At the upcoming Genesys CX17 events, AudioCodes will present, as part of the new Genesys and AudioCodes partnership, an IP Phone combined with a centralized management application that has been specially designed to increase the productivity of work at home agents (WAHA) and deliver a superior level of customer service.
The move towards the WAHA model, also known as the virtual agent model, is currently one of the leading trends in the contact center market. More and more industry leaders are discovering the benefits of the home agent model for their contact center services. Home agent programs offer compelling advantages, including cost reduction and better customer response strategies. Furthermore, this model tears down geographical barriers, meaning that businesses can recruit highly qualified individuals, in practically any location, who will then be available to provide excellent service at any time.
The home agent voice challenge
In spite of the obvious attractions of the WAHA model, its implementation at a technical level is very challenging because the home agents themselves are not an integral part of the contact center’s own private, secure and reliable network.
Instead, home agents typically use their home broadband internet to connect to their company’s contact center. While this unmanaged broadband internet connection is good enough for using desktop web applications and for accessing CRM services, it is far from ideal for real time communication such as voice calls. Broadband internet connections can be unreliable, based as they are on the "best effort delivery" principle, and they have a tendency to suffer unpredictable drops in quality. This can cause poor quality voice transmission and, even worse, disconnections and unavailability – all leading to customer dissatisfaction.
Another problem with the WAHA model is the use of soft phone clients. Unlike standard web browser applications for accessing services such as CRMs and digital channels, soft phone clients are specific applications that need to be installed and configured. Since these applications handle real-time voice traffic, they require significant memory and CPU resources. Performance is therefore very much dependent on the individual agent’s PC and its operating system capabilities, which can in itself be adversely affected by other applications that are running on the PC and consuming resources as well. In addition, maintaining and updating such applications requires remote IT intervention that can be time-consuming and disruptive, causing agents to be offline and therefore unavailable to take customer calls.
Controlling, monitoring and improving the home agent’s voice service
What is needed is a dedicated IP Phone device suited to the specific needs of home agents and fully integrated with the business’s contact center, assuring a high quality voice experience. This will substantially increase the home agent’s productivity and operational efficiency, leading to a corresponding increase in customer satisfaction.
AudioCodes’ IP Phones use VoIPerfect™ voice enhancement technology that delivers high voice quality over any internet connection. This unique technology is based on a monitoring engine that examines and measures voice quality at all times, automatically triggering enhancement tools such as adaptive jitter buffer and dynamic voice quality adaptation if necessary.
The data collected by the IP Phone monitoring engine can be transmitted to a centralized monitoring application, giving a clear picture of everything that is going on in the voice network, right down to the level of individual home agents. Not only can IT managers analyze and resolve potential quality issues before they even occur, they can also remotely manage and automatically configure individual IP Phones without interfering with the agent’s work or running dedicated applications on the agent’s PC.
And last but not least, the monitoring application can also be used to add or remove agents from the agents’ pool based on the quality of their voice service, ensuring that customers will always receive the exceptional level of service that they deserve.
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