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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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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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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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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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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 […]

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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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Simply Automating Isn’t Enough: 4 Tips To Ensure Self-Service Is Your CX Ally

As chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and social media drive the growth of self-service customer engagement, it’s clear the role of the contact center is changing and will continue to do so. According to Forrester, “Companies that master the interplay between AI, automation and human relationships will dominate their industries.” Where does customer experience (CX) […]

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Mobile Apps For Agents

Some things just go together like chips and salsa, Frick and Frack… millennials and smartphones. It doesn’t seem that long ago that managers were contemplating whether Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies made sense for the workplace. In fact, a 2016 poll conducted by Service Agility and Contact Center Pipeline found that 42% of contact […]

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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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Meet Customer Expectations At Any Size!

“Keep in mind that perfection can be the enemy of progress. The goal is to make continuous improvements in the customer experience while adjusting strategy, investments, processes and working relationships along the way.” I’m pretty sure that, regardless of the size of your center or company, you seek to deliver a great customer experience. And […]

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Leveraging Digital Channels

There is no question that skilled agents offer the best opportunity to save unhappy customers who are at risk of leaving. But how do you help customers, and retain them, if you never hear from them? Today’s tech-savvy customers prefer self-service over phone calls, and they’re more likely to seek answers to their questions within […]

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Babylon, Black Ink And Biometrics

When it comes to authenticating an individual’s identity, fingerprinting has been the go-to solution for centuries. Literally. Fingerprinting can be traced as far back as second century Babylon, where fingerprints were used as signatures to protect against forgery. Parties to a legal contract would impress their fingerprints on to the clay tablet upon which the […]

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Social Engineering: 5 Steps To Protecting Your Contact Center

It’s no secret that contact centers are under increasing assault by organized fraud rings, but why have they become so attractive to criminals? While widespread adoption of EMV chips on credit and debit cards has boosted transaction security in retail POS locations, billions of dollars in counterfeit card fraud is being redirected to vulnerable channels, […]

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The State Of The WFO Market

Dick Bucci has a long history researching and reporting on contact center applications. As the founder and sole employee of Pelorus Associates, he has authored 17 comprehensive reports on contact center applications, principally interaction recording and workforce management. Each year, Pelorus Associates releases a new report based on exhaustive secondary research and interviews with leading […]

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What To Expect For Contact Centers In 2018

“Expect to see businesses expand the role of the contact center as a competitive differentiator, with increased investments in technology modernization to deliver exceptional customer experience.” Of the most impactful priorities for contact centers in 2017, customer experience was at the top of the list. In a competitive landscape where consumers are inundated with options, […]

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Sip In The Contact Center

“While SIP isn’t the only way to deliver functionality centers seek, it is a good way, and sometimes the ‘best’ way.” Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) has been around for many years and has become the de facto answer for both network trunking and endpoints, or “phones.” Vendors, analysts and perhaps even your IT department may […]

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Coming Soon To A Contact Center Near You!

“In just a couple years’ time—by 2020—messaging will be used more than voice and chat combined.” The landscape for engaging with customers is changing fast. Consumers expect hyper-personalization—and they want a choice of ways to communicate with the companies with which they do business. Bots, asynchronous messaging, augmented reality and machine learning are at the […]

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A Deeper Look At Authentication And Fraud Prevention

“Start by thinking of things like account number and social security number as identity only; these are not paths to authentication or verification in today’s data compromised world.” Optimizing authentication and preventing fraud are “hot topics” in the industry. I had the pleasure of facilitating a panel on the topic at the ICMI Contact Center […]

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The ABCs Of Robotic Process Automation

“Robots can make the work that employees do easier, providing guidance in a ‘show me’ mode to help them learn how to do certain transactions without leaving the phone or desktop for training.” Robots. No, not the plastic, Legolooking figures that you’ve been brainwashed to picture when you hear the term. Nor are we referring […]

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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 that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Apple iPhone. This spawned the creation of a new category of consumer products called smartphones. By any account no other recent […]

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Cloud Ushers In “New Rules” For Technology Selection

As a regular attendee and speaker at contact center conferences, I keep my finger on the pulse of the latest industry buzz. Recent discussions with vendors and practitioners at ICMI CC Demo confirmed what our projects tell us: Right now, the cloud is the thing—whether from traditional vendors, established cloud vendors or new vendors. With […]

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Optimize Technology Value

“Buy new where you must, but think first about how to use what you have well, or add to it to do more.” Many contact center leaders are dissatisfied with their current technology. They believe that new technology is the key to achieving business goals. Yet many centers have substantial opportunities to optimize efficiency and […]

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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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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 believe it now, but artificial intelligence used to be nothing more than a futuristic dream. It was portrayed in old movies as the vehicle that would completely change the world […]

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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, […]