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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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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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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 of short stories tied together with the theme of interactions between humans and robots. If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re wrong. The inspiration for this column actually came from a […]

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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 success for the users.” The cloud is a strong contender for contact center technology today, and the market hype makes it look as simple as buying a mobile phone app! […]

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Decrease Attrition Through Training Done Right

While training is a top 2016 priority for contact center managers, a recent study finds that the type and frequency of training that most contact centers are planning will not adequately address the top call center challenge—staff attrition. Regular, planned training that balances process and behavioral skills, reinforced by a certification program, will not only […]

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The Profession Of Contact Center Management

How many of you reading this chose contact center management as your career? Like many of you, I “fell” into this industry. I had just graduated college, was willing to take pretty much any job I could find, and landed at a company that had recently launched a large call center. Back then, simply having […]

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A Better Way To Measure Success In Your Contact Center

Metrics have always been a staple of the contact center industry. Most leaders are never far away from a report or dashboard with historical or real-time data. In my role as consultant, I have the opportunity to engage with many industry leaders and discuss the value of metrics and analytics in the contact center. During […]

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Conversing Or Transacting?

Contact centers come in all shapes and sizes. We have different ways to define them—sales vs. Service, virtual vs. brick and mortar, small vs. large, etc. To that list, I would like to add one more—conversational vs. transactional. “Visually, a transactional call looks like a straight line, while a conversational call has a number of […]

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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 […]

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Get Ready For Customer Experience (CX) Version 2.0

Regional customer service professionals are eagerly anticipating the first Middle East CX 2015 Conference (“Real Experts – Real Guidance”) in Dubai next month with market feedback indicating that the timing of the event in December proving to be particularly opportune as organisations look to build their 2016 activities around more customer loyalty-driving strategies. Whilst customer […]

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Middle East CX Conference 2015 Countdown Newsletter

After one of the slowest and hottest regional summers on record, most organisations are now back into their business groove and pushing hard to close the year on a high note and/or actively planning for 2016 Looming large on many corporate agendas is the relevance of customer experience or, as many still prefer to call […]

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Enter The Most Well-Deserved CX Awards Competition In The Middle East

The INSIGHTS Middle East CX Awards are modelled on the INSIGHTS Middle East Call Centre Awards, the only truly analytical and peer-driven competition in the Middle East. Competitors can enter the competition, secure in the knowledge that their submission will be scored by industry professionals using a rigorous internationally-acclaimed marking scheme. The Middle East CX […]

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Redefining Knowledge Management

I RECENTLY SPOKE WITH A NEW CLIENT ABOUT HIS GOALS FOR SUCCESS WHEN PLANNING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A NEW CRM APPLICATION. He shared several, but prioritized the following as the most important: “We need to reduce handletime and improve first-call resolution.” At Bluewolf, we hear that often as we work with clients to define a […]

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Doing More With Knowledge Management

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (KM) is an Achilles’ heel for many contact centers. Some have an abundance of “tribal knowledge” scattered among a core of seasoned customer service representatives yet struggle to find ways to disseminate, update and use that knowledge effectively. Others have made investments in KM technologies but failed to make the tools appropriately accessible, […]

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TO NPS OR NOT NPS

If, by chance, you are unfamiliar with the phrase Net Promoter Score (NPS), it is a way of scoring customer loyalty based on the customer’s zero-to-10 rating on the question: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?” The concept was presented in a Harvard Business Review article […]

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Be Mindful Of Marketing

In the days before speech analytics, marketing intelligence could be hard to come by. According to Jim Linkhauer, now a speech analytics consultant for Adtech Global, a provider of contact center services, the most effective data extraction tool was a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. “When I was an operations manager,” recalls Linkhauer, “I would […]

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The Future Is Here

It’s starting to feel like we are living in a science fiction movie. Technologies that used to exist only in the movies and comic books are becoming a reality. It’s kind of weird, exciting and scary—all at the same time. In the past, we had the luxury of time to adjust to changes in the […]

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Agent Attrition: Time For A Change

“WELL, YOU KNOW, IT IS A CALL CENTER.” That phrase always seems to be uttered at some point when discussing turnover at a contact center. It suggests a certain resignation to a situation that is not only problematic on its own, but symptomatic of bigger issues in an organization. Ironically, the same people who often […]

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The Multichannel Contact Center Becomes “Omnichannel”

Contact centers have pursued “multichannel” for over 10 years with marginal success. While they have added email and chat, these channels often exist in silos from a technology, process and organizational perspective. Now “omnichannel” has come onto the scene to knock multichannel down a notch and replace it. But what is different? And will centers […]

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GASP! There’s No GAAP For Survey Data

In both the public and private sectors, there’s a continually growing push to generate measures of service effectiveness to balance measures of efficiency. Measuring service effectiveness requires capturing input from our customers through surveys or other research methods. Yet interestingly, the financial academy, who are the official scorekeepers for our organizations, virtually ignores all customer- […]

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Customer Experience: The Ultimate Innovation

Developing a new product feature and enhancing a service through new technology are standard examples of innovation. They are also the simplest forms of innovation: Ongoing upgrades and improvements are common sense business objectives and yet rarely can they offer a sustainable competitive advantage. New products and services are often copied as fast as they […]

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Adding Value Through Mobile

People are passionate about their mobile devices, as demonstrated by the long lines that Apple Stores draw days before the debut of a new iPhone or iPad. Regardless of the brand, the release of each new smartphone model and operating system brings more features and capabilities to support consumers’ on-the-go lifestyles. Mobile technology is advancing […]

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Tools To Drive An Empowered And Engaged Front Line

There is probably no area of the company where it is more critical to have highly engaged employees than customer-facing functions. Customer care staff who feel committed to the company’s vision and values, and have a deep sense of ownership over their work, consistently deliver world-class levels of service. They are also more willing to […]

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THE OUTSOURCING DECISION

Contact center outsourcing is multibillion-dollar business utilized by tens of thousands of organizations. Those numbers alone make it pretty clear just how viable this option is for those of us running contact centers. While some negative views persist here and there, today’s outsourcer is likely to have well-trained agents, a stable and effective management team, […]

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14 tips for 2014 to make web chat work

2014 is the year in which web chat is really starting to take hold in the contact centre – and not just for the younger generation. Here, Richard McCrossan, Strategic Business Director for Digital Channels at Genesys, gives 14 top tips to implement a successful web chat policy. Always promote web chat: But be careful […]

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Optimizing Routing And Reporting On Why Customers Call

Every contact center wants details on why customers call, both to route them in realtime and to report on call types. Many centers structure prompts to enable reporting on call reasons. The customer assumes their selection will lead to a targeted service experience; however, in many cases, callers are all routed to the same group […]

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Customer Insight Metrics: An Issue of Validity

Summary: Metrics that provide insight into customer loyalty are the holy grail of customer measurements. Several have been proposed in recent years, but whether they should be used as the basis for business decisions depends upon the validity of those metrics as true indicators of customer loyalty. This article discusses validity and reproducibility as the […]

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Customer Service In The Age Of Customer Influence

Assuming that you operate a customer contact center that fields hundreds, thousands or possibly even tens of thousands of contacts on a daily basis, do you assign each customer the same status on inbound or outbound interactions? Perhaps you’ve already implemented some basic segmentation strategies and route customers into different queues based on their historical […]

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Clarifying Answers To Common Questions

We spend a lot of time with contact center managers and the technologists who support them. Through our work, we’ve noticed that the same questions keep popping up regarding the optimal architecture and infrastructure, especially for a distributed operation. Since these issues may be keeping some folks up at night, we thought we’d provide some […]

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Flexibility in the Cloud- What Does it Really Mean

Anytime a vendor speaks of their cloud solution as “flexible.” It usually stops with not much more than a blanket statement that is seldom challenged, “Our cloud solution is flexible,” says the vendor. The customer might think, “It should be flexible. It’s cloud-based.” When in reality, that concept of flexibility isn’t that well understood. So […]