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Five9 Adds Social, Mobile to Its Cloud Call Center Repertoire
June 23, 2014
Five9 has introduced Summer Release 2014, the latest version of its cloud contact center software. The company's first major release since its 8.1 launch last year, it follows Five9's acquisition of SoCoCare, a social engagement and mobile customer care provider. SoCoCare's feature set is part of the basis for the new release. As a result, Summer Release 2014 is now a multichannel desktop app.
Path Adds Another Avenue for Mobile Gabfest
June 23, 2014
Path has hived off its mobile-only messaging service as a standalone app named "Talk," it announced Friday. It also ended limits on the number of friends users can communicate with, and announced its purchase of place messaging pioneer TalkTo as it sets itself for growth. The Talk app has a new feature, Ambient Status, that shows users' current status at a glance.
inContact Rolls Out Feature-Rich Cloud Call Center Update
April 23, 2014
inContact has released its first cloud contact center software update for the year. Version 14.1 contains a new two-way SMS channel, more refined automated call-routing, deeper integration with Salesforce.com and Oracle, and new APIs that give enterprise users the ability to customize their own applications and do a deep dive into their data. The company currently is rolling out the new version.
New Avaya Platform Defrags Customer Experience
March 20, 2014
Avaya has rolled out an upgraded CEM platform with two new major components: the proactive outreach manager and intelligent customer routing. The common theme in this product's enhancement is the unification of inbound and outbound customer engagement with self service across any media, explained Avaya's Cory Glover, senior manager in the customer experience solutions marketing team.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gets a Fuel Injection
February 18, 2014
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a set of Microsoft Dynamics CRM features that will be generally available in the second quarter of this year. There are three main areas of change in this latest iteration: new marketing functionality; enhanced customer service options; and the introduction of a unified service desk for call centers. There are also additional social listening features.
4 Processes for Turning Customer Ire Into Loyalty
January 24, 2014
If you're in business, you're going to face a customer relationship issue that's your fault. It happens. We're human -- and though we may strive for perfection, the best we can do is get close to that goal. When your business errs, the first people who are likely to hear it are your customer service reps. Customer service reps end up apologizing a lot in these situations.
inContact 13.2 Helps Agents Make a Personal Connection
October 07, 2013
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. There are other features and upgrades as well, noted Madelyn Gengelbach, director of market intelligence at inContact.
Echopass Revs Its Engines for Enterprise Contact Centers
August 26, 2013
Echopass recently unveiled a new enterprise edition of its software for corporations that use the cloud to manage their contact center operations. The offering consists of more than 40 applications and services aimed at centers that support between 500 to 20,000 agents. One early adopter typifies the type of company for which this application was developed, said the company's Rob Farris.
J.Crew Earns Top Marks on Retailer Report Cards
August 23, 2013
Top brands continue to push the envelope in customer service generally, but that's particularly true in the online sphere. So reports StellaService, which just this week published new data that ranks the top retailers in terms of customer service performance over the last month. "Some of these guys are consistently at the top of their category," said StellaService's Kevon Hills.
Nice Systems Gives Customers Face Time With CSRs
August 12, 2013
Nice Systems has introduced a Contact Center Video Recording platform to its Nice Interaction Management suite. While not in great demand yet, this feature surely will draw more interest if customer service and regulatory trends continue on their current trajectory. The feature allows organizations to monitor and track customer service that is provided via video-enabled contact centers.
Contact Center Managers Get Some Mobile Mojo
June 18, 2013
Another day, another mobile app release; except in this case, the app is aimed at the contact center supervisor -- not exactly a role that has been inundated with mobile functionality to this point. The application in question is Five9's latest cloud contact software application, which includes mobile functionality. Enhancements to the suite include multichannel capabilities and an iPad app.
Twilio Lets Devs Build Contact Centers in the Cloud
May 09, 2013
Twilio last week rolled out capabilities that extend its communications API platform into the cloud contact center market. The new functionality is aimed at companies that want to migrate part or all of their traditional contact center operations to the cloud, or those that want to enhance existing traditional operations with a cloud-based component.
Pegasystems App Susses Out Customers' Soft Spots
April 23, 2013
Pegasystems has rolled out the newest iteration of its marketing application. New or enhanced features include improved ability to perform real time event-triggered actions and new B2B recommendation functionality. The key to understanding this app is its name, "Next-Best-Action," said Steve Kraus, senior director of product marketing. "That is the concept behind our approach to marketing.
Kana Adds Context, Subtracts Search
April 16, 2013
Kana Software on Tuesday debuted its next generation of Kana Enterprise, a multichannel customer service application with functionality for both the agent-based desktop and self-service. Its features include case management; Web self-service; mobile chat; co-browsing; social listening, analytics and community engagement; email, campaign and white mail management; and advanced knowledge management.
CallCopy Lets Managers See What Customers Are Saying
April 01, 2013
CallCopy recently unveiled cc: Discover 5.1, an upgrade to its flagship workforce optimization suite. Many of the changes incorporated in this version were made at the behest of customers who provided feedback at the company's first annual User Conference last fall, said Patrick Hall, CMO of CallCopy. Taken as a whole, the upgraded application "provides a simple solution to solving complicated problems."
KXEN's Predictive Offers Helps Agents Get Inside Customers' Heads
March 18, 2013
KXEN has launched Predictive Offers, a real-time next best action tool for customer service and call center agents, on Salesforce.com's AppExchange. The product's goal is to improve customer retention, boost upsell and cross-sell, and improve the overall customer experience by providing agents with the best recommendations for the customers they're speaking with in real time.
Avaya's New CEM Platform Makes Everyone a Customer Agent
March 11, 2013
Avaya unveiled the latest iteration of its customer experience management platform last week, introducing new analytics functionality and a multichannel focus on communication. The new platform's big-picture mission is to foster holistic customer service -- an experience that will become a differentiator for that business, said Laura Bassett, director of product marketing for Avaya CEM and emerging applications.
Enterprises to Show CRM the Money
March 08, 2013
CRM will be a top spending focus for enterprises this year and next, according to a Gartner report. What's more, CRM will be THE top spending focus -- edging past the behemoth category of enterprise resource planning -- based on a newly released survey of IT investment priorities for 2013 and 2014. Following CRM are ERP and office and personal productivity tools.
Building Social Into the Customer Service and Support Infrastructure
February 19, 2013
Surprisingly, many customer service organizations have yet to put their toes in the water when it comes to social media engagement. In fact, fewer than half of them actively respond to consumer complaints via Twitter and other social media channels. For companies that do actively engage in social media for customer support purposes, the average response time is an estimated 24 hours.
Rethinking the Service Paradigm
February 06, 2013
I just got off a phone briefing with Freshdesk, an Indian company with a subscription customer service and support system that it refers to as a "help desk." Freshdesk's got most of the bells and whistles you might expect to find in a solution like that, and it has gamified the business processes as well. That's what inspired this column.
See Customers Clearly Now
February 04, 2013
Customers expect call centers to know everything about them -- their order history, what they've posted about the brand on Facebook, and how long they've bought from the company. Increasingly, companies are beginning to keep up with that expectation, and the more they do, the better customer service they can provide.
With LiveOps, All Customer Channels Are Created Equal
February 01, 2013
LiveOps this week debuted LiveOps Engage, a browser-based desktop agent app that centralizes myriad channels -- phone, email, live chat, SMS, Twitter and Facebook -- on one screen. The screen also displays the history of past interactions with the customer. "This release is bringing together all of the channels of communication, both inbound and outbound," said CEO Marty Beard.
Customers Just Want to Be Tweeted Right
January 29, 2013
It's fairly common practice today for major brands to have a social media team at the ready to respond to customer complaints on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. The practice is so widespread that the Call Center Satisfaction Index report released last week by CFI Group found that call centers should perhaps be renamed "contact centers."
We'll Call You: Putting an End to On-Hold Misery
January 28, 2013
It's a universal reality: Customers dislike waiting on hold. Now call-backs and virtual queuing are changing all that. "Our basic mission is to improve the call center experience," said Shai Berger, CEO and cofounder of Fonolo. "The heart of what we do is replacing hold time with a call-back."

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