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Contact 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. 

Zendesk, Genesys Form Contact Center Software Alliance

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Companies are investing in contact center software.

Last week, inContact bought Uptivity for $48 million. Today, 2,500-employee Genesys forms an alliance with Zendesk.

Customer experience and contact center provider Genesys is integrating its cloud contact center solution with the Zendesk customer service platform. The alliance helps calls get routed to the best-skilled Zendesk agent, which company officials say eliminates transfers and improves the overall customer experience.

InContact's $48 Million Buy Targets Mid-Sized Contact Centers

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Data's good for customer experience. Data's bad for customer experience

This pie is sliced in many ways. This week, cloud-based contact center solutions and optimization provider inContact spent $48 million to ensure its clients have the right tools to optimize data and provide a solid customer experience.

The Salt Lake City-based company acquired Uptivity (formerly CallCopy), a Columbus, Ohio-based workforce optimization (WFO) provider. The deal is expected to make it easier for inContact to provide mid-sized contact centers with tools like speech and desktop analytics, agent coaching, call and desktop recording.

News Bites: Google Smart Lists, Contact Center Tips, & More

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And now, the news. Google gets Smart Lists, Sysomos integrates with Clarabridge, Bulldog gets Boosted, and 3CLogic goes 5.0.

Also in the headlines: multichannel contact centers get tips, addresses get corrected, reps need to know what they need to know, and Clari offers a new mobile sales productivity platform.

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."

Contact Centers Drive the Social CRM Revolution

With more than 2 million Twitter accounts established every day, social media presents a host of new challenges and opportunities in the realm of customer relationship management (CRM). People are tweeting not only about their customer service needs but also the good, bad and ugly of the experience that they receive from companies.

According to evolve24, 70 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored -- and the damage can be significant. Gartner estimates that failure to respond via social channels can lead to an up to 15 percent increase in churn rate for existing customers.

Former Cisco Exec Explains His New Tech Cloud Start-up

A new cloud-based analytics and communications provider hit the streets running this quarter, led by a former senior executive at Cisco whose vision is to reimagine and change the customer communications journey and improve the relationship between customers and brands.

Barry O'Sullivan, former senior Cisco communications executive, is co-founder and CEO of Altocloud. The company, with offices in  Mountain View, Calif., and Galway, Ireland, just announced a development partnership with marketing software provider Marketo and a services partnership with Touchbase, a global unified communications and contact center integrator.

Can Conversocial Improve Customer Service Experiences?

Conversocial customers

Conversocial, a cloud-based provider of social customer service software, is out with a major upgrade.

Called Conversations, it is designed to help companies manage social media comments from contact centers.

Joshua March, founder and CEO, told CMSWire that some companies use traditional ticketing systems, while others employ multi-channel contact center systems that "add social as just another channel" — as if it were email. But those systems, March said, are designed primarily for private, one-to-one inquiries or for marketing and PR-focused social media management.

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.  

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?

Weekend Reads: 3 Social Customer Service Tips + The End of SharePoint User Adoption Concerns

Weekend Reads: 3 Social Customer Service Tips + The Death of SharePoint User Adoption ComplaintsYet another week has come and gone, so why not take a few minutes to relax and catch up on our featured contributions? This week we took a look at why Yammer and Microsoft make SharePoint user adoption concerns a moot point. We also talked about why SharePoint will hardly ever be a company's sole ECM solution and got some tips on enabling social customer service in your contact center. So sit back, relax and enjoy our weekend reads.

Contact Centers Must Morph into Relationship Hubs

Customer Experience, Contact Centers Must Morph into Relationship HubsFor years, companies have relied on their contact centers to deal with customer interactions, from technical support to requesting medical coverage. But contact centers are on the verge of major change.

Three Ways to Enable Social Customer Service in Your Contact Center

Customer Experience, Three Ways to Equip Your Contact Center for Social Customer Service ResponseCustomer’s desire for instant gratification has caused a dramatic shift in the channels they use to contact companies for support. Contact centers must adapt to meet these new expectations, particularly when it comes to social media.

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.

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