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E.Newsletter
October 15, 2014  
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New Webinar! 40 Tips For Transforming Your Support Team

Wednesday, November 5, 10 AM (PST) / 1 PM (EST)

Attend this webinar and hear Gina Montague, Support Services Manager at Infinite Campus, present quick and useful tips on topics such as teamwork, service, professional development, troubleshooting, and leadership.

This fast-paced session will deliver 40 tips across the hot topics that every Support Professional should have in their back pocket. Walk away with great ideas and best practices to take back to your own support organization and have an immediate impact!

Join this webinar to learn:

  • What makes a great support leader
  • Why you should avoid geek speak
  • Best practices for better team collaboration
  • and much more!

Register today!

Microsoft and Salesforce Unveil New Joint Solutions at Dreamforce 2014
Microsoft Corp. and Salesforce announced significant progress in their strategic partnership announced in May. The two companies unveiled new joint solutions—including Salesforce1 for Windows, Salesforce for Office, and Power BI for Office 365 and Excel integrations with Salesforce. Salesforce1 for Windows. Salesforce1 for Windows will empower customers to run their business from their Windows 8.1 mobile devices.

Global Safety Industry Leader Selects inContact Cloud Contact Center Solutions
inContact, a provider of cloud contact center software and contact center agent optimization tools, announced a global leader in safety products and services is leaving its legacy premise system in favor of the inContact cloud contact center platform. inContact's new client will deploy its Analytics Driven Quality solution, enabling a more intelligent approach to the quality management process. Results are analyzed and funneled into the ACD through inContact's Workforce-Intelligent Contact Center system which updates agent skill levels and adjusts customer traffic to match the appropriate agent to the corresponding customer issue.


Knowledge Management 2.0: Best Practices For Customer Support

We've all heard the old saying that knowledge is power - and when it comes to your customer support team, knowledge-sharing can also have a direct and powerful effect on your bottom line—especially when that knowledge is shared for the benefit of your customers.

In this white paper series from TeamSupport we will discuss the different aspects of knowledge management, best practices, and how to use knowledge management to enhance customer service in 3 easy to digest parts:

Part 1: Introduction to Knowledge Management

Part 2: External Knowledge Management (Knowledge Sharing)

Part 3: Knowledge Management 2.0

Download this 3-part series!

Robert Half 2015 Salary Guides Show 3.8 Percent Average Starting Salary Increase In Professional Occupations

The just-released 2015 Salary Guides from Robert Half show that U.S. starting salaries for professional occupations are projected to increase an average of 3.8 percent next year. The largest expected gains in salaries among all fields researched are in technology, with an anticipated 5.7 percent overall increase in the average starting salary for newly hired information technology (IT) workers. Accounting and finance and creative and marketing professionals can expect starting salaries to rise an average of 3.5 percent, according to the research. 

Following is an overview of findings from the 2015 Salary Guides:

Accounting and Finance  

Average starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals in the United States are forecast to rise 3.5 percent next year. Staff accountants, senior financial analysts and business systems analysts are in strong demand, and these professionals can expect to see higher than average salary increases. The regulatory environment is driving hiring for risk, compliance and internal audit professionals.
Technology

Overall, base compensation for IT professionals in the United States is expected to increase 5.7 percent in the coming year. Mobile, security and big data will be three drivers for technology hiring in 2015. Mobile applications developers can expect the highest salary increases among all technology roles.

Creative and Marketing

Professionals in creative fields in the United States can expect average starting salary gains of 3.5 percent in 2015. Growth in the digital space, particularly mobile, is driving the demand for professionals such as digital marketing strategists and user-experience specialists. Businesses also seek content strategists, web designers and front-end web developers.

Legal

In the legal field, U.S. starting salaries are anticipated to rise 3.0 percent, on average, in the coming year. Law firms are seeking mid- and senior-level lawyers in high-growth practice areas, such as litigation, general business and commercial law, and intellectual property. Paralegals also are in high demand by companies and law firms, and those with specialized skill sets can expect higher starting compensation.

Administrative and Office Support

Overall starting salaries for administrative professionals in the United States are expected to rise 3.4 percent in 2015. Demand for skilled executive and administrative assistants remains strong. There continues to be a need for support staff in healthcare, human resources and customer service.

More.....

 

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015

Gartner, Inc. highlighted the top 10 technology trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2015. Analysts presented their findings during the sold out Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. These technologies impact the organization's long-term plans, programs and initiatives.

The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2015 are:

Computing Everywhere

As mobile devices continue to proliferate, Gartner predicts an increased emphasis on serving the needs of the mobile user in diverse contexts and environments, as opposed to focusing on devices

The Internet of Things

The combination of data streams and services created by digitizing everything creates four basic usage models — Manage, Monetize, Operate and Extend. These four basic models can be applied to any of the four "Internets." Enterprises should not limit themselves to thinking that only the Internet of Things (IoT) (assets and machines) has the potential to leverage these four models. For example, the pay-per-use model can be applied to assets (such as industrial equipment), services (such as pay-as-you-drive insurance), people (such as movers), places (such as parking spots) and systems (such as cloud services). Enterprises from all industries can leverage these four models.

3D Printing

Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 98 percent in 2015, followed by a doubling of unit shipments in 2016. 3D printing will reach a tipping point over the next three years as the market for relatively low-cost 3D printing devices continues to grow rapidly and industrial use expands significantly. New industrial, biomedical and consumer applications will continue to demonstrate that 3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing.

Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics

Analytics will take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside the enterprise are analyzed.  Big data remains an important enabler for this trend but the focus needs to shift to thinking about big questions and big answers first and big data second — the value is in the answers, not the data.

Context-Rich Systems

Ubiquitous embedded intelligence combined with pervasive analytics will drive the development of systems that are alert to their surroundings and able to respond appropriately. Context-aware security is an early application of this new capability, but others will emerge. By understanding the context of a user request, applications can not only adjust their security response but also adjust how information is delivered to the user, greatly simplifying an increasingly complex computing world.

Smart Machines

Deep analytics applied to an understanding of context provide the preconditions for a world of smart machines. This foundation combines with advanced algorithms that allow systems to understand their environment, learn for themselves, and act autonomously. Prototype autonomous vehicles, advanced robots, virtual personal assistants and smart advisors already exist and will evolve rapidly, ushering in a new age of machine helpers. The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT.

Cloud/Client Computing

The convergence of cloud and mobile computing will continue to promote the growth of centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered to any device.

In the near term, the focus for cloud/client will be on synchronizing content and application state across multiple devices and addressing application portability across devices. Over time, applications will evolve to support simultaneous use of multiple devices. The second-screen phenomenon today focuses on coordinating television viewing with use of a mobile device. In the future, games and enterprise applications alike will use multiple screens and exploit wearables and other devices to deliver an enhanced experience.

Software-Defined Applications and Infrastructure

Agile programming of everything from applications to basic infrastructure is essential to enable organizations to deliver the flexibility required to make the digital business work. Software-defined networking, storage, data centers and security are maturing. Cloud services are software-configurable through API calls, and applications, too, increasingly have rich APIs to access their function and content programmatically. To deal with the rapidly changing demands of digital business and scale systems up — or down — rapidly, computing has to move away from static to dynamic models.

Web-Scale IT

Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting. More organizations will begin thinking, acting and building applications and infrastructure like Web giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook. Web-scale IT does not happen immediately, but will evolve over time as commercial hardware platforms embrace the new models and cloud-optimized and software-defined approaches reach mainstream.

Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection

All roads to the digital future lead through security. However, in a digital business world, security cannot be a roadblock that stops all progress. Organizations will increasingly recognize that it is not possible to provide a 100 percent secured environment. Once organizations acknowledge that, they can begin to apply more-sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools. On the technical side, recognition that perimeter defense is inadequate and applications need to take a more active role in security gives rise to a new multifaceted approach.

More....





Buzzword Battle: Omni vs. Multi-Channel
There is a new buzzword battle in the contact center market. The defender is the term “multi-channel” and the contender is “omni-channel.” While it’s tempting to let Webster end this debate, buzzwords and phrases are not subject to the rules of language, and therefore anything goes, and the market gets to make the choice.
Full Article

Should CSRs Be Paid for Performance?
When a customer service debacle turns into a public relations nightmare, it puts a lot of pressure on an organization to find the cause of the problem immediately. The simple, and often public, response is to blame the agent. But is the agent solely at fault for his behavior, or is there a larger, more systemic, problem at hand? Contact center experts suggest it could be the latter, pointing to agent compensation as one of the biggest customer service snags.
Full Article

Why Your Business Should Stop Thinking So Much About Social Media
Perhaps the biggest buzzword the modern marketing world has seen within the past decade. The option of having a social presence is no longer an option at all, with 74% of all adults hooked on some form of social media (and 89% of those aged between 18 and 29). This newfound influx of online users helped spawn a wild-wild-west for marketers, all attempting to find ways to turn the social network into a cash cow. Yet for many companies, the resulting social media madness has been less than ideal. Especially for their bottom lines. How so?
Full Article

IT Leaders Aren't All Coming From Tech
The milestones along the traditional path to IT leadership look a lot like this: Earn a computer science degree, serve an IT internship, take development courses, gain coding experience, obtain certifications and sign up for management training specific to technology. However, as IT increasingly becomes a business strategy enabler, IT leaders are being promoted from places like the sales or marketing department.
Full Article

5 Tips For Creating a GREAT Customer Service Call Center Culture
You learn some things after running contact centers for 20+ years. The following are 5 tips on changing or creating a great contact center culture in your customer service center.
Full Article

The Successful Virtual Classroom: How to Design and Facilitate Interactive and Engaging Live Online Learning
by Darlene Christopher

Virtual training gives learning professionals unprecedented flexibility, making it possible to reach participants globally and unite physically dispersed teams. But designers and facilitators must adapt their programs and delivery styles in order to be effective in this new medium. "The Successful Virtual Classroom" goes beyond introducing the technology, to offer trainers proven techniques tailored specifically to engage live online audiences.
 
Packed with easy-to-use tools, checklists, and worksheets--as well as case studies from Oracle, UPS, and more--the book introduces the PREP model for planning, rehearsing, executing, and then conducting a postmortem following the training event.

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:

  • People Issues in Customer Support Survey
  • 2012 Service and Support Metrics Survey
  • The 2012 Service & Support Snapshot: 5 Support Trends That Will Change Your Business
  • Research Insight: Self-Service Support
  • Research Insight: Average Speed to Answer, Wait Time and Handle Timet
  • 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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