New Survey Report: 2015 Global Customer Support Outlook Survey Results

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO, Creative Virtual

This week Creative Virtual released the results of our 2015 Global Customer Support Outlook Survey. This survey is a follow-up to the one we conducted in 2013 and solicited input from customer experience professionals via an online questionnaire fielded between April and May of this year. Not surprisingly, a majority of participants from around the world said that improving their overall customer experience is extremely important to them this...

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Quality Assurance in the Contact Center

As customers become more educated and informed, it’s becoming increasingly important to monitor and measure quality assurance in relation to the customer experience. Listening to the way the customer is greeted and parted with; finding out how the agent responds to the customer’s needs; and preventing duplicate records are three ways to oversee quality assurance.

1. Greeting the Customer and Closing the Conversation

The way the agent answers a customer call, e-mail, text message or social media...

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Human Touch or Human Error: Supporting Live Agents with the Right Tools

Critics of intelligent virtual agent, also known as Virtual Customer Assistant (VCA), technology often emphasise the fact that these solutions eliminate the human touch, and without that human interaction organisations are missing out on a key opportunity to build relationships and loyalty with customers. However, they often fail to recognise the role VCAs can play in supporting human interactions. When the ‘human touch’ isn’t properly supported, the organisation leaves the door open for human...

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7 Benefits of Using IVR Systems at Contact Centers

Interactive Voice Response (IVR), are used for a multitude of services, including remote banking, survey and poll taking, call routing and forwarding, order transactions, marketing and information lookup. The system can accept and understand a variety of voice and button input selections. IVR systems have pre-recorded responses for multiple situations, access to data and voice recording abilities. Contact centers benefit in the following ways when using IVR.

1. Empowered Customers

Self-service...

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Why Every Brand Should Enable Customer Service Agents

Most brands have a clear vision of how their business should be presented to the outside world. Rules and guidelines dictate how contact center agents should communicate with customers. Customer service training is meant to ensure that agents are in-line with a certain level of quality. Unfortunately, customers don’t always have their expectations met. When rules are too rigid, employees aren’t allowed to go above and beyond what’s expected in order to satisfy a customer.

Enabled agents have both...

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How to Empower Your Employees to Provide Excellent Customer Service

Small brands can easily improvise in order to please customers. With boutique companies, management knows each of its customers, what they expect and what would best benefit them. Guidelines are easily tweaked in order to provide stellar customer service. Larger companies and brands that are scaling, however, have a greater challenge when it comes to keeping everyone appeased. Here are five ways to enable customer service agents in order to keep customer expectations fulfilled.

1. Establish the...

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Enabling the Contact Center Agent: Red Lines, Gray Areas and Upholding Brand Standards

Virgin America is an airline on the cutting edge of the industry, offering fleet-wide WiFi before all other airlines and adding touch-screen entertainment to flights. They even mood-light some of their planes. Richard Branson, the Founder of Virgin, is known for empowering his employees to solve problems and create memorable customer experiences.

Allowing agents to have more independence produces a happier team. Increasing your agents’ job satisfaction will, in turn, increase customer...

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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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ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference Summary (Part 2)

There was a buzz on the show floor during exhibit hall hours at the ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference. The organizers kept the hall open during times when there weren’t any formal conference sessions scheduled. This concentrated timeframe gave exhibitors greater access to the contact center professionals in attendance, keeping them constantly busy discussing their solutions. In this second part of our coverage, we examined the perspectives of PSS Help, Salesforce Service Cloud and TCN.

In...

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Increasing Sales with Omnichannel Strategy

Consumers want brands to support them no matter where they are - in an actual store, online, on social media, or on their mobile device. This new way of shopping has forced retailers and service providers to implement omnichannel strategies so as not to miss out on sales opportunities. Today’s savvy e-commerce companies are integrating online and offline shopping into one seamless experience.

That experience could look something like this: you decide to purchase a new laptop after seeing a...

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ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference Summary (Part 1)

The 2015 ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference brought executives,  managers and supervisors together at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL from May 4-7. The event provided diverse educational and networking opportunities, a comprehensive exhibit hall displaying the latest products and services, case studies, and site tours.

After an opening night reception on Monday, ICMI Contact Center Expo kicked off with a Tuesday keynote address by Dennis Snow, a long-time Disney executive...

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Creative Virtual Designated a “Cool Vendor” in Gartner’s 2015 Smart Machines Report

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO, Creative Virtual

On 10 April 2015 Gartner released their Cool Vendors in Smart Machines, 2015 report from analysts Tom Austin, Kenneth F. Brant, Magnus Revang, Earl Perkins and Brian Manusama. In the report, Gartner takes a look at the present and future of smart machine technologies and explores five Cool Vendors in the space, including Creative Virtual.

The vendors selected for the ‘Cool Vendor’ report are described by Gartner as “innovative, impactful and...

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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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