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Buyer’s Guide to Cloud Solutions

This article is a buyer’s guide to help you in the selection and procurement process for a cloud solution, as well as active vendor management. The point is not to develop a big RFP and have a drawn-out evaluation process. (You can read my views about that elsewhere—the gist of which is, don’t do it!) […]

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Cloud-Based Communication Tools Key to Maintaining Contact Center Operations

When workforce operations are disrupted, the results can have a serious impact on your business. This is especially true if your customer service operations are interrupted. With customer service as one of the top areas driving customer satisfaction, continuing to serve customers in a timely, convenient manner is of the utmost importance. Delivering top-notch service […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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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The Gig Economy Effect: Addressing New Expectations and Requirements for Contact Centers

Managing the contact center for maximum effectiveness has taken on a whole new level of importance as today’s agents are signing up for a very different social contract than what has been in place over the past decade when they predominantly worked traditional 8- to 10-hour shifts. Today, it’s not unheard of for agents to […]

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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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Boost ROI by Enhancing Agent Performance

An inbound customer service call center generated a 1,000% ROI in just four months of work. An outbound telesales call center doubled sales of a key product in just two months. These are just two examples of companies that generated significant ROI by changing focus and investing in their managers and staff. Calculating ROI for […]

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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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A Memo About Your Demo

Memo to the Vendor Community: We work with many clients that are interested in acquiring new technology. It is always a good sign when investments in technology are being made. As we work through the acquisition process with clients, technology providers are asked to deliver a system “demo.” For some, this becomes more of a […]