[View Past Issues] February 04, 2014
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: Hear How to Balance Metrics & Quality to Deliver Superior Customer Service

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. 

Watch 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

Watch the webinar today!

LiveOps Acquires UserEvents to Bring Real-Time, Contextual Routing to the Cloud Contact Center
LiveOps, Inc., a provider of cloud contact center and customer service solutions, announced that it has acquired UserEvents, Inc. and its flagship product CxEngage, a contextual routing engine that can aggregate and process events on any social, web, mobile or voice channel in real time. This follows LiveOps’ announcement of $30 million in debt funding, as well as the formation of two separate LiveOps corporate entities. The two entities will focus on LiveOps’ growth in cloud contact center software and on-demand agent services. With this acquisition, LiveOps further advances its Cloud Platform by creating a powerful customer experience management platform that delivers smart, dynamic and personalized customer service solutions to brands of all sizes. The addition of contextual routing provides unprecedented real-time insights into each customer’s buying and service intentions, while smart routing techniques guide true, cross-channel interactions that help both brands and consumers reach their desired outcome.

World Class Entertainment Company Selects inContact’s Cloud Solution to Optimize Contact Center Operations
inContact, a provider of cloud contact center software and contact center agent optimization tools, announced that a leading entertainment company has selected inContact to replace a premise system with a full multichannel contact center supporting over 250 agents. To handle peak season call volumes, the company will have a flexible solution to manage sophisticated contact routing in a multichannel environment.  The inContact cloud contact center platform will provide state-of-the-art ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) features including the cloud universal queue that intelligently routes voice, email, chat, social and other work items. The inContact Workforce Optimization Suite (WFO) provides quality monitoring, call recording, scorecards, workforce management and more with many interoperable components.



On-Demand Webinar: Dealing With Difficult People

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!

Top 8 Contact Center/Servicing Trends for 2014
According to DMG Consulting, as the economy continues to improve in the US and around the world, 2014 is looking to be a good year for technology investments that are supported by a solid business case, and have quantifiable benefits and a rapid payback of one year or less. Enterprises and government agencies are expected to make investments to improve the customer or constituent experience. These investments will address the core infrastructure of contact centers and customer service organizations, many of which have not been updated in more than ten years. Other investments will be for management applications and analytics to help organizations make the most of every customer contact.

Investments will be driven by the top 8 contact center/servicing trends for 2014. These trends are:

1. Improving customer service – For years, executives have discussed the importance of delivering a great experience, but they have been unwilling to make the investments necessary to achieve this goal. But change is finally starting to happen. It may be because of the speed at which a small issue can go viral, or perhaps a growing appreciation that customer service is becoming the primary differentiator in a world of highly commoditized products and services.

2. Improving the customer journey – For the first time, organizations now have tools to measure every touch and action taken by prospects and customers, from the time they first access information about a company online to when they retire the use of a product.

3. Resolving inquires during the initial contact – Organizations have been talking about “one and done” or first contact resolution (FCR) for as long as call/contact centers have existed. But now, organizations are going proactive, realizing that the shortest route and best way to resolve an issue is to try to address everything a caller might need to know, not just what they are asking. Companies are striving to provide answers to anticipated issues in order to deliver an outstanding customer experience.

4. Reducing operating costs – Contact centers and customer service departments require staff, and people are expensive. Executives are more motivated than at any time in the past to deliver an outstanding customer experience, but the winning investments will be those that improve service while reducing operating expenses.

5. Complying with regulatory requirements – Whether it’s the new telephone consumer protection act (TCPA) regulations or other do-not-call (DNC) requirements in the US and in many other countries, governments are introducing laws to protect their citizens from bad business practices.

6. Avoiding social media firestorms – Companies are investing in social media to avoid bad public relations. Never in the history of business has there been a tool like social media that can impact the bottom line and stock price of a company due to the public airing of consumer opinions.

7. Retaining customers – This is a top goal in tough economic times, but is still important when people are more freely spending money, because it is always more expensive to acquire customers than to retain existing ones.

8. Increasing sales and collections – Companies are in business in order to make money. Inside and outside sales team need to pick up the pace of sales. Collections departments need best practices to increase their contribution to the bottom line. And executives want their contact centers to pick up the slack and become major players in generating revenue.

Read the full article.


Cloud Computing Adoption to Outpace Employee Skillsets in 2014
Fifty percent of organizations will spend more on IT in 2014, investing heavily in public and private cloud-enabling technologies like infrastructure and virtualization, according to a survey of 1,000 IT professionals. However, half of all respondents participating in cloud initiatives within their organizations need more education on the technology and note their current skillsets do not adequately prepare them to do their jobs well in the coming year.

The survey, conducted by next generation IT monitoring software provider ScienceLogic, found that lack of education is not the only headache employees will face in the coming year. While IT spend is increasing in 2014, survey results reveal a lack of industry investment in employees, with 40 percent of respondents confirming they would make the same or less money year-over-year in 2014.

Other key survey highlights include:

  • Overall IT spending in 2014 will increase by a net margin of 35 percent compared to 2013
  • Almost two thirds of respondents intend to increase their budgetary spend by 6-20 percent year-over-year
  • The ratio of respondents that will increase IT spend vs. reduce IT spend is 4:1
  • Organizations will spend the most IT dollars on network infrastructure, but there is a growing need to spend on additional storage, Big Data, and mobility-related infrastructure

More...


Click here for more Industry Stats

Enterprise Servicing Goals for 2014
By Donna Fluss, DMG Consulting
As the economy continues to improve in the US and around the world, 2014 is looking to be a good year for technology investments that are supported by a solid business case, and have quantifiable benefits and a rapid payback of one year or less. Enterprises and government agencies are expected to make investments to improve the customer or constituent experience. These investments will address the core infrastructure of contact centers and customer service organizations, many of which have not been updated in more than ten years. Other investments will be for management applications and analytics to help organizations make the most of every customer contact. Investments will be driven by the top 8 contact center/servicing trends for 2014. These trends are outlined in this article.
Full Article...

Looking Ahead: It's All About the Customer

Today's consumers have more power than ever before. With multiple channels at their disposal, they choose how they want to interact and when, and their expectations are high. Customers want their questions answered fast, accurately, and on the first try – every time. As your customer-facing front line, call center agents play a major role in how customers perceive your company. The following are five call center trends in this new “customer age” evolution.
Full Article...

How Customized Service Wins Repeat Business
With your business growing, becoming more efficient is necessary. However, with all of this streamlining, are you unintentionally gravitating toward standardized service? If so, pull back from the one-size-fits-all gravitational pull and strive for customized interactions.
Full Article...

The Four Secrets to Employee Engagement
It seems obvious: Direct supervisors who set their teams up for success, observe them in action, ask for feedback, identify the root causes of employee concerns, and then follow through with meaningful improvements have happier, more engaged employees. Why, then, do senior executives who tout the value of employee engagement so often delegate it to the HR department? HR serves an important function, but not even the best HR staff is in a position to take the actions required to affect the attitudes of individual employees or teams. In this article, learn how successful companies are creating a culture of employee engagement and the positive impact on the business.
Full Article...

If Great Customer Service is Your Competitive Differentiator Then be Ready to go Above and Beyond
Creating great customer experiences — what leaders like Disney, Zappos and Nordstrom do on a consistent basis — is one of the few areas left for companies to differentiate and generate good margins. Making it happen, however, is easier said than done; fundamentally, it is a people issue.  How do you get employees to go beyond the call of duty to regularly exceed customer expectations? By empowering them to develop emotional connections with each customer.
Full Article...

Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip--Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
by Steve Dublanica

According to The Waiter, 80 percent of customers are nice people just looking for something to eat. The remaining 20 percent, however, are socially maladjusted psychopaths.
Eye-opening, outrageous, and unabashed—replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogant misbehavior, and unseen tidbits of human grace in the most unlikely places—Waiter Rant presents the server's unique point of view, revealing surefire secrets to getting good service, proper tipping etiquette, and ways to ensure that your waiter won't spit on your food.

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
  • 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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