[View Past Issues] April 14, 2015
Top Headlines
Featured Link
Analyst/Bytes & Statistics
In Other News
Required Reading
Our News
About Us

Webinar: Learn 5 Best Practices of Successful Support Leaders

April 22, 2015, 10 AM (PST) / 1 PM (EST)


Every manager or supervisor in support wants to be effective - and promotable. And there are specific, actionable traits that differentiate best-of-breed support leaders from everyone else. Join former support executive and bestselling business author Rich Gallagher in a free webinar discussing the five best practices that will make you an effective support leader, including:

  • Creating a learning organization
  • Building responsibility and ownership among your team members
  • Theory X versus Theory Y: Why command-and-control doesn't work in support
  • Metrics and you: delivering results without fostering burnout
  • Hiring and recruiting: building the perfect support rep

Register today!

NEC Launches Cloud Contact Center Solution
NEC Corporation of America (NEC), a provider and integrator of advanced IT and communications solutions, announced that it has continued its trend of enhancing its highly successful cloud solution with the addition of a comprehensive contact center suite of services, NEC’s UNIVERGE Cloud Services Contact Center. NEC’s new cloud based contact center solution provides a rich suite of advanced features beyond the usual benefits inherent in cloud that make it such a compelling alternative to premise based contact centers, such as cost savings, fast implementation and flexible deployment options plus an easy-to-use web-based Graphical User Interface (GUI) for agents. The new suite delivers a multi-media contact center environment with carrier grade, mission critical performance.  

Contact Centers Can Work Smarter with Enhancements to Calabrio ONE(R) Workforce Optimization Software Suite
Calabrio, a provider of contact center workforce optimization (WFO) and analytics software, has released an enhanced version of its award-winning Calabrio ONE workforce optimization software to help supervisors, managers and agents work smarter.  New automated processes in Calabrio ONE, such as Intraday Dynamic Scheduling and Automatic Evaluation Queues, are designed to get more done and provide additional value as contact centers continue to grow in size and complexity. Calabrio ONE also has been expanded to increase integration with Avaya.

Looking for the Best Help Desk Software?

Access G2 Crowd's Winter 2014 Help Desk Report to Easily Compare Vendors

Are you looking at customer support software and trying to compare different solutions? G2 Crowd publishes a comprehensive report that contains data collected from 100s of help desk reviews submitted by real users along with vendor information from trusted online sources.

TeamSupport is offering FREE access (a $600 value) to the 2014 Winter HelpDesk Report so you can easily compare feature ratings and vendors side-by-side.

  • compare features of popular software
  • evaluate vendors side-by-side
  • review real user feedback on vendors and features

Access the full report

Worldwide IT Spending to Decline 1.3 Percent in 2015

Worldwide IT spending is set to shrink to $3.66 trillion in 2015, a 1.3 percent decrease from 2014, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. Gartner said that the rising dollar is chiefly responsible for the slowdown. 

The U.S. dollar spending on devices (including PCs, ultramobiles, mobile phones, tablets and printers) for 2015 is forecast to decline 1.2 percent to $685 billion. Spending for all devices in 2015 was revised down partly due to a slowdown in PC purchases in Western Europe, Russia and Japan, countries where local currency has devalued against the dollar. The mobile phone market is not as affected by the currency shifts. Substantial change in the phone mix in emerging markets toward lower-priced smartphones negates price increases of premium phones, resulting in flat phone average selling prices between 2014 and 2015.

Data center system spending is projected to reach $142 billion in 2015, an increase of just 0.4 percent from 2014. External controller-based storage, enterprise network equipment and servers have all been impacted by the depreciation of some local currencies against the U.S. dollar, but the server segment has seen the biggest impact due to the greater pricing pressure that server vendors are exposed to, due to their relatively lower margins.

Spending in the enterprise software market is on pace to total $320 billion in 2015, a 2.3 percent increase from 2014. Nevertheless, this is a downward revision from the last forecast and is the result of a substantial reduction in the forecast for office suite spending, reflecting the acceleration of Office 365 adoption. Office 365 is disrupting traditional revenue flows. Its cost is prorated over the life of the subscription, resulting in significantly lower revenue growth as users transition away from the on-premises model.

IT services spending will contract slightly to $942 billion in 2015, down from $948 billion in 2014. The largest reductions were made in implementation services, particularly in the U.S. Although the oil and gas industry is only 1 percent of the IT services market, oil and gas buyers historically react quickly when their prices drop, often cutting back on spending 20 percent or more. Because the U.S. is a large oil producer and a large market for IT services, the largest spending reductions on services is expected to take place in the U.S. through 2015 and 2016, with an early impact on implementation services.

Growth in spending on telecom services is predicted to shrink by 2.6 percent in 2015, to total $1.57 trillion. Among the more prominent changes affecting multiple regions were reductions in total connections for developed markets such as the U.S. and several Western European nations, as growth in data-only connected devices and multi-SIM connections were not as high as previously expected.



Self-Service Isn't Enough for Demanding Shoppers-Contact Center Agents are Critical Lynchpin in the Customer Journey

inContact, a provider of cloud contact center software, announced the findings of their January 2015 customer experience survey that examined consumer perceptions of service while making online or phone purchases over $25 in the previous 6 months. When feeling dissatisfied with an order, the majority (81% of U.S. adults) prefer assistance from a live representative via phone or online chat rather than using email or online self-service.

The study, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of inContact, from January 29-February 2, 2015 among 2,028 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, reveals that 86% would be very likely to switch to another company in the future after a bad customer service experience.

Contact Center Agents are Alive and Well
The new research, asking about online or phone purchases over $25 in the last six months, shows that consumers are still frequently interacting with company service reps. According to the findings, 43%  of U.S. adults who made at least one purchase online of over$25 during the last six months had interacted directly with a company representative at least once, with an average of two interactions. When purchasing via phone, 84% of buyers were in touch with a company representative an average of five times during that time.

Majority of Buyers Expect at Least Six Channels of Communication to be Available
The majority of U.S. adults expect companies and ecommerce sites to have available at least six of the tested methods of communication during the online purchasing or ordering stage of the customer service journey, including both agent-supported channels and self-service options.

In order of importance to consumers, the agent-supported channels include:

  • Email (93%)
  • 1-800 to live reps (81%)
  • Online chat (67%)
  • Apps for mobile devices (50%)
  • SMS/Text message (46%)
  • Social networking sites (39%)
  • Online video chat (32%)

Self-service channels are also important to consumers, including online self-service for order tracking (87%) and 1-800 to self-service (53%).

Consumers expect a personalized, omnichannel customer journey that includes agent service continuity and choice of channels for follow-up communications.

A major goal of the study was to gauge consumer desire for personalized and omnichannel experiences when interacting with service representatives. The following findings indicate ways in which companies need to design the customer journey for personalization and consistency across various channels.

  • 65% of U.S. adults expect companies to know their purchase history regardless of method of communication (e.g., phone, chat, email).

  • Two-thirds (67%) expect to be able to call the same company representative they worked with previously if they had an order or service issue.

  • 64% would expect to be able to continue talking with the same company representative on the phone as they were talking with via online chat.


Click here for more Industry Stats

How to Tell if a Company’s Culture is Right for You
Company culture is a funny thing. It could be the engine that drives your passion or it could be the thing that crushes your spirit and keeps you up at night. Figuring out if it’s one of these extremes or somewhere in between before you take the job is a tough task, but one worth undertaking.

Training Tenured Agents on New Techniques and Technologies
One of the most challenging parts of organizational change is the requirement to train seasoned employees on new systems or processes. And the main reason up-skilling and re-skilling of experienced employees is so difficult? Fear.http://ubm.io/1PptReW

How CIOs Can Woo Customer Advocates
CIOs need a marketing makeover in order to woo customer advocates. They need to become experts in human behavior. They need to convince customers to habitually use their tools, not shadow tech. In the parlance of the marketing set, they need to turn detractors into net promoters.

Why Customer Experience Excellence Requires HR Engagement

People are at the center of providing or receiving customer experiences. And it’s commonly accepted that engaged employees are a prerequisite to high-value, engaged customers. So, it stands to reason that Human Resources (HR) departments have great potential to influence customer experience (CX).

Zappos gives employees exit prize if culture change is turnoff
No job titles. No traditional bosses. No conventional corporate hierarchy. It might sound nice, but would you really want to work there? That’s the question, essentially, that Zappos is asking its employees after experimenting with a radical approach to management. 

Re-Examining Self-Service

A pair of studies highlight the need for both companies and solution providers to revisit the breadth and quality of the self-service options they offer.

Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines
by Adam Toporek

Managers today need to make the most of all their resources - and The Hidden Leader shows them how to recognize and cultivate these talented but under utilized employees, who: demonstrate integrity; lead through authentic relationships; focus on results; work from clear customer purpose; and, fulfill the value promise of the company. Supported by real-world examples of hidden leaders in action - and QR codes readers can scan for instant access to online assessments - the book helps

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:

  • 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...

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:

Thank you for reading SupportIndustry.com's weekly newsletter!
2015 SupportIndustry.com, All Rights Reserved