Overview

What’s New for Contact Centers in 2015

How appropriate.

While here in London on business, I find myself sitting at a Starbucks staring out the window at a very old Windsor Castle as I write this blog. It’s fitting that I’m at Starbucks given that my blog is about the customer experience. Love them or not, Starbucks epitomizes a great customer experience. Why? Because they cater to their customers and their customers feel catered to.

That’s the experience we should all be giving to our customers. The good news is that, today, we have the technologies to achieve this. The challenge is selecting the right technologies and applying them in […]

Don’t Dehumanize the Customer Experience

Did you know the belief exists out there that there is a “right” set of steps to follow that will allow anyone trained and equipped with the right tools for decision making to deliver an exceptional customer experience? Unfortunately, there isn’t a solution to building genuine customer connections through routine tasks. Human systems, like contact center agent-customer interactions, do not conform to a specific set of rules for interacting.

Today’s contact centers are fully integrated with customer relationship management systems, state-of-the-art technology, and have built-in scripting with responses to provide the expected agent behavior for each customer interaction. While agents […]

Customer-Focused Quality – What is it?

Customer-focused quality goes beyond the development and testing divisions within organizations. Every employee is a stakeholder in the quality process. I like to look at all functions within an organization as dots connected to a circle. The success of a company’s product, services, and ultimately the entire organization, is interlinked. When any of these dots are neglected there is a risk of collapsing the circle, alienating customers, and ultimately losing business.

For example – if case studies aren’t written and published in a professional manner, the quality of the marketing department suffers; if invoices are repeatedly sent late or not sent, […]

Citibank Shows the Future is Bright for Customer Engagement

In my last blog post, The Future of Customer Engagement Will Look Much More Like This, I shared a personal experience that sure felt like the future of customer engagement. And wouldn’t you know it, I had another one. This time Citibank brought the love.

Not too long after the Amazon incident, my family traveled from California to Oregon for my daughter’s softball tournament. My son decided to take advantage of some tax free shopping and purchased a MacBook Air. When I tried to make the purchase on his behalf, my credit card was declined. As I grabbed my phone […]

What Do Consumers Value Most in a Service Experience?

As a customer experience professional, I am always interested in what customers value the most. If we get it right, we can successfully manage our resources, priorities and engagements to ensure we are providing the expected value to our customers and ultimately achieve our respective goals.

To that end, we conducted a study with consumers around the world earlier this year, “Customer Service Experience Study, Wave II“, and in it asked two key questions: “What do customers want in a great service experience?” and “What do companies and customers want from the technology behind that great customer experience?” The respondents […]

Do you Know the Best Ways to Engage Multi-Generational Customers?

Millennials,  Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomer. How do these customer groups interact with organizations in today’s technology-driven markets? Are these descriptions accurate? Some attributes are specific to each group, but many cross all generations depending on the level of technical ability they possess, but more importantly the technology channels they prefer to use, as well as the manner in which they process the information they seek.

As customer experience strategies are developed and implemented across all industries, organizations must fully understand all aspects of how customers prefer to interact. There is a critical need to fully understand social technology […]

Voice of the Customer – Are you Getting It?

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you might have noticed that I talk about quality frequently. I’m not afraid to say that I think you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your customers’ experiences if you aren’t listening to those calls, chats, emails, etc.

There’s another side to this listening task. True voice of the customer is more than just the conversation they have with your agents. It’s also something you can catch through a post-call survey.

What is a post-call survey, you ask? This is typically an automated survey with just a few questions that are presented […]

The Future of Customer Engagement Will Look Much More Like This

Earlier this summer, Amazon turned a service failure into a genuine feel-good moment. It was a great illustration of how the art of customer engagement is changing, for the better.

My family had gathered together to watch a movie while away for the weekend in wine country. The choice was finally made (after much debate), seats negotiated, licorice distributed and play button pushed. Suddenly the dreaded “death spiral” appeared on screen as the movie continued to buffer. After putting the room back in order, my family begrudgingly retreated to bed. Before my head hit the pillow, I decided to check […]

Six Things I’ve Learned During my Nine and a Half Years at Interactive Intelligence

Nine and a half years is a long time at one company… in the same job. As a result, I’ve learned quite a bit along the way. And while the list of things I’ve learned as chief marketing officer might be longer, I’ve identified six key lessons that I think have been some of the most valuable:

There is no substitute for a visionary CEO. Market conditions are constantly changing. I’ve learned that a good, smart leader can usually get the current conditions right. But the secret to long-term sustained growth is a CEO who is constantly able to see what […]

Why Aren’t You Using Quality Monitoring?

I come across people in my training classes all of the time who are not doing any sort of quality monitoring of their contact center agents and it completely baffles me. Now, when I say “quality monitoring”, I mean some sort of recording and scoring of the agents’ interactions with your customers. There are so many justifications for it, such as allowing the agents to actually hear what they sound like when speaking to customers, that it seems monitoring would just be an obvious thing to do and yet so many companies don’t.

Is it a financial thing? Perhaps the […]