Amazon Connect: What’s DIY and What’s Not

It’s no wonder that “self-service” is one of the first adjectives Amazon uses to describe Amazon Connect. Self-service is quite possibly the most notable difference between the cloud-based contact center service and traditional contact center technology.  But self-service doesn’t necessarily mean you should do it all yourself. Let’s look at areas where it behooves you... Read More

5 Things That Are Different About the AWS Public Cloud

When Amazon released its cloud-based contact center service, it was met with skepticism. In a feature-by-feature comparison with any of the existing leaders, Amazon Connect usually came up short. That was a little over a year ago, and much has changed and continues to change when it comes to feature functionality, but we’ll get to... Read More

The Hybrid Customer Contact Center

In the last post, I talked about the Big Buckets. One bucket holds transactional (self-service) events. One contains interactional (live-agent) events. And the third is home to the hybrids: events that are both transactional and interactional. That third bucket—let’s call it the blended bucket—could soon be the biggest bucket as more and more companies adopt... Read More

Omnichannel: Balancing Cost and Control

Two of the most critical issues companies deal with when deciding on the right omnichannel solution are what it costs and how it’s controlled. The cost of installing and maintaining a sophisticated omnichannel operation is as low as it’s ever been, for three reasons: The cost of all the pieces of compute-network-store infrastructure becomes cheaper... Read More

Omnichannel KPIs – A New Focus

As contact centers evolve into omnichannel centers, they’ll need to establish and track new KPIs that accurately measure value and success. That means taking new approaches and establishing new metrics that map to omnichannel strategies and goals. Here are a few examples of each. New Approaches Qualitative as Well as Quantitative We’ve been primarily focused... Read More

Omnichannel in Action

The other day my errands turned into one omnichannel adventure after another. My experience offers three examples of how companies in three different industries improved my customer experience with their omnichannel solutions. Pick Up Prescriptions My first stop was my pharmacy. The pharmacy sent me a text telling me that a prescription had been automatically... Read More

Omnichannel Villains

There is a widely believed superstition that an omnichannel investment is expensive, complex and disruptive. Central to this myth are twin villains: the first is Rip and the second, Replace. Their shared mission: drive up omnichannel costs to the point where it’s an unjustifiable investment, with slow payback and weak ROI. Rip and Replace is... Read More

How to Show Customers Respect: The Gen X Edition

  How to Show Customers Respect: The Generation X Edition   Every customer wants respect and, of course, you want to give them that respect. The question is: How? What’s perceived as respectful by one generation may be perceived as an inconvenience by another. We’ve previously taken a look at how the values of Millennials... Read More

How to Show Customers Respect: The Millenial Edition

  When it comes to customer service, every generation wants to be shown respect. Obvious? Yes. Easy? No.   Respect means different things to different people. In order to show proper respect to your customers, you need to understand who they are and what they value. Here are five tips for showing Millennials respect that... Read More

How to Show Customers Respect: The Baby Boomer Edition

Regardless of who they are, everyone wants respect. That’s especially true when it comes to engaging with customer service. It’s also true that everyone perceives respect differently. While your customer service agents might mean well, their interactions with customers might not be coming through as intended. Here are five tips for showing respect to Baby... Read More

A First Time For Everything

I talk a lot about personalization. About how you can study how each caller into your IVR behaves over time, and about how to adjust the automated interaction to support and react based on that data. Of course, in order to analyze the behavior pattern of a caller, there has to be enough behavior to... Read More

Agent or IVR. They’re Very Much the Same

The other day I read an article called Top 10 Customer Experience Trends For 2016-17 by Brian Cantor. You can read it here. It has nothing to do with IVR. It’s about live-agent contact centers, and ways to improve the experience for the customer. Useful, pragmatic ideas. Here are some of the main points. •... Read More

How do you measure risk in your contact center?

Customer data is the lifeblood of the contact center. Your ability to deliver seamless customer experiences across multiple channels depends on it. Unfortunately, where there is data there is also security risk. The question is how do you handle that risk to reduce your company’s liability while enabling your agents to deliver the service customers... Read More

How to Reduce PCI Scope in the Customer Service Center

Customer service centers don’t have much of an option when it comes to whether or not they handle financial transactions. Customers expect to be able to make a payment or complete a purchase when they call your company, and if they can’t, they’ll take their business elsewhere. The one thing customer service centers can do... Read More

Call Centers Are Tailor-made for WFM Gamification

Many people think the earliest example of gamification in the business world is S&H Green Stamps in the final years of 19th century America. With each purchase, participating retailers would give shoppers a certain number of stamps which they would paste into books. Getting the stamps into the books was often a family affair: very... Read More

How to Increase Revenue with Proactive Payment Requests

How to Increase Revenue with Proactive Payment Requests   What if you could proactively reach out to customers and provide them with a means to complete a financial transaction with your company? I’m not talking about a link in an email but an actual transaction form on their smartphone or other mobile device sent via... Read More

The Risks of Doing Nothing (Again) to Improve the Contact Center

The new year brings with it an old risk—falling behind the competition as your call center technology gets another year older and more outdated. Today’s technologies bring the most significant transformation in decades. It’s more important than ever that call centers protect market share and profitability by enhancing or upgrading their systems and software. Read More

Who Should Drive the Omnichannel Initiative: BP or IT?

Often, when moving to a new technology model—such as the omnichannel—a conflict can appear between IT and Business Process Management. We’re involved right now in a significant omnichannel initiative that’s found the right balance between the two. We share some of that story here. Read More

Learn to Use All―Not Just Some―of Your WFM

Are you using as much of your WFM as you could? Often, the answer is “no.” The reason? People learn the mechanics of using a system, but not the concepts behind it. And without that knowledge, they can’t apply the kind of critical thinking that makes the most of WFM—and that delivers the highest ROI. Read More