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Contact Center 101 – Understanding the Basics

There are plenty of companies that manage lots of customer interactions that could benefit from today’s contact center solutions, yet they’re not looped in on what’s available today. If you’re one of them, your business could be missing out.

What’s the Difference between a Contact Center and Your Organization?

A call or contact center is any facility that receives or transmits a large volume of phone calls. Whether it’s inbound, outbound, or a virtual call center, the traditional definition of the contact center has expanded as UC technology continues to evolve.

Contact center operations can range from a few customer service representatives in a small business to enterprise-level corporations with hundreds of agents spread across multiple regional offices.

Why Does Your Organization Need Contact Center Technology?

The modern contact center has evolved. Today, a contact center can be a small team managing internal help-desk requests, a car dealership connecting prospects to salespeople, or an elementary school office handling an influx of calls from parents.

If your organization handles frequent calls, then you’re a good fit for this affordable technology…

  • Unleash Your Sales, Service, and Support Potential – Start a different conversation with your customers when you give them the freedom to interact with you the way they want (voice, text, chat, video) on any device, and give your employees the tools to manage today’s omnichannel customer journeys.
  • Build a World-Class Customer Center – Don’t just connect with your customers, convince them you care with Mitel’s omnichannel suite featuring workflow designer, speech-enabled IVR, speech analytics, quality and performance management, real-time dashboards, and more.
  • Get Big Results Fast – Improve your customer satisfaction scores, first contact resolution rates, and customer effort scores with Customer Experience solutions.

What Kind of Call Center Technology is Available?

There’s a wide spectrum of call center solutions available to help your business operations. Today’s variety of call center solutions cover all the bases.

TCI’s contact center experts can step you through your options, and when you’re ready – design, deploy, and support your solution. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.
 

TCI Host Service – Customized Contact Center, Team Collaboration & Business Communications

Empower your people to serve your customers better

For a single, low monthly price, you can upgrade old phones to advanced mobile-enabled desktop phones and use Mitel’s award-winning capabilities to dramatically improve your Customer Experience.

Cloud communications isn’t an all-or-nothing endeavor

There are several deployment models to choose from depending on your business’s unique situation, and you can shift from one approach to another over time. Managing a multi-site business? TCI Host can bring your offices closer together.

In and Outbound Contact Center / Call Center

Whether you’re a small or big business, you can support omnichannel queues that let customers contact you the way they prefer. Track your customer contacts and get real-time metrics for informed decision-making and better team coaching.

  • Integrate with your CRM, like Salesforce, Microsoft, and others
  • Offer Live Agents, Web Chat, Email, Text Messaging / SMS
  • Monitor and respond to Social Media feeds (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.)
  • Automate and access Full Reporting on Your Customer Interactions
  • Improve Customer Experience
  • Become more efficient

Powerful Collaboration Capabilities

Explore some of the Mitel-powered team-building and conferencing tools your users can tap into with their mobile or desktop phones…

  • Virtual workspaces for team meetings, conversations, content review, and project management
  • Team Video Conferencing and Recording
  • Participant management
  • Desktop application sharing
  • Team and private chat
  • Web-based file sharing
  • Document management

Unified Messaging and Integrated Apps

With access to these Mitel-powered tools, your team’s work can be tackled on more devices from any location:

  • Integration with business applications from tech leaders like Microsoft and Google
  • Presence Tools
  • Softphone App on Mobile Devices
  • Unified Messaging
  • Remote control of desktops
  • Outlook client plug-in
  • MS TEAMS integration (Mitel Assistant App)
  • Message retrieval from one synchronized message store

Our TCI Host Cloud Voice Service is all about flexibility

Add new cloud-based tools to your existing business phone system, and when you’re ready, migrate your entire platform to the cloud to reduce your overall telecom costs.

Schedule your TCI Host demo. Call us today at (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.
 

Simplify the Banking Experience to Earn Customers for Life

In the DC region’s highly competitive financial services industry, banks must ensure customers enjoy an easy and efficient experience at each journey stage. There’s simply too much risk that poor experiences will tarnish the bank’s reputation, turn away customers, and harm the bottom line.

Today’s communications solutions and technologies empower banks to break down unnecessary walls between their internal processes and customers. With these barriers removed, banks have new freedom to increase transparency, build trust, and foster personal experiences that help them earn customers for life.

Engage in Meaningful Interactions Every Step of the Way

To engage each customer more effectively in the right way at the right time, banks must seamlessly blend digital and human interactions. According to McKinsey & Company, banks that shifted to a more integrated, multimedia approach to customer communications have had convincing results, including:

  • Double the number of digital sales to customers
  • Three times more success in cross-selling bank services
  • A 40% increase in customer activities with the bank
  • One bank even reduced its cost to serve customers by two-thirds.

How to deliver technology-driven Banking Experiences that streamline every step of the Customer Journey:

Make it Fast and Easy to Navigate the Process

Initiating a new loan application with a bank can be very intimidating for people, especially when it’s their first time making a significant purchase, such as a house. They’re unfamiliar with the bank’s processes or what will be required.

When customers can easily set up a new account online and apply for a mortgage in minutes, it helps alleviate stress. User-friendly online forms and virtual agents answering questions along the way can efficiently step customers through the application requirements.

To further accelerate the process, customers can upload supporting documents such as bank statements and identification documents without leaving the user interface.

Connect with Customers their Way

Even with the most intuitive online forms, helpful virtual agents, and proactive communications, your customers sometimes need the reassurance and conversational exchanges that a person can best provide.

While AI is fast and helpful, customers want to communicate using their preferred media, which can mean connecting with a human. Collaboration apps put personalized text, voice, and video communications with bank agents at your customers’ fingertips.

A conversation may start with a voice or video call. Those communications can be followed up with text and email messages that provide additional support and links to more information.

Provide Timely Updates and Guidance

As the loan application moves through the bank’s internal processes, it’s crucial to keep customers informed about its progress and help them take full advantage of technologies that further accelerate the process.

When customers instantly receive text or email notifications confirming their application has passed through each process stage, the bank builds confidence. When customers can track the status of their application in real-time through a secure online portal, that trust is further strengthened.

Providing support and guidance is essential. This support can include walking customers through the steps to provide electronic signatures and providing clear, easy-to-follow instructions to access the bank’s secure online portal.

Timely communications will help customers successfully navigate their digital interactions without a trip to the bank or triggering a delay in their application.

Deliver Exceptional Banking Services with TCI

When banks and other financial institutions dramatically simplify their services, they eliminate many of the unknowns and fears around banking processes for their customers.

TCI takes the same approach when helping its local customers choose, deploy, and integrate the communications solutions and technologies needed to deliver exceptional banking services. It’s one key reason DC Metro banks and financial institutions trust TCI to help make their customer experience vision a reality.

Together with our Mitel-powered financial services solutions, TCI provides everything required to deliver the seamless, personalized customer experiences described above, including:

  • Secure, end-to-end Unified Communications services
  • Contact center solutions that incorporate advanced technologies, such as Google Cloud Contact Center AI and desktop co-browsing capabilities
  • Electronic signature solutions
  • Biometrics solutions for secure identity verification
  • Multimedia collaboration and meeting applications
  • Integration of communications solutions with the third-party applications banks depend on

If your bank is looking for communications technology that will support your efforts to earn customers for life, contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.
 


Contact Center Innovations… Transform Your Bank or Credit Union’s Customer & Employee Experience

The two digital transformation opportunities that promise the most significant impact for banks and credit unions are reinventing their contact centers and branch and office operations. We’ll focus on how banks can capitalize on each opportunity with Mitel Financial Services Solutions.

Creating the Customer Experience of the Future

The role of a bank’s contact center is evolving from focusing on customer problem resolution to becoming a hub for comprehensive customer relationship management. For contact center managers, this transition requires that they meet new customer, management, and employee expectations.

  • Customers expect various services to be provided by knowledgeable agents who have the skills, product knowledge, and resources to identify the right solution for them and implement it efficiently.
  • Bank Management wants their contact center to deliver efficient, personalized service. They also need agents to possess product knowledge and telesales expertise to meet sales objectives. And they expect agents to accomplish both goals while ensuring every transaction mitigates potential fraud and meets security and compliance regulations.
  • Employees desire their contact center managers to empower them to successfully achieve these goals while providing them the flexibility to maintain a work/life balance. Like many businesses today, banks struggle with employee retention, putting two fundamental goals — customer service and compliance — at risk.

Call centers must rise to these new expectations quickly without increasing staff. Thankfully, they can count on TCI’s local expertise and Mitel’s technology to help meet everyone’s expectations.

Providing Personalized Service via Self-Serve Channels

Mitel’s MiContact Center Business is an omnichannel customer experience management platform that gives financial institutions the tools to deliver personalized service on a customer’s preferred channel, be it phone, email, SMS, Web chat, chat/voice bot, social media, etc.

Mitel Virtual Agent – a Google Cloud Contact Center AI-powered tool that works with MiContact Center Business – provides an informal chat or voice bot to act as a virtual agent, delivering services, promoting new products, and providing personalized customer experiences – all without human intervention.

Banks can also leverage Mitel’s self-service Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system with their contact center with optional speech recognition that helps identify the customer’s intent, segment, authenticate, and route customers to the best agents to handle the request. Customers searching for simple information can find it by chatting with the virtual agent without speaking to live agents.

Integrating virtual assistants like PolyAI with Mitel’s MiContact Center Business personalizes the service, reduces call volumes, lowers call abandonment rates, and allows agents to dedicate their time to helping customers with more complex requests.

Empowering Call Center Agents with Up-to-Date Customer Intelligence

When you’re accountable for customer relationship management, context is everything. The better you understand a customer, the better you can meet their needs.

That’s why Mitel Contact Center and unified communications solutions integrate seamlessly with CRM solutions like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Zendesk, ServiceNow, Freshdesk, Oracle, and SAP. While speaking to customers, agents can access CRM intelligence to understand their history, preferences, and buying behaviors. In addition, Mitel integrations with solutions like Jack Henry and Bankerv provide agents with CRM intelligence via screen pops that include member details, contact history, and recommended responses.

These CRM and digital banking integrations drive improvements in agent productivity and contact center metrics in two ways:

  • Agents can resolve customer issues faster, improving service quality and metrics like first–contact resolution, call transfer rates, and net promoter scores.
  • Agents can upsell and cross-sell products more effectively, improving sales per hour and net sales metrics.

Mitel’s MiContact Center Business supports customer-based routing to empower agent success further. If specific agents are better suited to handling certain customers and issues, customer-based routing automatically routes a caller to the agent best equipped to serve them.

And by providing every agent with Mitel’s MiVoice Business and collaboration tools, they can efficiently bring additional expertise to resolve complex issues. Agents can quickly search for available experts and collaborate with them in real-time via phone, messaging, or video. And if they need to transfer the customer to that expert, they can do so with the click of a button.

Schedule time with TCI’s local experts to learn how Mitel Financial Services Solutions can help your contact center thrive in the digital age, improve your bottom line, and adhere to security, compliance, and fraud mitigation requirements. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.
 

Why So Many Contact Center Leaders Stick with On-Prem Deployments

A lot of tech trade media claims that: “Companies are lining up to move their contact centers to the cloud!” But we often hear decision-makers say: “Moving to the cloud makes no sense for us!”

So, what’s really happening out there?

Research shows that almost 29% of companies globally have moved to Contact Center as a Service (defined as public-cloud, multi-tenant platform). Another 20% have moved to a hosted/managed platform (defined as dedicated-instance, single-server platform owned and managed by a third party).

22% own and operate their contact centers from their physical locations and another 21% own and operate their on-premises contact center platforms with the dedicated-instance servers physically located at a third-party data center.

Architectural Drivers

We’ve all heard plenty about the value of cloud in various applications. So, what’s causing companies to keep their contact center deployments on-premises — or return to on-premises after riding the cloud wave?

Let’s start with why Customer Experience leaders who are on-premises are Staying There…

  • Reliability (45.9%)
  • Security (41.4%)
  • Customization (34.2%)
  • Cost (28.8%)

Why are some Returning to On-Premises from the Cloud

  • Security (54.5%)
  • Customization (40.9%)
  • Cost (13.6%)

Though much of the public square narrative around contact centers suggests cloud is the way to go, research shows that companies are staying with full on-premises platforms, adopting hybrid cloud/on-premises approaches, or, to a lesser extent, returning from cloud to on-premises environments.

Before choosing the best arrangement for their organizations, business leaders must evaluate the following:

  • Opportunities – What problems or opportunities are you trying to address from your contact center? How can you deliver most efficiently and competitively?
  • Cost – How does your cost structure look on-premises, with a hybrid architecture, or in the cloud? Factor staffing, technology, managed services, and all other related costs.
  • Disruption – How much would switching architectures disrupt customer service and satisfaction, and over what timeframe? For large, complex contact centers, rip-and-replace may not be an option.
  • Provider Innovation – Will staying in the cloud put you at a competitive disadvantage? Is your provider investing in on-premises platforms?
  • Competitiveness – Are you able to stay competitive in terms of customer interaction capabilities and agent efficiency on-premises? Does it make sense to innovate by adding cloud-based applications?

Need help choosing a contact center solution that fits your business requirements? Contact us today: ((703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.

TCI Host Cloud Voice & Contact Center Service… Customized Capabilities & Local White Glove Support

Our TCI Host Cloud Voice Service is all about flexibility

Add new cloud-based tools to your existing business phone system, and when you’re ready, migrate your entire platform to the cloud to reduce your overall telecom costs.

Cloud communications isn’t an all-or-nothing endeavor

There are several deployment models to choose from depending on your business’s unique situation, and you can shift from one approach to another over time. Managing a multi-site business? TCI Host can bring your offices closer together.

Unified Messaging and Integrated Apps

With access to these Mitel-powered tools, your team’s work can be tackled on more devices from any location:

  • Integration with business applications from tech leaders like Microsoft and Google
  • Presence Tools
  • Softphone App on Mobile Devices
  • Unified Messaging
  • Remote control of desktops
  • Outlook client plug-in
  • MS TEAMS integration (Mitel Assistant App.)
  • Message retrieval from one synchronized message store

Powerful Collaboration Capabilities

Explore some of the Mitel-powered team building and conferencing tools your users can tap into with their mobile or desktop phones…

  • Virtual workspaces for team meetings, conversations, content review, and project management
  • Team Video Conferencing and Recording
  • Participant management
  • Desktop application sharing
  • Team and private chat
  • Web-based file sharing
  • Document management

In and Outbound Contact Center / Call Center

Whether you’re a small or big business, you can support omnichannel queues that let customers contact you the way they prefer. Track your customer contacts and get real-time metrics for informed decision-making and better team coaching.

  • Integrate with your CRM, like Salesforce, Microsoft, and others
  • Offer Live Agents, Web Chat, Email, Text Messaging / SMS
  • Monitor and respond to Social Media feeds (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.)
  • Automate and access Full Reporting on Your Customer Interactions
  • Improve Customer Experience
  • Become more efficient

Empower your people to serve your customers better

For a single, low monthly price, you can upgrade their old phones to advanced mobile-enabled, desktop phones and use Mitel’s award-winning capabilities to dramatically improve your Customer Experience.

Schedule your TCI Host demo. Call us today at (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.

Using Your Mitel 6900 Phones on RingCentral MVP

2022 has been a big year for Mitel’s investment in communications.

  • They’re continuing to support and provide Best-in-Class Solutions in the enterprise, global, and vertical markets where on-prem unified communications (UC) and contact center (CC) thrive. Your existing investment is protected and will remain up to date with the latest capabilities.
  • Mitel supports consumption models that can be capital expenditure (CapEx), operational expenditure (OpEx), or a hybrid of the two.
  • Mitel’s deployment models can be traditional on-prem PBX style or virtualized and deployed in your data center of choice including TCI Host, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
  • And, for current cloud and UC customers that are better served by a pure Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) option, they’re partnering with RingCentral, the Gartner Magic Quadrant leader for UCaaS solutions, to provide best-in-class options for the cloud.

Your paths to the cloud are as flexible and simple as ever with Mitel’s industry-leading technology and local, expert support from TCI.

Migrate To RingCentral MVP with Ease

As a huge bonus for Mitel on-prem customers still looking to extract value from their existing equipment, your current 6900 phones are now certified to work with RingCentral MVP and provide great investment protection.
When migrating to RingCentral MVP, Mitel devices have three provisioning options…

Manual Provisioning – refers to connecting a Mitel phone to the RingCentral MVP service using a Mitel-created phone configuration file for login. With Manual Provisioning, the phone firmware updates do not happen automatically. In this scenario, there is some manual intervention, but there is no need to unbox, set up, plugin, and most importantly, pay for a different phone.

Assisted Provisioning – where the devices allow customers to automatically connect their Mitel phone to the RingCentral MVP service. Phone firmware is managed and upgraded as part of the RingCentral MVP service. Note that anyone using Manual Provisioning will be automatically converted to Assisted Provisioning when available.

Zero Touch Provisioning – Another great feature of Assisted Provisioning is Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP), a method that requires no user interaction. With ZTP in place, you can simply:

  • Add the media access control (MAC) address of the Mitel 6900 phone into the RingCentral portal and,
  • Your phone becomes aware and ready to move to RingCentral MVP.
  • All user and configuration information are loaded to the Mitel 6900 Series phone and you are ready to make and take calls.

TCI is always here to support you in the executing and planning of any of your communications technology decisions. Contact us today for help with buying and migration decisions before you make the leap: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

TCI Host Cloud Voice Service… Locally Designed, Deployed and Supported

Our TCI Host Service is all about flexibility… Add new cloud-based tools to your existing business phone system, and when you’re ready, migrate your entire platform to the cloud to reduce your overall telecom costs.

Cloud communications isn’t an all-or-nothing endeavor

There are several deployment models to choose from depending on your business’s unique situation, and you can shift from one approach to another over time. Managing a multi-site business? TCI Host can bring your offices closer together.

Unified Messaging and Integrated Apps

With access to these Mitel-powered tools, your team’s work can be tackled on more devices from any location:

  • Integration with business applications from tech leaders like Microsoft and Google
  • Presence Tools
  • Softphone App on Mobile Devices
  • Unified Messaging
  • Remote control of desktops
  • Outlook client plug-in
  • Message retrieval from one synchronized message store

Powerful Collaboration Capabilities

Explore some of the Mitel-powered team building and conferencing tools your users can tap into with their mobile or desktop phones…

  • Virtual workspaces for team meetings, conversations, content review, and project management
  • Team Video Conferencing and Recording
  • Participant management
  • Desktop application sharing
  • Team and private chat
  • Web-based file sharing
  • Document management

In and Outbound Contact Center / Call Center

Whether you’re a small or big business, you can support omnichannel queues that let customers contact you the way they prefer. Track your customer contacts and get real-time metrics for informed decision-making and better team coaching.

  • Integrate with your CRM, like Salesforce, Microsoft, and others
  • Offer Live Agents, Web Chat, Email, Text Messaging / SMS
  • Monitor and respond to Social Media feeds (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.)
  • Automate and access Full Reporting on Your Customer Interactions
  • Improve Customer Experience
  • Become more efficient

Empower your people to serve your customers better

For a single, low monthly price, you can upgrade their old phones to advanced mobile-enabled, desktop phones and use Mitel’s award-winning capabilities to dramatically improve your Customer Experience.

Contact us today to schedule your TCI Host demo: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Schools, Non-Profits, Gov’t… Are You Exploiting Sourcewell’s Discounts for Telecom Solutions?

Sourcewell is a municipal contracting government agency serving the public sector.

Who qualifies for Sourcewell membership?

  • Educational institutions – both public and private, including K to 12, special education districts, charter schools, and higher education/universities
  • Non-profits – including hospitals and nursing homes, rural power cooperatives, housing authorities, member associations, and groups
  • State and local government agencies – including cities, counties, water districts, and tribal nations

How does Sourcewell work?

First, Sourcewell goes out to competitive bid nationally on a wide range of products and services that would benefit their members. They then award the contract to the selected vendor. Sourcewell sets up the legal authority between vendor and member.

The member organizations then have access to the vendor’s services at Sourcewell, resulting in accolades like this from a school district:

“Sourcewell contracts have streamlined our purchasing process, saving our district thousands of dollars.”

Significant Discounts

Working with TCI as your local technology partner, Sourcewell members can purchase Mitel telecom solutions without issuing an RFP, including:

  • Public Cloud
  • Private Cloud and On-site Systems
  • Contact Center
  • Team Collaboration
  • Mass Notification
  • Business Phones
  • Devices and Accessories

Mitel is the exclusive Sourcewell telecommunications equipment vendor based on its record of innovation, product quality, customer service, pricing, and overall market leadership.

Simplified procurement and savings … More reasons to go with TCI and Mitel. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Are You Getting the Full Value Out of Your CRM Platform?

Getting the most out of your CRM requires that you integrate it with your Business Voice applications. Almost all of the popular CRM services on the market seamlessly integrate with TCI’s Mitel and RingCentral systems.

Using a customized CRM? Our experienced development team can bring your customer data, phone system, and call center together…

  • When your CRM is integrated with your phone system, the contact’s personal details can be set to pop up on your phone or computer screen. Imagine how much time will be saved when your people don’t need to search for important information like customer preferences and details of past transactions.
  • Enhanced call functionality like click-to-dial, automated call logging, intelligent dialing, and screen pops and transfer can all be enabled and integrated with your customer data.
  • Bringing CRM and Voice together makes every employee and contact center agent in your business significantly more productive while improving the customer experience.
  • Let’s talk about connecting your phone system and contact center with your CRM platform.
    Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.