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

The First Step in Planning Your Self-Service Investment

The First Step in Planning Your Self-Service Investment Planning your self-service investments means making decisions across multiple disciplines. USAN, in association with ContactBabel, has just published a nearly 200-page report on that topic—50 charts deep, covering all the critical topics that make up today’s self-service investment strategy. Those topics include transitioning to self-service, evaluating ROI,... 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

IVR and the Gold Customer

I’ll share a personal experience here and then see if I can’t raise it to a principle of IVR. I have a gold-level account at my bank. That gets me some extra services, free this and no-fee that. Most of the time I bank through online and mobile channels. But when I do call in... 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

The Fastest Way to Lose Wait

In the past couple of posts I’ve talked about the importance of not allowing your IVR to stand in the way when your caller zeros out to reach an agent. But you face another issue that stands between call handoff and customer satisfaction: the wait. Here’s where your IVR comes back into play. Even though... Read More

When You Make Me Wait Don’t Waste My Time

There are lots of great suggestions about how to keep customers from zeroing out. But sometimes zeroing out is exactly what you want them to do. When? Whenever they want. If your customer wants to talk to an agent, make it happen. If he hits zero, send him on to a live agent, no questions... Read More

Not Your Father’s IVR

Sometimes, I’m just thinking out loud here, in a world of smartphones and devices and the Internet of Things, we begin to look at IVR as another telegraph or typewriter—something so yesterday, so antiquated, so powerless—at least in comparison.   But it’s just not true: certainly not today, and it will be even less so... Read More

ANI Starts Smart Conversations

USAN recently published a white paper called How to Make Customers Fall in Love with Your IVR. It’s a spotlight piece, designed to highlight the value of advanced IVR features. I thought I’d spend a few blog posts drilling down a little more deeply into those features. I’m going to start with the way IVR... Read More

Are you using Big Data to engage your Customers?

  Your organization’s contact center is a hotbed of data. Every interaction with the customer results in a wealth of information – some of it inferred, some of it explicitly stated – about the customer’s needs, wants and desires. This data offers organizations of all types and sizes an opportunity to take customer service to... Read More

Improving the Customer Experience With Preferences

Customer preferences are becoming increasingly vital in customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers prefer one channel for a certain type of interaction and other channels for different activities. Read this article to learn more about the value of customer preferences in driving loyalty and satisfaction. Read More

Customer Self Service – All the Right Options

Today's customers have more technology available to them than ever before and expect to be able to access information quickly. This is why more and more businesses are turning to customer self service portals and why more and more customers are coming to expect a self-service option. Read More

Bad IVR experiences lose customers

IVR can be a great tool for companies in decreasing customer wait time and increasing customer satisfaction, but a nationwide poll found that more than 8 in 10 respondents said that companies will lose their business after a bad IVR experience. Find out how to avoid chasing off customers with your IVR. Read More

Call Center Solutions: Trends to Watch

Today’s customers expect to interact with companies on a variety of platforms—phone, e-mail, chat, text, and social. As customers’ expectations have changed, call center solutions have grown increasingly sophisticated. This article provides a few call center trends to watch. Read More