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...

continue reading this post »

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...

continue reading this post »

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...

continue reading this post »

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...

continue reading this post »

Tips to Improve First Call Resolution

According to the Service Quality Measurement Group, first call resolution (FCR) has the largest affect on customer satisfaction. FCR should be one of your contact center’s top priorities - according to Customer Relationship Metrics, caller satisfaction rate drops by 35-45% when a second call is made concerning the same problem. These four tips will help your contact center solve each customer’s problem the first time you speak with them.

1. Educate Contact Center Agents

Provide agents with the...

continue reading this post »

Contact Center Metrics That Actually Measure the Right Results

Metrics are an excellent barometer for measuring and monitoring call center results, as well as finding areas for improvement. However, is your contact center measuring the right results? Are you identifying the correct opportunities? Stats are available around-the-clock, offering plenty of chances to waste your time measuring the wrong data. Consider the following common metrics when determining what’s best for your specific contact center.

Average Handle Time

Average Handle Time (AHT) is the...

continue reading this post »

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...

continue reading this post »

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 »

Call Center Week - Reviews and Interviews - Part VI

For most businesses that haven’t already migrated their contact center to the cloud, the ultimate decision that needs to be made is not “whether” to take the step, but “why” and “when.” While continuing to acknowledge the cost and productivity benefits of making the transition, solution providers can also provide a plethora of additional incentives, including dramatically enhanced flexibility, creating a competitive advantage and increased functionality. As always, cloud solutions were plentiful...

continue reading this post »

4 Mistakes Call Centers Make

The knowledgeable customer expects the best - and if they don’t get it, they’ll take their business elsewhere. It may be time to re-think your customer service strategies in an effort to avoid these four mistakes that many call centers make.

1. Transferring the Caller

Sometimes, phone options (press 1 for Department A, press 2 for Department B) aren’t clear enough for the caller. It’s normal to finally get somebody on the phone and then find out you’re in the wrong place - in these circumstances,...

continue reading this post »

Call Center Week - Reviews and Interviews - Part V

With customer expectations constantly rising, companies are seeking service options that allow people to get information, resolve issues and complete transactions more quickly and efficiently.  Innovative solutions abounded at Call Center Week with enhanced chat, co-browsing, click-to-call and IVR front and center. In this report, we review a few of the more interesting products presented on the exhibit floor.

Connect First From the customer perspective, the ongoing issue with IVR systems is that...

continue reading this post »

Call Center Week - Reviews and Interviews Part III

Keeping employees engaged and motivated are the most important factors in establishing and maintaining a productive, effective contact center workforce.  Intelligent onboarding and consistent leadership are critical elements in the process. Some people in the industry also think of gamification as a powerful set of solutions to decrease turnover and improve productivity while others remain skeptical. In the next in our series of reports from Call Center Week, we offer perspectives from a pioneer...

continue reading this post »

Call Center Week - Reviews and Interviews - Part II

One of the key measurements of success in any contact center environment is achieving a higher level of customer satisfaction. Businesses are increasing their use of sophisticated knowledge management tools, behavioral analytics, and contact center technologies to better engage their customers while improving agent performance and productivity.  Companies are seeking solutions that offer ease of implementation, flexibility and the potential for rapid ROI.  In this report on emerging...

continue reading this post »

Call Center Week - Review and Interviews - Part 1

Call Center Week, widely recognized as one of the industry’s most comprehensive educational and product information events, continued its pattern of growth in 2014.  The event took place in Las Vegas June 9-13, with approximately 1,500 call center professionals, including experts from more than 150 exhibitors gathering at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino to exchange ideas, explore emerging technologies, hear from leading authorities, and discuss what’s working in contact centers across a broad...

continue reading this post »

Automation and the Human Touch

A common criticism of automated systems, including intelligent virtual agents, is that they remove human interaction and provide a cold, robot-like experience. So when I came across an article titled The Human Touch of Automation: A Customer Experience Experience, it immediately caught my eye.

In the article, the author shares his experience with a table-top kiosk at a chain restaurant that gave diners the option to order beverages and appetizers, play games and listen to music, and pay their...

continue reading this post »