When I last reviewed contact center vendor Zeacom it was in the process of being acquired by Enghouse Interactive, with its primary goal being a more global presence. At the time Zeacom’s main selling points were support for multiple channels of communication and integration with Lync, Microsoft’s unified communications software. Now the acquisition is complete (although Zeacom still seems to operate on a fairly autonomous basis), and I learned during a recent briefing that the latest release of its Zeacom Communication Center 7.0 product takes advantage of closer integration with Enghouse Interactive products and includes some important new capabilities.
For one, it provides tighter integration with the Enghouse Interactive Quality Monitoring Suite, adding call recording, interaction capture and agent quality monitoring to the suite’s overall capabilities. It also includes ZCC Survey, which enables companies to ask customers to participate in a survey after interacting with an agent. Alongside these functional improvements, Zeacom has improved the technical side of the product with greater reliability, redundancy and scalability, and added features for integration with Lync and more intelligent email queuing and routing.
However, its main investments have been in a new user interface. The product includes an agent desktop that helps call center agents (in-house or remote) or any other users access other applications in the suite and to external business applications. Zeacom also introduced TouchPoint, which is designed to radically alter the user experience for agents, other users and supervisors. Zeacom recognizes that consumers now expect a user interface that matches their experience using smartphones and tablets. In this context, it developed TouchPoint based on observing how agents and supervisors use their current desktops, more than 15 years of feedback about the current Zeacom desktop, and advances in the user interface supported by other vendors, devices and applications such as mobile apps. It aims to bring the user interface into the new world by minimizing the number of “touches” required to complete a task, making each user’s experience personal and intuitive, making response context-sensitive, and making the interface easier to configure for different uses and users. According to my research into the agent desktop, usability is the top priority for companies seeking to improve the agent experience. Moreover, it shows that a cumbersome desktop can impact agent satisfaction, which can damage agent performance. For example, very satisfied agents twice as often match targets for CSAT, NPS and CES as agents who are dissatisfied. In addition, an intuitive desktop allows more employees to handle interactions, improves collaboration and, most important, helps reduce average call-handling times. From the early demonstration I saw, Zeacom is going down the right path, but there is still work to be done to meet increasing user demands.
All of my recent research shows that companies now have to support multiple channels of customer interaction. This typically makes the desktop even more complex. If companies don’t take action to simplify it, they are likely to see a negative impact on agent and customer satisfaction, and on overall interaction-handling performance. Zeacom is one of a few vendors that support multiple channels and a unified desktop, which places it in a good position to compete with the other vendors I discussed in commenting on the recent U.K. Call Centre Expo. The pressure is on for companies to improve the agent’s experience and the multichannel customer experience, so I recommend that companies evaluate the latest products from Zeacom.
Richard J. Snow
VP & Research Director