[View Past Issues] January 20, 2015
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: Keeping Your Cool in a Support Center: How to Effectively Deal with Burnout

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 10 AM (PST) / 1 PM (EST)

Join SupportIndustry.com and psychotherapist Rich Gallagher, LMFT, is a former customer support executive, for a free webinar that teaches essential yet fundamental skills you can use to make your support center a stress-free zone.

Join this live webinar and learn:

  • The mental game of customer support: How your inner monologue -- what psychologists call "self-talk" -- can change how you feel in front of customers.

  • How to handle your toughest transactions: Prepare yourself for tense deals with proven techniques for calming people.

  • Tips for building a stress-free support team: What support managers can do for their team’s emotional well-being.

  • And more...

Register today!

Avaya and Google Collaborate on Contact Center
Avaya recently announced it is working with Google on innovative contact center solutions for businesses. The collaboration combines Avaya’s expertise in customer engagement technologies with Google’s expertise in Web applications and Chromebooks. The initial project provides new contact center agents with simple set-up in any location so businesses can better manage peak or seasonal demands, support business continuity, and enable mobile and remote agent access. Customer service agents will be able connect to the Avaya contact center agent desktop via Chromebooks through a WebRTC-enabled interface-- eliminating the need to download software for individual agent endpoints.

Energisa implements Cisco Unified Contact Center Solution
Energisa Group, a Brazilian energy distributor, has implemented Cisco Unified Contact Center solution to optimize its customer services. The company deployed a set of Cisco's solutions to integrate its communications channels, unifying telephone, e-mail, real-time chat and social networks applications. The technology will improve Energisa's service capacity, enabling it to deal up to 447,000 calls per month in its distribution units. Cisco Customer Collaboration architecture, including Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, was used to provide intelligent contact routing, call treatment, and network-to-desktop computer telephony integration (CTI).

Better Customer Support Using Collective Knowledge

How do you differentiate yourself to retain customers?

Collaboration enables you to provide an outstanding customer experience, which is why successful companies are embedding it right in their customer support processes. The ideal solution is a cloud-hosted help desk service that includes collaborative tools along with native integration with CRM applications and other business functions.

Download the whitepaper to learn how to leverage your team's collective knowledge for better customer service, including:

  • Why the most successful firms are embracing collaborative technology
  • How collaboration raises the collective knowledge of the support team
  • Why customer support should be integrated with all departments
  • What to look for in a collaborative customer support software

Get your copy today!

2015 Contact Center Predictions

It's that time again - time for budgeting, prepping and analyzing the year's results to see how we can improve next year. According to CorvisaCloud's recent survey,even though 60% of consumers think customer service has improved since last year there are definitely still areas businesses can refine.

With that in mind, here are CorvisaCloud's contact center predictions for 2015:

1. Large Enterprises Will Adopt Cloud Communications
Enterprises have historically been known to sit on the sidelines until technology has fully matured. Now that the cloud has been around for a while, common misconceptions such as lack of security, compliance and functionality are no longer at doubt. The enormous investment cloud providers are making to stay compliant and secure will help growing numbers of enterprises to see that they can ensure security standards and increase savings while minimizing their investment in hardware and maintenance. The flexibility, security and cost of the cloud have proven that it is here to stay, and more enterprises will be drawn to the cloud by the ability to gain flexibility with less effort.

2. Security as a Top Priority
With big names such as JP Morgan, Michael's and Home Depot experiencing data breaches during 2014, companies of all sizes are bringing security to the top of their 2015 planning. Knowing that data breaches come with hefty financial implications and can hurt a company's image overnight, businesses will go the extra mile to protect sensitive data. Security will be a top influencer for businesses when choosing cloud providers, and cloud providers will work to make their security and compliance procedures even more transparent. We foresee data and recording encryption emphasized at a greater level than what has been done to date.

3. A Focused Investment in Employees
2014 was the year of customer success. For 2015, we predict we will see companies investing more in their employees and agents. After all, your employees are the foundation of customer success. Proper training and boosting employee morale will be key for any business that wants to stay competitive. Integrated contact center tools such as gamification and workflow automation tools will be just a few of the ways contact centers will help agents improve performance and boost confidence. Eighty percent of consumers said their phone interaction with a customer service agent feels scripted and robotic. We see more businesses adopting these new cloud tools to humanize their customer experience and break away from older tools that force agents to read call scripts word-for-word.

4. Mobile Equality
Mobile applications are nothing new, but as we predicted last year, mobile phones are becoming increasingly preferred over desk phones. In 2015 the emphasis will be on giving agents and employees the same user experience - whether they are at home using a softphone, on a computer using a desk phone or in the car using their mobile device. We see more customers demanding features that create a seamless transition between the desk and mobile environments, such as the ability to configure phone settings or integrate with customer data. Cloud communications providers will be focused on enriching the capabilities of their mobile applications in response to this demand.

5. Increased Demand for Customization
Based on experiences with our customers in 2014, we predict more businesses will be looking for technology solutions that can be customized to fit their specific needs. Until recently, SaaS and PaaS have often been thought of as separate alternatives in the contact center space. However, with the demand for flexibility, more customers will be looking for hybrid SaaS/PaaS solutions that offer both out-of-the-box ease and advanced customization options.



IT Leaders Will Need to Develop a Stronger Relationship With Marketing
In 2015, IT leaders supporting marketing will need to build a stronger partnership with marketing and help to evaluate solutions (architecture, functionality, scalability, performance and security), source data, manage and consolidate the application portfolio, and integrate solutions.

Gartner has made a number of predictions about marketing technology investments, including:

By 2018, CIOs who build strong relationships with CMOs will drive a 25 percent improvement in return on marketing technology investment.
Marketing is a high area of technology investment, and that investment continues to grow rapidly with digital marketing expansion. Gartner has found that many large companies, particularly business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, have more than 50 applications and technologies supporting marketing. Managing this portfolio and generating customer value from these technologies requires a more integrated and consolidated approach, but not at the expense of marketing's ability to innovate in digital marketing.

By 2018, B2B sellers that incorporate personalization into digital commerce will realize revenue increases up to 15 percent.
Personalization enhances the relationship between a buyer and seller, making the buyer feel recognized, appreciated, respected and efficient. Today's consumers expect recognition, to be valued and to have a personalized experience; they have little tolerance for inefficiency. These expectations will be even higher for business buyers who typically have longer-standing relationships with their suppliers and spend higher amounts with them.

Personalization also enables sellers to remain competitive and drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy as well as increase profitability. Consumers who have personalized experiences spend more. Companies that incorporate personalization into B2B digital commerce strategies will make their business customers more efficient, provide a better customer experience and increase the likelihood of greater purchase value as well as upselling and cross-selling — all leading to greater revenue.

Through 2018, voice of the customer (VoC) initiatives that don't share data across the enterprise will compromise customer satisfaction and loyalty measures by 30 percent.
VoC solutions collect, analyze and act upon the vast array of customer feedback sources that are potentially available, ranging from surveying to social media to speech analytics. It is an increasingly popular area of focus due to the business value that is obtained from acting upon the derived insights. However, VoC's ownership is currently inconsistent with different constituents who are taking responsibility within different organizations.


Click here for more Industry Stats

15 Customer Service Tips for 2015
It’s a new year. As we kick off 2015, I thought I would share some of my favorite customer service tips. So, here are 15 customer service tips for 2015.
Full Article...

Customer Service vs KPI Targets
Great customer service is all about exceeding customer expectations and hopefully delighting customers with the result of a series of interactions, be they with people, websites, IVR or more likely a combination. However, I'm often incensed beyond frustration by obtuse processes and ill-informed call-center agents, to the point where I'd never knowingly use the firm concerned, their products or services, ever again. Why is this? Are my expectations too high?
Full Article...

5 Steps to Earning Customer Loyalty
How do companies get repeat customers? How do they break through the din of competition? First they must recognize the importance of customer loyalty, and then follow these five steps.
Full Article...

Why Is Customer Disservice Becoming the Norm and What Can We Do About It?
I thought that I had shaken off my own customer disservice trauma until I heard the Comcast viral recording. I just could not mentally resolve this disconnect: How can a company with supposed good values have such poor customer service? How can the CEO reconcile this dichotomy? How can that company in good conscience believe that they have stellar corporate values? How did American consumer businesses get this way?
Full Article...

Social Media Customer Service: Reacting vs. Engaging
Companies have figured out how to take social media customer service to a much higher level. No longer do they just react to comments on social channels. They also engage in conversations with their customer communities. They interact and provide valuable information in the process. Reaction is still an important part of social service, but there is much more.Here are three important points to consider.
Full Article...

Behind Every Good Decision
by Piyanka Jain and Puneet Sharma

There is a costly misconception in business today - that the only data that matters is BIG data, and that complex tools and data scientists are required to extract any practical information. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Behind Every Good Decision, authors and analytics experts Piyanka Jain and Puneet Sharma demonstrate how professionals at any level can take the information at their disposal and leverage it to make better decisions. The authors' streamlined frame work demystifies the process of business analytics and helps anyone move from data to decisions in just five steps.

Click here for more information!

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