

The technology accomplishes this in part via a pacing engine algorithm designed to maximize agent efficiency and minimize abandoned calls.

Contact Agent Console for Salesforce.com

Also new in this version of inContact is a contact agent console that was specifically built on the Force.com platform.

"We decided to develop directly on Force.com in order to get the broadest array of native capabilities," Gengelbach said.

In particular, the company is proud of how much it was able to include in the user interface and still keep it streamlined, she said.

"Salesforce.com only allocates a certain amount of physical space for the screen," Gengelbach explained.

Accordingly, inContact worked on the design "to make sure we included all the functionality our users want" while still keeping the software easy to use, she said.

The task was made easier because it was a native development, she noted: "When you do a native integration, you have access to a rich and fertile way of doing integrations."

inContact didn't consider streamlining the features, Gengelbach added: "Research has shown that an agent is toggling through an average of five different screens."

That is what is necessary now, given the myriad customer communication channels and volume of customer data companies maintain.

The Mobile Piece

inContact also launched a new mobile offering as part of this new release: the Supervisor on the Go application for the iPad.

Mobile functionality for contact center managers is a lot more important than many people realize, Gengelbach said: "Much of your day is spent walking around, going to different meetings, going out on the floor, talking to agents and team leaders. There is not a lot of desk time."

This feature was developed natively in iOS. Later, the company will develop versions for Android and iPhones.

Whereas comparable apps on the market tend to provide just monitoring capabilities, this one offers management functionality as well, Gengelbach said.

"A manager might be walking around on the floor and sees on his iPad that there are several calls lining up in one agent's queue while another is empty," she explained. "Using our app, he can switch some of those calls to the idle agent."


Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.


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