Advanced call center software & customer service software blog team
The Sytel Blog Team (from left):
       Ian Turner (Development Manager)
       Michael McKinlay (CEO)
       Garry Pearson (CTO)
the sytel blog
Call center software & solutions

Sytel lives day by day at the coalface of call center software design.

We take on the hard tasks that many other companies balk at. We invent from the ground up, working to bring you the best call center software solutions to the toughest challenges, resulting in world-class, best-of-breed call center software.

With this blog, we aim to educate, illuminate and also challenge the call center industry. Expect us to talk about call center technology, but technology is just a means to an end. What matters ultimately is the quality of the service that technology can provide for customers. So expect the blog to be wide-ranging. And expect us to shed new light on received call center industry wisdom.

You may not agree with everything we say. Great! Informed debate lies at the heart of innovation. So feel free to give us your feedback and if you argue your case well, we may post your ideas on the blog.

Enjoy!

 

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 Oct 2013
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There is no denying that multimedia has a place in the contact center. But when the dust settles, voice will still be king for many types of interaction, where only a 1-to-1 conversation will do the job.
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 Sep 2013
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Given the experience of predictive dialer regulation in the UK and US, what should regulators and contact centers in other countries do?
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 Aug 2013
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How have UK and US telemarketeers responded to the dialing rules and the Do Not Call legislation brought in by their respective governments? And what does this mean for countries that have no legislation (yet!) on outbound calls?
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 Jul 2013
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In our travels around the world, we come across a variety of different market conditions for predictive dialing. This has prompted us to rethink what the regulations for predictive dialers in the UK and US have achieved and what lessons other countries can draw from them.
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 Jun 2013
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A reflection on 5 call center practices that are past their 'sell by' date, or, if you like, where there is room for improvement over the coming year.
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 May 2013
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Answering Machine Detection (AMD) remains a hot topic in the UK, where the issue of AMD false positives is an unwelcome distraction. Sytel has been taking the technical lead on a working party to define and establish standards for Network AMD. The working party is proposing a solution that produces winners all round.
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 Apr 2013
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In order to minimise costs and maximise value, customer service operations aim to route a caller so as to achieve the fastest resolution/ greatest satisfaction, in the shortest time, involving the fewest people. Probably the best way to meet this challenge is to adopt a similar approach to that of dating websites.
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 Mar 2013
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The aim of IVR is either to enable users to help themselves without agent involvement, or to route users to the right agent who can satisfy them in a single call. But largely because of bad design, many people’s experience of IVR systems has been more Kafka than customer service.
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 Feb 2013
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Why take any contact center service from the cloud? Because you benefit from a high-end feature set without the hassle of purchasing and maintaining the kit. Sounds like a no-brainer, and IP PBX services are no exception.
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 Jan 2013
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Great customer engagement is a product of a thorough understanding not only of the customer’s values and needs, but also of their culture. To communicate effectively, speaking the language is not enough. You also need to 'speak' the culture.
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 Dec 2012
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The technological challenges of home-working for call center agents are not well known. Getting these right is an important step toward a successful work-at-home strategy.
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 Nov 2012
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In both the UK and the US, outbound operators are getting a raw deal. The fact is that virtually no predictive dialers were designed to deliver good performance under Ofcom/ FTC rules for abandoned calls. This blog explores the implications for the operators and the industry.
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 Oct 2012
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Taking the plunge from TDM to IP, or setting up an IP based contact center from scratch, can be a daunting prospect. Here are 5 often overlooked signposts to save a lot of headache and back-tracking further along.
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 Sep 2012
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There are many definitions out there for the term 'universal queue'. They all sound great but are very agent-centric. Focusing on agent productivity is necessary, but it is not sufficient. Here we call for an alternative that can actually deliver satisfaction for the customer.
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 Aug 2012
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Even if we believe the hype of some vendors, if we look at the bigger picture, we see that claims for very high uptime - maybe 99.999% - refer to software only. But in the new world of virtual, hosted and cloud-based contact centers, the vast majority of downtime is caused by hardware and network failure. This blog looks at the areas of risk and how call center software vendors can (and should) respond to them.
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 Jul 2012
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Customer interaction data produced by virtual/ cloud-based contact centers has the potential to grow massively in a short time, and is virtually unlimited. This phenomenon has been dubbed 'big data' and managers must carefully consider how to cope with, and extract value from, this big data load; high performance tools are needed that, as some have put it, can drink from the fire hose.
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 Jun 2012
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By and large, call center scripting tools are built either for IVR only, or for agent scripts only, and are entirely separate entities. Why? Surely they are fundamentally the same thing: routing and branching decisions based on user input. This blog offers some answers and a way forward.
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 May 2012
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Most companies fit into one of two camps; closed architecture (promoting 'own brand' only) or open architecture (offering APIs to other products). Here we compare and contrast the two approaches.
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 Apr 2012
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Sytel's contribution to the latest controversy over Network AMD, and some background on how we got here.
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 Mar 2012
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How do providers of high availability cloud-based or hosted contact center services prevent failure and disaster from becoming loss of service? And what questions should users/ service providers ask of vendors such as ourselves?
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 Feb 2012
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As delivery of cloud computing services threatens to become a way of life, it is timely to look at where vendors like ourselves should be concentrating their efforts to ensure high availability.
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 Jan 2012
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Contact center agents are empowered to provide excellent quality of response by continual evaluation, training and improvement. The tools that enable this to happen are standard for voice-only interactions, but how about web chat, email, SMS, video and others?
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 Dec 2011
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These days, to keep the customer happy a contact center must manage voice, email, web chat, video, text (and others) successfully. Rather like juggling with 4 balls (and a chainsaw), this can be challenging. In this blog, we look at the technological challenges in delivering speed of response in a multi-media contact center.
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 Nov 2011
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IVR systems can be both difficult to design and set up, and difficult to manage and update, resulting in low usability and user frustration. So, in terms of technology, what are the features of an easy-to-design, easy-to-manage IVR system? Here’s our top six.
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 Oct 2011
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In the UK, and in fact most countries, many users are still buying predictive dialers without looking under the cover. If you really care about getting the best performance out of your predictive dialer, you must know your predictive gain!
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 Sep 2011
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Call center managers should be armed with the crucial information that allows them to make the best business decisions. But many performance management software packages just don’t deliver. Here are 5 important requirements for a call center reporting package that actually does the job.
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 Aug 2011
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Here are the top 5 misconceptions about how predictive dialers actually work, along with some suggestions for better practice.
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 Jul 2011
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As Turkey considers the impact of silent calls produced by predictive dialers, and the best way to manage the marketplace, we point out some lessons that can be learned from the US and the UK where this path has been trodden before.
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 Jun 2011
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As the sands of social media shift at a fairly bewildering rate, prepare for an avalanche of social media analytics tools. But effective analytics is not going to be easy.
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 May 2011
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Tape-based answering machines have long been displaced by digital technology where messages played to callers are indistinguishable from live voice, rendering many answering machine detection (AMD) algorithms unreliable at best. But enthusiasm for the use of AMD remains strong even though some leading users have realised that the costs outweigh the benefits.
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 Apr 2011
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First call resolution has become the Holy Grail of customer service in recent years. But how has the advent of other media types such as SMS, email and chat changed this?
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 Mar 2011
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Customers expect first-class service, no matter what is going on behind the scenes at the call center, and no matter what the channel of contact. To earn the label 'first-class', we believe customer service must be 'joined-up' in the key areas outlined here.
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 Feb 2011
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Most of us use SaaS every hour of the day. It's not a revolutionary idea, and if the hosted call center services model follows anything like the trajectory of the mobile/ smart phone model, we can expect large-scale take-up in increasing volume.
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 Jan 2011
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The needs of a call center supervisor in the area of performance measurement are similar to those of a pilot in thick fog. In order to fly without fear of disaster, he must have instant access to up-to-the-minute metrics. This blog looks at these needs in more detail.
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 Dec 2010
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How well is your contact center set up to cope with the disruption of the winter season? Now is the time to review your technology capabilities.
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 Nov 2010
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When contact center software and hardware fails, what level of technical support and customer service do you expect?
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 Oct 2010
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No call center in the world wants to be left out of the multimedia IP revolution. This blog maps a viable and graceful migration path for contact centers heading toward IP.
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 Sep 2010
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This month’s blog looks at the current and forthcoming challenges faced by contact centers at the agent desktop, and outlines a way forward for contact centers struggling to cope.
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 Aug 2010
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What makes a successful hosted contact center operation? If you are considering becoming a hosted call center supplier, consider these tips carefully.
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 Jul 2010
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How should your technology be empowering your CSRs to deliver top class customer service? Here's a list of 10 must-haves.
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 Jun 2010
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Could it be that the future of networking is currently being trialed in call centers across the world?
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 May 2010
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Watch out for predictive dialer vendors claiming over 90% (sometimes over 95%) detection rates for answering machines. This is not real life, and here's why.
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 Apr 2010
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In the software development business, 'change is inevitable, change is constant'. So how do you manage sustainable software development in a constantly changing environment?
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 Mar 2010
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To aid the assessment of unified communications, the contact center industry should be asking its UC vendor community for detail on how their technology can provide solutions to challenges specific to the contact center.
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 Feb 2010
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If current trends in applications and increasingly data storage are anything to go by, premise-based installations are losing favour and we are headed for hosted and cloud-based nirvana. But do current trends provide a reliable forecast?
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 Jan 2010
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There is plenty of evidence out there to show that unified communications has substantial business benefits to offer the contact center. But how do you separate the actual benefits from the hype, and how have contact centers coped for so long without it?
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 Dec 2009
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Hands up who’s bought a predictive dialer on the basis of a manufacturer’s claims, without getting independent verification of performance. Verification of predictive dialer performance is something that customers are entitled to demand. If they don’t, then this can mean big trouble, if compliant predictive dialing is required.
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