CALL CENTER AND INFORMATION AGENT CENTERS
AST Fund Solutions' Ability to Deliver Effective Shareholder Communications is unmatched in the Proxy Solicitation industry.
AST Fund Solutions' vigor to deliver successful telephonic solicitations is attributed to the following three factors: People, Technology, and Capacity.
We know that having dependable, well trained, experienced people in our call centers is a large part of getting the job done for our clients. Our company focuses a great deal of energy on the following areas to ensure that the best people are making the calls on behalf of our clients.
AST Fund Solutions hires on average only 1 out of 8 persons interviewed. Our screening includes thorough voice diction review, computer literacy testing, and reference checks.
b. Pay Grade:
AST Fund Solutions believes in paying for quality people. We pay on average 30% more for our representatives than our immediate competition. We believe that a better pay grade ensures retention of our experienced representatives and keeps our turn over rate at an industry low, being lower than 4% per year.
Thorough training ensures fewer quality related issues and ensures higher productivity. AST Fund Solutions invests more into training time than our industry counterparts. It is commonplace practice for proxy solicitors to hand their reps fact sheets and put them to work. Every new hire is engaged in intense classroom training, that is followed by written testing and mock calls that are graded by our Quality Control department. Upon successful completion of training, our Account Executives will review and prep the new call center reps before the reps commence the campaign.
Our representatives are managed by experienced supervisors, each having at least five years of managerial experience. Our ratio is one supervisor to every ten representatives. We also utilize double- spaced cubicles so that we keep each less experienced rep partnered with a more seasoned rep, usually having three years plus experience. The expectations are for the experienced reps to actively monitor the progress of the newer rep.
e. Ongoing monitoring and recognition:
All calls are recorded and archived for seven years using a NICE systems logger. Five percent (5%) of all calls are monitored by the Quality Control department and twenty percent (20%) of all voted calls are reviewed by Quality Control for accuracy. Our Quality Control department is responsible for auditing accurate content, speech, and call handling. A copy of our online quality system is available upon request.
AST Fund Solutions Management Team consists of experienced men and women who view their roles at the firm as careers and not just a job. The following is an outline of the call center management team.
Fred Bonnell: Director of Call Center Operations
(10 Years Experience of being a Call Center Director)
Tom Rose: Director of Software Development
(16 Years Experience on Call Center Software Development)
Gina Tamborini: Data Management Strategist
(6 Years Experience in Call Center Data Management Strategies)
Xochi Risco: Quality Control Manager
(5 Years Experience in Quality Control)
- Fred Bonnell: Director of Call Center Operations
Our experienced, well trained, and dedicated agents, supervisors and management staff are the pride of our firm, and they are the main factor leading to the numerous success stories we have had in our industry.
AST Fund Solutions spared no expense when matching the talent of its people with superior technology. AST Fund Solutions owns to date, the most sophisticated and advanced calling system in the industry provided by Avaya. Below are some of its specifications:
Avaya Technology Specs
Avaya Predictive Dialing Systems is based on a highly scalable and reliable distributed component-based technology that can be deployed flexibly across systems and locations. Avaya PDS is used by organizations scaling up to thousands of agents across multiple integrated contact centers, handling millions of customer interactions per day. Avaya PDS provides an open architecture that can be integrated into existing IT infrastructures. Avaya PDS is highly scalable, giving customers flexibility in how they grow their contact centers. By leveraging of industry standards like CORBA, J2EE, SOAP, XML, traditional call centers now have a complete migration path to the future of multimedia customer interaction.
Enhanced Call Progress Analysis
The PDS voice detection maximizes live-voice connects to agents which eliminates up to 97.6% of busy signals, answering machines, voice mail, unanswered calls, pagers, faxes, modems, and operator intercepts.
Multi Dialer Capabilities
Efficient load balancing, agent and list aggregation, integrated reporting of real-time and historical data across multiple dialers and locations, centralized management of log-ins and passwords, and the ability to share user-defined views.
- Agent interface options
- Agent owned recall
- Designated job access
- Manual dials
The following features enhance the flexibility of campaigns.
- Detect the beep
- Job linking
- Managed dialing
- Person to person
- Real-time campaign management
- Real-time and historical data monitor
These features provide enhanced reporting capabilities and give supervisors more insight to better manage activities and campaigns.
- Campaign metrics
- Enterprise reporting
- Quality monitoring and recording
- Security standards
AST Fund Solutions has added to its technology arsenal a proprietary software application named PAVLOV. The application serves as the interface between the agent and the dialer. It also serves as a superior analytical and report creating tool that is used by our management staff to strategize each campaign. It also serves as the householding application which is by far the most accurate in the industry. No household of multiple voters should ever be called twice, id it doesn’t need to be.
Telephone Number Research:
AST Fund Solutions believes that the only effective solicitation is one where we have ample telephone numbers to execute the solicitation properly. We acquire on average more than 80% of telephone numbers in every shareholder file. The ratio exceeds 90% on the larger accounts on file. AST Fund Solutions exceeds the industry average of 65% by using various proprietary software applications as well as applications we pay external parties for, such as Lexis Nexus and others of the like. The more telephone numbers we acquire the easier and more smoothly the solicitation strategy can be carried out. AST Fund Solutions continually upgrades its methods so we stay ahead of the growing challenges of obtaining sufficient telephone numbers to carry out a winning campaign.
AST Fund Solutions maintains 300 call center dialing work stations dedicated to our mutual funds proxy team. We grew to this number after our winter of 2008 expansion at our Lyndhurst, NJ facility and our Carlstadt, NJ facility. We can currently speak to 125,000 shareholders per day. Or 3,750,000 per calendar month. Each facility serves as a back up to the other, with an additional 50 seat capacity from our NYC office.