Contact Centers and First Call Resolution

Posted by Rachel Brink on Jul 25, 2014 10:22:00 AM

According to a recent study, customer satisfaction ratings are 35-45% lower when a second call or interaction is required to address the same issue (Customer Relationship Metrics).  And with 82% of clients rating speed-of-service as one of the primary drivers behind their satisfaction ratings, with 45% abandoning transactions when expectations aren’t met (Forrester Research), the challenge facing contact centers seems fairly obvious.  Provide quality service fast.   So why is that contact centers still fail to address 32% of all incoming customer inquiries and concerns on the first go-around (SQM Group) despite the clear need to do so? 

One has only to consider his or her own experience with a sales or support representative to quickly list how the service could perhaps be improved.  Granted, not all customers are reasonable, nor can every inquiry be easily addressed in a single call or interaction.  However, if someone wants to upgrade their service, follow-up on a support ticket, discuss their bill, or review a possible purchase it shouldn’t be painful or difficult.  But for those of you who need a little more to justify the value of first call resolutions (FCR) then consider the following:

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Topics: customer service, contact center software, crm integration, customer support, best business practices, SaaS, IVR technology, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, first call resolution

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

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

How to Have a Successful Contact Center: Real Customer Service

Posted by Rachel Brink on Jul 3, 2014 10:52:00 AM

Not a day goes by when a company isn’t trying to pretend it’s more than just a vendor but rather your friend. Whether it’s a credit card firm stating how much they miss you (code for: why aren’t you spending lately?) or your local airline offering you a “friendly” reminder that it’s been a while since your last vacation (code for: you work too hard, how about spending some?), all companies are lately obsessed with appearing human. And yet, despite today’s emphasis on customer service there seems to be quite the disconnect between what companies want to deliver and what inevitably ends up being reality. Where are all the real people?  

Whether you are stuck in an IVR recording or speaking to an actual agent, the distinction is not always obvious.  In today’s ongoing attempt to provide a unified experience, companies have inadvertently turned the very agents designed to instill customer loyalty and foster long-lasting relationships into two-dimensional versions of their IVR counterparts. Whether the exact cause is due to a lack of training, lack of access to the proper technology, or a basic lack in skills, the problem is very real.  So what’s the solution?

A few suggestions to consider:

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Topics: call center, multichannel contact center, multichannel call center, best business practices, employee retention, IVR technology, dynamic scripting

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

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