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 [...]
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 [...]
Three years ago I wrote a blog titled Why you will never take away my desktop phone, which mentioned a report by Gartner that said desktop phones will be replaced by mobile phones by 2011. Back then, it looked like RIM and Apple were going to dominate the mobile market and Google was nowhere to be seen.
Well, here we are at the end of 2012 and the majority of organizations are still using desktop phones. Surprising? Not at all. But in looking back over the past three years, there has been a lot of change in the way we [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Last week I spent some time at an event on ‘big data’ in the insurance industry. The one-day seminar featured speakers from Gartner, IBM, and panelists from insurance technology providers and carriers. Throughout the sessions, interesting and innovative ideas were presented around the concept of making the most of the data and the business intelligence we have. With that said, I saw three main themes:
How to use this data for predictive insight How to assess risk and fraudulent activity How to remain competitive and profitable
What I found interesting was that of all these concepts, very few presenters spoke [...]
Two of the hot topics discussed in the contact center space are — anything to do with social media and of course mobility. In some cases they are part of the same discussion, but if I were keeping score, the interest in how contact centers can better handle interactions with their mobile customers is way ahead of the social media issues. The focus is around providing a better customer experience for users who need to interact with a contact center during a mobile transaction. Companies are seeking a ways to improve how consumers in all demographics deal with [...]
Did radio REPLACE newspapers? Did television REPLACE radio? Did email REPLACE the phone call? In each of these cases, the answer is no. The one didn’t replace the other, but in each case, the newer technology had an effect on the older technology and was part of an evolution of how we communicate.
So what is the next step in this ongoing evolution? As it relates to the contact center, I believe the answer lies in that device you have in your pocket… yes, the smartphone. The latest mobile devices (that continue to evolve at a torrid pace) have so much [...]
During several of the tradeshows we participated in during the first half of this year, I conducted my own informal (albeit, non-scientific) survey of the state of the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry. In essence, I talked with attendees about their plans for the remainder of the year. And without exception the response I received was that they expected to grow – grow their number of employees, expand into complementary businesses and/or purchase new equipment and solutions.
And now these first several months have shown continued economic improvements on a macro level, and I’m wondering if we’re now finally at [...]
Should I have to work to be your customer?
What level of effort do you consider as acceptable for your customers to expend before they reach their limit and become frustrated, disloyal, and decide to stop being your customer? Results from a recent survey by the Customer Contact Council indicate that 96% of customers attribute their disloyalty to a high-effort experience with a service organization. Investment in contact center technology that reduces customer effort by enabling multi-channel service and proactive outreach is imperative.
My last blog talked about [...]