Latest Contact Center Best Practices

Sep 05

The Role of Self-Service IVR

Posted by Rachel Brink on Sep 5, 2014 9:06:00 AM

In a recent study, an astounding 67% of customers have stated a preference for self-service as opposed to speaking to a live representative (ZenDesk).  Previously viewed as a burden imposed on consumers, the self-service arena has today become an essential part of the average consumer experience.  And as one considers each major industry, the rapid adoption of self-service solutions is readily apparent everywhere.  Grocery stores have self-check out lines, airlines offer Kiosks (have yet to figure out how to apply it to Homeland Security lines, though), restaurants use self-service reservations – the list goes on. Each of these initiatives involves one person, and one person only: the customer. 

The importance of self-service in the contact center space is no exception. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technologies are leading the charge, providing customers the ability to quickly and easily access any information by selecting options from a simple menu. What was at first an effort for contact centers to improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs, has since become an industry standard.   And with 69% of customers equating a good customer experience to how quickly an inquiry is resolved, the need to adopt the latest technology facilitating their ability to do so has never been more important.

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Topics: call center, call center software features, multichannel contact center, contact center, call center software, cloud based call center, cloud customer support, B2C, best business practices, IVR technology, customer satisfaction

Aug 08

On-Premise vs Cloud Contact Center Solutions

Posted by Guillaume Seynhaeve on Aug 8, 2014 10:10:00 AM

Today technology is at the center of any discussion regarding competitive advantage, sustainability, and growth. As it specifically relates to the contact center space, the ability to deliver and communicate with customers using the latest channels has never been more important.  And yet, despite the emphasis on offering the latest in customer communications, the vast majority of businesses are still basing their service delivery on old, inflexible, and costly premise-based solutions. Which begs the very obvious question, why? 

For one, while there is no denying that smartphones and the age of social media are quickly transforming the communication landscape, the tried and tested concept of calling-in is still not dead. In fact, 73% of customers still prefer to speak to a representative, which is far greater than those choosing to use Twitter to communicate at 22% (Forrester). And this shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider the generational breakdown of today’s customers, from Baby Boomers (79 Million), to Generation X (52 Million), to Generation Y (75 Million), to Generation Z (Still growing); with every one listing the phone as a primary means of contact except for the last. So, yes, premise-based solutions are surviving by virtue of those generations, but the trend is quickly moving towards email, social, media, and web, so keeping to the old way of things may not be the wisest of strategies. At the very least, it will not support any long-term competitive advantage your company may otherwise have. 

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Topics: cloud based contact center, cloud based, call center, cloud based solution, contact center solution, cloud based call center, best business practices, employee retention, SaaS, customer satisfaction, first call resolution, On-Premise

Jul 18

Contact Center Flexibility: A Must Have

Posted by Guillaume Seynhaeve on Jul 18, 2014 11:02:00 AM

Consider the following:  If someone had told you ten years ago that 140 characters would change the world and the way we do business, what would you have said? 

Trends come and go, that’s not news. However, assessing the lifespan of each one and its long-term relevance in the business community is definitely a challenge.  Case in point, Google is still the leader in search engines since its birth in 1998, but when was the last time you saw a laser disc?

If we consider Henry Ford’s famous quote,“ You can have any color, as long as its in black”, there certainly was a time when companies set the standard and consumers were the willing recipients of whatever businesses disseminated.  However, today the environment has drastically reversed, with customers clearly dictating what, where, and when without much care or consideration as to the how. As a result, businesses are clamoring to keep up with the changing standards and trends set by the very consumers they wish to please; a tall older unless you have a crystal ball. 

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Topics: cloud based contact center, contact center, contact center solution, cloud based call center, remote agents, best business practices, reporting contact center tools

Jul 10

Remote Agents and Your Contact Center

Posted by Guillaume Seynhaeve on Jul 10, 2014 9:42:00 AM

The concept of using remote agents is not, by any means, new.  However, what once constituted a small fraction of a larger fixed contact center establishment has gradually become the norm rather than the exception.  Quite simply, with the ongoing evolutions in technology, the ability to use remote agents without affecting quality has largely become a reality and even a competitive advantage of some sorts.  In other words, if your contact center doesn’t use remote agents, you may very well be handicapping your company before any customer interactions even take place.  Don’t believe me? Consider the following:

  • An estimated 3 million Americans work primarily from home today, an increase of 61% since 2005. (Forrester)

  • An estimated 60% of contact centers utilize virtual agents in some capacity with an expected increase to 80% by 2013/2014. (Customer Contact Strategies)

  • 53% of contact centers in the US have some percentage of agents already working from a home office with 70% planning to increase the total number of virtual agents. (National Assoc. Of Call Centers) 

  • Ovum expects the number of home-based customer service agents to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 36.4 %. (Ovum)
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Topics: call center, contact center, cloud based call center, remote agents, best business practices, scalability

Jun 25

Tomorrow’s Contact Center – Who will be at the helm?

Posted by Rachel Brink on Jun 25, 2014 8:26:00 AM

Historically, contact centers have primarily been dominated by the young, if you believe a 2008 YouGov survey, with many generally below the age of 30.  With an increasingly tech-savvy and demanding consumer-base, one might interpret this as a benefit.  After all, who better to meet the multi-channel habits of today’s needy customers than today’s tech-centric youth?

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Topics: customer service, cloud based contact center, call center, multichannel contact center, multichannel call center, contact center, call center software, cloud based call center, cloud call center, best business practices, employee retention, service delivery, VOIP