[View Past Issues] January 2016
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Free Report: Tiered Support is Dead!


Managing customer support using tiers, or levels, is not good business. In today’s customer-centric marketplace there is a better way to differentiate and improve the customer experience.

Get your copy of the full report here!

GameStop accelerates digital customer service with eGain Cloud
eGain, a provider of cloud-based customer engagement solutions, announced that GameStop has deployed eGain Cloud for digital customer service after a successful, expert-guided pilot in the cloud with eGain Try+Buy. The company selected eGain due to its rich functionality and its unique pilot offer in eGain Try+Buy. Designed for client success in a production setting and speed to value, the offer includes the following: award-winning customer engagement suite with built-in best practices; safe production pilot in eGain Cloud; Options for easy A/B testing; and guidance to quick business value by eGain experts.

ClickSoftware Selected by Star Gas Partners to Power Its Cloud-based Mobile Workforce Optimization
ClickSoftware, a provider of automated mobile workforce management and service optimization solutions, announced that Star Gas Partners, a full service energy provider specializing in the sale of home heating products and services to residential and commercial customers, has selected the company's cloud-based mobile workforce management solution for its mobile workforce management processes. The full-service energy provider is partnering with ClickSoftware to automate and optimize service workflows for its mobile field service technicians. ClickSoftware's solutions will help Star Gas enhance customer communication by leveraging mobility to put more information in the hands of technicians in the field, in real time.

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Read our New Blog

Did you miss our recent article in the Citrix blog? Check it out - it has valauble input from industry experts that can be used all year:

5 Best Practices for Dealing With Difficult Customers
As the holiday season approaches and people rush to get everything done, companies often see their normally level-headed customers become easily upset, irritated and sometimes flat out unreasonable.

U.S. CIOs Reveal Hiring Plans For First Half Of 2016
Twenty-two percent of U.S. chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed recently plan to expand their information technology (IT) teams in the first six months of 2016, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report. This number matches plans from the prior six-month period and is up 3 percentage points from one year ago. Sixty-three percent of CIOs intend to hire only for open IT roles, 13 percent anticipate putting hiring plans on hold, and 2 percent expect to reduce their IT staff in the first half of the year.

Recruiting remains a challenge: 60 percent of CIOs said it's somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals today. They also revealed which skills are in greatest demand within their organizations. Top responses include:

  • Desktop support (57 percent)
  • Database management (55 percent)
  • Network administration (54 percent)


10 Ways Your Workplace Will Change in 2016
While worker pay remains stubbornly stagnant, it’s not all bad news for American employees in 2016. There are numerous workplace trends that point to positive changes for workers in the coming year.

This article takes a look at the top 10 trends shaping the workplace in 2016:

1. Compensation conversations include more than salary.
2. Student loan assistance is hot.
3. Recruiters are finding employees via social networks.
4. The gig economy continues to grow.
5. Millennials move into management.
6. Focus on financial planning.
7. Companies welcome back ‘boomerang’ workers.
8. Wellness embraces wearables.
9. ‘Hotel desks’ go mainstream.
10. Parental leave is getting more generous.


Click here for more Industry Stats

9 Ways to Reduce Churn in Your Contact Center
Contact centers are notorious for high churn rates which are not only inconvenient but expensive for companies. The average contact center has an annual churn rate as high as 40%. It is estimated that the total cost of replacing an employee is between $10,000 to $15,000. The huge churn rate coupled with the high cost of replacement mean it’s well worth it to invest in strategies which will help lower your company’s churn rate. Here are 9 ways you can diminish churn at your contact center.

2016: The Year of the Disappearing Human in the Contact Center?
Now just about every organization knows that contact center agents are the first point of contact for their customers. As the New Year dawns, we are thinking about the next big thing that will change the industry. In 2016, we will see more emphasis on providing agents with the right technology, at the right time, to give the best customer experiences possible.

Let Empathy Toward Customers Guide You
An empathetic employee will listen to customers, understand their needs, and be motivated to provide them with the right solution. They're also more likely to recommend improvements that could better serve customers. Clearly, empathetic employees are valuable assets. So how do you build an empathetic team?

The Customer Experience in 2020
Think about all the new technologies in the last 5 years that changed the customer experience (CX). Now imagine the same thing over the next 5 years. Scary isn’t it? By 2020, customers armed with more technologies than you can imagine will be demanding more from your organization’s customer experience. So, what can organizations do to create a winning customer experience in the future?

When Your Customer Is a Jerk
So how do you deal with customers who are never happy? Not the way you might think. Well-meaning friends -- and occasionally some articles -- will often give you advice that simply won’t work. Stand up to them? Great recipe for enraging most jerk customers. Argue your case? Jerks don’t listen to logic. Set boundaries with them? See you in court. Fortunately, there are actually some good techniques out there for dealing with jerky customers.

3 Ways to Make Your Contact Center More Agent-Centric
Keeping employees, management, and customers happy is no small task for contact center leaders. The balance is difficult to maintain, with business objectives and customer expectations often weighted more heavily than the agent experience. Agents are left feeling less than empowered and rather underappreciated. One way to restore the balance -- along with agents' sense of self-worth -- is by giving frontline staffers greater control over their work environments. 

Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life
by Dr. Mark Goulston

Let’s face it, we all know people who are irrational. No matter how hard you try to reason with them, it never works. So what’s the solution? How do you talk to someone who’s out of control? What can you do with a boss who bullies, a spouse who yells, or a friend who frequently bursts into tears?

In his book, Just Listen, Mark Goulston shared his bestselling formula for getting through to the resistant people in your life. Now, in his breakthrough new book Talking to Crazy, he brings his communication magic to the most difficult group of all—the downright irrational.

Click here for more information!

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Free Research on the Service and Support Industry
Are you looking for the latest research available (for free!) on the service and support industry? Then check out the research section of SupportIndustry.com. Some of the current offerings available to members are:

  • People Issues in Customer Support Survey Results
  • Annual Service and Support Metrics Survey
  • The Service & Support Snapshot: 5 Support Trends That Will Change Your Business

All of these reports can be accessed by clicking here...

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Carolyn Healey, Editor - chealey@supportindustry.com

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