Powerful and Flexible Call Centre Management Software

Challenges facingCall Centres

In today's fast-paced business world, call centres face a number of challenges – some new and some not so new. In the past, debt collection businesses enjoyed high margins and even if they weren't that efficiently managed they invariably made good profits by default. But all of that has changed. Today, call centres need to be at the top of their game in order to meet the “more-for-less” challenge, increasing debt recovery rates, reducing collection time, and reducing collection costs.

The biggest challenge facing today's call centres is the drive to increase productivity. High volumes, poor data quality, low margins and ever-increasing overheads – for example the high cost of communication - all compel firms to look for cheaper, better, faster, and smarter ways to drive their call centres. Arguably the biggest challenge for call centre businesses is their high staff turnover, with staff recruitment and training being an on-going and costly exercise.

It is not only these traditional challenges that are putting call centres under pressure. New and impending DCA and NCA legislation is eroding margins and complicating the process even further. Call centres are also under intense pressure from their clients to perform, which means that Agent performance and incentives need to be objectively measured. Increased competition compels call centres to be better than their competitors in order to win new business and retain existing clients. This means that it is essential for firms to inject their own unique ideas and strategies into their collections process. Unfortunately, almost all debt collection software on the market today is rigid in its functionality, which means that firms are limited to what their software can do.

To beat these challenges, call centre businesses need to select a technology solution that is both powerful and flexible, and the AJS Call Centre System is simply way ahead of the field in these areas. Designed from the ground up to address the challenges facing modern call centres, the AJS Call Centre software is logical and easy to learn, ensuring that Agents can be trained up in the shortest space of time. To ensure that Agents have all the tools they need, the Agent Console displays all the required information to achieve first call resolution on a single screen, and automatic workload distribution helps to ensure that Agents are as productive as possible.

In a nutshell, the AJS Call Centre system has everything today's call centres need to be productive, compliant, well managed, and highly profitable. But most importantly, the AJS system is completely configurable, ensuring that your unique strategic and operational advantages are reinforced by your call centre software.

AJS Call Centre SystemOverview

The AJS Call Centre system is a call centre and debt collection management solution which allows the operator to significantly increase capacity and performance over traditional and/or manual systems. Simply put, this means that you need fewer operators to handle your call centre volumes. Since salaries remain the largest cost for most businesses, reducing people costs is one of the most important aspects of profitability.

AJS Call Centre is the only system on the market with a feature called “Smart Active Management”. This functionality helps with the organisation and structuring of large volumes of matters and data, enabling operators to create telephone call, print, SMS, email, and fax campaigns. These campaigns are then managed via a simple-to-use interface, allowing the administrator to adjust strategies on the fly. Optimum operation is ensured through the use of built-in query resolution, data cleaning, tracing and LSDA resolution workflows, all of which increase throughput. The Active Management engine analyses the status of each matter, and based on the rules of the operator it automatically channels the matter in the right direction for appropriate action - for example an SMS or a telephone call. AJS Call Centre can be operated in an inbound, outbound, mixed, or even a predictive dialling environment.

Because AJS Call Centre is completely integrated with the industry leading AJS accounting system, there is no need for problematic and time-consuming importing and exporting of information with third party systems. This integration with AJS accounting also provides a full legal process management engine which includes legal document templates, processes, and prescribed tariffs as specified from time to time. AJS Call Centre is fully compliant with the rules of the National Credit Act and the Debt Collectors Act.

Built on top of the tried and tested Universe SQL database, AJS Call Centre is extremely robust. This not only means that your information is secure, but it also means that regardless of the size of your call centre, AJS remains incredibly fast.

In addition to the advanced software and the “talked about” levels of customer service, AJS Call Centre goes even further with an optional “all-in” pricing package that includes on-going product version updates, training, and support. This means that you can budget for a fixed monthly price, regardless of whether additional training or support is required.

AJS Call CentreBenefits

  • General Benefits The AJS Call Centre system is simply way ahead of the competition when it comes to call centre management. This is partly because of its power and flexibility, but also because of its ease of use. As a result, collection Agents take to the system quickly and easily, and productivity increases significantly as a result. In short, the AJS Call Centre provides a platform for Managers and Agents to improve productivity. The system functions as a “work management system” that assists management to effectively execute on the business strategy and to improve throughput. Agents are encouraged to work matters as they are presented, and to provide status outcomes for all worked matters. This ensures that all collectable matters are secured through actively managing individual payment profiles and that those matters which are not fit for collection are removed from the primary collections environment – eliminating wasted time. Management can then focus on strategies around collectable matters, and allocate resources as required. The Supervisor and Administrator Consoles are used to manage the staff, work, and processes whereas the Call Centre Console is used by the Agents to record and update the status of their matters, and for their interaction with debtors. In addition to the increase in productivity, AJS Call Centre also reduces costs through the use of bulk communication channels. All of this helps to reduce costs while increasing efficiency and productivity.

  • Benefits for the Collections Agent The AJS Call Centre system provides a number of real benefits for the Collections Agent. Firstly, the Agent Console is extremely easy to learn and use, and this ensures that Agents get the most out of the system. It also means that new Agents can be trained to use the system in a relatively short space of time, facilitating business growth, and removing the re-training problems associated with the high staff turnover experienced in the debt collection industry. The AJS Call Centre Console is intended to make the collections environment more efficient, with add-on functions that enable the business to execute strategies, monitor performance and adjust processes which will result in improved collections. It is a fact that the success of the business relies on the performance of each collections Agent, and this is an area in which the AJS Call Centre software leads the field. To ensure that Agents work efficiently, the Console provides a comprehensive view of each matter, and this means that the Agent doesn't need to switch between screens to find the information they need. Aspects such as contact details, financial information, settlement amount, whether or not a PTP is in place, and even debtor attitude are always visible on the Console. The Agent can also access all necessary functions from the Console (for example send an email or SMS), saving time. Another remarkable feature is that where debtors have multiple debt on the system, the other matters are shown on the Console, improving the collection rate. AJS Call Centre also includes a detailed history enquiry which displays all actions on a matter since its inception. The history enquiry shows all financial transactions, internal notes, document attachments, and even SMS messages and emails sent. Not only does this ensure that Agents have all the information they need at their fingertips, but it also promotes the idea of a paperless office, reducing costs, saving office space, and increasing efficiency. To increase productivity still further, and to remove as much unnecessary clutter from the Agents as possible, automated workflow ensures that call backs, defaulters and reminders are all worked automatically. Another important aspect is that automated workload distribution provides an opportunity for Agents to over-perform on targets and to grow their personal book. Performance reporting clearly highlights those Agents who over-perform and those who do not.

  • Benefits for the Supervisor/Administrator For the Supervisor, the AJS Call Centre system manages the workload of Agents through automated workload distribution, and through segregation of matter types. The system includes the industry-leading Smart Campaign Manager which manages all aspects of work distribution between the Agents. The Supervisor is able to view the available workload at any point throughout the day, and can change the campaign or the book that Agents are working at any point. To generate additional work, the Supervisor can also create a new campaign or release SMS messages and emails if necessary. This ensures that Agents are as productive as possible, and it allows top Agents to over-perform. The Supervisor can also manage bulk communications sent to debtors via the system. Supervisors are able to configure, change, and manage the user's rights, as well as customise the Agent Console outcomes and processes. This allows the Supervisor to limit the actions Agents may take when working matters, simplifying the process, and eliminating the potential for making mistakes. Through various reports and visible management indicators, Supervisors can monitor Agent performance accurately, easily and objectively at any point during the day. This allows the Supervisor to take immediate action on performance issues. In addition, there are several generic system reports available that provide information on the performance of campaigns, and these allow Supervisors to measure and implement more effective campaign strategies in order to increase collections. Since the AJS Call Centre system includes a custom report generator, custom reports (for example, for data-mining) may be designed at any time. Monthly targets may be set per Agent, and a report may be run at any point during the month to see how far the Agents are from making target and what commission will be paid over to each Agent. There are two commission reports: The Agent Commission Report which shows the total collected per Agent, the total number of PTPs per Agent and the value of the PTPs, plus the total PTPs that made payment, the target per Agent and what still needs to be collected to make target. The Detailed Commission Report shows each payment made separately, as well as the difference between the PTP amount and payments received (this will help managers to see when Agents are logging false PTPs) and the Agent who will receive the commission. A receipt will only be allocated to an Agent for commission if the PTP was logged prior to the payment being made, and if the PTP is logged after payment is received then the Agent will not earn commission.

  • Benefits for the Organisation The benefits for the Organisation are exactly what you would want from such a system: increased income, reduced costs, better management and control, more motivated Agents and improved client service. To expand on this, the AJS Call Centre system increases income by empowering Agents to manage more matters in a given day. For example, all of the information and functionality which Agents need is accessible from the Console, which saves time. In addition to that, the auto-distribution of work ensures that Agents are kept productive, and individual performance reporting gives Agents the ability to monitor their own performance. Costs are reduced in similar fashion. It stands to reason that if Agents are able to work more matters in a given day, fewer Agents will be needed to handle the workload, and this is a major saving for the Organisation. For further savings the system makes use of bulk communication methods such as email and SMS messaging to reduce the costs of collection. Allied to this, the system includes the most powerful and flexible document templates system on the market, which is used for all repetitive documents, emails, and SMS messages. This not only saves time, but it improves accuracy, and ensures a consistent, professional communication from all Agents. Improved management and control is achieved through objective performance reports, which allow Supervisors to monitor the performance of their Agents. In addition, visual controls on the Agent Console shows Supervisors clearly if an Agent is on a break, including when the break began. Different colour screen backgrounds are used for different break types, and the display begins to flash if an Agent exceeds the allotted time for that break type. The system can automatically ask the Agent why they exceeded their break, and this explanation is then forwarded to the specified Supervisor via email or SMS. The powerful campaign manager ensures that campaigns match the organisation's strategy, and rapid adjustments can be made to a campaign if it is proving to be ineffective. Client service is enhanced through successful conversion and through better-executed business strategies to meet your client's expectations. Lead times are also reduced through process efficiency as well as the flexible campaign manager.

AJS Call CentreFeatures

Fully Integrated with AJS Legal Accounting The AJS Call Centre system is completely integrated with the well-known AJS Accounting and Business Management system, and this integration eliminates troublesome and time-consuming importing and exporting from third party systems. Thanks to the industrial strength Universe SQL database that powers AJS, you can rest assured that the AJS Call Centre system will be able to handle the high transactional volumes associated with large debt collection call centres.

Work distribution to Agents The AJS Call Centre software was designed to auto-distribute files based on the number of people available for work. Thus matters are queued on a 'first-come-first-served' basis. This allows Agents to grow their personal book based on individual production and performance. The Supervisor will make work available by allocating campaigns in the Supervisor Console. An auto call campaign may also be used, which will automatically load campaigns as the previous campaign matters are completed. These campaigns are created by the Administrator in the Administrator Console, and are based on the business strategy. All buttons and icons selected by an Agent result in data being written to the database. This data is used by the programme to determine which next action is required on the matter. A matter may be placed in multiple statuses and thus be available to be worked in several different campaigns simultaneously - for example, a PTP may be logged along with a query.

Agent breaks Agents place themselves on a break when their Console is not being used for a period of time, and the system will automatically log the Agent out after a specific period of inactivity. Colours are set for each type of break, for example red may indicate an 'inactive' status; orange for 'lunch', etc. making it easy for the Supervisor to see which Agents are away from their desks. The screen begins to flash if a specified time limit for a type of break is exceeded. The time elapsed since the beginning of the break is also displayed on the screen, along with the user's name, to assist the Supervisor to manage the Agent's time. The system can automatically ask the Agent for the reason why they exceeded their break, and this explanation is then forwarded to the specified Supervisor via email or SMS.

The Console The Console contains all of the information that the collections Agent needs to engage with a debtor on the telephone. For ease of use and to save time, all often-used functions (dial, send email or SMS, etc.) are accessible from this screen. The toolbar at the top of the screen allows the Agents to book themselves out on a break, search for a matter, attach documents, request support, and view their own performance stats.

Debtor information The information displayed here is dependent on the information provided by the client and the importing of this information into the database. The AJS Call Centre system creates a unique identification key for each debtor which makes it possible to link one debtor to more than one matter (multiple debt) – saving time and reducing tracing costs. If required, this feature may be de-activated to comply with POPI. Typical information on the right hand side of the Console is the debtor name information, the debtor attitude indicator (which provides the Agent with the opportunity to be better prepared and to adjust their own attitude and behaviour when speaking to the debtor), a gender indicator, the add note function and an enquiry function, instructions in red text providing useful information, contact information for the debtor, whether there is other debt for this debtor (multiple debt), and information on the campaign being worked (campaign script). The multiple debt indicator is particularly useful, since the Agent can make arrangements on all matters for a particular debtor at the same time, avoiding repeat calls. Another very useful indicator in this section is whether the debtor is capable of paying or not.

Searching for Information A matter may be searched on the reference number, matters worked, or client reference number. Additional search criteria not listed above may also be added. The availability of the search function is determined and set by the Supervisor .

Document Attachments There are a number of ways in which the AJS Call Centre system assists firms to reduce costs by going “paperless” - for example, email and SMS messaging rather than a print or fax campaign. But by far the most effective way to reduce paper in the business is to use the document management or “attachments” facility in the system. Document management ships standard with the AJS Call Centre software, and users can attach most media, including electronic documents, scanned paper documents, emails, diagrams, photographs, and even sound recordings and video clips. Attachments can also be emailed directly from the enquiry screen, saving time. For even more automation, system generated documents may be attached to the matter automatically - for example summonses, copies of documents, and even SMS messages and emails sent via the AJS Call Centre system. Incoming paper documents may be scanned to email using a scanner, and attached via the attachments option in AJS or by simply clicking on the Paperclip icon in Microsoft® Word, Excel, or Outlook. The AJS Call Centre system supports certain digital scanners which allow documents to be scanned directly to a matter without going via email first.

Matter information The left hand side of the Console has been allocated to information pertaining to the matter and for the financials of the matter. Any information available in the database that has been provided by your client may be displayed, and these fields are configured by the system Supervisor. Typical information on the left hand side of the Console would include file name, client name, the matter description, a list of debtors related to the matter, a visual indicator of matter status (where status buttons light up), a six month payment history, all financial information for the matter including capital, interest, fees, disbursements, collection commission, balance, settlement, discount, minimum payment, maximum period, instalment and receipts to date.

Contact telephone numbers The Collections Agent can add numbers and confirm “right party contacts” at the press of a key, and once again, the user interface has been kept as simple as possible to minimise training. The system keeps track of all recorded contact telephone numbers, and intelligently manages the information providing the Agent only with numbers available for dialling, and removing incorrect numbers. The Agent can indicate whether a number is correct or bad and whether the number is a landline, fax or mobile number, and whether this is a home or work number. If the AJS Call Centre system is integrated with a dialler solution, the Agent can answer or make calls directly from the Contact Telephone Number screen, saving time.

Communication buttons on the Console Also on the Console are the “communication buttons”, which are used to kick off the communication process with the debtor and these buttons are dependent on the telephony or dialler solution being used. The system also caters for IVR switchboards where an extension number or routing option needs to be selected. For convenience, the history enquiry, add note, and post fee buttons are also shown in this area.

Instant settlement calculation By clicking on the settlement calculation button, the Agent can instantly email a settlement amount to the debtor. The settlement calculation takes into account the In Duplum rule and complies with the requirements of the National Credit Act ("NCA") and Debt Collectors Act ("DCA"). Another really useful function on the Console allows the Agent to send banking details to the debtor via email, SMS, or fax, saving time.

Account history The account history button may be selected to view the history of transactions and notes on a matter. Every “outcome” selected by the Agent will automatically be added to the account history as a note. Any document attachments are also shown in this view. One of the most useful features in AJS Call Centre is the ability to add notes to the matter on the fly. For example: “Debtor is thinking of consulting a Debt Counsellor”. This note displays on the matter enquiry screen. Once the Agent has finished working on the matter, they click on the outcome button to record what action they have taken with the matter. The system caters for a number of outcomes, including Schedule a call back, Left a Message, No contact, Logged LSDA, Query, Refuse to pay, Log a trace, or Reminder. All actions are written to the database and recorded in the account history. These buttons may be enabled or disabled via the Campaign Manager, and depending on the rules for a particular campaign, some of these buttons may be unavailable to the Agent. Another of the outstanding productivity features in the AJS Call Centre system is the PTP function. This allows the Agent to log a PTP on the system, and to perform calculations such as the monthly instalment while speaking to the debtor.

Visual Reporting Information and charts from the AJS Call Centre system may be displayed on wall-mounted televisions or projector displays. This allows management to see vital statistics at a glance, and it may also be used to show the Agents information about their collections as a group. This visual information is used for both management control and to motivate Agents to perform better, and any number of displays may be configured on the system.

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