The headline benefits for moving your contact center to the cloud are most notably increased flexibility, (read my earlier post, “Flexibility in the Cloud… What Does it Really Mean?”), lower initial capital investment, and reduced IT requirements, (covered in a previous post, “Is a Move to the Cloud Good or Bad for IT?”). The benefit that gets less notoriety, but has saved the skin of many a CIO and contact center director, is “faster deployment time.”
For it’s premises-based cousin, changing out the contact center meant hardware procurement, space planning, administration training, and telco agreements. Those all take time. And with [...]
The first time I heard about calibration, I had been conducting quality monitoring in a contact center for a handful of years. Well, I was doing our version of quality management, which included an empty office outfitted with a tape recorder from 1984 dialed into a queue to record calls until the tape ran out, and then someone would go into the room to put in a new tape.
Eventually, our system was upgraded to Interaction Recorder and we could pull up recordings to review on a whim. We had fun with five of us grabbing calls and judging the abilities of our [...]
The utility industry’s workforce is aging and this poses a huge risk in the coming years. Experience, understanding and know-how built up over decades resides with employees who’ve worked at a single utility company for most or their entire career. These employees are human knowledge banks, and as they retire, their loss leaves a gaping hole known as “brain drain.”
Utilities everywhere face the same issue – and many have failed to recruit new talent to replace their aging workforce. Approximately 60% of the utility industry workforce across the globe is over the age of 40 and many will retire [...]
I need to start with an acknowledgment of David Cooperstein of Forrester for sparking this idea with me. David wrote:
“Lock-in mechanisms — mobile phone contracts, proprietary technology, and frequent-flier programs, for example — don’t create loyalty; they just create barriers to leaving. Forcing customers to comply with one set of rules designed for the masses makes your offer a commodity over time.”
David is exactly right. These “loyalty” branded practices, don’t create loyalty at all. I then considered this same thought for the manner in which we service customers in the contact center. Are customers doing business with the [...]
In a white paper that I co-authored with Paul Stockford of Saddletree Research on contact center metrics, ” Contact Center Metrics that Matter,” we included a focus on including the voice of the customer as a key measurement. We talked about net promoter scores and the challenges with getting a large enough sample size to make the results relevant. However, this week I was reminded of the core fundamental that while you might get the surveying process correct, if you aren’t asking the right questions, you’re missing the mark.
I presented at the Society of Telecommunications Consultants (STC) conference this week. [...]
Most of us have experienced the anxiety, excitement, fear, hopefulness and general breath holding when buying a new house. Well, not just a new house, but THE house. The one that scores highest on the detailed feature matrix you created with that algorithm assigning weights to prioritize relative importance. The one that prompted your spouse to say, “This is it! I can feel it!” The one where you’ll raise your kid. Or your dog. Or both. It’s been months of online research, driving around neighborhoods, and vigorously debating the pros and cons of numerous options. You’ve pre-qualified for a loan, [...]
Last week we hosted a webinar, The Insurance Contact Center and the Affordable Care Act- Preparing for the Unknown, featuring insurance analyst, Ellen Carney of Forrester Research. Ellen had recently conducted research around the transition of the health insurance industry as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). One of the key takeaways from the event was to stress to contact center directors and managers, the importance of the contact center being prepared for major change come the October 1st go live date for enrollment. Ellen pointed out that as a result of a lack of resources such as informational websites, [...]
Small businesses have many disadvantages when going up against larger competitors – smaller budgets, less name recognition, smaller customer base, fewer resources – and that is just the start. But enter in the great equalizer – the ability to deliver a better customer experience.
Maybe your bigger competitor has 5,000 support people in their contact center and you have 12. Any given customer, at any given time, is a one-to-one relationship. Your agent helping your customer. And as a smaller business, you actually have some advantages – less bureaucracy, increased flexibility, more personalized relationship with your customers, shorter paths to [...]
You’ve heard the phrase “the tail wagging the dog.” This usually means that something viewed as less significant is driving the behavior of something more significant. In this context, which should drive the purchase decision of a new communications system — the contact center technology or the business unified communications (UC) system?
A couple of clarifications…first, I say UC instead of IP PBX because nobody is still buying just an IP PBX any longer (at least nobody who would be reading this). Second, the question gains more relevance when the buyer is considering a single vendor -as prescribed by most [...]
About a year ago, I had the opportunity to sit in a planning meeting at a very large insurance provider. In this meeting they were looking at the contact center network’s performance in order to forecast expected performance, and develop new resource plans going forward. It was neat—the center managers, the capacity planning team, the customer service VP, and the finance manager were all on the conference call.
This was a regular weekly call and I was both encouraged and discouraged by a lot that I heard. Here are a few observations, with my take on best practices:
Best Practice [...]