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Contributed Articles

Virtual At-Home vs. Brick-and-Mortar Contact Centers

Sending calls to agents working from home was a new concept 14 years ago. Today, more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies are using or planning to use home-based agents (Frost & Sullivan). Conversations about the at-home or virtual contact center model have shifted from “why” it is more advantageous than brick-and-mortar (B&M) centers, to “when” and “how” it can be implemented as either an in-house or outsourced solution. Looking at the dynamics currently at play within the contact center industry, leading outsourced at-home companies are growing in excess of 25 percent annually (Datamonitor). With these statistics in mind, will there be a need for brick-and-mortar contact centers in the future?
[Full Article]   Jul-22-2012

 

The Offline Executive

Do you ever disconnect, even for just a few minutes? Think about the last time you used your “off button.” Was it at home over the weekend? On vacation? Or were you at the office? BlackBerrys, iPhones, Androids, iPads, and all their digital relatives are transforming our lives -- for better and for worse. They are also changing the nature of how and when (and where) work gets done. However, a manager’s effectiveness depends not only on using e-mail and other electronic communication, but also on learning to shut it down.
[Full Article]   Jul-22-2012

 

Earn Customer Loyalty without Losing Your Shirt

We all know that frontline employees need more latitude to earn their customers' trust. We know we need to remove the red tape that prevents them from doing what's "right" for customers. But employees often lack the experience, judgment, and discipline necessary to achieve this without breaking the bank. The key to success in empowering frontline employees lies in giving them a framework within which to operate -- and feedback about how they are performing within that framework.
[Full Article]   Jul-22-2012

 

Becoming the Contact Center of 2015

Customer Experience (CE) has become the mantra of senior management looking to enhance revenue and margins. Forester reports that 86% of companies have an enhanced CE as a significant corporate goal. The CE is also a huge opportunity for call center directors if they create the capability to measure, guide and enhance it. In some cases, call center directors can become the Director of Customer Experience or even Chief Customer Officer (CCO). Therefore, call center directors should shift significant resources away from tactical call quality to collecting and analyzing broader Voice of the Customer information. This reallocation could easily create a ten-fold increase in the department’s impact on the company’s bottom line.
[Full Article]   Jul-22-2012

 

There Is No Single Best Measure of Your Customers

Single-question customer metrics have become very popular. Companies all have their favorites. Some go for the traditional Customer Satisfaction measure, others the now famous Net Promoter Score. The most recent addition to this panoply is the increasingly popular Customer Effort Score, which tracks the amount of time and effort that customers have to put into solving after-sales problems. Each claims to be the one metric that managers need to measure, monitor, and act on, because it promises a better correlation with business performance than any other existing measure. So which of these is actually the best?
[Full Article]   Jul-15-2012

 

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