Throughout this year we have seen more vendors begin to offer a contact center in the cloud. The latestis Transera, which offers an integrated set of products that focuses on enabling interactions for customer service agents. It has four main groups of products: operations management, agent management, media and call management, and routing and queuing.
Operations management is split into two areas. One application allows systems administrators to set up all the parameters and data used by all the other applications. The other provides extensive reporting, which includes real-time operational reports and reports that agents can use to self-monitor their performance.
Agent management is an applet that pops onto the agent desktop and allows agents to change their status (such as idle, on call or carrying out after-call work), transfer calls to another extension or phone number (including outside the contact center), set up conference calls so the agent can collaborate on resolving a customer’s issue, and gain access to their personal statistics.
Media and call management includes four components: a software-based IVR, call monitoring, call recording and a “jukebox” that can store call recordings. Each of these provides key capabilities. Call monitoring and recording, for instance, has a feature that allows administrators to schedule when different plans come into effect using an Outlook look-alike calendar. One feature I can only describe as sad: Employees responsible for call monitoring can vary the number they use to monitor calls, so they can, for example, listen in to calls while they are driving home from work! The system works by delivering a call to an agent, and if the monitoring rules are satisfied, it routes the call to the person set to monitor that type of call.
The final group of products, routing and queue management, gives Transera a competitive edge. Global queue management is a multichannel, single-stack queuing application that allows companies to route calls, email and fax to agents based on a single set of rules – and Transera plans to add instant messaging in the next release. The product supports three levels of routing: skills-based, which is similar to other such products, and scorecard and service-level routing, which go beyond what most other routing products can do. These allow users to set up rules based on agent and operational performance metrics; for example, an inbound sales call could be routed to the agent who has the best track record of closing sales. The rules can be configured so that all calls don’t end up being routed just to one person or queue.
All the products are cloud-based and so can support distributed centers, dispersed agents (such as at-home workers) or companies that want to have interactions routed to a third-party outsourcer. The user interface is no better than average, and the features I saw were relatively to use.
The product is focused on the communications and agent management aspects of running a center. Its main differentiator is the scorecard and service-level-based routing. At a time when the customer experience has become paramount, the capability to route calls to the most qualified agent to handle an issue can help produce the desired outcome for both customer and company. The Transera product supports companies in their efforts to do this. Companies looking to improve operational performance and the customer experience should look at what it can offer.
Have you implemented, or are you considering, routing other than skills-based? If so please tell us more and collaborate with me on social media.
Richard Snow – VP & Research Director