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4 Customer Service AI Applications That Work Today
March 2, 2020
The concept of AI improving emotional intelligence might sound like a paradox. A coded algorithm is not the most natural supplement to human empathy. Yet CX leaders understand that AI-powered technologies can transform the way businesses understand core audiences. Customer service agents benefit from real-time and historical sentiment analysis that takes the guesswork out of reading emotions.
The Million Dollar Hidden Opportunity for E-Commerce SMBs
January 18, 2020
Every successful, long-term business has a common denominator in training as it relates to online sales customer contacts. Notice I said "long-term." A great product or unique marketing effort can fall short when a customer contacts an employee who is ill-equipped to respond. Some 72 percent of online shoppers will return up to 10 percent of their purchases, according to the UPS Pulse study.
5 Transformational Customer Support Trends to Watch in 2020
December 28, 2019
"Digital transformation" has taken on multiple definitions, but one thing is for sure: Companies view it as a top priority, so much so that enterprises are projected to spend in excess of $2 trillion through 2019, according to IDC. This insurgence of digital transformation investments and prioritization has led many organizations to reshape their use of technology.
Shield Healthcare: Serving the Poor, Poorly
December 23, 2019
Sometimes when you tug on the thread of a small customer service failure, you unravel a big skein of much knottier problems. That happened when Shield Healthcare didn't send "Great Aunt Nelly" her shipment of medical supplies on time. There are many people like Nelly in the U.S. -- elderly and disabled folks who depend in part or entirely on government assistance to get by.
Paving the Way for the Next Generation of CX Services
December 16, 2019
In order to deliver superior customer experience, companies should combine human talent with technology, including much-needed digital expertise, to turn their current revenue and growth strategies into customer satisfaction. The companies that truly succeed engage their customers and strengthen their brands. Technology has changed consumer and business needs and expectations.
Keeping the 'Service' in SaaS
November 20, 2019
In today's highly competitive B2B software industry, it's not enough to staff a call center and sit back and wait for customers to reach out when they need you -- it's imperative that you take the initiative. When customers have so many solution vendors to choose from, service becomes a strategic differentiator to set your company apart from the crowd.
The CRM-ization of Healthcare
November 6, 2019
We've been watching the CRM-ization of healthcare for a while. Salesforce recently embarked on parallel paths. The obvious option was to build tools that enabled users to craft systems of engagement. The second started when the company also began reaching out to various industrial sectors with its technology and those of some partners. The result has been a vibrant vertical industry approach.
Do Your Customer Journeys Have Dead Ends or Dead Spots?
October 29, 2019
It's easy to take things you see every day for granted. We take the sun rising and setting for granted, for instance, and that's a good thing, because it helps us organize our lives. However, in business taking things for granted is a hazard. Change is everything these days, and that means the concepts you take as constants may not be as constant as they seem.
Verizon Steps Up Fight Against Rampant Robocalls
August 29, 2019
Verizon, the No. 1 mobile carrier in the United States, this week introduced a free version of its robocall-blocking app, which will be standard on all new Android devices. The company further announced that it will auto-enroll eligible Android users to its Call Filter service and block what are seen as "high-risk" calls. This includes calls from numbers that have been reported as fraudulent.
Platform Power
August 21, 2019
For decades a database application was what we called an "app" that collected and regurgitated data in preset formats on paper reports and screens. That's becoming passť, but it once was a major advance because it gave a worker the necessary information to take decisive action. Today that's rarely enough. Downward cost pressures have been replacing some of the rote human effort with algorithms.
Recipe for CX Success: Combine Context From Conversations With Speech Analytics
July 29, 2019
The contact center uses familiar benchmarks to determine if a call, chat or email is successful or not. Call metrics such as net promoter score, handle time, and amount of silence are correlated with positive or negative outcomes. However, insights from speech analytics technology prove that these metrics only tell part of the story. What's missing? Context -- and it's the essential CX ingredient.
Reality Check: Your Customers Have 'Baggage' Too
June 28, 2019
The definition of "baggage" varies depending on whom you ask. For instance, a travel agent or a road-weary businessperson will describe a container used to carry personal belongings on a trip. A therapist might describe emotions from previous relationships that hamper a person's ability to have a healthy relationship in the future. What will a customer service leader say to describe "baggage?"
NICE InContact Packs CXone With Tons of AI Features
April 19, 2019
NICE inContact has released the Spring 2019 version of its CXone cloud-based contact center software, with multiple AI-powered updates for smarter customer and agent engagement, plus enhanced CRM integrations. NICE inContact CXone "is the most complete, unified, and intelligent cloud contact center platform available in the market," said company spokesperson Cheryl Andrus.
Using the Contact Center to Help Build Brand Loyalty
March 29, 2019
In 2018, 8.8 percent of all retail sales globally, totaling more than $2 trillion, were made online. As the total number of online purchases grows, a compelling case can be made that e-commerce customers expect to receive support that is as good as or even better than those who purchase the very same products in a store. In person, it is very easy to verify the proper set-up and operation.
Is Your Contact Center Ruining Your CX?
March 27, 2019
While CRM software is a vital tool, CRM itself is really a discipline: It's the cultivation of the customer relationship and the management of customer data to create better experiences for the customer and to generate better results for the business. The CRM application doesn't exist on its own in many organizations -- or in many vendors' suites of products, for that matter.
Future Whisper Coaching: Will AI Do All the Whispering?
January 23, 2019
The customer experience battle is being fought in the contact center. Whether it's a service line or an inside sales call making first contact, the phone is often the medium that matters in moments of truth. When customers are talking to an inside sales rep or an agent in a support organization, the ideal interaction is often described by customers as "a conversation."
Let Your Data Do the Forecasting
January 16, 2019
Decision makers in any sales organization know that forecasting correctly is both art and science. To predict the unforeseen successfully, you must use every piece of logic and reasoning available to help you make your predictions reality. When developing a strategic forecasting approach, your business needs to take a number of items into consideration simultaneously -- and that is no easy feat.
Dialing Up CRM: Harnessing the Power of Voice
October 30, 2018
Until fairly recently, industry pundits had all but written off voice as a customer engagement channel. Considering there were more than 100 billion inbound calls via mobile devices alone in 2018, the past year has proven them wrong. There has been an incredible resurgence of voice as the new UI of choice, and it remains the chief channel for complex customer inquiries and interactions.
Slide Over, Salesforce? Freshworks Scores $100M in Funding Round
August 1, 2018
Freshworks has secured $100 million in funding from Accel and Sequoia Capital India with the participation of CapitalG. That brings the total amount of capital raised since the firm's 2010 launch to $250 million. "The new funding will be used to invest in our platform and to continue scaling internationally," said Arvind Parthiban, Freshworks' director of marketing.
Televerde's Michelle Cirocco: Tech Enables Trust
July 31, 2018
"Everybody's using technologies like artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, marketing automation tools, search engine marketing and lead analytics tools," said Michelle Cirocco, head of global marketing for Televerde. "We're using all these tools and technologies to identify who we should communicate with, and we use them to set the stage for our marketing and demand-generation efforts."
Customization Tools Let You Have Enterprise Chatbots Your Way
April 7, 2018
Inbenta has released new APIs and SDKs that let enterprises customize chatbots. The company offers an artificial intelligence-powered natural language search and conversational platform. The new APIs and SDKs facilitate a number of chatbot capabilities: intent detection, decision trees, transactional intelligence, Content Digest and seamless escalation.
Five9 President Dan Burkland: Leveraging Tech for Great Customer Experiences
February 7, 2018
"We're seeing a digital transformation take place, where companies are moving their contact centers to the cloud," noted Dan Burkland, president of Five9. "There are two key criteria for a contact center -- there's the CRM and the contact center infrastructure, and those two really go hand-in-hand. You bring a call, chat, text or email into the center, and you have to look for an agent who's available and properly skilled to handle such an interaction."
New AI Tool Distinguishes Between What Customers Say and What They Mean
November 28, 2017
Genesys on Monday unveiled a new integration between its customer management solution, Genesys PureCloud, and Amazon Lex at the annual AWS re:Invent conference. The integration will help businesses build and maintain conversational IVR flows that route callers more efficiently, by using artificial intelligence to recognize not only what consumers are saying, but also their intent.
Real Human Interactions Beat Automation, Survey Says
November 13, 2017
Customers prefer human interactions to IVR systems or other automated customer service offerings, according to a new report from B2B ratings firm Clutch. Businesses need to move carefully when outsourcing customer service operations, the research also suggested, because there are big differences depending on a number of factors, including how familiar reps are with the local language.
With Gamification, CRM Is a Brand New Ball Game
October 27, 2017
Advances in technology -- including speech analytics, metrics, a wider array of scrabble data, and perhaps even big data -- are making gamification a must-have tool in customer relationship management, call centers, collections, sales and other business areas. Technological advances have enabled the design of games that offer employees incentives to make customers happy.
Fulfilling the Omnichannel Shopping Imperative
August 16, 2017
The omnichannel approach has become a byword in customer service, but retailers need to do more to make it happen, based on a recent study. Researchers tested 57 metrics across desktop, mobile and in-store buying touchpoints to evaluate the end-to-end omnichannel experience at 30 popular and growing retailers. Here's the problem: E-commerce absolutely is killing brick-and-mortar stores.
Yes, and...
August 10, 2017
The further we go in the CRM adventure, the less our efforts seem to be about technology. That's because we're reaching a theoretical limit, or asymptote, on what technology can do in the vendor-customer relationship. Think of an asymptote as the ceiling that a graph never reaches. Increasingly, we're encountering situations where the best technology can do is assist humans.
Pegasystems Nestles in AWS, Azure Clouds
June 8, 2017
Pegasystems has deepened its 7-year-old relationship with Amazon AWS, and also has teamed up with Microsoft Azure, company officials told Pegaworld attendees on Tuesday. The deals are part of a series of planned partnerships aimed at giving Pega's clients choice in their cloud environment and avoiding lock-in. Pega last month inked an agreement to deliver Pega software on Pivotal Cloud Foundry.
Verizon Aims to Help Firms Get Up Close and Personal With Customers
May 22, 2017
Verizon Enterprise Solutions has released Visual Interactive Calling, an SDK and platform designed to enable banks, retailers, airlines, travel and hospitality companies, and other firms to communicate visually with their customers. "The sweet spot for this solution is enterprises that have deep mobile app penetration into their customer base," said Tom Smith, a CX manager at Verizon.
It's Mud Season Again
March 29, 2017
It's mud season here in New England -- that time of year when everything merges into an amorphous mess. The gray sky merges with a gray landscape made into slop by continual rains and dirty gray melting snow. It's hard to tell where one thing ends and another begins. Eventually the sun comes out and dries everything, the sky becomes distinct from the horizon, plants bloom, and order is restored.
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What do you consider most worrisome if the Internet should go down during the pandemic?
It would compromise the delivery of critical health information.
It would impair the operations of providers of needed services.
People would not be able to order goods online.
The damage to the global economy would be incalculable.
Many people would not be able to communicate with loved ones and friends.
It would make working from home impossible.
Loss of entertainment options could threaten mental health.
2020 online shopping habits and retailer strategies
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