How Intelligent Virtual Assistants Are Leading the Transition to the Intelligent Enterprise

Intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) have proven themselves to automate the handling of customer and employee requests and tasks. They are quickly becoming a fixture in the organization’s customer service workforce, becoming the “MVP” of the customer care team. But IVAs aren’t content to rest on their laurels; increasingly, they are being directed to serve an […]

Analytics-Infused Training: How to Nurture Agent Growth and Customer Happiness

Contact centers are complex and unique businesses. Some are five agents strong while others employ thousands. And while each contact center has its own business strategy and objectives, one common goal spans the industry: keeping customers happy. In a service-based economy, positive customer interaction is more important than ever. According to a Blackhawk Network study, […]

Knowledge Management: Four Selection Criteria to Increase Customer Lifetime Value

Knowledge management (KM) has become an important part of a contact center’s tech stack. In fact, according to Contact Center Pipeline’s 2020 contact center trends survey, of the top 20 challenges, “lack of, or bad desktop tools” (KM being one) ranked second. In that same survey, of the top 20 priorities, “improving knowledge access” ranked […]

Embracing Remote Work

The ability to work from home continues to top the list of desired benefits for employees seeking better work-life balance. Over the past five to 10 years, technology has enabled the growth of remote work across sectors and professions, and research suggests that nearly one-third of the U.S. workforce will be working remotely by 2025 […]

Creating a Collaborative Virtual Team

The percentage of people working from home has grown exponentially in recent years. New technologies make it so much easier for remote workers to perform their tasks. Creating an environment of collaboration can improve the performance of individuals and teams who don’t work face-to-face. It can also increase worker retention and enhance a caring culture […]

Innovation: What’s the Right Amount for your Contact Center?

Innovation is a requirement in most organizations. Without innovation, businesses will likely struggle to stay relevant and even survive. Most of us have a mandate (implied or explicit) to be innovative. To deliver on that mandate, you need to understand your organization and how it treats innovation. This is particularly true in a dynamic contact […]

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  • Customer Engagement

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    Digital Customer Care

    “A fundamental element of providing an excellent customer experience is making it easy for customers to get their questions answered through whichever means they prefer.” [...]
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    All About Ease

    The 1950 movie “All About Eve” starring Bette Davis is a “backstage” story revolving around an aspiring stage actress named Eve Harrington. Tattered and forlorn, [...]
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    Enough of the ideas, where’s the execution?

    I’ve just had the pleasure of chairing a customer engagement conference. There were some great speakers. One of my favourites was Stewart Bromley from Atom [...]
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    Smartworld Launches Cloud Customer Engagement Solutions in the UAE

    The new offering leverages the virtualized capabilities of the Altitude uCI 8 platform to deliver Altitude’s flagship contact center applications in a cloud-based service model. [...]
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    Want to Improve Employee Engagement? Technology Can Help!

    It is no surprise that “Improve employee engagement and empowerment” was the top priority in our “2019 Challenges and Priorities” survey. Attrition, often a by-product of low engagement, is always among the top challenges. (I can’t wait to see what we find in the soon to be released 2020 update!) On the surface, engagement doesn’t […]

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    Use Agent Voice DNA to Improve Contact Center Hiring Results

    Providing a good customer service experience is more important than ever. One bad experience over the phone can lead to bad reviews, criticism on social media, and—the worst scenario—loss of business. Research from Accenture found that 68% of customers have switched providers because of bad customer service, which means that people are looking at their […]

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    How AI Can Make the Holidays Bright

    The winter holidays aren’t always “the most wonderful time of the year” for the contact center. Time-off requests and spikes in call volume, especially in the retail industry, can bring forecasting and scheduling headaches that rival those induced by too much eggnog at the office party. New technologies powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can change […]

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    What, Exactly, Makes for Great CX?

    We talk a lot about delivering an exceptional customer experience (CX), but the talk focuses on how to deliver it. “Improve first-call resolution,” or “Capture customer feedback.” In the confusion of how words such as omnichannel and digital transformation, we may overlook the end goal—the what we’re trying to achieve. If you’re over 40, you […]

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    Important Trends in Workforce Management Technology

    At Pelorus Associates, we have studied the workforce management (WFM) space for over a decade. Our biannual reports delve deeply into the size, composition, market shares, trends, drivers and obstacles. The reports are quantitative and qualitative. We examine 30 significant trends that impact the direction of management practices and WFM technology. Reports include over 50 […]

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    The New CX Imperative: Serving the Values-Based Consumer with a Heaping Helping of Digital Empathy

    There’s a lot of talk about the values-based consumer today—the preference for brands that do business in ethically positive ways or take a stand on moral issues. Winning over these consumers takes more than launching a Save-the-Whales drive or sending a team to the annual charity 5k. Today’s consumers look for companies that demonstrate exemplary […]

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    AI and KM: From Knowledge Management to Knowledge Automation

    When customers have questions for companies they do business with, they might get a set of FAQs to plow through. They might get an “I’ll get back to you” from a contact center agent. Or they might get a specific answer the first time around from the agent or self-service system. Such precision is the […]

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    Accomplishing Call Center Transformation with Unified Communications Softphones

    The contact center industry is seeing a growing need to improve operational efficiencies, enable increased flexibility and agent versatility, and deliver vastly enhanced customer experiences. As such, contact center execs are asking themselves, “Can we meet these goals with the communications solution we already have in place?” Moving to the Cloud— When, Not If With […]

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    Transform Your CX from Good to Great by Treating Your Agents Right

    Sitting on the front lines of the contact center, agents are the personification of your brand. They provide the human-to-human connection that makes lasting impressions and supports more engaging customer experiences (CX). But, while CX continues to play an outsized role as a competitive differentiator, best-in-class contact centers are increasingly replicating the same type of […]

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    Why Online Scripting Is So Important to Your Call Center Success

    Here is why: You can prompt them to ask the right questions on every call. They can capture all the required data fields online in the right format with data validation of each field. Complex branching based on customer responses can be built into the script to ensure the reps follow the right call flow. […]

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    Things I Wish Someone Would Invent

    As a kid, I enjoyed leafing through my dad’s copies of Popular Mechanics. One of my favorite columns was entitled, “Things I Wish Someone Would Invent.” This always included some outlandish ideas, but occasionally readers suggested simple ideas that solved real problems. Any of you who have watched “Shark Tank” probably also have been taken […]

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    The Contact Center Trends to Watch Out for in 2020

    When invited to compile this list of customer service trends for 2020, naturally the first thing I did was look back at all of the predictions made the previous year. The influence of AI in the contact center was strongly touted, but in 2020 (after a number of false starts), artificial intelligence will finally start […]

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    A Checklist for Migrating Your Contact Center to the Cloud

    Numerous businesses rely on contact centers to field customer inquiries and manage customer service issues. Any disruption in network connectivity to these contact centers can lead to a loss of business and lost customer loyalty. Given that contact centers often support customers in stressful or frustrating situations, the need for high-quality service is even more […]

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    Three Major Predictions for the 2020 Contact Center

    In today’s highly dynamic digital economy, there is no set safeguard against uncertainty. We live in an era where a single tweet or photo can completely reshape a brand’s perception—for better or worse. And at the same time, businesses are striving to meet and exceed a moving goal post of customer preferences, influenced by a […]

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    Everybody Has Data, But What Are You Doing With It?

    Contact centers have always had an abundance of data about customers and performance. Unfortunately, that data is not being fully utilized to benefit the company, customers or agents. The unrealized potential of data has never been more urgent than it is right now, as centers focus on the customer experience and agent experience and the […]

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    Balancing Customer Experience with Fraud Prevention in the Contact Center

    Cybercriminals exposed 2.8 billion consumer data records in 2018. Breaches have given fraudsters an immense amount of data to work with. Criminals are taking data such as drivers’ license numbers and account numbers, and filling in the gaps with information from social media and other sources. With this data in hand, it has become easier […]

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    Three Ways to Boost ROI from Tech Investment

    Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA) and data analytics are redefining call center strategies and operations. But an effective approach requires more than a good toolbox. As the market matures, advanced call center functionality, smart tools and omnichannel platforms are increasingly becoming table stakes. In today’s environment, competitive advantage will go […]

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    How Embracing Digital Customer Service Can Create Brand Advocates

    Rapid swings in consumer brand loyalty is one of the most significant consequences of the digital-first era in customer service, where customer-brand conversations are no longer only one-to-one phone calls but also include public and private messages on dozens of social and digital messaging apps. This opens exciting new possibilities for both your business—and your […]

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    KISS Method: “Keep It Simple with Speech”

    Speech analytics has gone from a trendy, cool technology to an essential software that reveals insights into customer-agent interactions. Speech solutions provide the tools necessary to capture, organize and analyze unstructured information to make insights actionable. After nearly 15 years in this industry and managing more than 300 projects from a user perspective, I’ve witnessed […]

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    Virtual Assistants Can Be Your Agents’ Best Friends

    In my previous article, I provided a list of game-changers that can transform a lackluster self-service experience into a stellar one. There is a great deal of buzz in the contact center air about “bots” and artificial intelligence (AI) and their potential to make agent-supported contacts go away. However, amid all this excitement, our “Future […]

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    How Technology is Paving the Path to Workplace Wellness

    For years, organizations have embarked on workplace wellness initiatives to help reduce healthcare costs, cut absenteeism, prevent employee burnout and keep employee productivity on point. Often these programs have offered third-party gym memberships or health and wellness fairs for employees to attend during lunch or while on a break. It’s almost as if employers have […]

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    Time to Get Really Excited about Self-Service

    True confession: I struggle with whether to get excited or grow more cynical about self-service. This industry has a long history of hope for reducing agent-handled volumes—via IVR, websites, mobile apps, and now bots and AI. But tempering that hope is another long history of falling short of goals: the volumes just keep going up, […]

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    Four Ways to Attract and Retain Millennial Agents

    Pew Research Center defines millennials as anyone born between the years 1981 and 1996 (ages 22 to 37 in 2018). Today more than one in three members of the American workforce are millennials, making them the largest generation in the U.S. workforce and the prime pool for current and prospective contact center agents. Because of […]

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