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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How Creating Value and the Customer Experience Affect Business Outcomes

Often, people confuse the customer journey with the selling process. While the sales process is focused on how to get a buyer to purchase a product or service, the customer journey provides value and takes into account all of the questions and needs that must be answered and met along the way. According to Forrester, 21% of businesses base how well they’re handling customer experience on the business outcome (if they make a sale, for example). However, customers have to go through their journey...

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How To Execute A Turnaround

By Gabriel Bristol

Here’s the truth: most businesses, at one time or another, falter. There’s no one single reason why this happens but it does. Different kinds of companies in different kinds of industries with different kinds of leaders will all experience different challenges to their bottom lines.

Also true is that there’s no one single thing you can do to fix it. There’s no silver bullet. If there was, think about how hot that managerial book would be!

While there may not be any one single...

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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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2015 is Going to be a Great Year for Contact Centers

The article below is a reprint from the December DMG Consulting, LLC The Real-Time Contact Center Newsletter.

"Here are 4 hot contact center trends that are expected to attract substantial investments during 2015. All of these trends will make substantial contributions to their enterprises, customers and employees.

1.Cloud-based contact center infrastructure solutions - The contact center infrastructure (automatic call distributor (ACD) and dialer) market has changed dramatically. Companies are no...

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Guidelines for Managing Customer Experience

Ad you know, costs more to acquire new customers than to retain the ones you already have. The easier it is to do business with a company, the more likely it is that a customer will stick around. in addition, brands that excel in delivering great customer experience are ones that customers will recommend to their friends and family. The following best practices will help your contact center agents deliver an excellent customer experience every time.

1. Build Relationships, Don’t Just Solve...

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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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SpeechTEK/CRM Evolution/Customer Service Experience Review: Part 4

In this final wrap-up of the New York events, we review new developments from several key solution providers.

CorvisaCloud is within a few weeks of releasing its cloud contact center platform as a standalone solution. It has been part of the CorvisaOne suite, but will now be available as a “true PaaS (platform as a service) which offers an infrastructure and testing framework that will enable companies that use it to write their own code and be done,” according to Matt Lautz, President and CIO of...

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SpeechTek/CRM Evolution/Customer Service Experience Review - Part 1

Improving Customer Service by Looking at it From the Customer’s Perspective

At the heart of the customer experience is the actual customer and everything he or she encounters in trying to find information, complete a transaction or resolve an issue. At the 2014 SpeechTEK, CRM Evolution and Customer Service Experience event, which was held in New York August 18-20, one common theme was the need for organizations to better understand the customer journey from the customer’s point of view. Companies...

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How to WOW Your Customers

Your Call Center may be the only contact your customers have with your company. Below are six ideas to help ensure customer satisfaction:

Care. Your Contact Center employees care. Their managers care. But what about the rest of the organization?  CEOs, CFOs and others in the organization should  reach out to their Contact Center employees and let them how valuable a part of the organization they are. Set Goals. If you want to improve the customer experience, make it a point to establish... continue reading this post »

7 Things to Know About Employing Remote Call Center Agents

It’s common for call centers to have at-home, remote agents.  Convenience and lower cost are just two of the benefits to having employees who work from home. What do call centers need to know about employing and managing their agents who aren’t in-house, though? Read on to find out.

1. Hiring remote workers can potentially cut business costs by limiting office space.

2. By allowing agents to work where they’re most comfortable, productivity can go up, according to Forbes. The key to this is hiring...

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