Remove These 4 Annoying Emails From Your Workplace

The average person checks email as much as 30 times every hour. For you math wizards out there, that is about once every two minutes. Nobody likes a full inbox to filter through, but we do love that “bing” sound that goes off when we have a new email waiting. Most of us are so impulsive with new notifications that we just have to see what we might be missing.

So just how harmless is an unnecessary email distraction? Can’t we just scan it quickly and delete it? That only takes about five seconds right? Actually, it’s deceiving to look [...]

The Great Contact Center Role Reversal: Social Customer Service

Even since the dawn of the call center, and through to the morphed version of today’s modern-day contact center, the roles of the service provider and the customer have been pretty clearly defined. The customer needed answers. The agents have the answers (at least that is the hope). And the provider of the service determined the rules of how a customer would get to an agent, which agent he or she would be routed to, and how fast that routing would take place. Machines, like sophisticated automatic call distributors (ACDs) automated this process…but still the rules of how all the [...]

The Distributed Cloud Spawns a Unique Period of Innovation

Now that we’ve launched Interactive Intelligence PureCloudSM, I can finally talk about an area of innovation I’ve been excited about for the past year.

Like many, I used to think of innovation as a single discovery made at a specific point in time. A video by Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From, changed my thinking. He explains that important breakthroughs usually take time. That ideas have to incubate, smaller hunches need to collide, and missing pieces must be discovered before major breakthroughs and big change can happen.

When interviewing a few of the PureCloud developers a while back, it [...]

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 – 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 [...]