BT is examining whether to introduce a managed call centre service, currently being piloted by its partner MCI in the US. This would be the first of its kind to be offered by a telco.
MCI is working with computer-telephony integration software supplier Genesys to develop a service in which the telco would monitor calls and provide agents with details of callers automatically. According to preliminary tests by US wholesale investments company Charles Schwab, the system paid for itself within three months and saved the company $10.5 million.
The service is designed to save user organisations the headache of having to buy and set up call centre technology for themselves. Instead of just routing toll-free calls to the call centre, MCI will also identify the caller - either from their telephone number or through details offered by the caller via an interactive voice response unit.
The caller?s details are then checked against a database sitting on MCI?s network. This database contains details specified by the user organisation such as whether the caller is a 'gold' customer, their buying patterns, preferred specifications, and so on. These details are then matched against the customer's database, perhaps to match them with a regular contact agent or one who speaks multiple languages.
Once an ideal agent is found, the caller?s information is sent to the agent?s screen before the caller is passed through. All this is done within 200 milliseconds, explains Rick Degolia, vice president of business development at Genesys.
He said: ?Being able to identify the caller so the agent can pick up the phone and greet them by name saves 20 seconds per call.?
The telco offering the service also benefits from the attention of the caller. For example, if agents are busy, callers hanging on MCI?s line will be able to hear details of MCI special incentives.
The system is currently being beta tested by MCI internally, and external beta tests are expected soon. Meanwhile BT, which recently signed a reseller agreement with Genesys in the UK, said it is considering offering the service here.
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