January 31, 2015
Call center-based news this week is sort of a mixed bag. There are some high points with Genesys taking customer experiences to heightened levels, but there are some low points with some call centers calling it quits and others experiencing long wait times due to demand for U.S. healthcare. Let's start out with the good news.
As previously mentioned, TMC wrote this week about how Genesys took customer experience “to the next level.” It did this most recently with Sky, an entertainment provider in the U.K., by providing that enterprise with its Customer Experience Platform. The platform brings a number of options to call center agents and managers such as automated, intelligent call routing, support for virtualization, information dashboards for improved visibility into contact center operations, and reporting tools for improving operations long term. This has helped Sky deal with its nearly 150,000 calls that it processes through 20 call centers each day. That is about 7,500 calls, on average, for each center involved, so those agents and managers may have been hoping for anything that would help them along. Danny Clarke, Sky's customer telephony design manager, put it best when he said that the Genesys platform “[enabled] us to match resources to call volumes and identify potential problems before they affect service.”
Unfortunately, the good news ends there. A recent report about the Massachusetts health care exchange call center notes that it has experienced about 33,000 calls each day this week and that wait times for customers have reached 30 minutes or more. This has resulted in many customers hanging up or being disconnected as a result of system overload. Some people have even reported being on hold for several hours across a number of days as they try to sign up for health insurance.
Although the problem at those call centers is a matter of volume, issues for call centers can also arise as a matter of money. The Franklin County 911 call center in St. Louis, Mo. reported recently that it projects a deficit of nearly half a million dollars in 2015 because of dwindling funds for its center. Funds used to pour in because they were tied to a landline tax, but now that mobile phones have taken over and there is no similar tax on those sorts of connections, emergency officials are left wanting. Franklin County officials are considering a consolidation with surrounding counties to make ends meet and have the call center become viable once again.
Meanwhile, a call center associated with Strategic Fundraising, a political center that operates out of Springfield, Mo., will be closing its doors on Feb. 7. According to the initial report from local television news station KSPR, the site reportedly got into some legal trouble for failing to provide information about the nature of callers' solicitations. Strategic Fundraising said it had an unproductive year, financially, in 2014 and that it predicted a similar situation for the coming year.