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: 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 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

The Biggest 2017 Trend

It’s December now. Snow, in some places, is falling. Soon, holiday lights will be flickering and thoughts of what the new year will bring will occupy us. And we know what that means. That’s right. It will be time to read all the articles about IVR and contact center and customer service trends for 2017.... 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

Aristotle Would Have Something to Say about IVRs

Ah the old Tabula Rasa. Which of us in the world of contact center automation doesn’t think daily about the Stoic school of ancient Greek philosophy whose idea of mind was one of a blank slate (more literally, an “erased slate”) upon which is written life experiences. You know. Like an IVR. In fact, I... 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

When They Gotta Go They Gotta Go

We talk a lot about IVR containment. Containment is a good thing. The fewer people that zero out the better your return on your IVR investment. But there’s one time where containment is not a good thing. When the caller doesn’t want to be contained.Your business success doesn’t depend upon how well you keep customers... 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

Regarding Your IVR: You’re Doing it Wrong

Are you trying to process calls in your IVR as quickly as possible? Or limit the number of calls that go from the IVR software to a live customer service agent? If you answered yes to either of these questions, we have news for you: You’re approaching your IVR solution all wrong. In an attempt... Read More

Why the Voice of the Customer is a Driver of ROI

Listening to the Voice of the Customer drives lowered cost and service improvements. Because customers want to interact with their preferred devices on their own time frame, companies have adopted a cloud-based call center model for agile service delivery that accommodates change. Read More

Listening to the Voice of the Customer speaks volumes in ROI

As the economy begins improving, you are probably seeking tools to solidify your customer base and reach out for new business. Your existing resources in doing all that are most likely the usual eclectic mix of experienced people, backed up by an array of computer hardware and software that runs everything. In all those parts,... Read More

The Voice of the Customer is Clear: It’s Our Way or the Highway

Acting on change is hard, especially with entrenched business processes. Change is not something that comes easily to companies large enough to have significant investments in CRM, ERP, or other Enterprise-class platforms that are intended to enable superior customer experience. But USAN’s Customer Engagement platform uniquely enables this kind of rapid change in a significantly... Read More