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Let’s Chat About Chatbots

Those chatbots that pop up on websites, apps or social media platforms may mimic human interaction, but they aren’t there to replace humans. When used correctly, they provide a helping hand so human agents can focus on what they do best, i.e., solve complex issues. Chatbots or bots are best used to offload tedious, routine […]

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Enhance Your Customer Support with Video

It’s 2019: Your customers are going to expect immediate communication and results. At one time, sure, this seemed like a lot to ask for. But when you can order tacos for the entire office with your phone, get a vibration in your pocket every time news breaks or even find a date by swiping on […]

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Collaboration Just Might Be Your Silver Bullet

A few universal truths guide contact centers, and one is that everyone seeks “efficiency and effectiveness.” Efficiency includes timely responses and (relatively) short contact handling. Effectiveness means those responses are consistent and correct, and therefore bring closure. Lots of time and money gets spent in pursuit of these fundamentals, and yet the simplicity of these […]

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Chatbots in the Contact Center

With consumers increasingly expecting anywhere, anytime access to conduct simple transactions, more businesses are deploying chatbots to handle routine and repetitive customer service tasks. Automation has enormous appeal as an efficient, affordable option for companies that lack the human staff to effectively manage the workload in the contact center (one of the top 3 challenges […]

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Target Those Manual Processes with Automation

Automation, from Dictionary.com: “The technique, method or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum.” Way too many centers still have way too many manual process steps, negatively impacting the customer experience and the cost of doing business. Long handle times are […]

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Be Proactive in Protecting Customer Data

Businesses are facing ever-increasing risks of fraud and cybercrime. Every day brings more reports of security breaches and compromised customer data. Cybercriminals are clever and quick to find new ways to steal customers’ and employees’ personally identifiable information, which can be used to commit fraudulent activities ranging from spamming to accessing online accounts to extortion. […]

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Win the Fight for a Better Desktop

It jumped out at me as big news: “Lack of and/or bad desktop tools (CRM, KM, Collaboration, etc.)” took the No. 1 spot on our challenges list for 2019. About 20% of participants put this in their top three challenges. That data confirms what we see in countless projects. Centers have many applications, from core […]

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Speech Analytics in 2019 and Beyond: With Change Comes Opportunity

If you’ve been lucky enough to be in the audience when an engaging speaker hits the stage, you know that his or her first words come with authority. Because of that, everyone else’s ears perk up a little bit, the notebooks and pens come out to scribble down the firehose of information being shared, and […]

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It’s Time to Rethink Your Approach to Supporting Customer Service Agents

Building powerful and engaging customer experiences through the contact center requires several important ingredients—just-in-time and in-context analytics, artificial intelligence for self-service and after-contact work, seamless omnichannel options for customers, and fair, accurate scheduling. But one of the most critical components are the contact center agents themselves. Representatives live on the front lines and they are […]

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Guide to a Successful Vendor Relationship

Maintaining successful vendor relationships is crucial to gaining the competitive edge in the contact center industry. Every business relationship comes with its own unique set of challenges, especially when you have one or more vendors involved. As a contact center veteran for the past 25+ years, on both the BPO and owner/operator sides of the […]

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Voice-First Experiences Offer Help in the Moment

Fresh off another holiday season, Amazon, Google and other tech companies saw record sales of voice-activated devices. More Americans can ask Siri, Alexa or their Google Assistant to tell them the weather, the news, their favorite music or even play a game—without ever having to lift a finger. My Jeopardy knowledge is getting better everyday. […]

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Innovative Training for the Contact Center

Frontline agents are under pressure to perform in a role that has become increasingly challenging due to more complex products and services, constantly updating information, and an internet-savvy, informed customer base. It takes a lot of knowledge and confidence to deliver a quality service experience on a call-by-call basis under such circumstances, even for seasoned […]

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How to Put Your Machine Data to Work

As consumer goods become increasingly commoditized and compete on features and pricing, many businesses are focusing their attention on delivering excellent customer service to build customer loyalty. For many businesses, this will require a reinvention of their approach to customer service. It can no longer be just a “support” function—it needs to evolve into a […]

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Does AI Make Agents Happier?

The growth of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered self-service in contact centers understandably raises job-security questions for agents—will my job still exist in five years? Three years? Next year? The reality is that AI is far more likely to serve as a resource assistant to agents than it is to take over their jobs. Today, and for […]

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What’s New and What’s Next for Your Center?

As we end 2018 and reflect on what’s ahead in 2019, it seems like a good time to think about what’s new and what’s next in contact center technology. My team of consultants identified the top things that we see dominating contact center technology discussions. While this is a bit of a look into the […]

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Could Your New Seasonal Employee Be a Robot?

As a society, we’ve been fascinated with robots since the mid-1950s. My favorite was Rosie from The Jetsons—I’d love a robot maid! While we are still some ways off from having animatronic co-workers and household help, we do have software robots that—through robotic process automation (RPA)—can help improve the performance of today’s contact center agent. […]

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Compliance and the Contact Center: A Proactive Approach Works Best

Compliance violations draw big penalties today. We’ve all seen the headlines. When 134 million credit card details were exposed in 2015 at Heartland Payment Systems—a breach of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)—the company not only paid an estimated $145 million in compensation, but it also was prevented from doing what the company […]

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ROI, ROI, Wherefore Art Thou ROI?

Just for fun, let’s start this technology article with some English literature and vocabulary. I chose the title hoping it would capture your attention, but there’s method to my madness. Most of us think that “wherefore” means “where”—as in, Where is the Return on Investment (ROI)? But Shakespeare’s Juliet said, “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art […]

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How AI Will Change the Nature of Contact Center Work

There is no doubt that artificial intelligence, robotics and automation in the contact center offer the potential to drive faster, more consistent around-the-clock service and deliver higher customer satisfaction. Or that senior executives are enthralled with the possibilities for enhancing products and services, automating routine tasks and improving decision-making. While organizations forge ahead with plans […]

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How to Elevate Your Customer and Agent Experience

A Sponsored Article by Monet Software The contact center world is getting increasingly more complex. New technologies and communication channels are coming out every year, and customers’ and employees’ expectations are growing as fast. It can be challenging to keep pace and keep everyone happy. Now might be a good time to reevaluate the tools […]

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You Can’t Afford Not to Pursue Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management (KM) may be the single most impactful technology to help centers address key goals: Reduce workload through greater self-service and shorter handle times Improve First-Contact Resolution (FCR) rate, and with it, the customer experience Enable agents to handle increasingly diverse and complex contacts without extensive training and specialization Contact center leadership understands the […]

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THE EVOLUTION OF CUSTOMER SERVICE: LANDLINE TO AI

Back in the day when you had to call for a cab instead of opening up the Uber or Lyft app, the only way to contact customer service was by calling… from your landline. We’ve come a long way and today the typical contact center now supports an average of nine communication channels between voice, […]

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Clamping Down On Nuisance Calls

Nuisance calls are becoming a real problem in the industry. We have all been there, whether it is someone constantly ringing you about an accident you may have been in or some robotic voice advising you on PPI. Some businesses continue to break the law through their persistence. As it stands at the moment only […]

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What To Do With Your IVR?

“No matter how much you may feel like it’s not worth the investment or you don’t know where to start, you can’t take a passive approach.” I recently saw this jarring headline from the BBC: “Will we stop speaking and just text?” If that’s not enough to make you wonder if there is a future […]

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Measuring And Achieving FCR

“These tools go hand-in-hand with good processes and the right contact center support and IT resources to use them effectively, across all channels.” Many contact centers have a big goal: Increase first-contact resolution (FCR). Leaders know it can improve efficiency, lower costs, provide a better customer experience. What’s not to like?! Unfortunately, it can be […]

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Imagining The Possibilities With AI

“Remember that AI is not going to just run on its own. You need people involved for the ‘human- assisted learning’ to determine how to act on the insights and opportunities the system discovers.” Artificial intelligence (AI) is breaking the hype meter in the contact center industry. While it’s only in the early adopter stages, […]

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Contact Centers And The Debate Over Personal Privacy

“Businesses today have an incredible amount of customer data on their hands that needs to be handled and used responsibly.” By now just about everyone has heard of Cambridge Analytica. This is the formerly obscure British company that mined 87 million Facebook accounts to develop information that was used for political advantage. Public outrage over […]

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Employee Engagement And The Quality Management Renaissance

What we believe is driving this renewed interest, or renaissance, if you will, in QM is an industry focus on employee engagement that is driving the majority of operational changes in the contact center. I like the word “renaissance.” To me, it conjures up thoughts of something refined, elegant and important. The Renaissance period in […]

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Rosie The Robot Meets Margot The Wine Bot

Chatbots work best when the user has a clear idea of a question in mind, and that is usually the case in customer service. Readers of a certain age will likely remember the coolest robot ever to grace the small screens of Saturday morning cartoons back in the day. I refer, of course, to Rosie […]

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The Case For Technology In An Understaffed World

“No technology is a silver bullet, but many tools can make a dent in the key things that contribute to understaffing.” Our annual challenges and priorities survey, as well as our project experience, show that high attrition, absence and adherence issues, and the uphill battle to gain budget approval for additional staff remain pain points […]