Overview

How to Make “Cloud First” work for Government Agencies

There continues to be challenges with budget constraints and legacy systems in all levels of government. Consolidation efforts are increasing, as are the requests to share services with other agencies to increase efficiency. The rising demand from citizens for enhancements like self-service continues to be a driving force for change as well. These requests may be familiar to you as you look to the cloud to create a more citizen-centric communication environment. What criteria should you look for in a new communication solution?

Moving to the cloud for call center communications gives increased flexibility and faster deployment time making [...]

Customer Experience Makeover – Contact Center Edition

Makeovers come in all shapes and sizes. New hair and makeup, new body curves, even a house transformation that makes those tired three bedrooms and 1800 square feet look shiny and new.

What if you took that same concept – out with the old and in with the new – and applied it to the experience you deliver your customers? And how about if that makeover goes right to the core of the customer experience — the contact center? Together with our friends from TMC we hatched the idea. Our plan is to do a complete, no-charge, makeover of the [...]

Learning Web Chat Lessons From Dell

Depending on the research report you read, chat looks to be the second most popular service communication channel, behind the ubiquitous telephone – and yes, ahead of email.

If that is the case, its no surprise that businesses are trying to figure out how to do chat well! Do I blend chat with my agents who also take phone calls? How many chats should an agent handle at once? What are the hiring criteria for a good chat agent? What tools do chat agents need in addition to what their phone counterparts have? What are the best KPIs to apply [...]

My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment – Post Script

If you’ve followed my posts tracking my experience with Delta airlines (latest post, My Multichannel Customer Experience Part 3), you’ll know that the airline didn’t do too well relative to delivering a great customer experience. However, I think I might have been critical of Delta for the wrong reason. What I’ve now learned is, they’re not bad, they’re just slow!

All my comments about Delta not responding to my tweets, online posts, and phone calls were a bit premature. This weekend, I got two calls from the Delta customer care people following up on my complaint. I then received a [...]

My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment – Part 3

So here are the results of the last part of my experiment, which in case you missed the overview, is set up in my blog post from last week, My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment. Essentially, my experiment was designed to see how Delta Airlines would respond to a service compliment and a service complaint delivered over several channels. Here are the results of my “complaint” interaction:

Phone: Let’s start with the phone, since it proved to be the most interesting. I called the phone number listed below the comment/complaint tag on the Delta website. The speech-driven interactive voice response (IVR) prompted [...]

My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment – Part 2

I outlined my experiment design in my post last week, My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment. Essentially, my experiment was designed to see how Delta Airlines would respond to a service compliment and a service complaint delivered over several channels. Here are the results of my “compliment” interaction:

Email: Not offered on the Delta.com website

Webchat: Not offered on the Delta.com website

Online web form: The form was easy to find and had four demographic/ID questions and nine “tell us about your experience questions.” I filled out the form, listed the gate-agent by name, wrote a brief compliment and explanation about my [...]

A Closer Look at Three Models Used for Contact Center Analysis

In my last post, “The Importance of Model Validation in Contact Center Staffing“, I briefly discussed three types of computer/mathematical models that are commonly used in contact center what-if analyses. Let’s expand on these a bit.

Predictive modeling is probably the most common model discussed in contact centers—this is the model that forecasts call volumes, handle times, agent shrinkage (i.e. sick time), and agent attrition. There are a variety of modeling methods available, like Holt-Winters. The call volume forecast is a fairly high profile result of these models.

Here are three tips to help with your forecasting:

Forecast everything. It is [...]

Why I’ll Never Buy Another Piece of Business Software Again.

“Why I’ll never buy another piece of business software again.” Those are pretty bold words coming from any seasoned, time-tested, I-grew-up-in-a-server-room CIO or line of business owner. However, I’d propose that with the benefits and maturity of the cloud improving with every tick of my virtual atomic clock, that those are words we’ll be hearing more and more.

The cloud just makes so much sense for so many reasons:

Important business applications have all moved to the cloud and some of the best new ones are only available in the cloud. Flexibility is a “trade-up” for reduced control. Come on [...]

Want to deliver a great customer experience? Empower your agents.

An experience last week at an airport “golden arches” emphasized the need to give employees (in contact center speak, those are the agents) the power to deliver a great customer experience.

While I waited for my food, a woman came up to the young man working the register and complained that her order was wrong. She would explain the mix up and the worker would explain which sandwich comes with which combo. This went back and forth several times, with neither of the two of them budging on the point. As an observer, I could see the frustration in both [...]

Racing into the New Year, What Trends will 2014 Hold for the Contact Center and UC?

Christmas will be over in just a few days. Vacations will be behind us. Family members will travel back home. And we’ll all be launching into a new year. For contact centers and unified communications, what trends can we expect to see and what surprises might lay in store?

Art Schoeller, vice president, principal analyst at Forrester Research and I (with added help from Sheila McGee-Smith, founder and principal analyst at McGee-Smith Analytics, and Don Van Doren, principal of UniComm Consulting) will be broadcasting a complimentary webinar, “Key 2014 Contact Center Trends and Priorities: How you can be ready,” where we’ll try and [...]