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New Webinar: The Top 10 Avoidable Mistakes Front-Line Support Teams Make

Wednesday, July 30th, 10 AM PDT / 1 PM EDT

The words "customer support" evoke images of smiling, headset-wearing people sitting in front of computer screens, eager to serve you. But we’ve all had support experiences that don’t feel anything like that.

When support agents drop the ball, they give their companies a reputation for bad service and make their own job harder. Fortunately, their biggest mistakes are almost always predictable — and avoidable.

Join SupportIndustry.com and Rich Gallagher, author and customer service expert, for a frank, humorous tour through the 10 “worst practices” support teams use every day on the frontlines with customers.
Attend this live webinar to learn:

  • The impact of "case-close-itis" on performance
  • Catch phrases that aggravate everyone
  • How to think like a customer instead of an agent
  • The wrong way to respond to a customer complaint

Register today!

TeamSupport Has Raises $1.25 Million in Funding to Expand B2B Focused Support Software Business
TeamSupport.com, a provider of customer support software for B2B technology companies, announced they have raised $1.25 million in funding led by leading technology investors from Dallas, New York, Atlanta and Toronto. Founded in 2009 by a team of software industry veterans who understand the unique pain points facing B2B technology support teams, TeamSupport has grown to become one of the industry’s leading customer service software suites, making a name for themselves among industry competitors like Zendesk, Freshdesk and Desk.com in the rapidly growing market.

Five9 Delivers Managed Private Network in the Cloud, Helping Contact Centers Create High Quality Customer Interactions
Five9, a provider of cloud contact center software, announced an enhanced cloud offering for its customers through a private network. With Five9 MPLS Agent Connect, Five9 customers are able to avoid potential impacts of internet congestion on call quality and data vulnerability. Five9 MPLS Agent Connect is a private network connection that works by linking Five9 agent stations to Five9 applications using a dedicated network that is separate from the Internet.. Five9 now offers a complete turnkey system that is ordered, installed and supported by Five9, so the contact center can focus on what they do best: creating a great customer experience.

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.

Mobile Apps Will Have a Significant Impact on Information Infrastructure
With digital business blurring the line between the physical and the digital worlds, consumer-centric mobile apps are playing an important role, according to Gartner, Inc.

Gartner predicts that, by 2015, most mobile apps will sync, collect and analyze deep data about users and their social graphs, but most IT leaders are failing to consider the deep impact that mobile apps have on their information infrastructure.

Gartner also predicts that, by 2017, wearable devices will drive 50 percent of total app interactions.

This includes desktop-based app interactions and mobile apps, with mobile apps making up the majority of these interactions.

The line between acceptable and unacceptable use of consumer data can be very thin, and it gets even thinner as the data collected becomes more detailed and personal. For example, organizations collecting biometric data through mobile apps linked to wearable devices could be tempted to monetize this data by reselling it.

These risks relating to data collected from mobile apps require organizations to rethink their governance policies and adjust their information infrastructure.

Such organizations should:

  • Manage the persistency and perishability of data collected from mobile apps.
  • Monitor access to and control of this data. It is important to ensure that personal data collected from mobile apps remains private, and that it is secured, anonymized and accessed according to the organization's governance policies. Proper management of user agreements and opt ins are important aspects of this.
  • Control the sharing and reuse of mobile app data for other purposes.

Data from mobile apps, whether deployed on the premises or in the cloud, is not currently managed as part of an organization's information infrastructure, and data collected from mobile apps is often siloed.

For example, colocation of data from mobile apps with other application data on the premises can be a better option for use cases such as offline and near-line analysis. However, using data virtualization to combine data in the cloud with data on the premises can be a better option if colocation does not suit the governance or SLAs of a use case. Using integration-platform-as-a-service capabilities for cloud service integration can complement existing data integration strategies by moving data from the cloud to the premises, or from cloud to cloud as needed.


"Phablets" Generating Strong Consumer Buying Interest Worldwide
Phablets are generating strong consumer buying interest worldwide, particularly in emerging countries, an Accenture  survey has found. Blending smartphone and tablet PC features, phablets have five-to-seven inch screen sizes – larger than the four-to-five inches of conventional smartphones.
The survey revealed that 57 percent of consumers plan to buy a smartphone this year and, of those, nearly half (48 percent) prefer to buy a phablet rather than a conventional smartphone.
These findings are the latest to be released from the 2014 Accenture Digital Consumer Survey that explores consumer electronics spending and usage of 23,000 respondents in 23 countries.
Emerging markets
The survey also revealed that consumer preferences for phablets are stronger in emerging countries than developed countries. Of the consumers planning to buy a smartphone, 67 percent in India, 66 percent in China and 65 percent in South Africa said they would prefer to buy a phablet device. Consumers in developed countries, by contrast, were less partial to buying phablets. In the United States, for example, 40 percent indicated a preference to buy a phablet. Similarly, nearly a third (30 percent) of German respondents and only 19 percent of Japan’s participants prefer a phablet.
Interest in buying larger screens extends to tablets
The survey also found that 44 percent of respondents are planning to buy a tablet PC this year. Of those, 72 percent prefer the full-size tablets rather than micro-mini-sized versions, compared with 20 percent who prefer the smaller versions. Eight percent did not know.


Click here for more Industry Stats

Managing Two People Who Hate Each Other
Managing people is never easy, but when the animosity between two of your direct reports escalates to the level of hatred, how do you minimize the drama and keep your team on track?  Before you call for a professional mediator, remember that this is a fundamental part of your job as a manager. Try the following approach to get at the root of the problem and resolve the conflict once and for all.
Full Article...

Top Ten Competencies of the Modern CIO

These days, I am in hot pursuit of the “Top Ten Competencies of the Modern CIO.” This is not only to commemorate the retirement of my beloved David Letterman, but also to provide some guidelines to up-and-comers who are fashioning their IT leadership careers – and to my team of recruiters in identifying rock stars in the CIO candidate pool.
Full Article...

How to Write a Job Description That Attracts Top IT Talent

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...

The Five Key Things that Matter to the Customer
The landscape of customer loyalty has been re-contoured! Customers get terrific service in pockets of their life and use those experiences to judge everyone else.  Customers also have more choices than ever before and therefore are forced to use their service experience as a key gauge of product and service excellence.  Today’s customers are much smarter buyers.  Social media has made every person Consumers Report.  Figuring out how to retain customers today is no simple task.  However, below are five key loyalty drivers that fit most customers most of the time for most services.
Full Article...

Establishing a Culture That Supports Distributed Teams
As a contact center leader, the results you create—internally and for your customers—depend on being able to get support from people who work at different times, in different places, or within different parts of the organization. Fortunately, there are some tried and true principles that can significantly increase your organization’s effectiveness. This article presents the most important.
Full Article...

Training That Delivers Results: Instructional Design That Aligns with Business Goals
by Dick Handshaw

Training That Delivers Results offers a far better way to educate employees, one that connects learning solutions with strategic business goals. Rather than being told what to teach, proactive designers collect data to define problems and develop training interventions.

Readers will learn how to:

  • Analyze performance gaps
  • Create targeted performance objectives and connect them with the right measurement tools
  • Determine the best instructional strategy and the appropriate media
  • Build consensus with project blueprint meetings
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of training and use the data to continually improve.

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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