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Engaged customers are more loyal, they buy more and spend more. This is a fact. So, can we afford not to have defined our "customer commitment center”? 

Much has been said about customer experience and the client´s loyalty to the brands, but there is still a lot to discuss about the Customer Engagement Center (CEC) concept or Loyalty/commitment customer center. CEC refers to the next generation of customer service tools servicing the customer experience. The Wow! Factor is what all companies aim for, but we cannot stop there. What do companies look for with that WOW? easy: sell more, sell better with more profit. So companies need to boost their commitment center.

Customer Engagement Center

From Customers to fans, from buyers to ambassadors. That is the object of desire of this new relationship center: excellence and customer loyalty. But what are the four basic factors needed to implement a good CEC strategy?


1. Understanding the customer. It may seem obvious, but not only customers have changed, their behavior has too: the way they express themselves has changed radically. There are still companies that want to sell like 30 years ago. Ask yourself what your customer wants, what makes him happy. You will be surprised: if before he wanted "a tie to go to work" today he wants "a tie that makes him feel good." Before, he would have bought it in the store and had a relationship with the seller, now he does it through e-commerce and lacks that personal contact and commitment. Are you covering those gaps?

2. Be proactive in your business. We must ask questions like: Am I able to provide a unified experience with my brand? Is my team ready to adopt this new strategy? It is important to understand that we no longer sell to isolated entities but social people. We must be able to react quickly to change and adapt to the new and to what is to come.

3. Customizing interactions. Every interaction is an opportunity. Customers seek experiences and good experiences are activities where he feels is treated with exclusivity.


4. Being able to offer a unique Omni channel experience. According to Gartner, the Customer Engagement Centers go a step beyond multi-channel. It has integrated workflow tools capable of adding value through follow-up and monitoring. We also talk about technology capable of working with both old infrastructures and with new devices with apps, all perfectly integrated without losing information or data between devices or channels.

To successfully implement the Customer Engagement Center, it is necessary to have the right technology. In Gartner´s report: Critical Capabilities for Contact Center Infrastructure, Gartner states the features that the perfect technology solution must have to meet this new trend. Discover how technology can help you improve and monetize your Customer Loyalty Center / Customer Engagement Center.Download now this Gartner report for free.

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Self Service transformation or the traditional IVR´s change

Self-sufficiency is mature people pathway it starts on the basics and extends to all areas of their life. In ancient Greece self-sufficiency was known as the proper situation of wise people, those who are happy and have enough with what they have, reducing the dependency on others.

Today, as consumers and users, we want to be self-sufficient. We want to resolve our own problems, issues, queries, etc. by ourselves, without depending in others, or waiting to someone to solve it for us.

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Posted by on in The @PresenceTech Blog
Contact Center trends
It is a fact that we are moving from personalized relationships to impersonal ones. Technology has allowed us to interact with more people in a more impersonal manner. E-mails, SMS, chat allows us to communicate with anybody and any company anytime and anywhere. This is not only true in business environments but also in our personal life, younger generations communicate through instant messages platforms or social media, and we see more and more people connected to their smart phones distant from the real things happening around them.

This new way of communication has allowed us to be more agile, solve things sooner and be more productive. In fact we have seen that Communication trends, specifically within the Contact Center, have been given more and more weight to these channels as the preferred communication methods of customers with companies.
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Contact Center Agent
Anyone that manages a call center knows the importance of the human factor. The team motivation and training are key to achieve the established objectives.

But this is not easy, in fact in might be one of the most challenging issues when managing a service.

There are several aspects that count towards agent motivation that can have a direct impact on the results. To make it simple we can divide them in two. One that would address the agent directly: incentive program, work environment, acknowledgements etc.
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Contact Center IVR
Companies are shifting from a more Enterprise Centric strategy towards a Customer Centric one.  We are experiencing the age of the customer. Customers decide when and how they want to approach a company and of course how they want to purchase. They are realizing that a good customer experience has proven to be a key differentiator among competitors, and this is achieved not only with properly trained agents but also with better tools that improve First Contact Resolution (FCR), multichannel attention and unified information within the Contact Center.
 
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Contact Center script
Everyone has answered the phone only to find an obviously uninformed contact center agent stumbling over the finer points of why it is important to purchase a particular product or service. The uninspired tone, the disingenuous hello, and the nervous pitch all give away the fact that the agent is woefully unprepared. Most customers hang up before the agent even gets too far into their script simply because it comes across so forced! The reality is that the contact center agents to whom you speak would be far more effective, and happier, if the proper training had taken place, and if a tested script had been offered as a starting point! Scripting solutions, utilized in conjunction with automated outbound dialing, can turn a negative into a positive by increasing customer-centricity and agent productivity through customized interactions enhanced by contact-specific data and business details which minimize introduction errors.

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The biggest danger to any contact center is the lack of coherent information.  As Aberdeen’s report Customer Engagement Analytics: How to Use Data to Create (and Keep) Happy Customers” (May 2014)  indicates, it’s not a lack of data but a lack of integration between systems that is the major pain point in the contact center. Although contact centers possess the technical infrastructure that specifically focuses on handling customer interactions via phone, the web, email, live chat and more,  the use of isolated systems that are not properly integrated limits your agent's ability to succinctly resolve a customer’s issue in one call.  Even the best system for managing customer data will be of little use if the agent does not have easy access to the information they need when they need it!Multichannel Contact Center

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Contact Center technology
In today’s dynamic market environment, an organization’s success depends primarily on its ability to respond to its customers’ demands in a timely manner. Speed and consistency are the cornerstones of any customer service program, and in the last few years the contact center has become the champion of the customer experience. It’s more often than not the first place many customers go when they have a sales or customer service issue, and meeting and exceeding customer expectations is critical to long-term growth! Because of this, contact centers have had to adapt new technologies and strategies to keep pace with their constantly evolving environment. Simply answering the phones is not enough! The call center needs to offer its customers the finest service and individualized attention, while maintaining high productivity rates and overall productivity.

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Contact Center compliance

Federal regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) all have different rules and guidelines that agencies are expected to be in compliance with at all times. Many individual states have their own compliance requirements and international business may have to adhere to regulations set forth foreign governments.  Failing to adhere to one or more of these laws can result in a hefty fine, so call centers are doing everything they can to ensure call compliance from top to bottom.

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For many years no one really worried about the call center. It was just a line item on the budget that you had to have, but no one really saw how they could "use" their call center to make for a better business. But as the business world has gone more customer-centric, the call center has been pushed to the forefront as the hub of a company's customer experience. You know that your customers are calling in with sales and service issues, and you're constantly monitoring key metrics to ensure things are running along smoothly. But do you really know what is happening?

Contact Center control

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When most customers think of "outbound calling," they assume telemarketing; the epitome of brute-forced, automated voice interactions that more often than not lead to nothing but frustrated and annoyed customers. Robo-dialers simply call as many numbers as quickly as possible. This impersonal approach to outbound dialing left a bad taste in many customer's mouths and had them running for the "Do Not Contact" lists. In reality, outbound calling can be an incredibly valuable AND valued part of the customer experience. What matters the most is WHY that customer is being called--are you actively trying to help them or just help your bottom line?

Contact Center engagement
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Contact Center service
With 2014 officially behind us, now is the time to decide what kind of year you want your call center to have in 2015. What are your call center resolutions? Does your contact center have certain metrics you are trying to improve? Are you implementing a new agent training program? Do you want to invest in multi-channel customer service options? Well one way to have a better 2015 is to look bad and see what worked and what didn't in 2014.

Here are three things 2014 taught us about customer service in the call center:

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Posted by on in Call Management

Aberdeen cited that the biggest driver of multi-channel support is to provide a service where customers are most active:

Contact Center waiting times

and even though the rise of online channels such as live chat, social media and email has risen dramatically over the last few years, the voice channel is still the preferred form of communication between a customer and your company. In fact, a whopping 79% of consumers would prefer to contact a customer service center over the telephone. Since the voice channel is still the preferred option, callers expect a smooth and straightforward experience. After all, your contact center has been in operation for decades, surely you've worked out all the kinks by now?

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Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience. And when it comes to delivering a great customer experience you really need to focus on two things: speed and efficiency. And yes, you need both in order to have superior service! It doesn't matter how quickly the call ends if the customer has to call back because their problem wasn't totally resolved. And while most customers are willing to wait a little to have an issue resolved, being stuck on the phone for two hours is still going to leave a bad taste in their mouth.

Here are three ways you can focus on being faster and more efficient in the contact center:

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Contact channels other than the phone, such as email, Web self-service, chat, and so forth now account for more than 30%of customer service engagements. Even more interesting, 25% of consumers utilize one to two channels when seeking customer care and 52% of consumers utilize three or four channels. So while the call center may still be the cornerstone of your customer service channel, if you really want to provide a great customer experience you need to be where your customers are and that means becoming a multi-service contact center.

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While we are still waiting for the final numbers to come out for this year's Black Friday - Cyber Monday shopping (including Small Business Saturday), I wanted to take a moment to thank the customer service team at PayPal for what I am sure was only one of the hundreds of calls their call center handled on Friday.

I was trying to buy a Christmas gift for my friend, and the retailer gave me the option to use my PayPal account to check out. Data from 2013 shows that " approximately $13,996,600,000 was abandoned in shopping carts in just two days." I'm sure plenty of those were people window shopping or comparing deals across sites, but having PayPal definitely saved my sale, so how many millions did it earn other retailers this past weekend?

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Seventy-one percent of customers say that valuing their time is the number one thing a company can do to improve their customer support. The longer they wait on hold and the longer it takes to get their issue resolved the more frustrated they become. And frustrated customers are only a small step away from being angry customers that leave your company for the competition. And while you may think that ending a call quickly is the best way forward, if that customer has to call back 3 times to actually resolve the issue you've only made things worse. So how can you do your best to ensure that customer frustration in your contact center is kept to a minimum and issues are actually resolved?

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Time is money, and nowhere is that adage more true than in the contact center! The longer customers sit on hold, the longer it takes to resolve a customer service or sales call, the more times a customer has to call back in order to fix an issue, the less productive your contact center becomes overtime. Every second counts when you're trying to work through a long list of callers (especially during the holiday season!), so how can you ensure your agents are being as productive as possible? Here are four tips:

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While many organizations say they believe in providing better customer service, in fact recent Forrester research  confirms that 95% of leaders consider good customer service to be a priority, a different Forrester report shows that only 31% of organizations closely monitor the quality of interactions with their target customers! If you aren't actively watching your customer service representation how do you really know what your customers think of you? Saying customer service matters is fine and dandy, but do you really know what you're missing out on if your organization doesn't follow through?

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Every year, there is at least one major retailer who experiences a website outage during Cyber Monday. As arguably the biggest online shopping day of the year, no retailer wants to deal with even one minute of down-time, so while their IT team is scrambling to resolve the web issue there is bound to be a HUGE spike in inbound calls from shoppers looking to finalize their purchase orders. When that many inbound calls coming in at once, average on-hold time is bound to skyrocket, more calls will be accidentally rerouted to the wrong department or even dropped, FCR rates might slip, call abandonment rate will go up and more. In short, every major KPI your contact center measures is at risk during the holidays because you can't always predict when those waves of inbound calls will come.

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Technology is building new roads that are not always easy to navigate for businesses to solve new challenges and respond to new needs. These requirements have an impact on our daily lives and it is very interesting to analyze the consequences on the customer and its primary axis: The Contact Center.
 How trends and technological evolution affect Contact Centers

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Marketing strategies are vital in the sales operation of any company. Prospect attraction is certainly important, but we must also look at all that comes later: convert that prospect into a buyer, which is a growing challenge.

Leads to Deals: A profitable challenge

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In spite of the recent rise in popularity of web portals and other self-service options, most businesses today rely on contact centers as the heart of any effort to cut through the clutter and reach target audiences effectively. In fact, voice communications are still widely recognized as the best way to reach select individuals for event opt-in, lead qualification, debt collection, human resources (HR) issues, and even customer surveys. 
 Automated Outbound Dialing Puts Companies “In Touch”
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One of the most important challenges all companies are facing is how to effectively reach their target audience and at the same time provide a good customer experience.
Omni Channel attention, Customer experience and Marketing campaigns
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Idiso is a Spanish based leading source of hotel operations and distribution services. Idiso sells, confirms and services reservation for any size hotel (city and resort, large or small), is easily accessible and highly effective on or offline for tour operators, travel agents and guest.

Interview to Santiago Espada, Contact Center Director Idiso

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Companies Contact Centers or customer services departments in many cases have not implemented the much needed procedures regarding the security of one of their most valuable assets, their client´s information.

 Managing Client´s information in a Contact Center

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It is becoming clear that, Spain’s future is tied directly to the past, taking an important key role in the economic growth Spain’s future is the tourism industry. According to data from 2012, tourism accounts for more than 15% of local GDP (Source). 

Customer service and the tourism industry

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The Contact Center, in many cases is the land of missed opportunities. All calls, whether incoming or outgoing are an opportunity to make a sale, or at the very least to create an opportunity for a future sale.

 Increase sales by avoiding common mistakes in call management
Here are a few basics rules to keep in mind:

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Everyone knows how essential understanding your potential customer’s needs has become. It’s a key part of doing business today. Personalizing your offer and tailoring the message to a client´s needs and interest is more important than ever before. In fact, this realization has not only increased but also accelerated the integration of many of today’s critical technological solutions like CRM, and Marketing Automation among others.

Mastering the Customer Service Game with the Right Tools

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We’ve all been hearing s so much about how contact centers need to migrate to a web interface. Ok- Let’s step back. Doesn’t matter if your solution is hosted or on premise, yes agents can now just open a browser and connect to almost any platform.

WebRTC, Revolutionizing Contact Centers

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Based on some of the recent call experiences that friends have shared with me, it’s apparent that many companies aren’t spending training time on teaching ways for their agents to gracefully bow out of a call to a wrong contact or when the contact they reach says they aren’t right for the product due to (insert here an objection that can’t be overcome).

Creating A Great Experience With “Non-Customers”

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Automated Dialing is not new technology. It has been part of our telecommunications culture since the 1980’s. Early studies have shown as much as a 400% increase in dialing efficiency over manually dialed campaigns and right party contact rates more than doubling.  With 25 years of technology growth and an undeniable track record of success, why are there so many companies that do not take advantage of automated dialing technology?

Why should my company invest in automated dialing technology?

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Posted by on in The @PresenceTech Blog

(Click here to read part I).

Enter stage left, “Big Data”. But let’s be honest, is this any more than just a cool new epithet for the old analytical tools and data warehouses? In the majority of cases, probably not. However, where I do agree with exponents of Big Data is their assertion that when combining and analysing multiple data sources in new ways, often you can make startling new discoveries that you couldn’t possibly have seen before.

multi-channel contact centre
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Posted by on in The @PresenceTech Blog

A common theme that we pick up in every Contact Centre is that they track their KPIs. Assiduously. No, fanatically. In fact, a cynic might say that the Contact Centre is set up to serve its KPIs and not its customers. Traditional theory is that if you hit your KPIs then you’re doing well in the Contact Centre. And once you’ve hit them, then let’s raise the bar a little more and we’ll be doing even better. Let’s add to that a high positive Net Promoter Score, and all’s well. Or is it?

Big Data. Big Deal? (Part I)
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Pretty exciting developments as Berlin played host city to Voxeo’s first EMEA Customer Summit. Presence Technology was a Gold Sponsor of this year’s event. Presence’s sponsorship gave us the opportunity to learn more about VOXEO’s background, their preferred partners and its customer base for Voice Objects (Voxeo’s application creation, management and analytics software).

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A company that really wants to excel can’t afford to offer a mediocre product or service. Creating value through innovation and expanding the horizons of our market are the basic ideas of the so-called Blue Ocean Strategy, written by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne in their famous bestseller of the same title.The Ocean Blue Customer- A Fresh Look at Customer Service

 

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 Actually the question should be: Do I have Big Data technology in my Call Center and I don’t know it? You don’t need to be an expert to answer this question. All companies are struggling to manage large amounts of information, more efficiently and effectively, especially the huge amounts of data that a Call Center handles.

Do I really need Big Data in my Call Center?
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It seems exceptional customer service is fashionable again. We’re back to focusing on improving the customer experience, realizing the importance of providing excellent service and then linking it back to the company image or brand.

 How not to create a good customer experience

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A day has 24 hours, 1,440 minutes and 86,400 seconds and yet many times the phrase “I wish the day was longer so I could finish everything that I have to do” becomes increasingly repetitive among most workers. Is what I´m doing really getting me closer to the objective? If the answer to this question is not a positive one, then you should reconsider the way you are performing your tasks. When this situation occurs and we believe that the day should be longer and that we will not meet our objectives, we start to run multiple tasks simultaneously.

Wanted: Multiskilled agent for Multichannel Contact Center

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Imagine this: A Contact Center agent takes his phone, searches his contact list and manually dials a customer´s phone number to close a deal. Then, patiently waits around 15 to 20 seconds while the call is answered. It doesn´t sound that bad, right? Yes it doesn´t, if he does it five or ten times. What is really terrible is picturing the agent performing this task most of his workday, sometimes even his entire workday if he works exclusively on outbound campaigns.

Are you thinking about automating your Contact Center? Don’t think twice!
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(Click here to read Part One)

Technology to facilitate sales

More satisfied clients and more efficient services for telesales (Part Two)


Technology can help us to have more satisfied clients (or potential clients), because it gives us the opportunity to implement from simple things such as not calling someone in three months who has rejected our offer or performing cross selling, to other more complex things, such as linking a telemarketing service to a web campaign with chat, web call back, email... Everything focused on making things easier for the customer service representatives. From the point of view of making service more efficient, I will tell you a real example.

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Certainly you don't think telesales is an easy job? I don’t. Telesales professionals perform a complicated task, sometimes tedious and many times boring. Luckily the other side of the story is success can be very rewarding. Making things easier for sales agents should be a priority for any organization dedicated to its sales success or that relies on telesales to maintain and support its business units.

More satisfied clients and more efficient services for telesales (Part One)
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What should be considered when buying or renting Contact Center technology?

Modern Contact Centers are constantly searching for cutting edge technologies that support both new channels of interaction and the most advanced processes to serve more demanding and well informed customers. This is why purchasing Contact Center Technology must be considered not only as a major investment, but as a strategic decision based upon serious selection criteria. But, what are the most fundamental factors that a company needs to take into consideration when acquiring technology for its Contact Center?

 It´s not just technology, it´s strategy!
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I recently had the opportunity to attend a presentation about customer experience by Santiago Solanas, CEO, Sage Spain, where he explained his collaboration in the book “The Customer Experience”. The timing of his speech happened to coincide with a series of webinars about project management and customer satisfaction, where I was the speaker. From these events an idea arose that, although the methodologies of project plans can be quite complex, there is one proven success factor: project management must be a positive experience for customers.

Customer Experience and Project Management

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Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Gartner Customer Strategies & Technologies Summit 2012 on behalf of Presence, a forum aimed to companies using CRM solutions and their key suppliers and manufacturers worldwide: SAP, Microsoft, Oracle ... The event was held in Lancaster Hotel in London, near Paddington Station and within walking distance of Hyde Park.

 CRM world gets into the Contact Centre

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Posted by on in The @PresenceTech Blog

This week Presence Technology officially launched its healthcare solution, Presence for Healthcare, at the 24th Annual Conference of Healthcare Call Centers.  We had the pleasure of seeing some of our clients at the conference, and we met many new players in this specialized arena.  We continue to build a steady client base in the healthcare industry, as health delivery Contact Centers are increasingly playing a key role in the day to day operations.

Presence for Healthcare

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We have a great topic for this month’s upcoming webinar, “What is you path to the CLOUD?” Cloud is on everyone’s minds, but what is the best way to take your Contact Center to the Cloud? Did you know that there is actually a pathway, so you can take each next step when you are ready, never losing any money on your investment? In our June webinar, we will cover many of the advantages and benefits of migrating to the Cloud, such as agility, scalability, and reduced cost.

What is your path to the CLOUD?

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There is no longer a question of if companies need to use social networks to manage customer service and improve sales. The question is how well are they being utilized? Fernando Ayala, Presales & Business Development at Presence Technology, posed this question to attendees at the Annual IX Congreso Adino for Contact Centers and CRM, held in Bogota, Colombia, in his presentation “The Use and Importance of Social Networks for Sales and Customer Service”.

b2ap3_thumbnail_social-media-small.jpg

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We are gaining momentum with our Dialer Challenge campaign, which is generating a lot of buzz in the outsourcing industry. Do you want to take our challenge?! Find out more about the Dialer on our homepage. We have attended several partner conferences, the ATA (now PACE) annual convention, and we joined our friends at CirriusImpact at the NICE User Group Conference in Nashville.

Presence Technology

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