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New Research Shows How Social Media, Mobile, and Advanced Self-Service Help Shape the Customer Experience

The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) has released its 2013 research report, Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center: Leveraging the Emerging Channels Research Report and Best Practices Guide. The study results were collected, compiled and analyzed from a 2013 second quarter poll with over 300 respondents – a mixture of call center executives, directors and managers. Their input painted a compelling picture of how channels such as social media, mobile, and advanced self-service help shape and improve the customer experience, first contact resolution, and customer engagement.

Key findings from the research study include:

  • Only 25% of companies feel their customers are extremely engaged in their brand


  • 90% of customers find the features of social customer service extremely useful or somewhat useful


  • 93% of customers would be MORE satisfied with customer service if they were offered their channel choice


  • Self-service is said to increase deflection rate or lower volume to other channels by 57% of study participants


  • Agents use social media personally, but don't feel comfortable doing so in the contact center


  • 72% consider Mobile a necessary channel; although only 39% of companies support it as a channel.

  • [Full Article]   Aug-04-2013

     

    Survey Highlights Opportunities for Service Organizations to Better Engage Employees

    NICE Systems announced that a benchmark study on trends and best practices in frontline performance management indicates that a majority of companies do not use collaboration and gamification to improve employee engagement. Only 12 percent of companies actively solicit ideas from frontline employees, and less than one third set daily or weekly performance goals.

    Organizations that use gamification from the initial, onboarding stage drive better business outcomes such as performance, engagement, and retention, according to the Aberdeen Group. While technologies such as gamification can be applied to focus the frontline every day, the NICE survey found that companies continue to motivate performance through traditional contests, and two in three companies run those contests less than once per month.

    According to the NICE study:

  • Eighty-eight percent of companies run contests and competitions to motivate employees


  • Contest kick-offs and results are most frequently communicated through email (86 percent) and verbally (49 percent)


  • The most common rewards used in contests and competitions are trophies (78 percent) and financial incentives (57 percent)


  • Gaming mechanics are used infrequently, with only 31 percent of companies exploring some form of digital rewards.

  • [Full Article]   Aug-04-2013

     

    Mid-Year 2013 Salary Survey Released in Time for 2014 Budgeting Process

    To aid in the budgeting process, Janco has just released it MID-YEAR 2013 IT Salary Survey and finding show there has been little movement in compensation for IT professionals in the last 12 months.

    Key survey findings include:

  • IT compensation has increased by 0.45% in the last 12 months.


  • CIOs compensation has increased in the past 12 months – the mean base compensation is higher and bonuses are about the same as received in the prior year. The mean compensation for CIOs in large enterprises is now $182,210 (an increase of 1.37%) and $165,702 (an increase of 0.14%) in mid-sized enterprises.


  • Positions in highest demand are all associated with the help desk, big data, quality control, records management, and system analysts.


  • Over the long term IT executives have fared better in mid-sized companies than large companies.


  • In the last 12 months the IT job market has grown by 87,600 jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – not enough to employee the number of IT graduates from US universities or to increase demand.


  • Lay-offs seem to have tapered off, however some companies continue to cut the size of the IT organizations.


  • Cost control is still the rule of the day; however we have seen an increase in the number of "part-timers" and contractors who are focused on particular critical projects.


  • On shore outsourcing has peaked and companies are looking to bring IT operations back into their direct control and reduce operating costs.


  • BYOD and "big data" requirements have increased the demand for system analysts and web designers for both Android and Apple devices as well as the new Windows based phone.


  • Companies are continuing to refine the benefits provided to IT professionals. Though benefits such as health care are available to 82%, IT professionals are now paying a greater portion of that cost.

  • [Full Article]   Jul-28-2013

     

    More Than One-Third of CIOs Plan to Hire New IT Graduates; Lack of Interpersonal Skills Greatest Obstacle to Success

    School may be out, but IT hiring is in session for more than one in three firms. Thirty-five percent of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed said they plan to hire new IT graduates in 2013, according to a recent poll by Robert Half Technology.

    But not all CIOs polled give new graduates high marks when it comes to being ready for their first job. More than one in four respondents (26 percent) said entry-level professionals aren't prepared to contribute right away. Among these executives, more than half (55 percent) said the reason is a lack of skills in areas such as communication and leadership.

    The national survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees.

    CIOs were asked, "Does your organization plan to hire any new IT graduates this year?" Their responses:

    Yes..................................................................... 35%
    No....................................................................... 63%
    Don't know.......................................................... 2%


    CIOs also were asked, "In general, how prepared do you think new IT graduates are to start contributing as soon as they start a new job?" Their responses:

    Prepared......................................................... 69%

    Unprepared.................................................. 26%

    Don't know..................................................... 5%


    CIOs who didn't think IT graduates were prepared to contribute right away were asked, "Which single skill or attribute do you feel new graduates most lack?" Their responses:

    Personal skills (i.e., communication, leadership skills)..... 55%

    Technical skills.....................................................................29%

    Business skills (i.e., job-related experience, teamwork).......17%

    Other.........................................................................................1%


    Robert Half Technology offers four focus areas for recent IT grads looking to build their nontechnical skills:

    Communication. It may seem a given that you need to speak and write clearly, but some IT pros fail in this area. Avoid using jargon or technical concepts that are obvious to you but might be unclear or unfamiliar to others.

    Conflict resolution. Disagreements occur in every office. Learning how to calmly sort out issues and find acceptable compromises will aid you throughout your career.

    Teamwork. Is a coworker working on a major initiative and everything must be completed by next week? Offer to help out if you're not overloaded yourself. The way to win support is by giving support when it's needed.

    Diplomacy. Always maintain a professional tone when communicating with others. This means never corresponding when you're angry or frustrated -- you could regret it later.
    [Full Article]   Jul-28-2013

     

    Pace of IT Employment Growth Accelerates in June

    The rate of growth of IT employment further accelerated in June, posting another all-time high.

    The number of IT jobs grew 0.51 percent sequentially last month to 4,473,300, according to TechServe Alliance, a collaboration of IT & Engineering Staffing and Solutions firms, clients, consultants and suppliers. On year-over-year basis, IT employment has grown by 5.71% since June 2012 adding almost 241,700 IT workers.

    While IT employment has been on the upswing for some time, June’s numbers are clearly evidence that pace is accelerating,” stated Mark Roberts, the CEO of TechServe Alliance. “While I have said it before, it bears repeating because of its importance: an inadequate supply of talent, not demand, represents our greatest challenge to achieving the full potential for IT employment growth in the U.S.,” added Roberts.
    [Full Article]   Jul-21-2013

     

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