[View Past Issues] August 2017

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA): How to Leverage Data Quality to Protect Your Call Center

A recent FCC ruling has broadened further the kinds of calls that are affected, and the risk of TCPA litigation now goes far beyond traditional robocallers and debt collectors – even major retailers and service firms have now become ensnared in multi-million-dollar damage awards. 

As a result, it is now more important than ever for support centers to comply with the rule, as well as understand exactly what type of phone line they are calling.

Download this whitepaper to learn more about how you can leverage data quality to be in compliance with the TCPA.

Liveops New Skill Builder Teaches Call Center 'Soft Skills'
Liveops is adding to its collection of training services with a new customizable distance learning program for contact center workers called Skill Builder. Skill Builder provides live training feedback and multiple training models to help agents develop their soft skills while training them on contact center technology at the same time. Skill Builder takes the knowledge base developed from the first iteration of online training, providing two categories of content: one, company-specific information for reps; and two, softer skills, such as resolution management. 

8x8 Delivers Millennial-Ready Contact Center Enhancements
8x8 introduced advanced quality management tools and new analytics capabilities for its cloud contact center solution, Virtual Contact Center. This VCC update, Quality Management 3.5 Release, reflects 8x8's commitment to move upmarket from small and mid-sized businesses with offerings suitable for global enterprises as well. 8x8 has attached the marketing tagline "collaborative performance management" to the release -- and several new features support that characterization. The most interesting one among them is the ability to type an @mention in an interaction recording to add an annotation and share the media file with others in the business.

Service Objects Breaks New Ground with International Lead Intelligence
Service Objects, the leading provider of real-time contact validation solutions, announced the release of DOTS Lead Validation – International, a real-time (API) International Lead Validation service that instantly allows your business to perform multi-point contact validation on your global contact data incluing a prospect's name, company, address, phone, email and device against hundreds of authoritative data sources. The results provide a composite quality score (0-100) to ensure you are working with genuine and accurate leads. The service can be tested with a complimentary trial key that allows validating up to 500 transactions at http://bit.ly/2vhJyCw.

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Worldwide IT Spending Forecast to Grow 2.4 Percent in 2017

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.5 trillion in 2017, a 2.4 percent increase from 2016, according to Gartner, Inc. This growth rate is up from the previous quarter's forecast of 1.4 percent, due to the U.S. dollar decline against many foreign currencies. 

The Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast is the leading indicator of major technology trends across the hardware, software, IT services and telecom markets. For more than a decade, global IT and business executives have been using these highly anticipated quarterly reports to recognize market opportunities and challenges, and base their critical business decisions on proven methodologies rather than guesswork. 

The worldwide enterprise software market is forecast to grow 7.6 percent in 2017, up from 5.3 percent growth in 2016. As software applications allow more organizations to derive revenue from digital business channels, there will be a stronger need to automate and release new applications and functionality.

IT spending increased in 2016, but only two of the top 10 IT vendors posted organic revenue growth. With revenue sources still tied to the Nexus of Forces (the convergence of social, mobility, cloud and information), some of the top 10 vendors will fare better in 2017 due to strength in mobile phone sales. Worldwide spending on devices (PCs, tablets, ultrambiles and mobile phones) is projected to grow 3.8 percent in 2017, to reach $654 billion. This is up from the previous quarter's forecast of 1.7 percent. Mobile phone growth will be driven by increased average selling prices (ASPs) for premium phones in mature markets due to the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and the increased mix of basic phones over utility phones. However, the tablet market continues to decline, as replacement cycles remain extended. 


These CRM Statistics Prove Why It Should Be in Your Marketing Arsenal

With more than 20 years in the software timeline, there are ample facts about CRM software that you should be aware of if you are considering adding this software to your marketing arsenal. We’ll explore the most recent 2017 CRM statistics to deliver some factoids that you can use to help improve your customer relationships to the benefit of your bottom line.

Some of the highlights include:

  • 79% of leads never convert (Pardot)
  • 30% of marketers fail to close on leads due to disparate data sources (Cyber Sphere)
  • CRM has a 15.1% CAGR (Forbes)
  • CRM is a $36 billion industry (Forbes)
  • CRM ROI equates to $5 for every $1 spent (Baseline)
  • CRM adoption rates average at 26% (Salesforce)
  • 65% sales quota increase when CRM is adopted (Innopple Technologies)
  • CRM can increase revenue streams by as much as 41% (Trackvia)
  • CRM can improve customer retention rates by as much as 27% (Trackvia)
  • 60% of small businesses use CRM for email marketing (MarketingCharts.com)
  • 67% of customers will spend more money if the experience is positive (Global Customer Service)
  • 47% of companies improve customer service with CRM (Capterra)
  • 74% of businesses improve customer relationships with CRM (Software Advice)


Worldwide SMB IT Spending to Top $676 Billion in 2021, Driven by Software and Services Growth, According to IDC 

A new update of the Worldwide Semiannual Small and Medium Business Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that total IT spending by small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) will approach $568 billion in 2017 and increase by more than $100 billion to exceed $676 billion in 2021. With a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5%, spending by businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees on IT hardware, software, and services, including business services, is expected to be slightly stronger than IDC's previous forecast.

SMBs will spread their IT investments about equally across the three major categories – hardware, software, and IT services – with these categories accounting for more than 85% of total SMB technology spending worldwide. While hardware purchases currently represent the largest share of this spending, IDC expects 2019 to be the watershed year when software and IT services spending both surpass hardware spending. The smallest of the major categories – business services – will see the greatest spending growth of the four technology categories at 7.1% CAGR, followed closely by software (6.9% CAGR).

One third of all SMB software purchases in 2017 will be from the top 3 applications categories: enterprise resource management (ERM), customer relationship management (CRM), and content applications. Application development & deployment and system infrastructure software will also be key areas for SMB software investment. Hardware spending will be led by purchases of PCs and peripherals, which accounted for almost half of SMB hardware spending in 2016 (49.6%) a share that will decline throughout the forecast period to 43.3%. SMB services spending is divided between IT services and business services. While SMB spending on IT services will continue to be more than twice that of business services throughout the forecast period, business services' share is growing, with spending growth roughly twice that of IT services (7.1% vs. 3.7% CAGR).

Medium-sized businesses (100-499 employees) will be the largest market throughout the 2016-2021 forecast with 38% of worldwide SMB IT products and services revenues coming from this group of companies. The remaining revenues will be generated about equally by large businesses (500-999 employees) and small businesses/small offices (1-99 employees). Medium and large firms will also experience the strongest spending growth with CAGRs of 4.6% and 4.5% respectively, slightly above small business spending growth of 4.4% The SMB opportunity for both near-term and long-term IT spending growth extends across all company size and technology categories.


Click here for more Industry Stats

If I Wanted My Question Answered In 15 Hours I Would Have Waited 15 Hours To Ask The Question
The average response time to handle a customer service request via email is 15 hours and 17 minutes. That’s according to the 2017 Customer Service Benchmark Report recently released by SuperOffice. They studied 500 companies and found, “… a majority of the 500 companies in the study are failing to meet customer expectations and costing millions of dollars in lost customers and unnecessary internal follow-up work.”

Omnichannel Solutions and Data Quality
Today, sales, marketing and customer support take place across multiple touch points that include point of sale, online orders, emails, social media inquiries – and even those same traditional phone calls and letters. Increasingly, this contact data is managed by integrated enterprise systems rather than separate vertical applications. Which also means that all of your sales and support channels often serve as pipelines to a common contact database.

Are You Making the Most of Customer Data?
Despite all the data that companies are continuously collecting, there remain a number of hurdles that get in the way of fulfilling the customer experience executive’s dream (not to mention the customer’s wishes).

The Truth About Attrition in the Contact Center
At first glance, attrition seems like a chink in the armor for contact centers. Across every industry, the fact that people leave their jobs and move on is a basic truth, but in the contact center, the attrition metric receives quite of a bit of negative attention.

Why Data Quality is Key to the Sales and Marketing Relationship
Both Sales and Marketing teams are linked to a common shared goal, and often frustrate each other when these goals don’t happen as planned. And very often, the culprit is data quality.

Why Do Employees Resist CRM Implementation and What Can We Do About That?
Anyone who has ever been responsible for CRM implementation has faced the employees’ resistance. In this article, we will examine the reasons for such reaction, possible methods for their elimination and impact of these methods on CRM project budgets.

Let the Story Do the Work
by Esther K. Choy

It sounds so simple: Incorporate a story and people will remember your message. But when you get down to crafting one, there’s nothing easy about it.

Material for stories surrounds us. Yet few people are skilled at sharing personal anecdotes and even fewer know how to link them to professional goals. Whether you want to stand out in the interview process, add punch to a presentation, or make a compelling case for a new initiative, Let the Story Do the Work shows you how to mine your experience for simple narratives that convey who you are, what you want to achieve, and why others should care.

Packed with enlightening examples, the book explains how to find the perfect hook, structure your story…and deliver it at the right time in the right way.

Click here for more information!

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

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