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Semafone reshuffles pack ahead of US expansion

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Semafone has appointed Gary E. Barnett to the role of CEO, replacing Tim Critchley who had been in the position since 2009, as the company prepares to expand its presence in the U.S. market.

Barnett is recognised as an authority on contact center (CC) and unified communications (UC) technologies and solutions. With a 30-year track record of delivering leadership and stakeholder value in senior leadership roles at both Avaya and Aspect Software, he was recognised by the contact center industry with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have someone of Gary Barnett’s calibre and experience to lead Semafone into the future,” said David Sear, Semafone’s chairman. “Barnett is the perfect fit with his deep knowledge and market expertise as a pioneer of contact center technologies. It’s an exciting and pivotal time in Semafone’s development as the company looks to further expand into the U.S. market and Barnett will provide the leadership needed to successfully take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.”

“I am privileged to have the opportunity to bring my passion for contact center compliance and extensive market experience to the CEO role at Semafone,” said Barnett.

“Working closely with Semafone, its customers and partners in my previous role, I’ve developed a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that truly matter most. I am thrilled to begin executing on those opportunities, address the industry’s challenges, and drive Semafone to innovate and evolve with faster, frictionless cloud technology – further consolidating the company as the world’s most trusted solution for protecting telephone-based card data.”

Speaking on behalf of the board, Sear said: “Tim Critchley has done an amazing job building Semafone from the ground up and overseeing our entry into the U.S. market. We wish him further success as he pursues new opportunities.”

21% of firms fail to respond to live chat support

960 301 Stuart O'Brien

A study involving businesses based in the US and Europe, including both business and consumer facing websites, has revealed that 21% of companies failed to respond to live chat support requests.

The study, commissioned by SuperOffice, was conducted from over 1,000 websites. To keep the study fair, chat was only initiated during a website’s support hours and only when chat was available and online.

During each chat, questions were asked that were specific to a business. For example, ecommerce stores were asked questions about shipping and handling, while software companies were asked questions relating to free trial offers. After each chat was completed, the site was rated based on the quality of response time, wait time and overall chat experience.

Key findings included:

• 21% of live chat support requests are not answered
• Average wait time for live chat support requests is 2 minutes and 40 seconds
• 55% of companies do not offer transcripts once a chat has ended
• 23% of companies do not ask for contact information before a chat begins
• Average handle time for a chat request is 6 minutes and 50 seconds
• 45% of companies do not ask users for feedback once the chat has ended

SuperOffice concluded that live chat only works if there’s someone behind the software to respond to customers needs.

A white paper based on the study can be downloaded here