Awards 2019 Banner

RSSRecent stories in "Trends"

post thumbnail

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!) […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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, […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

The Matter of why Customer Experience Matters

These are the days when disruptive technologies, social networking and 24/7 media are shaping behaviours and expectations. It is also an age of ever-increasing business competition where mass consumerization can cause a brand to become irrelevant in an already crowded marketplace. The key source of competitive advantage has become a strong focus on delivering distinctive […]

post thumbnail

I am becoming increasingly worried for CX especially in call centres

I am old enough to have been involved in the dot.com explosion of the late 90’s. I was working at the time with PeopleSupport in Los Angeles – the first provider of eCare. The company was way ahead of its time as we offered live chat, video, email (including AI) etc. Then we implemented and […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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! […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

Automation, AI and Analytics: Big Data Gets Bigger

Although the term “Big Data” has actually been around since the 1990s, it was only in the last decade or so that it became common terminology in the contact center industry. Big Data originally referred to data sets that were too large or complex for traditional data processing applications software to deal with, like recorded […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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, […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]

post thumbnail

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 […]