Sunday, March 26, 2006

> Sky-click: The New Face of the Call Center

Having spent the last year working at a reasonably well-known catalogue company, I have come to understand the importance of having a robust call center. With so much call center outsourcing going on these days it is pretty much the norm to call an American company's service number yet end up speaking to someone with a very thick accent who is not always as helpful as one would hope.

I understand the cost-saving aspect of outsourcing call centers but sometimes it just doesn't work for the brand. We have a company that is deeply associated with the American northeast and our customers are thrilled to hear that our call center is right here at our main office.

But, that said, it is expensive.

Along comes a company called Sky-click which is built on top of Skpe, and it is an awesome idea. I first heard about the service over on TechCrunch and they had this to say, "Sky-Click is a 100% web-based solution to set up your call center, built on Skype API and very easy to implement and use. The service does not require any particular hardware investment and can be easily integrated in a web site (e-commerce for example). All you have to do is downloading Skype client on the call-center collaborators’ computer. On the end-user side all you have to do is press the “call” button that will initiate a call (or a video call) to the call-center. This call-center has all the important features you could expect from a professional solution: time management, availability of collaborators, call dispatching, waiting background music, feedback management."

So here is an opportunity to "pull a JetBlue" so to speak. Set up a call center using sweet local people and hack away at huge infrastructure costs. Sounds like something for existing SME companies with call centers to look well as any other web-vased business looking to strengthen their customer experience and who knows, maybe a little cross-sell, upsell perhaps?