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 [...]
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 [...]
If your contact center was overstaffed, how well coordinated do you think your schedules would be? How nimble would your workforce management process be?
How about if your contact center was understaffed -would your schedules be efficient? What would your workforce management staff spend their time doing? (Hint: They’d be scrambling to get agents to work more overtime every day.)
I was at lunch yesterday with a workforce managementexecutive whom I really respect, and we were discussing the various components of workforce management processes. His take was that the long term plan was the most important—if unappreciated—aspect of the workforce [...]
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 [...]