People on Demand, Call Center agents on Cloud

October 3, 2013

“What if you could hire and fire, and then again hire at will for your operations?”

Cloud Computing - People on Clouds

It’s a very provocative statement, the above one. It is the same as buying a SaaS software on the cloud. Let’s give an example of something you have done mostly.

For your business, you would have decided to buy a software for accounting, be it Tally or Quickbooks, but at some point, you needed an accounts professional to take care of it when it came to quarter end or Financial year end, so you paid him on a contract or need basis, and then stopped. So, you paid for a service, in this case a human being, and maybe a bit of software, and then stopped paying when the work was done.

We ourselves at Exotel have a problem being an SME ourselves, we are only a team of 15 people handling hundred’s of customers, and we get a lot of inbound requests, but many a times, we are unable to know which inbound request was serious, and which was just a random person calling. So, while we were short on hands, we decided to take the help of an app that we internally built for some of our other customers – “Agent on Demand”, it basically allows us to give a script and a database of numbers and contacts of companies who reached out to us, to a vendor, who employs people on your (in this case, Exotel’s) behalf to make the 1st level of calls to the customer to see what is their requirement. It was pretty useful and we got a good report of whom to follow up with, and whom not to. We got a good report obviously thanks to Exotel 🙂 , as the agency used our product itself to make the calls, so I had a consistent loop into how they are speaking, improved the scripts and had a bird’s eye view + close control on the process, but just did not have to spend time hiring or doing it myself!
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It is interesting the time of this very thoughtful article on Pandodaily about “The Future of Enterprise Hiring: Humans are the new cloud” as it resonates with many requirements that are always needed by SME & MSME’s for their operations.

Our customers Titbit solve the problem very well for restaurants across India, and restaurants like Subway, Mainland China and more are using the “Titbit people on the cloud” to manage the calls & customer interaction for these restaurants.

Satyam Bansal Titbit

Why do restaurants and big brands outsource this part to Titbit?
We asked Satyam Bansal the COO at Titbit.
1. We’re in specialization age. Restaurant/ Bakery chains like Mainland China, Subway, and Birdy’s do a great job with their high quality food. Managing the consumer calls related to Delivery, take aways, and table reservations can be a highly challenging task for them considering it is not their core strength. Also, large no. of outlets and staff at different skill levels makes it difficult for them to provide a homogeneous experience to the clients calling in.

2. Every element of order taking and order communication process is handled through technology keeping in mind all possible contingencies and scenarios. This enables us to minimize human intervention in the process and let the technology take care of most elements.

3. Customer database management and CRM activities are also bundled as part of the service for the F&B chains. This again is an area where we have seen lot of brands struggle since it doesn’t lie at the core of their competency.

A very interesting company run by our customer Chetan Indap from OnContract has seen a great growth in this area, and answers why in his experience other companies & SME’s in India should and do outsource their call center employee operations in some scenarios.

Chetan Indap, OnContract

1. Savings on Infrastructure and related technology (setup and maintenance)

2. Ability to attract and retain good talent is a challenge

3. Flexibility to ramp-up and ramp-down based on need.
The most important part in these processes though is you should be able to track and measure it yourself very easily at any point of time, so you can make amends and improve.

It would be worth a try to try agent on demand sometime if you are an Exotel customer, see the video below why:

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