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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Improving Cusotomer Experience with Self-Service Options

Self-service options give customers the chance to fulfill their needs through their preferred channel. According to NewVoiceMedia.com, 60% of customers will change their contact channel based on what they’re doing and where they are. Consumers who would normally call for help may opt for self-service troubleshooting if they’re watching TV or at work, for example. Thanks to location features, language can be adjusted to suit the user’s geographical area, making self-service solutions even more...

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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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Why You Should Make It Easy for Customers to Complain

Every contact center needs a complaint management strategy. The truth is that you have fewer satisfied clients than you may think. Many of those customers are keeping quiet despite having something to say, which is troublesome for everyone. If you don’t hear the complaint, there’s no way you can fix it; if customers aren’t satisfied, they’ll take their business elsewhere.

According to Entrepreneur, there’s a simple reason why many customers don’t complain: griping is hard on everyone,...

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New Survey: Calling All Customer Experience Professionals!

Are you involved in the research, development, implementation or maintenance of your organization’s customer support strategy? Is your business focused on improving customer interactions through contact center communications, customer service inquiries, social media or mobile? Then we’d love to hear from you!

Creative Virtual has created our 2015 Customer Support Outlook Survey to better understand how corporations are creating successful customer experiences. The survey takes only about 5-8...

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5 Best Voice of the Customer Best Practices

Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs are an asset to contact centers. According to CRMSearch.com, when VoC isn’t correctly taken into account, customer experience goals, as well as marketing and sales objectives, suffer. Below are five VOC best practices.

 

1. Add VOC data collection to the customer experience strategy.

 

According to the American Marketing Association, customer-focused organizations routinely conduct surveys and hold focus group sessions; ask for comments, including complaints;...

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Using CRM for Both the Customer and the Employee

Using CRM to benefit both the customer and the employee starts with understanding how both parties view the system. While vendors may have transactions as their priority, customers are usually more concerned with processes - how quickly their inquiries will be handled. Figuring out how to meet the demands of both sides is key.

Meeting Customer Expectations

Let’s say your business has a multi-step process for responding to customer concerns with a 90% success rate. That may be a high percentage...

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Top Enterprise Servicing Goals for 2015

In January 2015, DMG Consulting conducted a worldwide survey of enterprise and contact center executives and managers. The goal of this survey was to identify the top servicing goals for enterprises during 2015. Participants were asked to select from a detailed list of servicing initiatives. 311 individuals from companies around the world elected to participate in this study. This broad level of participation reflects companies' growing focus on improving service, a trend that is expected to...

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Contact Center Software Features to Improve the Customer Experience

Contact center software should offer features that enrich the customer experience.  The following features should be considered.  

Callback or Voicemail from Queue

Instead of waiting for the next available agent, many customers are happy with opting to have an agent call them back when it would normally be their turn in the queue. Once a caller is placed in the queue, they are given an option to continue waiting or to be called by an agent. If the caller also wants to leave a message for a...

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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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Multi-Channel and Omni-Channel Contact Centers

 Contact centers are evolving constantly, challenging management to come up with more efficient strategies. A majority of CRM technologies strive for the same goal: to provide as much intelligence as possible so that the customer can be given a solution without requiring a live agent.

According to Gartner Inc., over the next few years customers will begin managing up to 85% of their brand relationships without interacting with people. To help with this change, contact centers are adopting...

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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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