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Sky-Click: Contact Centers For Skype
Sky-Click can create Skype-based call centers that can reduce the cost of call center operations. Is it right for your business? We take a close look.
April 7, 2006
4 Min Read
Web-based contact centers reduce the high-cost of building a traditional contact center. Now a new Skype-based call center will reduce the costs of those Web-based contact centers.
Ads-Click officially launched its VoIP-based contact center, Sky-Click, this week. The software ties into Skype and enables businesses to start a contact center without the traditional hardware or software investment normally associated with a call center, or for that matter a call center service.
Ads-Click sells a keyword advertising technology. Cyril Lamblard, the chief operating officer for Ads-Click, came up with the concept of Sky-Click to help his customers close the incoming leads generated by Ads-Click.
With Sky-Click, agents can be located anywhere in the world as long as they run Skype. Pricing is extremely low at $10 per agent per month or $100 per agent per year. Web-based contact centers from vendors such as Cosmocom typically run around $300 per agent for voice alone and up to $500 per agent for voice, video and IM capabilities.
The first iteration of Sky-Click is based around Skype, although future releases will use other VoIP clients, such as GoogleTalk. Subscribers to the Sky-Click service equip agents with Skype and their CRM software. On their Web sites they place a click-to-call button. Users interested in learning more about a product can click on the button to Skype a call-center agent. The button can be customized to initiate an IM or video call.
The agent interface is remarkably simple. Aside from running Skype, agents run a small feedback form that they fill out once the call is completed. The form gives them room to enter a synopsis of the call and relevant follow-up information.
The call center comes with much of the standard features that you'd expect in a contact center. Incoming calls are placed in a queue and can be distributed based on language, expertise and availability. Agent availability is controlled by changing one's Skype status. If no agents are available to receive the call, then users fill in a form with enough information for agents to return the call. The administrator console uses a unique Ajax interface. An early version was originally seen on Michael Arlington's TechCrunch report and though the final version has changed somewhat, it's still retained a unique avante-garde look-and-feel.
A personal tool bar (at can be customized by dragging any number of tools from the pull-down interface.
Users (callers) shows the current online status of callers into the call center. Active calls are in green and idle calls are in white.
Products and services allow the administrator to define how calls will be routed for specific items. Skill sets and languages are some of the factors considered by Sky-Click.
Ads-Click positions Sky-Click as the solution for the small or large business. Small business and casual contact users may indeed be drawn to the technology if for no other reason than the price.
However, it's hard to imagine large business and heavy contact-center users taking a serious interest in Sky-Click today. There are too many features that one needs in a contact-center that can't be easily handled with Sky-Click. Call transfer, for example, isn't possible with Skype or, for that matter, Sky-Click.
Sky-Click also lacks the means for improving contact-center performance. There are no centralized call-recording tools for supervisors to log calls, though Lamblard says the technology will be added in a few months. What's more, there are no call-supervision features for call-center managers to listen in on and advise agents on how they might improve their performance.
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