Text is next

Texting is changing our world so fast; my blog title is no longer true now! Texting is already here, and here to stay. And texting is not just cool (it IS the official means of communications for anyone who is 13-21 years old), it also saves time. Gone are the days when people bought phones just to call other people. This is the age of smart phones. A smart phone is defined as a phone with advanced capabilities like email and internet browsing. And if you are really smart, I have heard you can make it do your laundry [...]

Reducing Agent Attrition Using Social Networking

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I had promised to address the topic of using Social Media to develop a sense of “belonging” or teamwork within the contact center, which was brought up by one of our blog readers. The goal of deploying social media was to use it as a means to reduce agent turnover. It may seem as though the linking of these two topics is a stretch—but if you bear with me for a moment, I think you’ll see there is a natural link.

When you focus on where teams make the most sense [...]

Applying Agile Methods to the Contact Center

I’ve been wearing shorts to work all Summer, and sometimes I meet people at lunch or after work who ask me if I had the day off.  No, I say… I work for a software company.  That seems to answer their question most of the time.  Shorts, cookouts, flip-flops, and foosball tables are some of the things you might expect to see in a software company like ours (and you would). 

But there is alot more going on than fun and games, and I believe there are some interesting take-aways from the way a software company like ours functions that can [...]

Are You on the Latest Version? Why now is the right time to update to the latest version of your communication solution.

I’m going to lay it to you straight.  The competitive landscape has never been tougher.   Your company must be able to compete.   It is the reason you invested in the call center and communications systems you did.  Your competitors are out there evaluating new and innovative software that allows them to communicate, service and market more effectively to your customers.   Your call center is at a big disadvantage if it is on any version of software which is more than a couple years old.  Not upgrading will eventually cause you negative incremental returns as it will be easier for [...]

Capturing the Voice of the Customer: Part 2 — How to do it

Last week I blogged about the need for businesses to capture the voice of the customer. See:http://www.inin.com/Blog/archive/2009/08/04/Capturing-the-Voice-of-the-Customer-Part-1-The-Need.aspx I’ll assume that you all left that riveting post, fully convinced. This "part 2" piece looks at the best way(s) of actually accomplishing the task of getting your customers to rate your products or services.

I think you’ve got five main options for capturing the information: mail, phone interviews, email, automated web survey and automated post-call survey. The chart below looks at three dynamics of each option: the response rate, the cost, and the timeliness. Each has its upside and downside, but mail, phone, and email all have [...]

Schedule Adherence Goals: How do you pick the right one?

Contact centers that have the ability to measure the schedule adherence of their agents are generally more efficient and have less unproductive time than centers that don’t.. but not always.  One of the hardest and most important parts of rolling out schedule adherence as a metric and a culture in your contact center is selecting the right schedule adherence goal. 

When selecting a goal, you need to choose one that both employees and leadership team members will understand and support.  That can be a really tough thing to do when your employees say things like "I don’t think adherence is a fair metric.  It forces me to rush [...]

The Value of the Unexpected

I had a real treat this week and got to spend some time watching my daughter play piano at the Indiana State Fair.  She was just short of qualifying for the actual statewide piano tournament but instead got to perform for a half hour in the Fine Arts exhibit hall on the fairgrounds.  While she was disappointed to miss the "big dance" she was happy to get to play for a half hour rather than just one song. 

During her piano session she was stunned when people came up and gave her a "tip".  In the end [...]

Wait, you already have that feature!

As someone employed in the technology industry, I will be the first to admit I don’t read any of the manuals that come with the electronics I buy. Why? Because I know what I bought the item to do, and if it performs those functions, I don’t really need to know what else it does. Which is probably the reason my DVD player still blinks 12:00AM on the front.

I bring this up because that mindset seems to happen more and more to customers in our industry as telephony is being plugged into all parts of a business under [...]

To Certify or NOT To Certify…?

To Certify or NOT To Certify…THAT is a question facing systems engineers today. 

A certain leading IT organization whose certifications are highly sought after in our industry — i.e., “THE FIRM”, recently came out with a new certification (Cisco Certified Architect – CCA) and I started DROOLING!  Who wouldn’t?  If you have been certifying not only from “THE FIRM,” or “THE CORPORATION”, but also from other companies within the same industry, it would be natural for us to feel that way, just among us girls.   

I do not consider myself a certification monger.  You will not find [...]

Capturing the Voice of the Customer: Part 1 — “The Need”

This is going to be a two-part post. Although the topics are well-connected, they really address two parts of the issue. The first (this post) is "the need." The second (follow up post) is what you can do to satisfy that need.

What we’re talking about is the need to capture the voice of the customer. When talking to contact center professionals about this, I typically get two reactions.

Reaction 1: "Oh yes, we so desperately need to know and measure what customers think about us." Then they do nothing about it.

Reaction 2: "We have a pretty good general idea [...]