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. [...]
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. [...]
I had a terrible web chat experience last week that set my thinking in motion (BTW I’m looking for a new home alarm system).
After getting a not-too-intrusive invitation to chat, I accepted and the conversation went like this:
Joe: Can you tell me if you carry 2GIG products?
Agent: In case we get disconnected, can you give me your name and email address?
Joe: Nope, just looking for the answer to my question.
Agent: Have you contacted us previously?
Joe: Seems like you don’t have an interest in answering my simple question. Thanks. Bye.
I guess I could have [...]
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 [...]
I admit that I am as much an advocate and evangelist for multichannel communications as anyone I know. I’m a believer that customers should have choices. That service providers should deliver a great customer experience via the phone, email, chat, SMS, and social media. I wrote my first magazine article on the multichannel contact center in 1995. So I get it. I embrace it. I promote it.
Still, with all the emphasis on alternative communications channels, it is important to note that voice – a phone interaction with a live agent – is still the method preferred most by consumers [...]
Please re-read the title. Multitenancy vs. Individual Virtual Machines: Do Customers Care? The short answer is yes, but not for the reasons some vendors tell you.
To be sure we are on the same page, multitenancy is a hosted environment where multiple customers are partitioned on a platform utilizing the same hardware and software resources. The alternative, a single customer multi-instance environment running on individual virtual machines, operate as the name suggests and segregate each customer onto its own virtual machine using something like VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V.
It makes me laugh when the multitenant contact center vendors run around [...]
A study from Pew Internet shows that 55 percent of Americans said they’d used a mobile device to access the internet in 2012. For 31 percent of users, the primary way they access the web is via a mobile device. That’s almost a third of the American population using the Internet! I suspect mobile Internet usage to be much higher in many countries outside the U.S. Given these statistics, clearly organizations have to develop a strategy on how to engage with their customers via mobile devices, if they haven’t done so already. Note that for this blog, I am using [...]