Age of the Empowered Customer

Welcome to the Age of the Customer. Customers have changed the way they interact with companies in many ways, from expecting seamless service across channels to using multiple touch points. Why? Because they want to be treated as individuals. They want to know that the companies they are interacting with are there for them, and attentive to their personal needs. This puts companies in a position where they must be able to create and sustain a scalable, exceptional customer experience.


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5 Fresh Customer Service Strategies

Do you want your customers to think of your business as a breath of fresh air? The trick to providing “original” customer service is upgrading 'older' ideas and actually carrying through on them.

1. Resolve Customer Problems at Their First Point of Contact

In theory, a chain of command makes sense, but being passed along to various representatives is frustrating to say the least. Authorize your customer service reps to solve problems. Live chat, virtual characters, and virtual call-back support is...

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Customer Service Strategies for New Managers

Customer service isn’t a one-way street. Instead, it’s a conversation between your business and those who make your business successful: your customers. The people who buy your products and services are the ones who keep your company profitable, which is why it’s so important to involve them in your business processes. New managers should follow these tips for getting off on the right foot.

Define Business Values

Most business owners and managers wouldn’t dream of launching something without it...

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Understanding the Current Retail Customer Service Landscape

Retailers striving to remain competitive in the fast-paced world of ecommerce see heavy demands placed on their IT infrastructures 24/7, as consumers want online channels to be constantly available for business. But while many inventory management and shipment processes can be easily automated, the human element remains a key factor in ecommerce service strategies as live representatives are also expected to be at the ready with tailored responses and a friendly disposition. Because many online...

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Four Key Attributes of Successful Call Center Agents

Despite dire predictions that self-service will render the call center agent obsolete, the opposite is true.  Call center employment continues to grow at a healthy clip.  According to recent research published by leading industry thinker Paul Stockford of Saddletree Research, the U.S. call center industry added nearly 52,000 new jobs.  Some of this growth is attributable to the staffing of health insurance exchange contact centers as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but much of it is...

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CX Buyer’s Guide Overview

At every moment, through every channel, your customers want to be treated as individuals, to know that you are there for them, attentive to their personal needs.

They choose to interact with you over many different channels. They are the "empowered customer" who wants a consistent experience across all interaction channels, while expending as little effort as possible.

Their expectations are high! They expect excellence. Timely and accurate service should be the standard. They expect...

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Virtual Assistants and Call Killing

By Erik Braun, Director, Creative Virtual Netherlands

Recently, we shared the customer story of our first Dutch Virtual Assistant with readers of the Creative Virtual blog. This Virtual Assistant is called Sabine and ‘works’ for NIBC Direct, a Dutch online bank. Sabine was introduced on 17 December of 2012 and went live on the newly launched NIBC Direct website.

NIBC Direct's Sabine

Recently, NIBC Direct shared statistics with us on the effects of ‘Sabine’ on call and email volume. In short:

The number of emails in... continue reading this post »

Lose a Customer, Keep a Customer - Real Life Experiences with Good and Bad Customer Service

The difference between losing a customer forever and gaining their loyalty can be as simple as the service they receive. Within just a few days, I experienced both terrible and stellar customer service. Here are three examples of extreme customer service.

How to Lose a Customer

Reports about poor airline service aren't rare. I'm generally of the mind that a flight that gets you from point A to point B safely is a good flight. However, a couple of recent experiences with United and Frontier made me...

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5 Components that Every CRM Training Program Needs

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is a system that was put in place to give companies more flexibility with the interactions that they have with customers. Simply put, it's a software platform that removes some of the more tedious interactions and streamlines the customer service experience.


Understanding CRM


CRM is flexible enough to be used by any industry and for any company. Research has shown that CRM usage has increased from 56% in 2012 to 74% in 2013 alone. It manages data like...

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Creative Virtual Wins Two Silver Stevie® Awards in 2014 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Creative Virtual, a leader in customer experience self-service solutions for global enterprises, was presented with two Stevie® Awards as part of the eighth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer ServiceSM. The company was recognised with Silver Stevie Awards in the categories of ‘New IVR or Web Service Solution’ and ‘Sales or Customer Service Solutions Technology Partner of the Year’.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top sales awards, contact centre awards, and...

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What Drives an Exceptional Customer Experience?

Leading customer feedback insights analyst firm, CFI Group, recently published its Contact Center Satisfaction Index (CSSI) for 2013 (download the report here).  The results should be a wake-up call for call centers everywhere.  2013 saw an 8-point drop in the CSSI from its high of 77 in 2012 to a record low of 69 in 2013.  While there's probably no need to hit the panic switch just yet, it's equally clear that consumers' expectations of call center services have outpaced their ability to...

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Less Isn't More in the Customer Service World

Less work, more pay - or even same pay - is a seductive thought. Unfortunately, a “less is more” strategy is shaky, not solid, in the business world. Bare minimum customer service begs for a competitor to swoop in and steal patrons. The customer experience should be based on excess - more reliability, more personality, more attention. Ultimately, more service. Here are three problems that a “just get by” mentality serves up.

Not Screwing Up Isn’t Good Enough

Businesses shouldn’t relish in how much...

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Will Customer Experience Improve in 2014? – YES! Top 5 Reasons

Customer experience is more important than ever.  

Companies are realizing that creating and delivering an exceptional customer experience, one that is unmatched by the competition, is the key to gaining a competitive edge and the continued satisfaction and loyalty of the consumer.  

I believe that 2014 will eventually become “the year of the customer” with significant investments by companies that focus on customer experience.

Here are 5 reasons why customer experience will improve in 2014: 

The... continue reading this post »

The C-SAT Paradox

What Customer Satisfaction Scores Really Mean in a Self-Service Focused World


As websites become more sophisticated and self-service options are continually improved upon, the idea is that fewer customers will need to call, chat or email in for assistance.  We know that consumers, particularly in younger generations, prefer to do things on their own, to find their own answers and solve their own problems using online resources on their own time.  Companies have focused a great deal on optimizing...

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Solution Providers Take a Closer Look at the Key Factors Governing the Adoption of Cloud Contact Center Technology

For most organizations, the key questions about moving their contact centers to the cloud are “When can we do it?” and “How can it best be accomplished?” as opposed to “Is it the right step?” But even in a business environment where companies are striving to meet rising customer expectations for responsive service on any channel they choose and looking to increase flexibility and agility, practical questions on logistics, costs and capabilities must be addressed before organizations make a...

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