Overview

Using Technology to Improve Customer Retention

Earlier today I had a conversation with a couple smart guys — Steve Kaplan and Ray Phillips — both longtime contact center industry veterans. The subject of the conversation was around how to use technology to improve customer retention.   To begin with, we all agreed that customer retention is king in this economically-wacky world that we find ourselves in. Companies have spent good money to acquire their customers. Their funds to go out and find new customers are a bit scarcer than they were in years past. So keeping the existing ones is more important than ever.   How [...]

The Benefits of the Next Generation Intelligent ACD

Continuing on my topic of ACD 2.0, you might ask, what are the benefits of utilizing intelligent routing for multichannel interactions and work tasks? Isn’t it just for phone calls?

Among others, the ability to route multichannel interactions in an intelligent manner allows customers to communicate in the methods they prefer, improving their relationship with an organization. As more and more companies begin to offer web chat, email and SMS routing, customers will view those that don’t offer them as "behind the times". This is particularly true of the younger generation, a highly desirable demographic for many organizations.

ACD [...]

VoiceCon 2009 — Orlando here we come.

If you have any relationship to the IP telephony, unified communications, or contact center industry (and don’t have some auto-detect feature to automatically throw physical direct mail pieces in the trash before you see them) you have most likely received your share of flyers announcing next week’s VoiceCon event in Orlando.   Visit http://www.voicecon.com/ for registration information.     We’ll be there with our platinum sponsorship, our shoes shined and the best eleven minute demo you’ve ever seen.   Now admittedly, these guys really are good at putting together a great conference program (if I remember right, this all started as [...]

Tweets – the next Contact Center Interaction?

Spurred on by a posting about a customer using Twitter to try and catch a flight on JetBlue, the thought of queuing Tweets in the contact center struck me as quite intriguing. (What are Tweets? Simply put, a Tweet is a message sent on Twitter.) Why wouldn’t you want to use one of the hottest social networking tools today to provide better customer service, treating Tweets just like any other type of interaction – phone calls, emails, chats, faxes, video, etc.? After all, could this be the next form of media to hit your contact center?   Before we start [...]

You Need Hardware to Run Software

Could I have written a title with any less pizzazz? Maybe that’s a challenge to those of you that like to comment.

 

Okay, so I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  You’ve already seen it happen to your desktop pc years ago.  Now it is really picking up in the data center and with telephony.  It is something the hardware vendors in our space don’t want you to know.  Ready for the secret? Hardware is a commodity.  While this has not always been [...]

ACD 2.0 – Not Your Grandfather’s Old Rockwell!

Since the introduction by Rockwell Electronic Commerce Ltd of the first Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) switch in the 1970′s, it has become the staple piece of equipment within a contact center. Fundamentally, the purpose of the ACD in its early days was to take a call, route it according to rules, ensure that it didn’t fall through the cracks (utilizing a "push" vs, pull mechanism and continually searching for an available user to take the interaction), and provide detailed reporting.  

As contact center technologies evolved, supervisors could take advantage of a host of other activities surrounding ACD routed [...]

There is Slum-thing about SIP

There is Slum-thing about SIP

I finally watched Slumdog Millionaire. But if you are looking for a review of the movie, this is the wrong place. If you are just looking for a basic tutorial on SIP, this is still the wrong place, maybe try the Wikipedia. But if you are looking for a fun quiz on SIP, this is it. SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, is a blockbuster in its own right. This is my first blog and I want to keep it simple and fun. Ready for some SIP-fun?

Q1: What is the latest core specification [...]

The Multichannel Contact Center — The Benefits are Clear

This is a follow-on to my post from February 20, 2009 (The Multichannel Contact Center — Are We There Yet? http://www.inin.com/Blog/archive/2009/02/20/multichannel-contact-center.aspx). In that previous post I explored how real the evolution from the call center to the multichannel contact center has really been. And there I ask the question why it’s taken so long to get this far with multichannel interactions. Let me answer this last question first.   I believe the primary reason for the slow-go in multichannel adoption has been the amount of brute force required to change a business culture. The call center was, well…run by people [...]

Interactive Intelligence EMEA Partner Conference Wrap-up

No, this isn’t blog déjà vu all over again. Yes, I did blog about the Interactive Intelligence partner conference last week — but that was the APAC version. This post is about a very different EMEA version of the event.   March 1-3, the Interactive Intelligence partners from the EMEA region zeroed in on Berlin for an opening reception and two full days of conference sessions. The venue was cool – including the one million liter fish aquarium in the lobby of the hotel (actually has an elevator that runs up through the middle of it).   There was interest from the partners [...]

Key Tools in Today’s Outbound Contact Center’s Tool Belt

Customers often ask me what’s hot in the world of predictive dialers and outbound contact center operations.  The answer to this question often focuses on the tools that the outbound contact center needs to meet and exceed its goals.  The goals of outbound operations are typically focused on increasing revenue, decreasing cost, rapidly responding to challenges, improving flexibility, and maintaining compliance.    Today’s – and tomorrow’s – successful outbound operation’s tool set includes: Centralized Infrastructure and Administration - SIP has enabled an IP contact center to separate servers and applications from agents and supervision minimizing the cost of IT, simplifying maintenance, and [...]