Use Local Numbers As Well As Toll Free to Hear From Your Customers

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I find it interesting that prior to toll free numbers, the only way to get a hold of a company for sales or customer support was via a local, LEC provided 10 digit telephone number that the caller paid the toll fee on or a customer calling collect (then called transferred-charge service). It wasn't until 1967 that toll free numbers were introduced by AT&T and at the time, only major hotel chains used them.

Since then, toll free service grew to  huge proportions to the point where the industry ran out of 800 prefixes and moved on to consuming 888, 877, now working on 866 and have in reserve 855, 844, 833, 822 and several more.  But enough of the history lesson.  This is about Local Numbers, an alternative to Toll Free.

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Using WFO to Achieve Competitive Advantage

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Competitive advantage in a call center is all about providing best of breed service in the most efficient way possible which, to the many that strive for this, is more difficult to achieve than one might expect.  It is this difficulty that makes achieving such optimal levels a powerful advantage.  Although there are many factors that contribute to this success, a call center must focus on the agent to set itself apart. 

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Are Brokerages Part of our Future in SaaS…

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Gartner recently published a prediction that we will see a rise in Cloud Service Brokerages (http://bit.ly/Rxn2F) as a result of the steam that SaaS is picking up.  In fact Gartner has also predicted that "…worldwide cloud services revenue will surpass $56.3 billion in 2009, which is a 21.3 percent increase over the $46.4 billion generated last year. The market could reach $150.1 billion in 2013, Gartner said."

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Are You Prepared to Walk in the Forest?

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Its been a busy summer, and I have not written for a couple of weeks because I was off galavanting around Alaska.  We stayed at a place in the woods, and my wife kept asking me if I wanted to go for a walk.  I said 'No, I have no desire to go walking around in woods with bears that might be hungry' – in fact I later heard that earlier that week,  a guy had shot and killed a bear, stopping an attack just a few feet before the bear reached him.    The preparation in that area was clothing for the weather, GPS or maps, bears spray or a really big gun, proper food handling and knowing what to do if you do run in to that bear.  I knew that I was not prepared with materials or experience so I structured my activities accordingly.  <

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Transactional IVR Survey Delivery Best Practices

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The IVR is a common form of administering transaction-based customer satisfaction surveys in the call center.  It involves delivering the survey to the participating customer automatically using pre-recorded question/answer prompts and capturing the customer's response using DTMF tones.  There are also several ways in which a survey is delivered to a customer using the IVR.  The most common include:

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WFM – Introducing a New Scheduling Process, Part 5

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OK, the schedule process changes are in full swing. Now what? Immediate and overwhelming success? That may be the case for a lucky few, but for the rest of us, we have to give it time. Part Five of a Five Part Series:

1.  Get Organized

2.  Ask Your Agents

3.  Share Your Strategy

4.  Test It

5.  Give It Time

I compare this experience to starting a diet or new exercise program.  You count calories or exercise daily yet you don’t see results overnight. It might take weeks or even a month before the results start to show up. Logic says that these things take time, but anyone who has ever dieted knows you want results right away.

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