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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Today, the term “cloud” seems to permeate every discussion and every bit of writing on the subject of contact center and business communications. It is the fastest growing segment of those industries by a long shot. Well-respected analyst firm, DMG Research, recently published in their comprehensive 433 page Cloud-Based Contact Center Infrastructure Market Report, that the cloud contact center market will grow 45% in 2012. That compares with single digit growth for its premise-based counterparts. If you look just at Interactive Intelligence as an example, our cloud based contact center business has been the fastest growing segment of our business [...]
You may have read recently about the release of our latest version of our Interaction Dialer® product. Interaction Dialer® 4.0 offers a wide variety of features, and enhances many of the items from our previous release. I am particularly excited about it, as I was heavily involved with our internal testing and spent most of this year working directly with this product. I’d like to use this blog post to add some additional context to the key highlights of this version.
#1 – The Removal of Workflows
One of the biggest changes in the 4.0 release is the elimination of [...]
The latest buzz regarding customer contact channels is mobile applications. How do you ensure success within this channel? I recently attended a webinar by Information Week Financial Services called Getting Answers from Mobile Initiatives where they discussed different applications for the insurance industry, metrics that indicate mobile success, and where companies are focusing their money for mobile applications. According to Forrester Research, the top 3 priorities/objectives for mobile applications are:
Increasing customer engagement Improving customer satisfaction Appear as innovative
I would like to examine the first two objectives, customer engagement and satisfaction. As a consultant, I have received the consistent [...]