First Contact Resolution Best Practices

First contact resolution (FCR) is one of the key performance metrics of any contact center. FCR is an integral performance indicator, for both the customer experience and for determining the operational efficiency of the contact center. Several factors are responsible for FCR, including complexity of transactions, agent experience, quality of agent training and the tools that the contact center uses. Consider incorporating the following FCR best practices into your strategy.

1. Analyze the repeat...

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Workforce Management Software for Contact Center Productivity

Workforce Management (WFM) software got its start in contact centers and is also used in other service businesses that employ a large number of hourly wage workers. The main goal of WFM is to view business metrics that will help contact centers schedule the right number of agents needed.

WFM software is crucial to the productivity of contact centers. It allows managers to forecast transaction volume and schedule the right number of agents while accounting for breaks, training, vacations and...

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ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference Summary (Part 4)

With expectations constantly rising, companies are seeking service options that allow companies to learn more about their customers to help them resolve issues and complete transactions quickly and efficiently.  Innovative solutions abounded at ICMI Contact Center Expo with updated multichannel customer experience measurement tools, versatile contact center management solutions and advanced support applications. In this final report, we review some products presented on the exhibit floor.

Dialoga ...

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ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference Summary (Part 3)

Beyond the opportunity to get product information from approximately 70 suppliers, professionals at the ICMI Contact Center Expo in Orlando, FL (May 4-7) were able to take advantage of a number of educational and social events in and out of the exhibit hall. The show floor included book signings, Solution Spotlight sessions focusing on the benefits of specific products, an opening night reception, an Awards Party, as well as external site tours of the Disney World Reservations Center, Jet Blue...

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WFO Can Be More than the Sum of its Parts: Don’t Forget the Human Side

As a frequent keynote speaker on workforce optimization at tradeshows and conferences, Roger Lee (AKA Dr. WFO) is always a little surprised when some of the contact center professionals in the audience don’t know what the acronym “WFO” means.

Most people are more familiar with the term Workforce Management (WFM), which is actually a component of WFO. Workforce optimization is a more inclusive technology that not only incorporates staffing requirements, but usually includes tools for strategic...

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PACE National Convention & Expo Summary

PACE, the Professional Association for Customer Engagement, is a non-profit industry trade organization dedicated to helping companies that take a multi-channel approach in engaging their B-to-B and B-to-C customers. PACE held its annual national convention and expo at the Atlanta  Marriott Marquis from April 19-22, 2015. Delegates from the full spectrum of contact center operations and businesses turned out to gain insight on the latest evolving technologies, and to stay on top of...

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Our Choice of Metrics Can Lead to Operational Dysfunction

by Ric Kosiba, Vice President, Bay Bridge, Interactive Intelligence

When you spend a lot of time on the road talking to customers and prospects, you start collecting stories, and the stories I’ve gathered usually come from the mouths of contact center planners and workforce managers.  And these stories are often about how things in call centers can get messed up.

Organizations and operations can become dysfunctional for a lot of reasons. I’m always fascinated when the dysfunction is brought about...

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Callback Queuing: Features and Benefits

At first, callback queuing (CBQ) sounds counter-intuitive: why would a customer call a company just to talk to them later? Nobody wants to wait in a queue. 

Actually, this type of “return later” queuing has been used for years. This is the same idea as taking a number at the DMV and passing time in the lobby, sipping a cocktail at a restaurant bar while waiting for a buzzer to alert you that there’s a table, or having fun in a theme park until your scheduled time to ride a popular attraction.

In...

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Contact Center Dashboard and Metrics

Software is an essential component of a high-volume contact center. From being an important element of sales to managing complex tickets, CRM dashboards and metrics play a vital role in your contact center.

3 Important Types of CRM Dashboards

1. Key Performance Indicators Dashboard

The KPI dashboard allows the contact center to identify trends using data that’s been collected over a long period of time. Relevant metrics include average seconds to answer, call resolution, cost per contact, and...

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CRM Software and Workforce Optimization

The more efficient a workforce, the better customer relationships will be managed and the more profitable the company will be. According to Forrester Research, just 31% of brands carefully monitor customer interactions for quality. In 2015, contact centers will see better CRM software with features that will enable the brand to target, observe, and improve key performance indicators (KPIs), while also letting companies watch metrics in real time. Collected data will show companies where there...

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When is it Time to Ditch the Old Contact Center Forecast?

This blog is contributed by Ric Kosiba, Interactive Intelligence

My last post discussed the attributes of a good contact center resource plan. We hinted at another aspect of contact center planning—that it truly is itself a process—and I wanted to elaborate here.  In the 1990’s, a company would put together a plan and a budget for January and use it to restrict all additional resources and spending for the next twelve months-- which is why “The Budget” was so important.

Over the last 10 years...

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10 Tips to Improve Your Contact Center Sales Contests

Examining data from their most recent 164 games, FantasySalesTeam uncovered interesting trends.  Below are 10 tips for increasing results and engagement through your sales incentive programs.  You can also read the full analysis ,including data.

• Leverage Team Competition: Games/incentives which use teams and get players (reps) pushing and relying on each other, are  more effective than individual-based contests.

• Create Multiple Ways to Win: When you only have one way to win the incentive,...

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Tips to Improve First Call Resolution

According to the Service Quality Measurement Group, first call resolution (FCR) has the largest affect on customer satisfaction. FCR should be one of your contact center’s top priorities - according to Customer Relationship Metrics, caller satisfaction rate drops by 35-45% when a second call is made concerning the same problem. These four tips will help your contact center solve each customer’s problem the first time you speak with them.

1. Educate Contact Center Agents

Provide agents with the...

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Contact Center Metrics That Actually Measure the Right Results

Metrics are an excellent barometer for measuring and monitoring call center results, as well as finding areas for improvement. However, is your contact center measuring the right results? Are you identifying the correct opportunities? Stats are available around-the-clock, offering plenty of chances to waste your time measuring the wrong data. Consider the following common metrics when determining what’s best for your specific contact center.

Average Handle Time

Average Handle Time (AHT) is the...

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7 Best Practices for Contact Centers

There’s a big difference between an average contact center and a world class one, much of which has to do with First Call Resolution (FCR). The following best practices can help take your call center from great to top notch.

1. Return on Investment (ROI) Awareness

What happens if a problem isn’t solved during the customer’s first contact? Not only can this affect operational savings, but the customer could stop doing business with the company altogether. The cost of not effectively managing FCR is...

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