Avaya Launches Next-Generation Contact Center Solutions to Enhance Customer Service Experiences

by Jeff Wiener on July 20, 2010

Avaya, introduced its next-generation of contact center solutions to meet the real-time demands of a rapidly evolving customer service environment. The new solutions – which include innovations in multimedia work assignment, workforce optimization and outbound self-service – can help businesses more effectively manage customer experiences in an always-on world. These advancements drive improvements in customer satisfaction, agent productivity, and cost-savings throughout contact center operations.

Central to the new offerings is Avaya Aura™ Contact Center, a multimedia work assignment application for mid-size contact centers that connects customers and their information to the right agent or expert via any communications mode (i.e. voice, video, e-mail, chat). It uses the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based collaborative session model of Avaya Aura – the company’s business communications applications platform – to enhance the efficiency and quality of customer service. Avaya Aura Contact Center complements the large enterprise solutions of Avaya Aura Call Center Elite, and will serve as its multimedia extension.

Avaya Aura Contact Center’s collaboration capabilities help a business understand the full context of a customer interaction – including the customer’s mode of communications, history and present needs. The solution also brings collaborative sessions to customer service, eliminating the process of having customers repeat information to several people as they progress through a call. By bringing the customer, agent and expert into a session to share information, a company can reduce customer frustrations, increase first-contact resolution and enhance experiences. Through this approach, Avaya Aura Contact Center can improve customer satisfaction by up to 50 percent.1

Customer experiences are critical, yet most businesses are not aware of the disconnect they have with their own customers. A study by Webtorials Editorial shows that 80 percent of companies believe they provide a good or superior customer experience, while only 20 percent of consumers agree. Additionally, 82 percent of consumers say their experience with the contact center is important or very important in their opinion about a company’s image.

“SIP and web services enable contact centers to do what used to require highly customized and costly computer telephony integrations (CTI) to accomplish,” said Drew Kraus, research vice president, Gartner, Inc. “It makes multi-modal customer service widely accessible, instead of limited to just big-budget contact centers. With continued adoption of multi-modal contact centers, and an evolving social media space, SIP is a growing area of interest for companies.”

Avaya Aura Contact Center also enables increased agent productivity, since agents no longer have to juggle separate communications channels across multiple systems. A single desktop agent application can be used to track and manage up to six types of transactions simultaneously – one voice and five non-voice (email, web chat, etc). It also lets businesses deliver advanced work items, such as online applications or claims, to agent desktops via an ‘open universal queue’, which used to require a separate workstream. Additionally, during incoming customer instant messages or chats, the solution identifies context-sensitive keywords, which are matched up with prepared textual responses the agent can use to speed interactions. Keywords can also be used to create a list of relevant available experts, reducing the time spent searching for them.2

New Solutions Deliver End-to-End Experience Management

All of today’s introductions provide a foundation for end-to-end Experience Management, which uses open communications so businesses can orchestrate people and information, learn customer data, bring full context to sessions, and immerse agents and customers into a collaborative session. Other new solutions unveiled today include:

Avaya Aura™ Workforce Optimization (WFO): Avaya introduces its first integrated offer in workforce optimization, enabling companies to make more informed decisions about customer service. WFO includes recording and quality monitoring to capture and synchronize an agent’s audio and screen activity so supervisors can see the full scope of interactions. Insight gained through quality monitoring has been forecast to reduce agent training time by 30 percent.3

The solution also includes a workforce management application that collects information and historical trends from a contact center, such as call volumes for a given time, to determine ideal staffing requirements. This reduces excess costs and accelerates return on investment. More effective workforce scheduling can lead to a 20 percent cost-reduction.4

Avaya Proactive Outreach Manager: Designed to let businesses reach out to customers via self-service, Proactive Outreach Manager places all multimedia interactions on a single platform. This enables businesses to go beyond outbound calling to more effectively use outbound notification campaigns incorporating several modes of communications. Hotels, for example, can use it to send room availability notices and promotions, while manufacturers can more effectively provide real-time updates on shipments.

Outbound self-service can drive new revenues and savings, with one customer reporting a 10 percent increase in payments, and $50,000 in annual savings from automated appointment reminders. This solution also delivers the ability to manage both outbound and inbound self-service using a Web browser accessible system, simplifying management and reducing the costs of outbound self-service, since the same systems can now be used for both functions.

Other introductions include Avaya Aura™ Call Center Elite 6.0, the new version of Avaya’s call routing software for large enterprises, which now offers greater capacity and includes the adaptive, predictive routing capabilities of Business Advocate as an entitlement. The company also delivers Avaya IQ 5.1, the company’s powerful reporting and analytics solution, which gains improved capacity (900 simultaneous users), availability, and graphical views.

“As next-generation communications takes hold, businesses recognize that customer expectations continue to move in one direction – up,” said Anthony Bartolo, general manager, Contact Center Solutions, Avaya. “Avaya Aura Contact Center and our new people-centric collaboration solutions provide the tools to more effectively manage experiences, both for customers and the agents who serve them.”

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