The Call Center is Dead - Long Live the Contact Center

Posted December 10, 2012 by Chris Burgoyne / Industry Interviews, Customer Satisfaction, Strategy / 0 Comments

What's the future of the contact center as technologies change and customers evolve? We’ve asked the question before on this blog, and others have asked as well. The website Software Advice recently hosted a Google Plus debate called Will Technology Kill the Call Center?Representatives from IntelliResponse, Avaya Inc., Drumbi, and Etech Global Services  talked about how technology is changing the way customers get in touch with company call centers. These are questions we're fielding as well.  For the debate, they asked each of the panelists the following four questions: How have you seen consumer contact channel utilization change in the last decade? What role has technology… Learn More

Contact Center Agent Efficiency

Posted November 15, 2012 by Jim Schweitzer / Customer Satisfaction, Telco, Contact Center Operations / 0 Comments

It costs money to staff a contact center, that’s a given.  The healthy contact center is tuned to get the most value from this investment.  The efficiency of your contact center agents reflects how well agents are set up for success by your organization. This “cost-driver”  analysis, a part of our VoiceVision 14 point Diagnostic Evaluation, is a fundamental measuring stick for a wide swath of the health of your Telephony Universe, and one where the costs and benefits are clear and measurable. How long are your agents on the phones, or even doing after call work? One might define agent efficiency simply by measuring the number of transactions… Learn More

The Perils of Cross-Functional Agents

Posted September 17, 2012 by Jim Schweitzer / Customer Satisfaction, Contact Center Operations, Regulation / 0 Comments

Cross-functional agents - agents responsible for handling more than one class of business transaction in a contact center - are valuable in many situations. Many contact centers serve an incredible breadth of subject matter and customer types, and sometimes certain requests are too rare to warrant full-time staff. Cross-training agents allows higher utilization and more flexibility with staff forecasting. However, context switching creates inefficiency and the potential for poor customer service. Having all types of calls blindly route to the same pool of agents is inefficient, and irritating. It’s inefficient simply because it takes time for the agent to determine the reason for the call. It’s Irritating to the customer… Learn More

The People In Your Neighborhood - The IVR

Posted September 12, 2012 by Chris Burgoyne / Good IVR, Customer Satisfaction, Contact Center Operations, Strategy / 0 Comments

The latest in our article series - The People in Your Neighborhood is up on ICMI's website. This article looks at the Voice of your Organization - the IVR, and the elements of both GOOD and BAD IVR.  IVR is critical to your customer access strategy.  Don't treat it as an after-thought. We'd love your thoughts over the next few weeks on this exciting new series! Learn More

The People In Your Neighborhood: The Agent

Posted August 14, 2012 by Chris Burgoyne / Customer Satisfaction, Contact Center Operations / 0 Comments

The latest in our article series - The People in Your Neighborhood is up on ICMI's website. This article looks at the backbone of the Call Center - the Agent, and the tools they need to build a value-based relationship with customers. Later pieces will describe the other members of the community that exists within any organization, and their stake in delivering customer satifaction and retaining or converting customers.  We'd love your thoughts over the next few weeks on this exciting new series! Learn More

ICMI Article Series - The People in Your Neighborhood

Posted July 19, 2012 by Chris Burgoyne / About VoiceVision, Customer Satisfaction, Contact Center Operations / 0 Comments ICMI Article Series - The People in Your Neighborhood

The first of our new article series - The People in Your Neighborhood is up on ICMI's website. This first piece covers the reason we're all in business - the customer. Later pieces will describe the other members of the community that exists within any organization, and their stake in… Learn More

Mobile is Mandatory

Posted June 8, 2012 by Chris Burgoyne / Customer Satisfaction, Mobile Applications, Contact Center Technology, Strategy / 0 Comments

Mobile is not approaching, it’s already here. CRM managers must respond to the advent of mobile technology with an enthusiastic embrace.  And by "mobile" we refer to a range of technologies that put the Internet, the telephone, specialized software applications, and a synthesis of all three directly (and literally) into the hands of the customer. Smart phones are achieving market saturation much more quickly than previous disruptive technologies. [See the article in MIT's Technology Review.] Customer satisfaction correlates tightly to customer expectations. As mobile technology advances, so too do customer expectations for service via their mobile devices.  Brad Cleveland, (Contact Center Expert, and author of Call Center… Learn More

Use a Knowledge Base to Reduce Costs

Posted April 20, 2012 by Chris Burgoyne / Customer Satisfaction, Contact Center Operations, Contact Center Technology / 0 Comments Use a Knowledge Base to Reduce Costs

What is a knowledge base? A knowledge base is software an organization can use to store knowledge acquired in the course of doing business. We’re talking about a database, only filled with knowledge and wisdom rather than just randomly accumulated data, so it’s a knowledge base. I’m here to tell you a knowledge base is essential. When we’re trying to create a business, we hire… Learn More

Aligning the Contact Center with Corporate Goals

Posted March 27, 2012 by Jim Schweitzer / Customer Satisfaction, Contact Center Operations, Strategy / 0 Comments

A 2012 survey by Knowlagent, unsurprisingly, shows that the top priority for call center managers is improving productivity. What’s the second priority? Alignment of contact center staff goals with corporate goals. This is a core tenet of what we try to elucidate with VoiceVision. Every corporation is different, and much of the strategic differences come from structural or market factors, not just the whim of the current executive staff. Let’s take a look at some of the potential areas for mis-alignment. Value of the Customer Value of the Customer is the antithesis of Cost per Contact. Are you selling commodities at dollars or cents per transaction, or are you… Learn More

The Customer Is King, Even for Pharma

Posted March 1, 2012 by Jim Schweitzer / Good IVR, Customer Satisfaction, Pharma / 0 Comments

As I indicated in my post summarizing the CBI Conference on Biopharmaceutical Contact Centers, one of the takeaways from that event was that customer experience still matters, even in an industry that is subject to regulatory or legal constraints. Big Pharma isn’t typically heralded as a bastion of good customer service. One might come to expect conservative or protectionist dialog with a pharma company’s medical information or drug safety staffs. Can a company really provide customer service if they have to be constantly worried about litigation or FDA regulaory action? Additionally, the question of who the “customer” even is, is not exactly always clear for a pharma company. Who… Learn More

Now You’re Speaking My Language

Posted February 6, 2012 by Chris Burgoyne / Customer Satisfaction, Contact Center Operations, Globalization / 0 Comments Now You’re Speaking My Language

A recent New York Times article points out that the Philippines has passed India in the number of call center agents. Filipino agents, however, are usually paid more than their Indian counterparts. But if outsourcing is all about lowering costs, then why… Learn More

Adding a Character to Hamlet?

Posted January 9, 2012 by Chris Burgoyne / Customer Satisfaction, Mobile Applications, Contact Center Technology, Strategy / 1 Comments Adding a Character to Hamlet?

In his article, Can Mobile and IVR Avoid a Fight?Leonard Klie makes the point that needed to be made, that  mobile apps are not going to displace IVR. It’s not going to be either or. … Learn More

What is: Virtual Hold?

Posted December 14, 2011 by Leslie Dove / Good IVR, Voice Interface, Customer Satisfaction, Contact Center Technology, What Is? / 2 Comments

"Thank you for holding. Your call is very important to us. All of our Customer Care Representatives are currently assisting other callers. Please continue to hold, and the next available Representative will answer your call." [Insert discordant hold music.] "Thank you for holding. Your call is very important to us. All of our Customer Care Representatives are currently assisting other callers. Please continue to hold, and the next available Representative will answer your call." [Insert discordant hold music.] "Thank you for holding. Your call is very important to us—" Perhaps it’s the repetition of the claim “Your call is very important to us” that makes it ring so hollow when… Learn More

Schroedinger’s IVR

Posted December 1, 2011 by Chris Burgoyne / Good IVR, Customer Satisfaction, Contact Center Technology / 0 Comments Schroedinger’s IVR

I recently stumbled onto an article called “Is the IVR Dead?” by Rob Marchand at Genesys. My initial response, since a lot of my work involves IVR was, God I hope not! So I read the article, ever striving to keep myself current in the industry, and I was struck by the realization that I’ve read variations of this article numerousLearn More

Serving Customers

Posted November 10, 2011 by Leslie Dove / Customer Satisfaction / 0 Comments

What if a company figured out what real customer service was? And what if that company decided to make serving the customer their true mission, instead of just trying to take customers' money? Would such a company earn not only your loyalty but also your rabid fanaticism? I Love You More Than My Dog by Jeanne Bliss is a collection of stories from such companies and the derived lessons that can be applied by companies trying to transform themselves into such. These are companies that have actually decided to trust the customer to be a decent person and to treat all customers as if they were each VIPs – companies… Learn More

Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Posted October 18, 2011 by Chris Burgoyne / Customer Satisfaction, Contact Center Operations, Teachable Moments / 0 Comments Can’t Get No Satisfaction

I got a C in Physics, but I believe the 5th law of Thermodynamics is that it’s cheaper to keep customers than get new ones. Customer Satisfaction is what every contact center aspires to cultivate and manage, but getting an accurate assessment can be challenging. Greg Levin writes, "A comprehensive… Learn More

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