Blending AI With Human Support

The future of work and the impact that artificial intelligence will have on the workforce has been a hot topic lately. The publicity has been a bit unsettling, though, given the tendency to couple the acronym AI with the word “replace”—as in “AI Will Replace Half of All Jobs in the Next Decade” or “Could […]

The Customer Journey In The Land Of The Smartphone

“The smartphone is becoming the ubiquitous and predominant tool for both selfservice and assisted service.” I want you to join me on a journey to the land of the smartphone. I’m from Portlandia, so I’m going to call this (not the least bit mythical) land Smartphonia. This is an incredibly exciting and compelling adventure that […]

Technology’s Role In The Omnichannel Pursuit

“Enterprises will not achieve an omnichannel customer experience with tools alone. Strategy comes first, followed by the process, integration and organizational elements to drive value from the technology and deliver on the goals.” Omnichannel Is Everywhere—Vendor Marketing, Analyst Articles, Conference Sessions, Client Wish Lists. While touted as a new concept, it doesn’t seem all that […]

Working Together To Optimize Technology

“A stalemate can occur when the center wants IT to educate them on what’s possible and IT wants the center to define what they want or need.” Technology is the great enabler but too often falls short in delivering promised results, leaving users and executives frustrated. Whether pursuing exciting new technology or refreshing existing systems, […]

The Digital Workplace

No one can deny the remarkable impact that mobile technology has had on consumer behavior. Texting has displaced phone calls and email as the preferred communication channel among millennials, and social media has emerged as their top choice for obtaining information and content. Our employees are also consumers of the latest cool tools and applications. […]

Contact Center Challenges And Priorities

In late 2015, we conducted a simple survey that received input from 277 respondents on two fronts: the biggest challenges today and top priorities for 2016. Participants could identify three of each, with no ranking. Input came primarily from contact center leaders (65%), along with support analysts (10%), IT (8%), supervisors (7%), consultants (4%), and […]

  • 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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  • Trends

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    Smartphones Rock The Contact Center

    “Visual guidance such as diagrams, forms, pictures and live videos will slowly supplant more sterile voice or text interactions.” It may be hard to believe [...]
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    AI: Streamlining Contact Center Technology

    “Integrating AI into daily call center business operations has the potential to reshape the workplace and provide unimaginable opportunities for growth.” It is hard to [...]
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    I, CHATBOT

    You literary types are probably thinking I got the inspiration for this month’s column from Isaac Asimov’s 1950 book I, Robot, which is a collection [...]
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    Cloud Success In 3 “Easy” Pieces

    “In all but the most basic centers, active vendor management will be a key part of ensuring a good partnership with the vendor and ongoing [...]
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  • Also in Customer Middle East

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    Leveraging UC And Collaboration

    “Create opportunities for more transparency and communication, as well as an employee community for enhanced collaboration, so work becomes more meaningful and interactive.” Back in 2010, the top three contact center problems were widely recognized as absenteeism, staff attrition and, crucially, lack of employee engagement. Much has changed in the last seven years, but while […]

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    I Can See Clearly Now – Clearing The Contact Center Clouds

    “True cloud contact centers are built as cloud native platforms, not premises equipment that’s been moved to the cloud and offered at a monthly charge.” Back in 1972, a singer and songwriter named Johnny Nash wrote and recorded a song called, “I Can See Clearly Now.” The song had a heavy reggae influence, which was […]

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    Engaged Employees = Happy Customers

    “Creating a dynamic culture that encourages employee engagement means addressing what’s important to contact center employees.” Employee engagement is more than just a buzzword. Successful customer service organizations create a culture that encourages it. Engaged employees are more enthusiastic about their contribution to the business and, ultimately, increase the level and consistency of service provided […]

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    What Keeps You Up At Night?

    Contact centers face a growing array of compliance requirements, rules and regulations for handling sensitive data. “Bad guys” seem to be lurking around every corner these days. They steal customer information and break into networks and systems. At the same time, contact centers face a growing array of compliance requirements, rules and regulations for handling […]

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    Building A Resilient Contact Center

    A few minutes outage can leave the center playing catch up on service level (and perhaps, customer satisfaction) all day. If minutes turn into hours, or become too frequent, where will customers turn for assistance? In the era of “five nines” of reliability, contact center leaders didn’t worry too much about the resiliency of their […]

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    Automation Generation

    Are we now in the automation generation? Technology giants such as Google are already testing driverless automobiles. What’s next—pilotless passenger planes? (Hope not). Humanlike robots have long fascinated us. Who can forget the Tin Man from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”? Or the lovable R2-D2 of “Star Wars” fame? According to that invaluable writer’s resource, […]

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    Hello, HAL! Artificial Intelligence In The Contact Center

    “While HAL was able to converse naturally with people on any imaginable topic, the conversational user experience with AI still isn’t there and probably won’t be anytime soon.” In 1968, a movie called “2001: A Space Odyssey,” billed as “An epic drama of adventure and exploration” was released. Produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, one […]

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    Building A Resilient Contact Center

    “A few minutes outage can leave the center playing catch up on service level (and perhaps, customer satisfaction) all day. If minutes turn into hours, or become too frequent, where will customers turn for assistance?” In the era of “five nines” of reliability, contact center leaders didn’t worry too much about the resiliency of their […]

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    Automation Generation

    “The contact center innovations of the past 40 years have succeeded in improving agent productivity and delivering a more satisfactory service to end users, but their record for substituting automation for labor is mixed.” Are we now in the automation generation? Technology giants such as Google are already testing driverless automobiles. What’s next—pilotless passenger planes? […]

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    Workforce Optimization Survey: Time For The Next Level

    Strategic Contact, working with Contact Center Pipeline, recently conducted the 2017 Workforce Optimization (WFO) Survey. A sampling of 291 contact center practitioners weighed in on how they plan for, deploy and leverage WFO solutions. This article explores what the results tell us about the value and opportunities WFO technology presents, as well as the challenges […]

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    Three Security Myths About Moving To The Cloud

    “Cloud infrastructure is designed around productivity and integration, which means advanced encryption of all data, whether it’s in transit or at rest, and between apps, networks and users.” Every day, contact centers all over the world use cloud platforms to successfully provide an efficient, seamless experience for their customers. As they lead the contact center […]

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    Measuring Contact Center Effectiveness

    “Make sure leadership and support staff understand what you measure, why you measure it, and which actions are expected in response to the information.” Contact centers have always been challenged to balance efficiency and effectiveness. Traditional contact center data supports the drive for efficiency by measuring average handle time, labor cost, staffing, cost per contact, […]

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    What’s Your Path And Device For Voice Communications?

    If you are in the throes of platform replacement, you may get caught up in all the hype that surrounds omnichannel customer contact. Or you may think the big decision is cloud or premise solution. Yet other critical, interlinked decisions focus squarely on voice calls. Like it or not, your contact center is still a […]

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    Summer Musings #2 – Are Your Agents Able To Do Their Jobs Properly?

    Hi, and welcome to the second “summer musing”. In this, short question-style episode, I share some thoughts regarding Agent Training. Here’s how it works. Click here and you will be taken to a 6 slide powerpoint presentation. Following the title slide you are reminded of the main types of Agent Training required. These are as […]

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    The Personalized Service And Data Security Dilemma

    “Customers want to have the utmost confidence that you are protecting their data and treating it with the respect it deserves… even as you continue to gather more of it.” As digital engagement with consumers increases, contact center managers and other customer experience (CX) professionals face a tough challenge: How do you continue to offer […]

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    Strategy First In Technology Selection

    “Take a top-down strategic approach that keeps you in charge and focuses on what really matters to your center.” Contact center technology selection is more complex than ever. The vendors all lay claim to a mind-boggling array of capabilities. Buyers must define the scope amid the tension between their enthusiasm for the technology and the […]

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    Need To Improve Your CX? Chatbots Should Be On Your Radar

    “Chatbots can make a big impact now, and as artificial intelligence evolves, your organization should be poised to evolve with it.” The universal answer to the above question these days seems to be an emphatic “yes!” Business leaders are recognizing that customer experience is a competitive business differentiator. Unfortunately, the complexity of omnichannel customer experience […]

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    Simplifying Remote Access

    “Enhancements in core technology and network connectivity, along with the proliferation of cloud systems, create a simplified approach to remote access to contact center systems.” The need for remote access to core contact center infrastructure continues to grow. Whether implementing a home-agent program, accommodating “on the go” leaders, establishing connectivity to outsourcers, ensuring business continuity […]

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