Avaya's New Call Center Solution Embraces Mobility, Social Media

Laura Bassett, director of marketing for Avaya's Customer Experience Management and Emerging Technologies unit, said the revamped Customer Experience Management suite is meant to help organizations accommodate the increasing number of customers who turn to their smartphones or sites like Facebook to find product information, rather than placing a call to a contact center.

"Consumers themselves have a lot more flexibility based on technology and what channel they want to use. There's everything from mobile apps to video to social media, and, in most recent history, there's SMS, email and Web chat," Bassett told CRN. "We're helping our customers understand ... how they can impact their customers' experience across all these channels of communication."

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Avaya unveiled four different solutions to help fuel this effort, the first of which is Avaya Aura Call Center Elite Multichannel, an updated version of its flagship call center software that delivers new capabilities for tracking customer interactions through Web chat, social media and SMS. Building on top of the capabilities touted by the traditional Aura Call Center Elite solution, the new multichannel release will automatically route customer requests based on agent availability and skill sets, meaning incoming requests will be directed to the first available agent, or the agent best suited to meet the request. Bassett said existing Call Center Elite users can add these new multichannel features without having to completely overhaul their existing environments.

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"It provides those core, multichannel capabilities that customers expect to be there in a very simplistic fashion, without disrupting our customers' existing operations," Bassett said.

Avaya also unveiled its new Automated Chat solution, a live, self-service tool organizations can deploy to let customers ask questions directly on their websites. The tool uses an "intelligent response engine" that Avaya says arms it with more accurate responses, and it can also re-direct users to a live agent upon request.

Meanwhile, Avaya took the wraps off two new call center analytics tools to help organizations monitor the effectiveness of their customer interactions and pinpoint causes behind lower-than-expected customer engagement levels. The first of these solutions is Avaya Speech Analytics, a tool that mines voice-based customer interactions to both anticipate why a customer has called and help ensure quality assurance.

Lastly, Avaya announced Contact Flow Analytics, a dashboard solution that lets organizations visually track their call center workflows and make sure calls are being routed correctly.

Avaya's announcement comes on the heels of the company rolling out a virtualized, VMware-ready version of its Aura Platform, including its Aura Communication Manager, Avaya Session Manager, Application Enablement Services, Aura Presence Services, Flare Experience, Aura Conferencing, Agile Communications Environment (ACE) and Aura Call Center Elite.