Ruling Bolsters Open-Source Software
A federal appeals court has overturned a lower court's decision in a copyright
case that could strengthen the legal foundation of certain software such
as Linux and online services such as Wikipedia. The court ruled that conditions
of an agreement called the Artistic License were enforceable under copyright
law, supporting a basic tenet behind open-source software and other creations
that the general public is allowed to freely modify and distribute. Some
legal experts said the ruling could help support the legal underpinnings
of other open-source projects. An adverse ruling would have been a blow
to the open-source movement.
intellichat Launches Customizable Control
Panel for its e-Commerce Artificial Intelligence Sales Chat Solution
intellichat, a provider of Artificial Intelligence virtual-chat technology,
announced the launch of their new control panel, developed to provide
users with unprecedented advanced campaign design tools to help maximize
online sales and conversion rates. intellichat also offers several other
unique features not offered by any other A.I. solution provider. These
include Custom chat windows -- branded to the client; Custom browser alert
messages -- branded to the client; Ability to split test a range of discounts
using intellichat to find best performers; Built in affiliate system and
control panel for all users; Daily weekly or monthly email stat reports.
intellichat's A.I. sales agent is able to interact with a virtually unlimited
number of customers at once.
New Enterprise Performance Management Solutions
Enable Customers to Link Strategy to Execution
Business Objects, an SAP company, announced the latest versions of its
solutions for enterprise performance management (EPM), which will provide
customers with improved control and agility, enabling them to enhance
performance across both finance and operations. Responding to customer
demand, Business Objects also introduced a spend analytics solution, a
new EPM solution that will enable companies to extend performance management
beyond finance to business operations. These new versions and additions
to the Business Objects EPM portfolio will deliver, to both SAP and non-SAP
customers, benefits such as expanded ability to leverage enterprise data,
lowered total cost of ownership and increased scalability.
Palazzo Hotel, Las Vegas, NV: October 6-8, 2008
Hosted by Service Strategies, this industry event is
your perfect opportunity to share best practices and learn how world-class
companies are improving their professional service and customer support
and organizations. Don't miss this unique content focused industry event.
Industry luminaries will share their insights through informative presentations
packed with information and ideas you can put to use right away. The event
will also include pre-conference workshops and an executive discussion
For more information, contact Service Strategies by phone at 858.674.4864
or 800.552.3058 - Toll Free in North America, email email@example.com
here for event details, pricing and registration information.
Resolution Drives Loyalty, Retention, Satisfaction, according to CFI Group's
Contact Center Satisfaction Index
The ability of Customer Service Representatives to resolve customer issues
is the most critical driver of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and word
of mouth recommendations, according to CFI Group's second annual Contact
Index (CCSI). Overall satisfaction with call centers improves, as the
CCSI gains three percent to a score of 72 on the Index's 100-point scale.
Though customer satisfaction with contact centers is up, the study finds
that one in five customers end their contact center experience with unresolved
problems. These customers are half as satisfied (CCSI score of 40 vs.
80) and twice as likely to defect. Customers clearly punish poor performance,
but they reward good customer service. Customers whose issues are resolved
on the first call are 49 percent more likely to continue doing business
with the company than customers whose issues are not resolved.
The CCSI study shows that more customers are using the call center as
the resource of last resort. In today's multichannel environment, Customer
Service Representatives are more likely to get a higher proportion of
“harder” questions that customers cannot find answers to on
a website or elsewhere. Customers who tried other methods before calling
the contact center have a satisfaction score of 64, which is 15 percent
lower than customers who called the contact center directly (75).
Offshore contact centers are doing a better job this year solving issues,
but their satisfaction scores still lag behind onshore contact centers
by a wide margin (CCSI score 59 vs. 75). One of the main challenges for
offshore contact centers is effective communication. The study finds that
issues are 25 percent less likely to be resolved when Customer Service
Representatives are difficult to understand.
Satisfaction with the contact center is an important indicator of loyalty
and recommendations.CCSI data show that 94 percent of satisfied customers
will do business with the same company again, and 91 percent will recommend.
Percentages for dissatisfied customers are significantly lower. Only 62
percent said they will continue to be a customer, and only 39 percent
The second annual CCSI measures customer satisfaction across several
industries, but not all industries perform equally. The CCSI uses the
methodology of the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction
index (ACSI) to calculate industry scores on ACSI's 100-point scale.
The CCSI industry scores are as follows:
- Banking (71)
- Cable and Satellite TV (66)
- Cell Phone Service (72)
- Government (70)
- Hotels (78)
- Insurance (75)
- Multi-Channel Retail (76)
- Personal Computers (69)
The Economy and Business Conditions Having More Impact on Small and Midsize
Businesses Worldwide Than Excitement About New Technology
A new report from IDC finds more concern about the economy among SMBs
worldwide than interest in the most potentially innovative new technology.
Current economic growth and business conditions are by far the greatest
concern for small and midsize businesses, particularly in North America,
Latin America, and Western Europe, the new study indicates.
For this new study, IDC's regional SMB analysts assessed the current
level of interest or concern in five different areas. This "temperature
taking" focused on: (1) future economic growth and business conditions,
(2) "green" technology, (3) software-as-a-service (SaaS), (4)
virtualization, and (5) use of the Internet as a key business resource.
While there are differences across regions, SMBs in general are currently
cold (or showing little interest/concern) when it comes to new and emerging
technologies but are considerably warmer (or showing a great deal of interest/concern)
when the discussion turns to economic issues.
Additional key findings of this study include the following:
- There are a myriad of factors that could raise, or in some cases lower,
the future level of interest/concern among small and midsize business
owners when it comes to the economy as well as new technologies. In
general, smaller companies across regions are more tactical and near-term
in their concerns, but this view is increasingly shared by mid-sized
firms as times grow more challenging.
- Among the four key technologies examined by IDC analysts, use of the
Internet as a key business resource was considered having the greatest
upside potential in terms of future interest among SMBs.
- Virtualization and "green" technology are not yet registering
with SMB owners except in more advanced medium-sized businesses across
regions. Software-as-a-service (SaaS), in contrast, has a somewhat higher
level of current visibility, although interest is still at an early
stage. IDC expects temperature increases in virtualization and SaaS
the next 12-24 months as vendor promotions gain traction. Going "green"
will be a much tougher sell, especially in underdeveloped areas, and
IDC analysts do not expect temperature readings to change much in the
Organizations Should Not Prevent Participation in Social Applications
for Fear of Bad Behavior
Organizations should not shun Web participation for a fear of bad behavior,
but instead they should anticipate it as part of the social experience
and formulate a multilevel approach to policies for effective governance,
according to Gartner Inc.
Creating policies for social application participation is not a one-size-fits-all
proposition, and policies will vary based on the goals of the particular
social application and on the characteristics of the participating community.
When it comes to formulating governance strategies for social sites, it
is important not to focus too tightly on controls and restrictions and
thereby to lose sight of the fundamental goals of building a thriving,
Organizations should create a general policy statement for expected online
behavior, which should reflect established corporate policies on appropriate
and ethical behavior, underscoring that company policy extends to online
social interactions. Employees should be aware that if their profiles
on public social networking sites identify them as employees of a company,
then their postings can have an impact on the company's reputation.
Organizations concerned about general public misbehavior, such as copyright
infringement and inappropriate brand use, should compile a second set
of relevant policies but be careful not to restrict freedom of speech
and personal freedoms; such restriction could risk alienating established
and potential customers.
Today, contact centers need to focus workforce management practices and
technologies toward empowering the contact center staff to make the largest
possible contribution to achieving the center's most important goals.
This means changing the way contact centers manage their workforce. To
provide a seamless, personalized, consistent experience on every call,
email, or chat, contact center management has to change its entire perspective
about how they measure success, shifting the emphasis from workforce management
to workforce productivity – the active management of processes,
technology, and people to achieve growth.
Calling It Quits
Keeping employees motivated is important in any environment, whether it
be in a roundtable discussion with executives, among battle-weary troops,
or on the court with an underperforming basketball team. If you can't
get your employees or coworkers excited about working for you or with
you, many of those uninspired workers are going to leave to find happiness
(and a paycheck) elsewhere. Nowhere is this more evident than in the contact
center industry, where there has been an absolute exodus of agents in
the past decade. However, there are ways to stem the tide.
The Power of IP and the Internet: Achieving Contact Center Synergies Inside
When establishing new customer service strategies, global organizations
need to take several things into consideration. As we continue to converge
the business world with the Internet, there are growing opportunities
on both the business side and the consumer side. On the business side,
IP is a driving force behind the "agent anywhere" approach to
customer service. This saves companies the additional cost of leasing
a larger facility and allows agents greater schedule flexibility and life/work
balance. Additionally, companies have access to a previously untapped
labor pool. They aren't limited to hiring professionals in their specific
geographic area, opening the door to a variety of expert resources across
a particular region or country.
6 Labor Law Points Tech Workers Need to Know
The class-action lawsuit that current and former Apple employees have
filed against the iPhone-maker raises questions about what kinds of workers
are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Here's what you need
to know about this often confusing law and your rights to overtime pay.
The Seven Deadly Customer Survey Sins
Deadly survey sin number three: The Field of Dreams fallacy. Some companies
think, "If you build it, they will come." Instead, target the
proper audience with a clear and concise invitation to participate in
the survey. Make sure you offer incentives. Don't assume that everyone
wants to respond to your survey out of sheer kindness.
The Top Ten Mistakes Customer Support Teams Make and How to Avoid Them
At Parature, we care very passionately about customer support. We know
that as customer support professionals, you have a very difficult job
to do. Whenever we interview people in customer support about their challenges,
we get the same set of answers again and again. So, we ask you
Does your support team feel:
-- Overworked and understaffed?
-- Overburdened with repetitive questions?
-- Unappreciated by their customers?
-- Unable to manage and report on all of their activities?
-- Hurt by team turnover; valuable knowledge leaves when a team member
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Service & Support Metrics Survey Results
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your free copy of the survey results today!
White Paper: Improving Customer Service Using Web-based Support Tools
In the realm of service and support, the Web has made its mark. Since
a business's Web site is the first place many customers go today when
they're in need of service, it's imperative that what they find there
-- the search tools, the breadth and depth of content, easy escalation
paths, the tools that aid in speedy resolution -- meets their needs. Each
visit presents the business with the opportunity to impress and influence
existing and potential customers.
Find out more! This informative white paper from SupportIndustry.com
examines the latest trends and technologies in using Web-based support
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Here to Download...
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.
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