Fonolo at eComm Conference today

ThEcomm 2010e 3rd annual Emerging Communication Conference starts today in San Francisco. eComm always has a special place in our heart because we unveiled Fonolo for the first time at eComm ’08 and then unveiled our enterprise product at eComm ’09.

Unfortunately, the Iceland volcano is having a big impact on the attendee list, but the show is going on! Some speakers are even delivering their address via Skype. (Oddly appropriate.)

Here is the write-up for Shai’s presentation tomorrow:

Customer Experience in the Call Center: Can the Leaks in the Pipeline be Fixed?

Every day, millions of people make calls to large companies – banks, airlines, cell phone carriers, etc. – to speak to a customer service representative. For consumers, these calls often amount to a dreaded chore as well as a considerable loss of time. For companies, these calls amount to billions of dollars added to annual operating costs. Given the sheer volumes of time, money and energy spent on these customer service calls, improvements to their efficiency – even small ones – carry the potential to deliver significant results. Flaws in the way these calls are handled increase costs to companies in at least two ways: the higher expense associated with longer calls, and the loss of goodwill from customers.

In 2008, Fonolo launched a service for consumers with the goal of learning more about how some of the shortcomings in the call center experience could be addressed. Fonolo’s technology platform performs navigation on behalf of callers dialing a corporate phone system, connecting them directly to the person or department they need. To make this possible, the company maintains a database of over 500 companies. For each company, the content, structure and usage of its phone menu (IVR) are tracked.

As a byproduct of this traffic, the company has accumulated a unique perspective about what it calls the “pipeline” that exists between a caller and the call center agent. This presentation draws on that traffic data, as feedback from Fonolo users and other industry sources, to identify trends in technology, caller expectations and customer experience.