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Call Centers News & Analysis

Customer Service on Stage: 3 Ways to Avoid Brand Failure [Infographic]

2014-19-August-Stage-Fright.jpgBusiness leaders across the globe have confirmed that, in the midst of stiff competition and growing customer expectations, customer and field service differentiation is key to growing revenue and delivering an excellent customer experience. These are the findings of two new reports and an infographic released by SAP SE and The Service Council (TSC).

The reports, “Service Transformation: The Business Case” (pdf) and “Reviewing Field Service Strategy: Aligning Focus and Execution,” (pdf) provide important insights that executives should consider in redefining customer service and field service strategy. 

What Customers Want from Contact Centers - and How to Deliver It

When speaking with a customer service agent on the phone, most customers want swift, accurate answers and a human experience. These are the findings of a new online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of NICE.

According to the poll, 59 percent of respondents say they most value having issues resolved efficiently and correctly when contacting a company via phone. The poll also uncovered that 23 percent of customers would rather have a real conversation with a person rather than listening to an agent reciting a script.

Surprisingly, being put on hold and waiting to transfer to another representative were of significantly less importance, with 6 percent citing hold time as most important, and 3 percent citing transfers – as long as the customer received a quick, correct answer to their problem.

In short, the survey reveals that what customers really want from your contact center is excellent customer service – and they want it fast.

What Not to Say: Words that Cost You Customers

help me

Everyone has a pet peeve about customer experience. Persistent pop-ups that ask annoyingly, "Need help?" Websites with music in their hearts.

Videos that start automatically. Hard to find contact information. Contact centers that make you wait on hold ... for what seems like forever. Intricate, thickly branched phone trees. Glitchy self-service kiosks.

It's a multichannel mess, more or less.

But nothing is more maddening — or more contrary to the whole philosophy of CXM — than scripted responses that lack even trace amounts of empathy, understanding or compassion. As customer experience researcher, innovator and entrepreneur John A. Goodman so clearly articulates, some things are better left unsaid.

What else would you expect to hear from the co-author of "Shut Your Mouth! Words and Phrases to Avoid in a Customer-Focused Service Environment"?

Are You Wasting Money on Customer Experience?

Are You Wasting Money on Customer Experience?Think about all you've invested in the latest digital technologies to improve customer experience (CX). Now think about this.

It might have been a big waste of time and money.

A new study by CX Act, a customer experience improvement firm, shows the most frequently used and most effective customer touch point is personal contact by phone. The study (registration required), which updates a study the company originally conducted for the White House in 1980, concludes:

While companies can’t ignore the need to offer a multichannel strategy and digital channels are likely to grow in importance (especially since younger consumers are more likely to use digital touch points), what matters NOW for creating an optimal customer contact experience is providing a phone or in-person customer interaction that delivers on the brand promise."

TimeTrade's COO Reveals the Top Retail Trends

Ambrosino.jpgGary Ambrosino, the president and chief operating officer of TimeTrade, thinks the key to great customer experience comes down to how and when a company engages with potential clients.  Better engagement equals more customer loyalty, in theory.

How to Make Your Customers Love You This Valentine's Day

Play Matchmaker this Valentine's Between Customers and Contact Center AgentsAnyone who has dealt with a customer service representative knows it’s rarely a match made in heaven. In fact, it’s usually quite the opposite.

Between long hold times, mismatched agents and unresolved issues, it’s no wonder why most interactions with a company’s contact center get off to a rocky start. Neither party is totally at fault for this unhealthy relationship -- customers simply want their issues resolved in a timely fashion, and agents have few insights into the people and problems that they are expected to address.  

Kick the Customer and Other Stupid Experience Related Games

Customer Experience, Kick the Customer and Other Stupid Experience Related GamesDo you enjoy kicking your customers? Don't cringe at the question. It's not as crazy as it seems.

I'm still nursing bruises from three companies -- a major department store, a national automotive service club and a local home heating oil company -- that apparently think inflexibility, excuses and a failure to compromise are the keys to customer service.

And yet, while many companies stumble when it comes to serving their customers, others shine -- even during this busy time of year, according to ClickFox, a provider of experience analytics.

5 Things Contact Centers Can Learn from the Butterball Turkey Hotline

Thanksgiving Turkey

For the past 32 years, the Butterball Turkey Hotline has offered advice to anyone overwhelmed by the prospect of cooking the perfect holiday bird. Last year, the company introduced a smartphone app, Facebook live chats, Pinterest posts and other social media tools. The big news this year is that for the first-time ever, Butterball has hired men as part of its line-up of expert turkey cookers — a response to the fact that men are taking a more active role in the kitchen.  

But what does any of this have to do with contact centers?

The Human Channel Puts a Face on Customer Service

Customer Experience, The Human ChannelI am writing this in a Starbucks on Fillmore Street in San Francisco. All around me people sit, ear-plugged in and laptop ready.

This is what I call the Starbucks Generation -- Gen Y or millennials -- who work from anywhere there is an internet connection. To successfully reach this Starbucks Generation, it’s important to leverage the various digital channels, especially The Human Channel.

Switching Channels at the Contact Center

Customer Experience, Switching Channels at the Contact CenterWhen I was in the outsourced call center business in the 1990s, we only needed to manage phone calls and the occasional written communication. Automatic Call Distributors (ACDs) could route phone calls efficiently and IVRs -- at the time a relatively new technology -- allowed customers to self-select options that would get them the right type of help more quickly. It was a simpler time.

Contact Center Evolution Calls for Changing Metrics, New Tools

Evolving Contact Centers Call for Changing Metrics, New Tools No matter the length of a call with a contact center, if the customer’s happy and has a tangible result at the end, who cares, right?

Fifty minutes or five -- does it matter anymore?

Aspect Software Buys IVR Provider Voxeo for Multi-Channel Customer Service

Aspect Software image.png

In all the talk about omni-channels, interactive voice response (IVR) is rarely mentioned, yet it is the channel many customers must struggle through. Customer interaction vendor Aspect Software is fully aware of IVR’s continued importance, so much so that it announced this week an agreement to buy IVR provider Voxeo Corporation for approximately US$ 150 million.

Strengthening the Bonds of Partnership: Moxie Spaces Integrates with Microsoft Lync

Enterprise social technology provider Moxie Software is integrating its Spaces by Moxie social software suite with the Microsoft Lync unified communications application.

inContact Updates Contact Center Platform, Gives Unified View of Customer Communications

Cloud-based contact center solutions and optimization provider inContact has released version 13.1 of its platform. The newest release offers customer service managers the chance to view customer messages in one unified stream, regardless of the channel used. 

Genesys Acquires Angel, Cloud-Based Self-Service Contact Center Provider

Customer service and contact center technology provider Genesys is acquiring cloud-based self-service applications specialist Angel from business intelligence vendor MicroStrategy. Genesys says it is trying to expand its arsenal of cloud-based customer service solutions.

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