A new year always brings with it an opportunity to reset, reevaluate, reassess, or any other “re” word that might fit here. For contact centers this reexamination (I knew I could come up with another one) is no different. At the beginning of each of the last three years, I’ve teamed up with Art Schoeller from Forrester Research (BTW, Art is a really smart guy) to look at the hot trends in the contact center space and what those trends might mean for businesses who have deployed contact centers as a way to interact with their customers. The on-demand version of our findings can be found here.
At press time, we’re now one quarter of the way through the year and many of the things we discussed are really lighting up. Take a look at some of the infographic details – the big move of communications to the cloud (how many industries are growing at that rate?!?); the importance of the customer journey and the overall experience quality companies are delivering; the use of mobile customer service and the waging war over who owns that technology deployment (the stat below shows that the IT guys are winning); and social media as the newest media type.
The contact center industry is a great place to be – as a vendor, or as user. Never before have there been so many great tools that can be used to deliver an amazing customer experience every time. So strap on your space helmet, the remainder of 2013 should be a lot of fun!
chief marketing officer and cloud, mobile, social junkie
As I reflect on last week and my time spent at Enterprise Connect, I can’t help but think about all of the conversations I participated in about the unmet needs of small contact centers. The #1 question asked at the show was around how a small contact center can possibly compete with the “big guys,” meeting the same expected service levels that they do with limited resources. Many were wondering if the cloud can help them meet this challenge.
For those who may be unaware, 65% of the contact centers in the world have less than 50 agents, meaning that [...]
I work with companies every day that use email not only as a business communications tool but to initiate work processes. Is your company using emails to kick off manual back office processes? I am willing to bet that a majority of companies have adopted email as a means to trigger processes.
There are several problems that companies face when using email as a way to manage workflow in the back office, including:
Visibility -Once an email is sent it is hard to keep track of what is going on with that piece of work. Someone will have to manually [...]
How important is mobility to your utility customers? Today, customers expect convenience, customization and self-service – wherever and whenever! Expectations have been set by other industries that this ease of access translates to mobile access. This will continue to be a market force in the utility industry that will challenge those without apps to deploy them – and those with apps to keep improving them.
As an IT Manager at a utility, your objectives are many. In addition to improving the customer experience, you are also being tasked with building and maintaining theses mobile apps in a way that allows [...]
Each morning, I visit a few of my favorite business sites online to see what’s taking shape in the world. While going through my rounds the other day, I came across an article about the impact of bad customer service and how it can end up costing you in the long-run. Novel concept I know!
The article focused on a large media company and how years of bad service has cost the company many of its subscribers. Today, the company is undergoing a $50 million ad campaign in an attempt win back old customers and gain new ones, while trying to [...]
If you were to ask your contact center this question, “Who’s got it better than us?!,” how would they respond? How about your customers? Would they enthusiastically shout, “Noooo-body!” like the San Francisco 49ers (American) football team that just played in the Super Bowl? I know, they got beat and you’re probably thinking, “The Baltimore Ravens have it better than the 49ers…” but did we really have to go there? Ha!
While it’s a bit of a reach to think your contact center agents and customers will jump out of their seats and excitedly chant, “Noooo-body!,” perhaps it’s a worthwhile [...]
Seems like a pretty straight forward question, right? It would be, if service were free. But service is not free.
At each service level goal, there is an implied cost. And lowering cost is another of those goals. So our two goals are: lower costs and provide service. But those are not the only two goals! We also don’t want to burn out our agents with too high an occupancy, we want to provide training and professional growth for our employees, we want to sell product (for sales or collections centers), and so on…
A simple trade-off sensitivity curve, cost [...]
When most companies think about business process automation (BPA), they think about customer-facing or “production” processes. Most companies that I’ve worked with are concerned with improved cycle times, cost reductions for operational areas, improved efficiencies for contact centers, and reduction of manual processes for transactional areas. However there are many other opportunities that your organization can benefit from by looking at internal processes.
One example that comes to mind is the human resources (HR) department. Most HR departments have defined, repeatable processes, such as employee onboarding, employee separation, and employee moves. These are ideal for automation and can lead to [...]
Hi Folks! Before we get going on this — my first post here, by the way — I wanted to introduce myself. I am the founder of Bay Bridge Decision Technologies, recently acquired by Interactive Intelligence. My specialty is helping contact centers most effectively use forecasting, capacity planning, staff planning, and budgeting technology to reduce costs, increase operational efficiency, and ensure consistent customer service.
This technology, which falls generally under the category of “capacity planning and analysis solutions,” helps contact centers more accurately project required staff and resources – anywhere from one week out, to eighteen months out. This is [...]
For those of you responsible for utility outage communications, I ask you this: how confident are you in your ability to communicate with customers should such a crisis occur?
With a growing body of evidence suggesting that storms will worsen – and in light of the recent devastation caused by hurricane Sandy – the time is ripe to re-evaluate your outage communications plan.
And if you’re still in doubt, one only needs to point to the fall-out from Sandy when utility companies such as Long Island Power Authority were not prepared. So don’t be left in the dark or worse [...]