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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Know and Retain the Next Gen Policyholder

Younger generations including the Millennials and GenY are known as being driven by technology, they want less personalization, and are instant gratification-type generations. They want their information when and how they prefer, and tend to be able to get what they need in a flash. Their communications are based on social, mobile, and instant messaging platforms, and it’s an assumption that personalization isn’t a priority for them. But, is that really the case?

In an effort to better understand these preferences and trends, I pulled together a multi-generational panel that represented various types of policyholders during the insurance track at […]

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 […]

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 […]

Three Ways to Meet the Patient Experience Challenge

Patient engagement solutions and population management strategies have been at the top of the list for many healthcare providers. All of this is driven by recent regulations and changes enforced by the Affordable Care Act. At the end of the day, providers are looking to cut costs, reduce readmission, and avoid penalties. What many are missing is the power of the patient service centers (or contact centers) in assisting with these initiatives.

In a recent article I authored on the Advance Healthcare Network web site, entitled, “Improving Patient Engagement: Top five contact center initiatives for providers”, I outlined 5 areas […]

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 […]