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 [...]
By every measurement, the cloud is growing rapidly and is here to stay. In many cases, the move to the cloud has been financially motivated – primarily driven by the CFO or CEO. There are those forward-thinking IT directors or CIOs who have embraced the cloud for the host of benefits it brings to the organization. Still, regardless of the source or driver for the move, a shift to the cloud has left many a person with IT on their business card wondering if this is a good thing or a bad thing for them personally.
For IT leaders and [...]
Anytime a vendor speaks of their cloud solution as “flexible.” It usually stops with not much more than a blanket statement that is seldom challenged, “Our cloud solution is flexible,” says the vendor. The customer might think, “It should be flexible. It’s cloud-based.” When in reality, that concept of flexibility isn’t that well understood. So what does flexibility in this context really mean and how beneficial is it to the customer?
I believe flexibility as it relates to the cloud has five main components:
Consumption flexibility – You’re not buying software licenses in the cloud world. Instead, you are paying [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
We are in the midst of a new wave of innovation as major disruptive forces – mobile, social, cloud and big data – charge down the road. I would argue that we’re not on a convergence course, but rather a collision course that, once all the pieces are put (back) together, will completely change the way we think about customer service. While it won’t happen overnight, there will likely be more innovation and disruptive change over the next few years than we’ve seen the past twenty. Every day good ideas are forming as hunches mature, collaboration increases and missing pieces are found. [...]
Currently in the contact center industry, the big buzz is around anything and everything cloud. Trade shows and industry conferences are packed with sessions and panels focused on organizations moving their communications and data to the cloud. Companies in every industry are moving all or part of their infrastructure to cloud solutions, but not everyone is moving to a public cloud model. Some organizations are looking toward a private cloud as the next evolution in their communications infrastructure.
Private clouds can deliver many of the benefits and savings that a public cloud solution can offer. Some of the most common [...]
For some non-forward-thinking contact centers, the satisfaction of the associates, or agents, isn’t relative. For these centers it is all about efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction. What we’ve found is that the best producing contact centers also look at the satisfaction level of the associates or agents. This metric is based on the premise that more satisfied agents will offer a better service experience to the customer, and that more satisfied agents will lead to reduced turnover and in turn create a more experienced workforce delivering a higher level of service. WAIT, before you stop reading with a thought of, [...]
For some contact centers the sale of products comprise the entire objective of the center, or at least some portion of its purpose. I’d make an upfront argument that a great customer experience is just as important in a selling environment as it is in a service environment. The goal of any sale is to have that buyer return to buy more and to promote your products to others. So many of the metrics, such as netpromoter score and abandon rate, that are important to service-oriented contact centers apply equally to sales-oriented contact centers. Yet, there is then the need for additional metrics [...]