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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Impact Demographics Have on Consumers' Live Chat Preferences

Recently Craig Borowski, Help Desk Analyst for the online technology consultancy Software Advice, released a new report which studied the impact demographics had on consumers' preference for live chat service and support. We had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Borowski to learn a little more about what his research uncovered.

1.Which demographics do live chat appeal to most and why?

We found that live chat is appealing to all ages, but it’s most appealing to younger generations. Millennials in...

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The Importance of Touchpoints Throughout the Customer Journe

Customer journeys look at each step of the buying experience from the customer’s point of view, including their goals, actions, questions, and barriers. It’s your job to support the customer during their journey, specifically at the touchpoints - any point when the customer interacts with the brand.

The 4 Basic Touchpoint Categories

In general, a touchpoint will fall into one of four categories:

1. Products or services, often including a website because it’s integral to servicing customers....

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2015 Customer Service Trend: Effortless Self-Service

The new year is officially in full swing, bringing with it a flurry of predictions and trends for just about every industry and sector, including customer service. In 2015 customers will become even more connected (to brands and each other), and their expectations for customer service will be higher than ever. The increased demand for instant, effortless service and the growing popularity of mobile devices look to dominate the ever evolving customer service landscape this year.

A recent survey by...

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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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Reel in the Connected Customer

Attracting the connected customer is one of the most important business opportunities of today. A connected customer is one who uses their smartphone to monitor and even control a brand’s products. According to Forbes, the benefit of having a connected customer is greater lifetime value - they’ll buy more products, be more loyal, and engage more than traditional, “disconnected” customers. According to Gigya, 40% of customers buy more from retailers if the shopping experience is personalized.

Repla...

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What Is the True Value of Customer Experience?

For the customer, experience is about developing trust in a brand; feeling like needs were met; benefiting from a developing relationship with a company. For company executives, though, customer experience has to be quantified, measured, presented in numbers and graphs. Luckily, the Harvard Business Review performed a study that showed two things: it is possible to measure the effect of customer service, and that effect is enormous.

The Study

- Two companies with different revenue models were...

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Habits of Companies That Deliver High-Quality Customer Experience

In the midst of analytics and stats, it’s easy to forget that consumers aren't facts and data; they’re people. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, a loyal customer is worth as much as 10x their original purchase. Today, companies that provide humanized customer service surpass the competition. Top companies practice these three habits of customer service.

1. They Combine Online and Offline Customer Experience

According to a Competitive Enterprise Institute survey, 86%...

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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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Knowledge Management for Customer Service: Get it Right with Unified Search

There’s a major disconnect between the perceived value of knowledge management and the current state of KM at most companies, as evidenced by findings from the annual State of Knowledge Management report from TSIA, an association of support leaders from top-tier companies.

Just take a look at some of the findings from the report:

79% of customer self-service channels don’t recommend help or content 70% of companies have not made their support knowledge mobile-accessible 30-35% of contact center... continue reading this post »

Ovum Report: 2015 CRM Trends to Watch

Jeremy Cox, principal analyst in Ovum’s Customer Engagement practice and author of this report, says that, “underpinning successful CRM is strategy that is informed by deep insights into the customer and all the forces shaping their expectations, behaviors, wants, and needs.”

Successful organizations develop a coherent underlying sense of purpose that has the customer at its heart. This spans and impacts the entire organization, creating and delivering value to customers in order to earn their...

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Tips for Call Center Planning

Creating a schedule for your contact center is akin to putting together a puzzle - if all of the pieces don’t fit perfectly together, scheduling can be thrown off completely. With the following tips, you can create a contact center schedule that has the appropriate number of people on at the right times to handle the workload.

1. Set Service Level Goals

Establish a service level of answering a certain number of calls (X) in a certain number of seconds (Y). High-end contact centers have a 90/15 or...

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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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