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Customers Just Want to Be Tweeted Right
January 29, 2013
It's fairly common practice today for major brands to have a social media team at the ready to respond to customer complaints on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. The practice is so widespread that the Call Center Satisfaction Index report released last week by CFI Group found that call centers should perhaps be renamed "contact centers."
We'll Call You: Putting an End to On-Hold Misery
January 28, 2013
It's a universal reality: Customers dislike waiting on hold. Now call-backs and virtual queuing are changing all that. "Our basic mission is to improve the call center experience," said Shai Berger, CEO and cofounder of Fonolo. "The heart of what we do is replacing hold time with a call-back."
The Call Center in the Cloud
January 21, 2013
Call centers are increasingly migrating away from on-premises systems to cloud-based systems, which can save money and give greater flexibility. Everything from customer data to telephony software is making its way to the cloud, revolutionizing the way call centers manage their operations. "It's all the buzz now, " said Mitch Lieber, principal at Lieber & Associates.
Call Centers Jump on the Mobile Bandwagon
January 14, 2013
Mobile devices are changing both how customers get in touch with call centers and how companies respond to those calls. The days of customers sitting at kitchen tables on landlines waiting for agents to answer their calls are gone. Now, they're calling from smartphones and clicking on apps, and call centers are adapting to this new mobile reality.
Voice of the Customer: Analyzing What People Say and How They Say It
January 2, 2013
Call center software can now identify everything from anger to dissatisfaction in the voices of customers. Since call centers are all about voices, it makes sense to analyze those voices in order to provide better customer service. The field of voice analytics, in fact, has become a big business.
GoDaddy May Face Class Action Over Nickel-and-Diming Employees
December 20, 2012
Attorneys representing four former GoDaddy employees in a suit over unpaid overtime are seeking to have the suit expanded to a collective action. Michelle Matheson, a partner with Matheson & Matheson and the attorney of record on the suit, and Eric Epstein, an employment attorney in Los Angeles, represent the former employees of GoDaddy.
Predicting the Future Is Not for the Faint of Heart
December 19, 2012
I was doing some research in the Time Magazine archives -- the best ones I have seen, by the way -- the other day and came across this nugget from 1962: "Despite the discouraging results so far, many scientists argue that military-space research will ultimately produce an overflowing cornucopia of marketable consumer products, from supersonic planes to small nuclear reactors for home power."
Avaya Puts More Eggs in BYOD Basket
November 26, 2012
Avaya IP Office joined the BYOD revolution with the release of version 8.1 earlier this year. Now the company is gearing up for more changes, including a forthcoming release that will integrate video functionality into its feature set. It will continue to expand its functionality around mobility in 2013, said SVP Tom Mitchell, president of Avaya Go to Market.
Genesys One Gives Mid-Market a Second Shot
November 16, 2012
Genesys is making a play for the middle market with the release of Genesys One. The last time the company targeted the middle market was more than 10 years ago, when it was owned by Alcatel. Since then, the middle market has changed significantly. Both customer needs and buying behavior have changed considerably, observed Brian Bischoff, vice president of global offer management for Genesys.
Lithium Social Web Nudges Customers in the Right Direction
October 12, 2012
Lithium Technologies acquired Social Dynamx this week and moved immediately to bring a combined product to market: Lithium Social Web is available now. The two companies offer complementary functionality, which made the acquisition a natural fit, said Rob Tarkoff, CEO of Lithium. "They are aimed at the agent-based workflow, and we are aimed at the customer generated workflow."
Aprimo Shows Reps More Cross-Sell, Upsell Possibilities
September 17, 2012
Aprimo has released its second app for Salesforce.com's AppExchange, called "Aprimo Service to Sales." It is an inbound marketing app with real-time interactive features. The first Aprimo app destined for the AppExchange was released in 2010. The newer app, however, is written on a different code base, which was acquired last year with the acquisition of Helm Interaction's IP assets.
EPA Contract Reflects US Cloud-Based IT Ambitions
July 24, 2012
U.S. government agencies are trying to meet fast-track goals to improve the acquisition and management of information technology resources. In a government setting that inherently involves myriad checkpoints, protocols, policies, and an exasperating budget process, change does not come easily or quickly. One exception could be the Environmental Protection Agency.
Kana Makes a Move in Customer Experience Space
July 17, 2012
Kana plans to build out its customer service experience management bona fides with its recent acquisition of contact center provider Ciboodle from the Sword Group. The point of the acquisition is to weave together Ciboodle's chief strengths -- its process-based customer contact management platform, agent desktop tools and case management expertise -- with what Kana does well.
Avaya Mixes It Up to Give Customers a Seamless Experience
June 28, 2012
Avaya has added new products and enhanced existing ones in its Customer Experience Interaction Management portfolio. The overarching goal of the changes was to allow users to reach out to customers via any channel the customers chose -- for example, mobile application, social media or phone.
CRM Conference to Showcase the Retail Experience
May 14, 2012
CRM Conference is being held May 29 to 31 at the Chicago Hyatt Regency. This annual event offers a unique agenda for retailers, said Devon Wylie, CEO of CRMC. "It's specifically focused on case studies from topnotch multinational retailers. With this approach, attendees can get actionable learnings they can take home with them."
Making Customers the Object of Devotion
May 7, 2012
The proliferation of customer service channels can be both a blessing and a curse. It can be a blessing in that companies now have more ways than ever to address customer needs and resolve customer issues, potentially leading to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. At the same time, the proliferation of customer service channels can be a curse.
inContact Smooths the Way for Better Customer Interactions
April 9, 2012
Cloud contact center provider inContact has released the first of what will be three major upgrades to its flagship product this year. New features in the release touch upon many areas, from agent scripting to a Web-connect module, new unified agent desktop tools and an expanded blended dialer. Most intriguing of all the new features, though, is a CRM plug-in agent, which offers a new streamlined interface for agents.
The Advent of Digital Customer Relationships
October 31, 2011
The explosive adoption of the Internet has created a new kind of Web-savvy customer who expects a rich, efficient, personalized online user experience that's accessible 24/7 via any online access point -- Web, mobile device or social media -- and that provides consistent engagement across multiple channels. In order to succeed in today's online-centric world, you have to create positive digital customer relationships.
Predictive Analytics Digs Deeper Into CRM
October 24, 2011
Predixion Software has introduced Predixion Insight 2.0, the latest version of its collaborative predictive analytics solution. The new release includes enterprise collaboration features, interactive visualizations and automated workflow capabilities, as well as an on-premises version of its predictive analytics solution.
Forging Strong Links in Your Customer Interaction Chains
October 13, 2011
What's the ultimate goal of CRM? As much as I and others of my ilk might talk about the positive interactions, good feelings and peer-to-peer relationships that result when CRM is done well, they're just happy means to an end. The end is, and always will be, inflating the bottom line.
Workforce Management Gets Intelligence Boost
September 26, 2011
Customer interaction analytics specialist Nexidia has announced a new integration partnership with Teleopti, a provider of strategic workforce management solutions. The aim of the partnership is to enhance agent performance management by linking Nexidia's performance measuring applications with Teleopti's skills-based contact center agent forecasting and scheduling.
The Automation Revelation
August 29, 2011
A UK-based managed service provider is on a journey to provide better information and services for its network, voice, VoIP, data and storage customers. The network management and productivity benefits have come from an alignment of many service management products into an automated lifecycle approach to overall network operations.
New CRM Chat Tools Give Instant Gratification
August 15, 2011
Recent announcements in the CRM space have been all about crossing bridges to streamline customer contact functions and making customer service representatives' lives easier and more productive. And all it's taking is a click of the mouse. LiveChat, a developer of real-time software and Web analytics tools for e-commerce sales and support teams, has given word that it is rolling out a new Facebook Connect integration capability.
Keeping It Real With Multimedia Live Engagement
August 4, 2011
By this point in the evolution of e-commerce, most e-tailers know the benefits of live engagement. Website visitors are three times more likely to make a purchase when they have the support of a sales representative. Just as in brick-and-mortar stores, interacting with a knowledgeable person in real-time creates a connection to the customer that increases profits.
Avaya Adds a New Multimedia Dimension to the Picture
July 12, 2011
Avaya is delivering multimedia capabilities to the front line with its announcement of two new contact center products designed to bring agent-assisted and automated customer service up to speed with the social networking world: Avaya Aura Contact Center 6.2 and the Avaya Experience Portal.
The Enterprise 2.0 Global Delivery Model Transformation, Part 3
June 30, 2011
Three key aspects of the resourcing paradigm will undergo a change with E2.0: resource geographic spread; team constitution; and skillsets required. With the availability of collaboration media and their ease of access, customer groups and IT support/delivery groups will operate out of their own locations without the need to work in a centralized fashion.
The Virtual Workforce Is Here, Now and Everywhere
June 20, 2011
Customer experience can make or break a company. The pressure to manage costs has never been greater, but it's a fatal mistake to view customer service channels as a cost center. The solution? An at-home workforce that delivers excellent results. A virtual workforce is no longer a futuristic idea. It's available today and ready to help you solve your company's biggest customer management challenges.
Ready, Aim, Converge for Smarter Commerce
June 13, 2011
For more than a decade, B2B firms have used the Internet to publicize their product catalogs. As a result of the rise in consumer sales on the Web and the rapid maturation and adoption of Internet technologies like RIAs and Web 2.0, B2B firms are now rethinking their e-business strategies. At the same time, the demands of B2B buyers have also changed.
Catching Up to the Shopper Revolution
May 31, 2011
It has been a wild ride for retailers these past few years. But when we look back, we won't be talking about the economy, the drive for lean inventory, or deep discounting. Rather, we will recognize the fundamental change that occurred was in the shopping process itself. Shoppers are often interacting with retailers in many channels at once.
Where's Your Cloud Model?
May 25, 2011
Most of the people I talk to think of a business model as the way a company makes money. We certainly agree on that. One's business model can encompass numerous things, like product mix, marketing and sales plan, how you sell -- direct, channel, retail -- and lots more.
See More Articles in Call Centers Section >>
Is "too much screen time" really a problem?
Yes -- smartphone addiction is ruining relationships.
Yes -- but primarily due to parents' failure to regulate kids' use.
Possibly -- long-term effects on health are not yet known.
Not really -- lack of self-discipline and good judgement are the problems.
No -- angst over "screen time" is just the latest overreaction to technology.
No -- what matters is the quality of content, not the time spent viewing it.