Shrinkage….in the contact center, not on Seinfeld!

I recently gave a presentation on how to measure and manage contact center shrinkage and it quickly became clear to me that not everyone understood what I meant by shrinkage.  Most contact center operations folks understand the meaning but a few people thought I was going to be speaking about the Seinfeld version of shrinkage and were intrigued by how this could be a workforce management topic.  For those who don’t know the Seinfeld reference, forgive me.  At any rate, I thought it would be a good idea to blog on the PG-rated version of Shrinkage.

Shrinkage is a […]

Are you using a softphone or just a desktop client?

I’ve recently participated in sessions at two different industry gatherings where the topic was centered on what’s better, a hard phone or a softphone. The sessions were meant to argue the points for and against the need for a traditional phone device on the desktop. However, in both cases the questions and comments from the audience indicated that the end users didn’t fully grasp the difference between an actual ‘Softphone’ and just a ‘Desktop Client’ that had phone controls.

It seemed people thought if you could use your mouse to click on a button, and it somehow affected your phone call, […]

Outsourced – The TV Show

I must admit – I don’t watch much television. I just don’t have the time these days.

However, I did find some time the other night where my wife and two kids had some down time and started watching an NBC show. During one of the breaks, I saw a preview for a new show for NBC’s fall lineup – Outsourced. The trailer itself looked hysterical to me and the concept interesting. So, I did a little research on it.

According to NBC’s site, the show is about "A comedy where cultural differences are a novelty" and is based around […]

Lost in Contact

I came across this very funny video story on The Onion last week. The story jokes about an Apple “Friend Bar” that just opened up.  The premise is that you can make an appointment at the Apple store to talk with a “friend” about Apple products.  The idea has so much merit that it is easy to mistake it for a true story.  How many of us might really want something like that?  Maybe not for Apple product but name your interest.   The Apple “friend bar” idea is particularly humorous, since it first plays on the culture of Apple enthusiast […]

Social Media – Your Response Requested!

According to Forrester research, three in four US online adults now use social tools to connect with each other compared with just 56% in 2007.  According to a recent blog article by Buzzient, a vendor of social media monitoring and analytics, over 60% of retailers have implemented some sort of social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace). Per the blog, the real challenge is how to analyze the results and incorporate them in the online (or bricks and mortar) retail storefront.

I’ll throw out one more challenge – when and how should you respond, as opposed to just monitoring what’s going on? Especially since there are […]

Conference Etiquette

Conference call with an important customer. Lot of folks on the call, discussing several very important things (like who is unable to join this call, when can the next call be scheduled, what everyone’s 4th July plans are etc). And then it happens. I call him the “conference moron” – the person who decides to pick up another call and put everyone on the conference on HOLD. Yes, we are all now forced to listen to the annoying hold music. Some people try talking over it. Some try to put their own calls on hold, like somehow two holds […]

Nifty Outbound Contact Center Ideas from Customers

In preparation for last month’s Interactive Intelligence Interactions ’10 User Forum, I got on the phone with many different customers to ask for some ideas that I could share with other customers.  I was looking for best practices and nifty ideas related to outbound and blended dialing.  Our customers did not disappoint and below are some of the insights:

Use an automated outbound campaign to verify toll free numbers.  What a creative use of the dialer!  One customer has a call list containing their ~8000 toll free numbers.  The campaign runs automatically each morning and informs the administrators if […]