[View Past Issues] February 18, 2014
Top Headlines
Featured Link
Analyst/Bytes & Statistics
In Other News
Required Reading
Our News
About Us

: Learn 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!

Mitel Simplifies How Businesses Connect With Customers in Latest Release of MiContact Center
Mitel(R) unveiled its seventh-generation contact center solution to help businesses simplify how they interact with their customers via popular new contact options. MiContact Center 7.0 includes mobile chat and self-service features as well as outbound capabilities that are designed to boost sales and drive lead generation. In addition to more contact options for customers, MiContact Center now enables quicker and more immersive service by equipping agents with richer customer information collected from across all media channels. Support for mobile supervisors using real-time management applications can further streamline customer service.

Promero Announces New Speech Analytics On Demand Program with CallMiner
Promero, Inc., a hosting provider of call center software, announced  a new Speech Analytics On Demand program. The new program gives contact centers the ability to maximize call center agent performance and immediately improve business by using Promero’s hosted speech analytics solution that is affordable, scalable and easy to implement. Promero’s Speech Analytics On Demand uses CallMiner’s Eureka platform. The new Speech Analytics On Demand program ensures a low cost of entry allowing companies the ability to prove their business case without making a significant capital investment. Startup costs are very affordable with the ongoing annualized costs beginning at only $20,000.



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!

Contact Center Satisfaction Index Drops 10 Percent in 2013, Reports CFI Group Study
In its seventh year, CFI Group's Contact Center Satisfaction Index (CCSI), finds customer satisfaction with company contact centers dropped a whopping 10 percent in 2013. With a score of 69 (on a 100 point scale), the 2013 score reflects an eight point pull back from the record high of 77 in 2012.

The only ongoing national study of its kind, the 2013 CCSI collected data from more than 1,500 consumers across six major industries: banking, cell phone service, health insurance, property insurance, retail, and cable or satellite TV.

Beyond basic policies and procedures, CFI Group advances two hypotheses for the large drop coming from the larger world environment. The first is that consumers have low confidence with the economy and government and are generally fatigued as the economy continues to stall, leading to the score backlash. The second is that after years of steady growth in performance, consumers have built an expectation of great service, and contact centers failed to meet it this year.

While overall satisfaction is dropping, the research identified an opportunity for contact centers to increase satisfaction through non-call channels. In 2013, the desire for self-paced or instantaneous service continued to grow. Almost half of respondents indicated their preferred method of contact would be a non-call communication, such as email, chat or via the company's website.

Chat as a preferred customer service tool has remained steady at nearly 10 percent for the past two years. The adoption of chat and its growing preference is evident as 63 percent of this year's respondents indicated that they actively look for the chat function when visiting a company's site.

The CCSI also found that social media is growing as an avenue for customers to share and voice opinions in a community setting and for businesses to conduct damage control. Nearly 40 percent of respondents turned to social media to voice a concern, increasing from 17 percent of respondents in 2012.

More...


Small Businesses More Confident as They Begin 2014
An increased number of small business owners are planning to add more employees and boost compensation levels, signaling a slightly more positive economic outlook for 2014, according to the most recent Business Confidence Survey released by Insperity, Inc., a provider of human resources and business performance solutions for America's best businesses. A solid 50 percent of respondents plan to add employees, a significant increase over 26 percent in October and even up from 40 percent in the July survey; 47 percent are maintaining current staffing levels versus 68 percent last fall; and just over 3 percent are planning layoffs, down from 5 percent in October.

Insperity also announced compensation metrics from its base of 5,500 small and medium-sized Workforce Optimization(R) clients. Average compensation for the fourth quarter 2013 was up 2.9 percent, while bonuses were down 6.9 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2012. Average commissions received by worksite employees reflected an increase of 1.7 percent. Overtime pay was 10.3 percent of regular pay, above the 10 percent level that generally indicates a need for additional employees, and up slightly from 9.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

According to the survey, 92 percent of respondents expect to meet or exceed their 2013 performance, up significantly from 68 percent in October, while 8 percent expect to do worse in 2014. Concerning the timing of an economic rebound, 38 percent think one is currently in process versus 26 percent both in October and last July; 24 percent expect a rebound in the second quarter of 2014 or later, and 37 percent are unsure. 

The list of short-term concerns now points to government health care as the number one issue of 52 percent of survey respondents, followed closely by rising health care costs at 47 percent. The economy was third at 44 percent, down from 67 percent last October, and controlling overall operating costs was 43 percent. Long-term concerns were led by government expansion at 58 percent; the federal deficit tied with potential tax increases at 54 percent; and the economy dropped to 40 percent from last quarter's 63 percent, echoing its sharp decrease as a major short-term concern.

The survey results show that 46 percent plan to increase employee compensation, up significantly from 17 percent in October; 43 percent plan to maintain compensation at current levels, down from 71 percent last fall; 1 percent expect compensation decreases; and 10 percent are unsure.

More...

 

CRM Will Be at the Heart of Digital Initiatives for Years to Come
Organizations are leveraging CRM technologies as a major part of their digital initiatives to enhance the customer experience, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner said that demand for modern technology customer relationships is driving refreshed or expanded integration and usage of all areas of CRM software. The outlook continues to be positive for CRM as buyers focus on technologies that enable more-targeted customer interactions in multichannel environments.

Gartner expects CRM market growth to stay moderate in 2014, following three strong years of investment. CRM software revenue is forecast to reach $23.9 billion in 2014, with cloud revenue accounting for 49 percent. SaaS- or cloud-based CRM deployments currently represent more than 40 percent of all CRM deployments, and look set to reach 50 percent during 2015.

Line-of-Business Buyers Have Different Operational Requirements for CRM

Customer support and service (CSS) has IT leaders, vice presidents and directors of customer service involved in customer support/relationship initiatives and are looking at the targeted use of big data analytics, peer-to-peer communities and the evolving customer engagement center (CEC), which is the next generation of the customer service contact center, for critical processes and technologies. A central focus of the CSS organization is on how to engineer consistent, differentiated, cross-channel customer experiences, while supporting the need for increased use of customer self-service.

E-commerce is top of mind for CEOs, chief marketing officers (CMOs) and senior executives as they seek the ability to improve overall customer experience, profitability and sales. At the same time, marketing technology is a hot area for IT investment, but solution decisions are increasingly being driven by CMOs and the marketing organization, with little to no IT involvement. CIOs will need to work more closely with CMOs and marketing leaders to adapt to the increasing technology demands emanating across the marketing organization. Mounting pressure on CMOs to drive growth, improve accountability and reduce costs is pushing marketing organizations to make significant marketing technology investments across a broad set of applications and functionality.

Internet of Things Joins the Nexus of Forces as the Fifth Driver of CRM

The main drivers behind the hot topics in CRM — cloud, social, mobile and big data — are being joined by a fifth driver: the Internet of Things, where sensors connecting things to the Internet create new services previously not thought of.

Social — In the sales, marketing and customer service departments, marketing is being forced to monitor, communicate and engage in social commerce business with several hundred public social networks. Customer service has to respond to tweets and Facebook and LinkedIn discussions, as new service channels and sales are now using social media as a source of new leads and intelligence on prospects.

Mobile — Smartphones, tablets and mobile apps are forcing change at an even faster rate than social networks. Connections to the Internet via smartphones will exceed PC users by the end of 2014 and smartphones have already overtaken PCs as the most common tool for accessing social networks in most countries. Bring your own device (BYOD) policies are springing up around the globe as IT departments are forced to support a proliferation of devices. It is tablets, however, that are causing the most disruption as sales departments and board directors purchase them and then demand support.

Big Data — The marketing department has been most impacted by the explosion in customer information available to businesses during the past five years. Predictive analytic models for churn analysis, product and service recommendations direct to the customer, and/or sales prompts for salespeople are all becoming more sophisticated. Thus, the data is available and the tools are emerging, but the problem is the lack of skills and resources to use the tools.

Cloud — This driver is a decade old now in CRM, having started back in the late 1990s with the rise of application service providers. In many ways, the low-hanging fruit for cloud adoption has already been picked. The remaining areas of CRM application functionality will be ever harder to adopt in a cloud delivery model, so the switch to cloud will steadily slow.

Internet of Things — As cars, buildings, bodies and chairs are connected to the Internet and as the price of sensors and communications drops down toward $1, the automotive, construction, healthcare and hospitality industries, among many others, will be transformed. At the forefront of this shift will be sales, marketing and customer service departments in promoting, selling and supporting the new services.

More...


Click here for more Industry Stats

There Has Never Been a Better Time for CIOs to Fix IT's Reputation
In a time where there is a lot of technology analyst talk about the relevance of the CIO and Enterprise IT, Mike Kail, CIO of Netflix offers a refreshing perspective. In his opinion, there has never been a better time for IT to fix its reputation in the industry and move from being the blockers in an organization to being the enablers.
Full Article...

Tips for Speaking Like a Business Strategist

The message is coming in loud and clear from every corner of the tech and business sectors, from every career coach, hiring manager and trusted peer: IT pros who are serious about advancement need to think and speak strategically. Keeping the lights on? Yawn. Transforming business processes? No-brainer. What organizations need in an IT leader now is a business strategist who can serve as a trusted colleague of, rather than merely a tech adviser to, C-suite executives.
Full Article...

3 Words to Avoid for Better Customer Service Communication
Millions of words are used each day in customer service communication; three little ones have great power to destroy your customer service experience and should be avoided at all cost.
Full Article...

Customer Service Strategy: Deliver Value with Time
Customers are turning to alternative ways of doing business because of speed.  Usually it is much faster to order something online.  Self-service checkout in a grocery store may be a good alternative to save a few minutes.  Even when it comes to customer service, customers turn to an online alternative rather than having to make a call and be put on hold, be transferred to numerous people and have to repeat their story to multiple employees. To be successful, companies need to respect their customer’s time.
Full Article...

14 Must-Read Stats that Emphasize the 2014 Customer Experience Imperative
Let’s face it, in most cases, the current customer experience is all over the place. Time for sales, marketing and customer service to come together, get focused and deliver on the elusive consistent customer experience. Need some supporting stats and statements to make your case? Here are 14 for 2014.
Full Article...

QR Codes Kill Kittens: How to Alienate Customers, Dishearten Employees, and Drive Your Business into the Ground
by Scott Stratten, Alison Kramer

Experts are constantly telling us what we need to be doing to improve our businesses. Hundreds of books in the market are filled with advice from these experts. But how can you filter out all of the bad advice, misinformation, and misuse of business tools that is out there?

None of us needs another list of what we should be doing. QR Codes Kill Kittens tells you what not to do. Easy to digest, easy to avoid. The book is separated into several sections, and each will include a story related to the topic in addition to tips and explanations on what not to do.

Click here for more information!

Follow supportindustry on Twitter

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

Manage Your e.Newsletter Subscription!
Log-on to the member's only page and you can to change newsletter formats, remove yourself from the list, or update your member profile.

Editorial suggestions, feedback & comments:
Carolyn Healey, Editor - chealey@supportindustry.com

Advertising Information:
adinfo@supportindustry.com

Thank you for reading SupportIndustry.com's weekly newsletter!
 
2014 SupportIndustry.com, All Rights Reserved