But we all know that was not the big story of the year. Like so many other companies, the big story was COVID-19. This revealed Startel’s preparedness and subsequent ability to pivot amid the pandemic. Contact centers and answering services who use Startel were pleasantly surprised they were already prepared for a pandemic as they were able to successfully deploy thousands of remote agents throughout the ordeal. For Startel, this has been an unprecedented opportunity for innovation and growth, and they continue to make strides as they realize the permanent changes this worldwide crisis has left.
Let’s look at the progress Startel has made in a year where everything seemed impossible.
The Startel CMC is not going anywhere, it is only getting stronger. With the acquisitions of the PTD and Tascom platforms, Startel has experienced many “Wow, that’s an excellent feature” moments from their new customers. As a result, they are taking those wow features and incorporating them into the Startel Contact Management Center (CMC).
In the current Startel CMC 16.1 release, customers are managing actions (or priorities as some call them) similar to how PInnacle users do. Agents and dispatchers love being able to view all actions in queue and see how long each action has been waiting, as well as the time until a message delay or reminder has before it is due to be acted upon by an agent.
Startel has successfully taken their four-square classic agent interface and converted it into a flexible and easy to use tool for agents. Each window (such as on call, info pages, and scripting) can be docked, tabbed, unpinned, or separated into its own window of data allowing users to take full advantage of monitor real estate.
In addition to this flexibility, the Flex AI is user friendly with on screen buttons and functions making the onboarding of agents a snap. With Flex AI, design a screen layout that gives agents what they need to see when and where they need to see it. Startel predicts by the end of 2022, most agents processing interactions on Startel’s CMC platform will be using FlexAI.
Startel is making significant advancements in products that allow you to increase customer engagement. One of these products is GenIMX with its diverse suite of features.
GenIMX provides the ability to text enable your customers’ main business line. This product allows agents to interact with customers via text and picture messaging. Using GenIMX for main line texting allows centers to take advantage of another communications channel.
In addition, GenIMX enables you to offer additional services to your clients such as appointment reminders, event notifications, brief survey services, and sending marketing messages.
The Startel API is a translator that allows custom designed software to request information directly and in real time from your CMC database. Startel’s CMC Rest API allows you or your customer to create custom applications to meet specialized needs.
Do your customers want to automate pulling information into their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software? Do you want to have your own reporting tools, designed by you and your staff? Have great ideas for a mobile app for your business? This tool will get you all of that.
Use the CMC Rest API to customize dashboards that suit your site’s specific needs, develop web-based applications for analyzing and monitoring staffing levels, and build your own tools for managing on-call calendars.
Manage the status of your entire contact center in real-time, from anywhere, with Startel’s browser-based dashboard. The dashboard allows you and your staff to monitor queues, service levels, and the status of each agent from inside or outside your network.
Visually display workforce performance and service levels in the form of charts and graphs. Details for each agent’s current activity provides management with real-time updates from the convenience of their desktop, tablet, or flat screen monitors displayed throughout the contact center.
The dashboard is customizable to each user’s role or needs. Once designed, set a customized layout as a view profile, save it as the default of the currently logged in user, or employ it as the default for all users.
Now, clients can manage their services from the convenience of their mobile phone with PocketVantage. Designed to be a product contact centers can offer to their customers to track their business, PocketVantage is a virtual portal to the messages saved in clients’ accounts on CMC.
In addition to accessing messages, your clients can access their current on call information to verify who’s on call now or check on who was on call last night. CMC users’ clients can also login to the app to update member and client statuses, assuring that the correct dispatching protocols are being used.
The Startel Web Portal, also referred to as IntelliSite, is an effective, self-service solution that enables customers’ clients to successfully manage their business. From IntelliSite, users can access their account online from their PC, smart phone, or tablet. And, based on their assigned access rights, make changes to time activated alerts, on call schedules, directories, and members. Users can also access waiting messages as well as past messages previously delivered to the customer.
Startel IntelliSite is ideal for contact centers or telephone answering services. It is an excellent tool that can be offered to the end client as well as a convenient way to preserve your agents time for call handling.
Startel offers two solutions to meet their customers’ secure messaging needs:
Startel Secure Messaging Plus (SM+) is a two-way messaging service accessible as an application on one’s smartphone or tablet as well as via a secure website. SM+ maintains HIPAA (Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act) compliance by encrypting data at rest and in transit, offering a way to safely exchange sensitive information between providers and contact centers. Users can control message expiration, send attachments, track message status, and utilize group messaging.
The Secure Message Gateway (SMG) allows users to send and receive electronic protected healthcare information to the most popular messaging providers. Startel has deployed integrations with TigerConnect, Halo, and pMD, with more being added in the future. The SMG provides the opportunity to work with healthcare organizations that have and established secure message platform with their organization. Agents can seamlessly dispatch and receive replies from these secure messaging providers without having to access additional third-party software.
Startel’s second generation SoftSwitch continues to be installed and deployed across all three of their platforms. Startel’s SoftSwitch has solid stability due to years of coding and development expertise. It is a native SIP platform, enabling the integration of SIP-trunking and utilizing the latest VoIP protocols while allowing the use of analog, T-1, and PRI circuits.
The SoftSwitch routes calls based on skill level, queue priority, and user-defined scenarios. It also provides real-time status of contact center activity via the Startel dashboard. The SoftSwitch 2.0 call return feature allows callers to opt out of queue requesting a call back when an agent becomes available. When on the request, the caller’s “call” remains in queue and holds the caller’s place in line. When the agent answers that call, the agent is prompted to accept the call back call and the agent is connected to an outbound call to the number left by the caller.
The pandemic has pushed consumers and companies to look for increased options for paying bills online and collecting payments more efficiently. This push has made Startel’s Total Billing Solution a popular tool. With the newly rolled out payment portal, companies can access statements, view invoices, and pay bills online at their convenience.
The addition of the USAePay autopay integration, streamlines the user interface and eliminates the need for clients’ staff to learn the ACH transaction process of their organization’s financial institution.
Startel’s newest development centers around the Startel365 browser-based agent interface, a 100 percent browser-based interface. This interface—that uses advanced scripting to guide agents through processing calls—needs no software footprint on the agent’s PC. That means no VPN, no remote desktop connection, and no softphone application.
The planned functionality of this browser-based application layers over the current CMC database and CMC services. This has allowed Startel to overlay an interface using the latest in web design.
Once developed fully, Startel365 will make onboarding of new agents faster by reducing training time. The browser-based tool is user friendly and is visually easy to navigate. Anyone with experience browsing the web can be trained in hours, not days, making them able to answer and process calls quickly.
Startel365 is being designed with contact center clients in mind. This product started with a vision to help contact centers and answering services, with specialized customers, better serve their clients by significantly expanding support for automation and integration with the end customers CRMs, ticket management systems, and other third-party software.
If your clients prefer to have your agents enter data directly into their own software, 365 will be the answer. With 365’s automations and integrations, agents can use the 365 interface for scripting and inputting information gathered from callers. And once saved, the data will be seamlessly inserted into the end customers’ software systems. Agents will no longer have to learn the intricacies of each client’s individual systems or programs.
This blog was authored by Vince Vitale. Vince is the marketing director for Startel, a leading provider of best-in-class contact center solutions. He has over fifteen years of marketing experience in education, urgent care, and the call center industries. Before his years in marketing Vince worked in journalism as a writer, producer, and reporter for several TV news stations.