[View Past Issues] June 04, 2014
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New SupportIndusry.com White Paper: Omnichannel Customer Support for the B2B Organization

Today, we are seeing the next revolution in support, from multi-channel to Omnichannel: organizations and customers alike now want integrated, seamless solutions that reduce time and costs.

This white paper explores what Omnichannel support is, why it is the new imperative for B-to-B support operations, and how to put it to work for you and your team.

Get your complimentary copy today.

Uptivity Acquired by inContact
Edison Ventures announced today that inContact, a leading provider of cloud contact center software and optimization tools, acquired Uptivity (formerly CallCopy), based in Columbus, OH. Uptivity provides a complete workforce optimization suite, including speech and desktop analytics, agent coaching, call and desktop recording, as well as quality, performance, workforce management and satisfaction surveys. The company boasts more than 700 customers and has developed a strong reputation for delighting customers.

Home Properties Contact Center Answers 4 Millionth Call
Home Properties, Inc. announced that its Contact Center reached a significant milestone by answering its 4 millionth call since beginning operations in November 2001. Home Properties' Contact Center is one of the industry's few in-house, multi-channel support centers for apartment residents and prospective residents. The Contact Center currently serves Home Properties' 119 apartment communities containing over 40,000 apartment units. The Contact Center is open seven days a week, 365 days a year, and is staffed by a team of 21 Home Properties employees who work at the Rochester headquarters.  Of those 4 million calls answered since November 2001, the Home Properties Contact Center has processed 1.3 million resident service requests, scheduled almost 95,000 appointments for prospective residents to tour communities, and secured just under 30,000 leases in which the Contact Center took the initial phone call, e-mail, or web chat.

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!

Mobile and Web Chat Investment Set to Jump in 2014
New research published by ContactBabel, the contact center industry analysts, reveals that US contact centers plan to invest heavily in mobile customer service applications and web chat technology within the next 12 months. Senior contact center decision-makers expect the penetration rate of mobile apps for customer service to increase from 25% to 42% over the next 12 months. The use of web chat is expected to grow from 41% to 58% over the same period.

Furthermore, significant upgrades to call recording technology and workforce management systems are also expected, driven respectively by the growing use of speech analytics tools, and the requirement to forecast and schedule for multichannel work, rather than just telephony. 21% of the contact centers that use call recording expect to upgrade it this year, with 17% investing in improved workforce management solutions.


Gartner Says Correct Categorization Is Key to IT Program Management

The ability to categorize IT programs and assign them appropriate tactics, skills and resources is critical to the generation of positive outcomes, according to Gartner, Inc. Programs that are not properly categorized are significantly more likely to run over budget, to fall short of one or more of the intended objectives, or to fail completely.

To help program managers categorize their programs and plan accordingly, Gartner has identified five types of program:

  • Bottom-up: Multiple projects that are recognized — after they have started — as part of a larger set of problems and as sharing dependencies. They are then assembled into a single program for better control and avoidance of redundancy.
  • Change-oriented: These programs are generally triggered by a high-level need for major change. They normally encompass multiple initiatives that may or may not be formally assembled into a program.
  • Policy-driven: This type of program is unique to government and the public or public service sectors, including government, social, charitable and nongovernmental organizations. A policy-driven program typically enables provision of a law, regulation or defined service — and continues until canceled or no longer funded.
  • Outcome-driven: These programs are driven by a concept of, or a vision for, a product, service or generally identified set of results, or to address a specific need. The concept, program contents and required results evolve naturally during program execution.
  • Transformational: These programs represent an effort that transcends the organization's current vision and its recent history and direction. They usually represent reinventions of one or more aspects of the organization's functions, services, culture, markets or products.

Although this introduces an extra step to the startup process for programs, it is upfront work that can go a long way toward avoiding some of the root causes of program failure, such as incorrect or poor governance and ineffective change management.


Click here for more Industry Stats

Is Tech Eroding Consumer Loyalty?
Consumers used to make these decisions relative to other things—a brand name, a list price, or their own past experience with a company. But today, consumers are basing more and more decisions on the absolute value of things. A technological revolution is driving this shift, as various new tools help us assess the quality of products and services we’re considering.
Full Article...

How CIOs Can Lead Their Company’s Information Business

CIOs must reimagine their role, seeing themselves -- and encouraging others to see them -- as chief executives of an information business. Like any chief executive, the CIO should bring vision, direction, and organization to the company’s big data investment priorities. That means engaging internal customers on their biggest challenges while attracting the best talent and suppliers; most important, it means being accountable for execution and results.
Full Article...

9 Ways to Improve Your Company's CRM System

Organizations spend thousands (make that hundreds of thousands) of dollars on customer relationship management (CRM) software. Yet getting a positive return on that investment can take time, especially if your employees are loath to use the system -- or are not updating customer-related data regularly. So what can companies do to get the most out of their CRM system? CIO.com asked dozens of CRM and sales automation experts to find out.
Full Article...

Best Practices for Optimizing Multichannel Support

Adopting new customer engagement channels like social media and SMS messaging is supposed to improve the customer experience by making it easier for customers to communicate with your business. But each new channel adds complexity to the contact center. This article presents a few best practices for enabling multichannel customer support via the agent desktop.
Full Article...

Are Your Employees Getting the Praise They Deserve?Are Your Employees Getting the Praise They Deserve?
Employees in any workplace desire—and deserve—praise. We’re all familiar with performance reviews and “Employee of the Month” awards. But are those old-school tactics really getting at the heart of employee praise? It’s doubtful.
Full Article...

The Ideal Executive
by Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes

Dr. Adizes’ premise, developed in this book, is that the ideal leader, manager, or executive -- ideal in the sense that he can fulfill by himself all the roles necessary for the long-and short-term effectiveness and efficiency of an organization -- does not and cannot exist. And that is the problem with contemporary management literature: it presents what the executive should do, (because that is what the organization needs) even though no one can do it.

Dr. Adizes presents a paradigm shift in management thinking: If no one can be the ideal executive that organizations need, what should be done to avoid mismanagement?

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

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