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Contributed Articles

How to be Extremely Productive

Professor Robert Pozen discusses his new book, Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours, in which he shares performance-enhancing tips on everything from better sleep on overnight business flights to dealing with employees' mistakes. From the HBS Alumni Bulletin.
[Full Article]   Mar-03-2013


How to Overcome the Divide Between Temporary and Permanent Staff

Temporary agents are often effectively employed in call centers to handle simple transactions and call peaks, or to run short-term campaigns. Call centers may also consider employing temporary agents on a longer-term basis in order to avoid a commitment to increasing or replacing permanent staff. In this case, the employer needs to be aware of staff resentment issues which can emerge when the same duties are performed by both temporary and permanent staff on a long-term basis, and how to prevent and resolve these problems.
[Full Article]   Mar-03-2013


Let's Call Off the Engagement

Businesses devote a great deal of press to the idea of “customer engagement.” Too often, here is what it boils down to: getting an email every day, for a product that even the most die-hard fans probably purchase once in a great while. And could not care less about. But there they are, in my inbox, like relatives who won’t go away. Of course, it is perfectly legal to ping me incessantly, because these people have a quote-unquote “prior business relationship” with me. Just like it would be perfectly legal for me to call someone I just met on Facebook and invite myself over for dinner. But both are really stupid ideas. Here’s why.
[Full Article]   Mar-03-2013


Avoiding the Seven Sins of Customer Experience

Many organizations underestimate the importance of the customer experience and the role emotion plays in the delivery of superior service. In fact, research reveals the behaviors most irritating to customers stem from a lack of emotional awareness and connection. To avoid alienating customers through bad service, businesses of all kinds should be vigilant of the seven major customer experience failures.
[Full Article]   Mar-03-2013


Forecasting and Staffing for Social Customer Service

Many organizations start out by treating social channels as a part of marketing, publicity, or corporate communication efforts. But with any kind of volume (and without the help of the contact center) one of two things begins to happen: either customer needs go unanswered, or these areas began to grow a quasi contact center as they find themselves handling interactions that are more in the realm of customer service and support. The good news is that many organizations are finding their contact centers to be more ready than originally assumed. The sooner you begin pulling the full range of interactions and channels into your customer service operations, the sooner you will be able to scale resources and respond as opportunities unfold. And that requires robust workload forecasting and staff planning.
[Full Article]   Feb-24-2013


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