[View Past Issues] January 21, 2014
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: New Webinar! Take the Imperfect Path to Service Excellence

January 30, 2014, 10 AM (PST) / 1 PM (EST)

To truly focus on the customer experience and deliver high quality, consistent service, there needs to be a balance between metrics and quality. It takes a combination of metrics, monitoring, coaching, training, and effectively communicating to consistently deliver a high quality customer experience that you can measure and promote. Additionally, it is important to know that delivering “excellent customer experience” does not require perfection. In fact, a focus on perfection often leads to customer dissatisfaction and negative employee morale. 

Attend this session to take the imperfect path to excellence and learn:

  • The difference between efficiency and effectiveness (value) metrics
  • Where to focus to create a quality customer experience (tips on call, incident, and knowledge monitoring)
  • How to achieve the balance of efficiency and quality (reporting, quality monitoring, coaching, and training)
  • The skills that differentiate EXTRAORDINARY customer service from good or great service.

Take Aways include:

  • Sample reports
  • Quality score card templates
  • Check list for skills that differentiate levels of service

Register today!

Aspect Software Bolsters Own Customer Service and Support with Announcement of ServiceCloud Deployment
Aspect Software, a provider of fully-integrated customer interaction management, workforce optimization, and back-office solutions, announced that it has entered into an agreement to deploy Salesforce’s ServiceCloud, a cloud-based customer knowledge delivery technology in order to bolster its customer service and support. Striving to implement best-in-class processes and technologies, ServiceCloud will aid in Aspect’s customer support and knowledge management functions. The phased deployment will include collaboration with Aspect partners and the Aspect Software Users Group (ASUGA) to create an interaction portal that provides greater functionality and easier access to knowledge, documentation, and software updates.

Infratel Launches MightyCall React
Infratel, a global provider of contact center solutions for small and mid-size businesses, announced the launch of MightyCall React and the companion product, MightyCall React Mobile for iOS. The two products make up a comprehensive solution enabling small business teams to work together more efficiently to receive, review and respond to customer requests from anywhere. MightyCall React enables the small business to support a variety of technology forward communication channels that their customers want to use, while enabling the small business to handle these requests without the need for dedicated phone agents.



On-Demand Webinar: Dealing With Difficult People at the Holidays!

It is that time of year for warmth, good cheer, and fellowship. But do you have customers, co-workers, or bosses who never got the memo? Communications skills expert, bestselling author and practicing psychotherapist Rich Gallagher will help you warm up your interpersonal skills, and teach you how to deal with some of the "characters" in your working life:

  • Scrooge: He has a word for everything, and it's always "no."
  • The Snow Queen: Can passionately and intelligently discuss any position as long as it's hers.
  • Jack Frost: That icy, passive-aggressive person who always leaves a chill in the air.
  • The Little Drummer Boy: Loudly stirs up drama when you least expect it.
  • The Angry Villagers: Customers who rise up on social media and elsewhere to criticize you.

Using evidence-based principles of strength-based communication, plus Rich's vast experience with managing difficult workplace situations, this on-demand webinar will help brighten your holidays with brand new tools for working effectively with anyone!

Watch the webinar today!

Rate of IT Employment Growth Continues to Decelerate
The number of IT jobs grew 0.03 percent sequentially last month to 4,521,400, according to TechServe Alliance, the national trade association of the IT & Engineering staffing and solutions industry. On a year-over-year basis, IT employment has grown by 4.56% since December 2012 adding 197,100 IT workers.
Engineering jobs grew once again in December, up 0.13 percent sequentially last month to 2,479,300.  On a year-over-year basis, engineering employment has grown by 1.39% since December 2012 adding 33,900 engineering workers.

"While IT employment grew almost three times the rate of the overall job market last year, the rate of growth decelerated throughout 2013. On the engineering side, the pattern of modest though irregular growth continued in December," stated Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance. "When you look at the recently released jobs report which underwhelmed nearly everyone, it is hard to be too disappointed in the IT and engineering employment picture in 2013. While employers clearly exhibited more caution in the latter half of last year, there are signs that the rate of growth of IT and engineering employment should strengthen as 2014 unfolds," added Roberts.

More...


Survey: Measurement and Analysis Across the Entire IT Infrastructure Is Key to IT Operational Excellence
Continuity Software™, a provider of service availability risk management solutions, announced the results of the Continuity Software IT Operations Analytics Benchmark. Based on results collected across a variety of industry verticals - including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail - the benchmark underscores the importance of operational analytics in meeting IT performance goals. 

The IT Operations Analytics Benchmark survey's key findings include:

Large organizations are the most common users of analytical tools to monitor and measure IT performance goals.

  • 57% of the large organizations surveyed use analytical tools to monitor, and measure IT performance goals (versus just 29% of small companies). Cross-domain operational excellence is mostly measured by uptime.
  • 89% of the organizations surveyed measure uptime across most or all IT domains; 66% measure performance; 51% measure the number of open issues.

Frequently tracking configuration consistency helps organizations meet their goals.

  • 53% of the organizations that track configuration consistency on a daily basis across the IT infrastructure are meeting or exceeding their goals, compared to 31-33% of the organizations that track only portions of the infrastructure.

Better measurement and analysis tools are required for IT operations excellence.

  • 40% of organizations surveyed cited better measurement and analysis tools as the most effective means for achieving operations excellence, followed by tools to detect cross-domain IT configuration issues (22%) and tools to enforce IT best practices (19%).

Storage and network performance rank highest.

  • 71% of the organizations surveyed monitor storage and network key performance indicators (KPIs); other areas of IT operations that are commonly monitored and measured include applications (69%), databases (66%), and clusters (49%).

Cloud environments continue to lag behind.

  • Only 14% of the organizations surveyed monitor and measure cloud KPIs.
  • 43% of the organizations never analyze configuration consistency in their cloud environment.

More...


Click here for more Industry Stats

Six Controversial Ways Contact Centers Will Transform in 2014
We can agree that several customer experience trends, such as the rapid use of mobile applications, SMS for customer service; and leveraging unstructured data for developing customer insights are all being applied into business strategy as we enter into 2014.  However, there are also some interesting and controversial points worth considering when building strategies to improve the customer experience for your brand.
Full Article...

Chat Metrics For Those of Us That Don't Like Chat Support

I have a confession for you.  As a customer, I love the convenience of chat support.  As a customer service director, I hate it.  Sorry, I’m just being honest.  While chat support is a convenient means of receiving customer service, it can be a real headache to plan and schedule for. Comparing chat support to phone support, and the planning that goes along with it, is like comparing apples to oranges.  How do you properly plan for this and then rest assured that your agents are being well utilized? This article takes a look at useful metrics to evaluate and manage chat support.
Full Article...

Are You Your Employees’ Worst Enemy?
In almost all organizations, some leaders pave the way for their employees to do their best work, and others inadvertently make things much harder than they should be. Where do you fall on this continuum? Do you help or do you hinder? In all probability, it’s the latter. People expect to find bad bosses in failing companies. However, in surveys and interviews with more than 250 working professionals in 37 countries, we’ve found that 51 percent of employees across the full spectrum of organizational performance believe initiatives tend to succeed despite, not because of, their leaders.
Full Article...

5 Lessons All Departments Can Learn From the Customer Service
A service oriented approach is mostly found in the customer service department. Perhaps that's because a customer is four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related vs. price or product related according to Bain & Co. So if you want security for your business, go gaga over service. A service oriented approach to business is the only choice for the future. Those who don't recognize this will not be here to make mistakes in the future.
Full Article...

Employees Who Feel Love Perform Better
"Love" is a not word you often hear uttered in office hallways or conference rooms. And yet, it has a strong influence on workplace outcomes. The more love co-workers feel at work, the more engaged they are. (Note: Here we’re talking about “companionate love” which is far less intense than romantic love. Companionate love is based on warmth, affection, and connection rather than passion). It may not be surprising that those who perceive greater affection and caring from their colleagues perform better, but few managers focus on building an emotional culture. That’s a mistake.
Full Article...

The Customer Culture Imperative: A Leader's Guide to Driving Superior Performance
by Linden Brown, Christopher Brown

This groundbreaking guide unlocks the secrets used by Amazon, Virgin, Apple, Starbucks, and salesforce.com. It creates a guide for success based on three years of scientific study drawing insights from more than 100 businesses to identify seven key factors. When implemented together these factors have been proven to drive superior business performance. Customer culture is as fundamental to business performance as breathing is to living. It is the life force of your business. This applies no matter what your industry sector.

Creating a customer-centric company takes more than making an investment in the customer service department and systems. It's about building a culture in which the customer is at the heart of all decisions made within every function and unit. What's best for the customer is what's best for business. Make that a part of the DNA of your organization, and you will lead your company to unprecedented success.

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:

  • 2013 People Issues in Customer Support
  • 2012 Service and Support Metrics Survey
  • The 2012 Service & Support Snapshot: 5 Support Trends That Will Change Your Business in 2012
  • Research Insight: Self-Service Support
  • Research Insight: Average Speed to Answer, Wait Time and Handle Time
  • 2010 Service and Leadership Trends in Customer Support
  • Research Insight: Effectively Measuring Customer Loyalty
  • Research Insight: Cost Per Contact (Phone & E-Mail)
  • Research Insight: First Contact Resolution

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

Visit the SupportIndustry.com Blog
The SupportIndustry.com Blog is another way stay on top of the service and support industry. Our blog, updated at least once a week, is dedicated to covering the latest topics related to service and support, call center management, customer experience management, web-based support, help desks, workforce optimization and more.
Check it out today

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