ICMI - The “Tower of Babel” is an interesting metaphor for what can be a challenge for many a contact center nowadays...
Contact Center Pipeline - How, through hiring, training and culture, can the contact center create great agent experiences? It all starts with a focus on creating quality customer experiences...
Huffington Post - Innovating means disrupting -- challenging the status quo even for very successful products.
TMCnet.com - TMCnet spoke at the Las Vegas event with Jennifer Waite, product marketing manager at inContact, which sells a complete cloud-based workforce optimization suite for contact centers of all sizes...
ICMI - Did you know that there’s a fair chance you can tell someone’s age by the way they ring a door bell? Sounds weird? Not at all! Research indicates that whilst most adults over 20 will use their index finger to ring a doorbell, the majority of people under 20 will actually use their thumb. Why?
Contact Center Pipeline - What are the top challenges that contact centers face when transitioning to an omnichannel strategy? The following are key insights from industry solutions providers.
Forbes - Proactive customer service is a win-win for both customers and companies – it’s what millennials want and it has a positive effect on brand perception.
ICMI - Adding social media to your contact center’s multichannel mix may or may not be the right move. Here are five things to consider when considering social media.
TMCnet.com - In the expanding world of cloud computing, it’s understandable the leaders would know each other. It’s a small world so far, and they’re all growing together... It’s no wonder inContact was chosen, as the company continuously innovates in the cloud and is the only provider to offer core contact center infrastructure, workforce optimization and an enterprise-class telecom network for the most complete customer journey management.
No Jitter - One of the oft-touted benefits of cloud-based applications is regular software updates, including new features. On that note, two of the best-known names in cloud-only contact center -- Five9 and inContact -- this week announced new releases of their solutions. With the announcements coming within 24 hours of one another, it is natural to compare and contrast the two.
DestinationCRM - The release offers a multichannel agent interface for Salesforce, new outbound campaign management, automated actions in WFO, new reporting options, and additional APIs for a growing developer ecosystem.
ICMI - As we know, customers want it all: infinite choice, immediate access, personalized service. And, they expect your contact center to deliver it at every step... Here are three key findings from our recently conducted customer journey research and how they affect the contact center.
DestinationCRM - Conventional wisdom says that the need for contact center agents is diminishing with the adoption of automation and self-service channels.
Contact Center Pipeline - Surveys should be easily executable, measurable and actionable -- and it all begins with the planning.
Connections Magazine - In today’s hyper-modern and seemingly automated world, self-service is not enough. Customers want and expect personalized service and interaction with live customer service agents.
CMO.com - As marketing leaders, we’re aware that every step in the customer journey counts. However, with all of its nuanced complexity, your customer journey model might be missing a vital element...
eWeek - RingCentral announced the launch of its Contact Center platform, which is powered by inContact, a provider of cloud contact center software. The solution is integrated with RingCentral Office and gives contact center agents the ability to engage customers through multiple channels, including voice, email, chat and SMS.
DestinationCRM - The cloud communications provider will now offer real-time queuing and dashboarding for the contact center.
No Jitter - RingCentral taps inContact as contact center partner, enables seamless on-net calling from one cloud to the other.
Contact Center Pipeline - Excellence in customer service is one of the, if not the most important competitive differentiator today... Legendary customer service, however, is a competitive advantage that is not that easily copied.
ICMI - Leaders looking to answer these questions often consider implementing a coaching program to provide feedback and guidance to improve agent performance. But somewhere along the way, one more question is inevitably asked, “Will a coaching program deliver strong enough results to justify the cost?”
BrightTalk - Consumers want it all: infinite choice, immediate access, personalized service. And they expect you to be available and deliver at every step in an effortless multi-channel, multi-event customer journey. Mariann McDonagh, CMO of inContact, will share hot-off-the-presses research about consumer expectations during the peak shopping season.
No Jitter - The decade we are half-way through was to bring multichannel interactions seamlessly into the now contact center. Along the way, however, that relatively straight-forward plan was side-tracked by the explosion of e-commerce and smartphones and by the generation raised in the midst of the blast, Millennials.
ICMI - The key as a teacher or trainer is to recognize the existence of these learning styles and to adapt. Being cognitive of the engagement or disengagement of your class will let you know if you style of teaching is reaching your group. If not, you have to adapt and switch up the style to positively reach your class. Changing teaching styles throughout a course or training period is where one will see the most return on their teaching investment. As much as it is the students’ responsibility to learn, it is equally the instructor’s responsibility to teach.
ICMI - Contact centers come in all shapes and sizes. In the battle of the contact center, we will identify the workforce management challenges small contact centers face that make them unique along with suggested solutions that allow them to differentiate, compete, and win along with the larger, more enterprise organizations.
YouTube - Jennifer Waite of contact center service provider inContact sits down with Ken Kraetzer of CBSI Services to discuss how the usage of systems can improve customer service.
Contact Professional - Like every major league football team that has its own playbook, filled with options depending on the situation on the field, different contact centers have different operating procedures depending on particular outbound campaigns. And, just as NFL rules of engagement make proper execution a necessity, so do complex FTC and FCC regulations – including TSR, DNC and TCPA – make proper contact center execution critical.
Salesforce.com - A customer of Salesforce since 2006, Workfront, a provider of enterprise work management solutions, uses more than forty AppExchange apps to run their business, including inContact Agent for Salesforce, a complete cloud contact center solution. Dan Bergstrom, Director of Demand Conversion at Workfront, recently joined App Talks to share how his team leverages Salesforce and inContact to improve effectiveness and overall happiness of his team.
ICMI - Contact Centers are complex. Most companies operate many of their functions and applications independently. For example, one team may be handling quality assurance, another handling training, and another team scheduling employees. All while, supervisors manage coaching with their staff, managers are running reports and IT teams managing telecom, contact routing, and IVR messaging.
XCHANGE CIO Community - Too many companies live in fear of that viral tweet about their customer service that has gone awry. The realization that customer service is paramount for survival, much less success, is the wind beneath the wings of cloud solutions providers such as inContact.
Wall Street Daily - What I like most about inContact is that its growth is organic, and you don’t see that very often... This company could be headed notably higher in the coming weeks.
XCHANGE CIO Community - Cloud security is extremely important: A provider could have the greatest cloud products ever developed, but they are worthless and useless if the platform is not secure. inContact, is a member of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), because we recognize the importance and value of what CSA is doing in developing and promoting best practices in cloud security...
ICMI - Workforce management or workforce magic? That is the question…
Contact Center Pipeline - A growing number of companies are using gamification in the contact center to motivate agents to improve their performance and skills on their own. “We’re finding that these types of performance measurement tools allow agents to take control of their achievements,” says Christina Cowell, product marketing manager, Workforce Optimization at inContact. “Frontline agents become more accountable and proactive to enhance performance and meet and achieve expectations without supervisors needing to watch over them or remind them constantly about goals and performance.”
ICMI - Today, managers have greater challenges then years past with retaining employees and keeping them engaged. Many organizations are looking towards effective incenting to assist with other retention initiatives. What consists of an effective incenting program?
ICMI - Since the moment I began my recruiting career it was engrained in me to always “Work Closest to the Dollar”. For those who are not familiar with this phrase it simply means focus on the things that matter the most. In the industry of recruiting and talent acquisition this can mean many things, but for me it means only two. Focus on the efforts that reduce the vacancy costs and align with your forecasted budget.
ICMI - If people are the greatest asset of companies, then why do some of us take short cuts when it comes to hiring? Hiring can be time intensive; however I consider it an investment into my business.
Deseret News — Software firm inContact Inc. has announced plans for a campus with more than 350,000 square feet of office space in Sandy.
The company, which provides cloud contact center software and contact center agent optimization tools, will be located at 9700 S. State, just southwest of the South Towne Exposition Center.
Raddon Development and Workers Compensation Fund will begin development of the campus in early 2015 with an expected completion of the first building by March 2016. The growth of inContact during the past two years, which has seen the company double in size to almost 1,000 employees, necessitated the new facility.
The inContact Center will begin with a 125,000-square-foot building with plans to include two additional buildings for a total of more than 350,000 square feet of office space throughout the campus. To accommodate the influx of new people to the area, inContact Center will feature a four-story parking structure with 1,093 spaces in addition to street-level parking lots and spaces.
"In the last year, inContact grew the employee base by 28 percent in Utah, and by 65 percent overall throughout the U.S. and the world," noted Paul Jarman, CEO of inContact. "With the construction of inContact Center, we plan to create a world-class employee experience with room to grow into the 2020s."
"We could not be more pleased to welcome inContact as a key corporate partner in our recently unveiled city center, The Cairns," said Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan.
CRMXchange - Just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two contact centers have identical staffing needs. Forecasting contact center workloads and intelligently scheduling agents to effectively handle the traffic can be an even more daunting task than predicting the weather. But by gaining a better understanding of the basics of creating schedules, using the right mathematical tools to determine forecasting needs and integrating insight of company procedures and priorities, the process can be far more manageable.
ICMI - As is customary this time of the year, we look forward into the next year and beyond. And we might ask: where are our agents heading?
ICMI - Knowing there is gold in the hills is one thing, but extracting it is another. In the early stages of the 1800s gold rush miners used shovels, pick axes and brute strength. As mining evolved, miners implemented the use of water to simply wash away the earth. Water made extracting the gold a much simpler and less back-breaking process. Similarly, analyzing voice interactions is not a new process, but cloud-powered Speech Analytics has made the process easier and more efficient.
Utilizing cloud technology as the operations platform for contact centers has made analytics more accessible and easier to use than in the past. You might say the cloud is to analytics what water was to mining. The cloud increases the power of analytics and makes it more cost effective. Much like the miners of the 1800s, many companies are adopting this technology to unearth valuable customer insight. Quantifying why customers are calling is the first step to understanding how to better service them and, in turn, better prepare the agents. Speech Analytics enables us to dig deeper beyond why a customer called and better determine what a customer truly wants or needs.
Quality and speech technology are often paired together because it’s a very effective way to drive improved business practices. But, speech analytics is applicable in new ways such as opportunity identification. If an automated system can identify pre-determined keywords and phrases from written text and send the customer to the sales queue as a potential lead, why ignore the voice interactions? Automated surveys are a wonderful source of customer feedback, but what if the customer declines? They still left behind plenty of feedback during their agent conversation. Mine it, collect it, analyze and apply this information.
Analytics development powered by cloud innovations has made speech analytics solutions available to any contact center regardless of size or budget. For the small-to-medium size operation, inContact’s recent release of Discover WFO features the Discover Speech Analytics component which uses a phonetics-based engine to quickly locate key words and phrases contained within call recordings. It will identify opportunities for leveraging business intelligence, reducing risk and improving operation efficiency. As a phonetics-based system, Speech Analytics is able to identify opportunities beyond the typical key words and can hone in on non-standard words such as jargon, slang and even different languages.
For the larger, enterprise level contact center, inContact’s comprehensive WFO suite includes Analytics-Driven Quality powered by Verint® featuring LVCSR (large-vocabulary continuous speech recognition) technology to convert the conversation into text, and analyze the tone and pitch of the conversation. This conversion permits the interaction to be mined for intelligence and patterns, such as the automatic “categorization” of calls to identify those of potential high business value. Verint® has been a leader in the speech analytics space for a decade, bringing the power of their highly-advanced, field tested speech analytics engine and know-how to QM customers. Verint’s capabilities through the cloud bring the added benefits and cost savings of avoiding the heavy infrastructure and hardware investments that have long been associated with speech analytics and WFO, in general.
More companies are adopting a full customer experience perspective that ties quality management, analytics, and voice of the customer products. Speech analytics engines provide organizations with the power to search large volumes of audio for multiple terms of interest. Audio files containing the specific term(s) can be accessed quickly and easily. The ability to locate key phrases in continuous audio, combined with being implemented on a cloud platform, allows the gathered business intelligence to be shared throughout the entire organization.
The cloud is the key to bringing companies innovative solutions without breaking the bank. It offers the freedom to experiment with using analytics in different channels while only paying for services used. Operating on a cloud platform, featuring the agility of a pay-for-what-you-use approach, enables contact centers to mix and match various components to find the ideal combination of solutions. Taking advantage of cloud flexibility will help you unearth the right solution for your contact center needs.
Destination CRM - Having contact center systems and software positioned in the cloud "is the way to go if you're going to allow people to work at home," adds Jennifer Waite, product marketing manager at inContact. "The cloud gives you the ability to have technology with you wherever you are. You don't have to set anything up. [The system] just needs to know where to route the work."
ICMI - Halloween is coming up quickly and many contact centers are preparing for how they will celebrate with their staff. Many will allow their agents to dress up and some will even have contests for the best costume, most original theme for a team and most creative way that their cubicle was decorated. This is a great way to involve your staff in a fun activity, unless they are a remote agent… How do we involve the remote agents in these kinds of in-house activities, contests and fun?
This is a common challenge for contact centers with remote agents and something that they have to work through for achieving more than just the fun of the center. What is the best way to keep these agents engaged and feeling included in the culture of the center? We encounter this problem on a regular basis as a provider (and user) of cloud solutions for contact centers. The flexibility of working-from-home is a major benefit to the cloud, but it can result in employee disengagement as remote agents sometimes feel left out.
Some of the top tips that we have learned over the years for working with remote agents are:
- Use video for meetings – 1 on 1 meetings over video will feel more personal and using video for your team meetings will allow your team to form stronger bonds with each other.
- Provide access to their team – one of the easiest ways to get help during a contact is to pop your head over the top of your cube to see who has an answer or idea for you. Since remote agents don’t have this option, give them access to their team via a secure instant messenger program.
- Build areas for collaboration and sharing – an intranet site can provide many options for engaging your remote team. They can use the site to access areas such as a knowledgebase or program sites, but also you can give the chance to have personal pages that they can use to create a profile. Profile pages can enable them to feel more connected with others and may even give them the ability to post kudos to other members of their team.
One of the hardest things about having a mixed location environment is creating a virtualized version of what it would feel to be in the office. The remote agent has benefits that in-office agents do not such as the shortest commute and a much different dress code. However, many still want the engagement aspect of what a water cooler or break room provides. Hopefully some of these options will fit with the environment and goals of your contact center and enable you to strike the proper balance between employee satisfaction and engagement.
ICMI - Most everyone in the Contact Center and CRM space seems to agree: this is the age of the customer. Excellence in Customer Service is a competitive differentiator, and offering better customer service than “the other guy” can make or break your business.
No wonder many companies initiate customer service improvement initiatives. The contact center is often scrutinized as it is one of the main points of customer interaction. The list of possible improvements can be long: offering additional interaction channels, introducing proactive customer engagement, self-service, and so on. And last but not least, companies start looking into personalizing customer interactions, and making them more context-aware.
A far as personalization and context-awareness goes, there often IS room for improvement! Most of us have been there… You call a contact center, and then repeat your name, phone number, customer number (or any other 12-digit identification) to – from what it feels like – every single agent in the center. None of the agents you talk to seems to have any knowledge of who you are or what you want or need, even though you have identified yourself and explained your request at the very beginning of the interaction.
This situation is equally unsatisfactory from the agent’s perspective. They have to ask every customer they talk to the same questions. Apart from the fact that some customers may not like that very much, so that agents have to deal with a disgruntled caller, this also means that agents also have to spend a considerable part of their Handling Time asking for information that should be readily available…
Enter the CRM system! If there is a CRM system in your company, your customer data are there and should be used to improve customer service. Why does it make sense to integrate your Contact Center and your CRM system? Here are the five most important reasons:
- Giving your agents access to customer data synchronized with each contact enables them to have more personalized and context-aware interactions with your customers.
- Access to customer data shortens Average Handle Time. Agents don’t have to ask each customer for their information, and customers will appreciate that they don’t have to answer the obligatory questions anymore!
- Embedding contact center functionality such as soft phone and agent state controls into the CRM interface streamlines contact handling. No more toggling between screens or constantly managing screen real estate. Let agents focus on providing great customer service!
- Integrated CRM and Contact Center systems reduce the need for end user training, as only one integrated interface is required to handle incoming contacts.
- Optimize contact routing based on data from your CRM. For example, use data available in the contact center platform, such as the customer phone number, to identify the customer using your CRM data, then reserve their call for a preferred agent for more personalized service.
An integration of you contact center and your CRM systems, done right, can be a case where truly the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, or – in other words – where 1+1=3!
Customer Experience Report - Managing a contact center is tough any day. But the rapid strides in technology over the last few years, and its widespread adoption by consumers have introduced new challenges for contact centers. In an attempt to keep pace, and of course reduce costs, many contact centers are turning towards cloud based operations.
1to1 Media - While most organizations pursue proactive problem resolution in an effort to cut contact center costs, such initiatives also create opportunities to strengthen customer satisfaction and reinforce loyal relationships.
ICMI - It’s hard to imagine, but the days of reading from a printed script and keeping track of all calls with a pen and a paper where not so long ago. When call center agents were monitored by a physical person manually hard wired into their line. These types of inefficiencies have been experienced by nearly every call center, but luckily we have come a long way in a short amount of time. Performance management software has now become the driving force on the call center floor. It is no longer a question of whether we are using tools to measure our floor’s performance, but what kind of tools and what metrics are you looking at. As Peter Drucker once stated “What gets measured gets done. Make sure you are measuring the right things!” The environment in which we manage our call centers today is as complex as it has ever been. Battling increasing regulation, costs and turnover, while trying to increase sales and the overall customer experience has left many lost on where to even begin. As Peter articulated, the things we measure typically are what we drive. More than ever, it is imperative that you are measuring the right metrics, not just those that are readily available or are easy to track.
Several years ago, I was building a home with a contractor that was producing 5 to 6 houses a month with a small team. At the same time, my father began to build a home with a builder completing just two houses a year. My parents chose a builder that made big, beautiful, expensive homes with meticulous detail. By the time my home was finished and I had lived in it for over a year, my parents home was just being completed. I soon realized that even though my house was done quickly and in a cost effective manner, it didn’t hold its value. It checked the box for efficiency and cost, but fell far short in terms of quality. I ended up selling my house a few years later for slightly less than I bought it for. My parents lived in their beautiful home for several years and when they eventually decided to sell, they walked away with a large profit.
So, how does home construction have anything to do with call centers and measuring metrics? Simple, in any scenario, you can’t measure success if you aren’t including all the relevant pieces to the equation. With each system we use today (phone, CRM, quality monitoring, etc.) offering massive amounts of information, we often fall back on the metrics that are the easiest to access and track. Consequently, we often praise our agents for positive performance around one piece of the equation, like being efficient, while that same agent’s sales and quality performance is struggling and hurting the company. This scenario is all too common in today’s call center and stems from a lack of knowledge and visibility into what metrics really matter.
inView is a real-time performance management dashboard that has finally solved the ongoing problem of limited visibility into the necessary metrics that drive the organization’s goals. Developed exclusively for call centers, inView has the ability to automatically pull data together from all disparate systems being used, while offering the call center full customizability in creating any metrics as defined by them. Gaining visibility into all necessary metrics finally allows call centers the ability to accurately assess their company’s performance and, more importantly, act on that information as it occurs. Additionally, inView enables organizations to accurately identify their top agents and reward that behavior while pinpointing those who are struggling and ensure they are given the necessary coaching they need to improve. Whether you are using two systems or twenty, inView provides critical visibility to all metrics in one centralized dashboard, allowing managers the ability to finally track, measure and drive what matters. Empower and engage agents to own their performance with inView.
1to1 Media - 1to1 Media's Tom Hoffman catches up with Jennifer Waite, Product Marketing Manager at inContact at Call Center Week in Las Vegas to discuss key trends in outbound communications, including new approaches to proactive customer communications.
1to1 Media - While 1.21 gigawatts may be extreme, companies must power their VOC strategies with the innovative tools and technologies necessary to drive real-time speech analytics and fuel first call resolution.
Though voice conversations and customer service calls may seem like things of the past, speech technology and data analytics continue to usher such interactions quickly into the future—no flux capacitor necessary.
While many believe that online and social avenues are quickly becoming the customers' choice contact channels, one recent Gartner study proves that 90 percent of all customer conversations still take place via phone despite the increasing popularity of digital service opportunities. Thus, the need for speech analytics remains and, as technology evolves, such tools have the potential to revolutionize the customer experience, allowing companies to dive deeper into this granular insight more than ever.
According to Ryan Pellet, chief strategy officer at Nexidia, speech technology has added an entirely new dimension to the analytics spectrum. While companies once relied upon transactional data for analytics and strategy development, speech analytics allows businesses to tap into behavioral data, as the conversations between the company and the customer represent the largest, non-monetized data asset of any company.
More and more companies are beginning to adopt the full customer experience perspective, in fact, which ties quality management, analytics, and voice of the customer together in ways that allow leaders to determine how agents are affecting customers, and vice versa. Christina Cowell, product marketing manager, WFO Solutions Group at inContact, notes that, by gaining increased insight into what's driving customer satisfaction, businesses can then improve front-end processes in an effort to achieve long-term success. The cloud, she highlights, ushered in an era of innovation that allows companies to experiment with analytics within different channels without breaking their budget. Lacking excessive hardware or maintenance, the cloud's flexibility makes speech technology more affordable across the board, thereby enabling agility—the key to identifying the best analytics approach for any given brand.
While quality assurance and compliance often serve as the launching point for most speech analytics strategies, as such initiatives allow companies to organize and analyze customer feedback, Tom Goodmanson, president and CEO of Calabrio, notes that there are numerous incremental business cases that have emerged alongside these most basic tactics:
- Escalation management—Leaders can gain visibility into escalated calls, thereby revealing issues with both people and processes that need to be addressed. By analyzing such calls, companies can quickly discover what triggered the call and learn how the agent responded. Contact centers can also catch instances where agents may need training.
- First contact resolution—Repeat calls from the same customer can be costly, and often reflect negative customer experience and sentiment. Speech analytics affords companies the opportunity to identify examples of customer dissatisfaction, establish tell-tale behavioral patterns, determine why such issues aren't being addressed initially, and train employees accordingly so they may respond effectively and efficiently if the need arises.
- Customer retention—By using speech analytics to understand and establish language patterns, companies can easily identify at-risk customers via keyword terms. Leaders can then train agents to detect and respond to said terms in an effort to curb dissatisfaction and improve performance as they work to sustain loyalty, trust, and retention.
Keyword spotting, notes Colin Kelly, CTO of Invoca, helps marketers identify the phrases and words associated with calls that are more likely to convert. By monitoring and identifying such terms, agents can then use said knowledge to reflect such trends in conversation and positively impact future sales and support calls. Though seemingly simple, this technique can empower agents to respond appropriately in the moment as they come to understand customer behavioral patterns. But, as Art Schoeller, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, emphasizes, this tactic requires the expertise of an analyst that truly understands the speech tools at hand. False positives and other issues may arise when interpreting the results, leading to mistrust. Therefore, companies must be sure to employ someone who can dive deep and effectively decipher behavioral trends with the precision this skill requires.
Ultimately, companies must move away from basic quality monitoring, expanding their scope to include developing the complete picture of their inbound calls in order to make better marketing decisions, improving ROI, and enhancing the customer experience. Because inbound calls typically convert at much higher rates, marketers need the data and intelligence necessary to drive more of these calls to their business. However, many companies aren't doing enough when it comes to integrating the necessary speech technologies. Most stop at call monitoring, which only provides minimal value, as it doesn't make business processes smarter or more efficient. Technology must be used to help businesses analyze and act upon customer interactions.
Real-time analytics feeds into this need by allowing leaders to make decisions quickly, often immediately. Pellet highlights that using real-time conversational data in combination with real-time decisioning and algorithms will enable any given brand's speech analytics strategy to operate at peak performance levels. Real-time analytics allow agents to detect behaviors that may impact customer relations and the bottom line, such as churn. Data will dictate how to respond, as the workflow to follow remains critical. Should the agent offer the customer something special, or simply apologize? Should they escalate the case, keep troubleshooting, or follow up on an alternative channel? Often times, agents need only have the right article from the knowledge base appear on their screen. Thus, by blending behavioral science (the interaction) and data science (customer history), agents can react with speed and agility as they work to curb tensions in the moment, instead of waiting until after the call happens to develop and implement best practices.
However, as Don Peppers, founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group, highlights, companies must recognize and understand the difference between speech and voice analytics. While speech analytics mostly relies upon speech-to-text technology that then uses text analytics to parse the words used and sentence structure in order to detect complaints, moods, and sentiment, voice analytics focuses on tone. When communicating with others, much can be interpreted from non-verbal signaling. Thus, companies must be sure to embrace the difference in order to add an even deeper layer of granularity to their strategy.
"Our voices betray our emotions in ways that simple words don't always do," Peppers says. "If I say 'I'm just wild about this product' in two different tones of voice, the same words could mean radically different things. And while a good speech analytics program will pick up these different meanings from the context of other words surrounding them, a voice analytics program will be more likely to detect the real meaning from the tone of voice itself."
In a sense, voice data appears three-dimensional as compared to survey and transactional data's two-dimensional nature, for voice remains multi-faceted and nuanced. However, many companies still hesitate to embrace this basic form of communication, for its breadth has always seemed daunting.
"Changing the mindset from recordings being a necessary evil, to being the richest data asset in existence is core," Pellet says. "Our industry has been talking about using the 'voice of the customer' for over a decade, yet we haven't used the actual voice of the customer. Starting with accurate, complete, and timely data will pave the way for success." While companies always boast about their voice of the customer strategies, few truly put the customers' actual voices to good use. Brands must return to the contact center's roots and reconnect with the most basic of customer service interactions so they may finally reintroduce the 'voice' to their VOC initiatives.
Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads
Moving forward, the speech analytics space will likely grow increasingly simplified. As Goodmanson says, "The ability to simplify the technology and make the applications more intuitive in order to get more analyzed data into more people's hands so they can make better, faster decisions about customers and service—not just in the contact center, but across the organization." However, adoption will continue to lag if only large organizations can afford the tools and staff needed to maintain this technology. Thus, innovative solutions that allow businesses of all sizes to analyze more interactions and share insight with more people in an intuitive way are the future.
Speech analytics will also need to move beyond siloed channels and trendspotting toward outcome-based analysis that informs improvements around best practices, behavior modeling, and customer preference. Analytics teams will need to become cross-functional, as such capabilities much reach outside the contact center to enhance the entire business. Ultimately, analytics is more than speech, for today's tools can analyze far more than just the interaction at hand. Advanced tools also enable companies to assess how agents use said tools during those interactions, allowing leaders to pinpoint problems and agent performance in an effort to boost customer satisfaction and reduce handle times. By keeping the customer at the heart of all initiatives, and embracing the available abundance of insight, companies can accomplish anything.
Contact Professional - What if a quarterback had to pass the ball without seeing the play develop? He can’t see his receivers or his running backs. He’s flying blind; he’s playing catch up. In this game of inches, he gets sacked.
Is this what your agents face when it comes to outbound calls? If your contact center batches records for outbound campaigns that last days or weeks, those customer records can quickly become out-of-date. Maybe the customer called in after the agent’s first failed attempt, perhaps they made that missed payment. But your agent doesn’t know. He’s playing catch up. He’s about to get sacked.
ICMI - As contact centers continue to evolve, quality management processes will need to keep up. So, why not go back to basics?! Today we review key areas where quality management needs to evolve for multi-channel to keep you ahead of the game. First let’s discuss transparency. Remaining transparent in business is critical to keeping focus on the objectives at hand. Coaching is a large piece of that transparency. There are five basic steps to coaching that every organization should incorporate.
- Educate your staff on what is expected.
- Discuss with your staff how to relate their personal goals to driving the bigger company objectives to validate your expectations.
- Confirm that your staff understands what is expected.
- Establish the escalation steps that will be taken if expectations are not met and the tools available for employees to help them meet these expectations.
- Hold your staff accountable.
Keep in mind that goals and objectives across channels may be different, so be clear and specific! It is also important to know where you’re going. What does this mean? Each employee needs to receive clear top-down direction and feedback as to where they are, what their goals are, and the best way to reach them.
Next let’s discuss how to keep QM consistent across channels in YOUR world.
Remember, every channel is not equal. You cannot carry your forms over from channel to channel and expect to be effective in coaching your agents to better serve customers. There may be a few core behaviors that can be consistent, but the entire form cannot be leveraged successfully. So, find out what behaviors measure the customer experience for the channel, and monitor them consistently. This goes back to measuring the data that matters. As you gather insight, forms may have to change, and that is expected. Remember to continually update processes and compendiums as you make changes!
Your quality form is in place, a great first step, but you are far from done! Don’t laugh, it’s the truth. Assemble a team to create guidelines which measure what makes “good good” and “bad bad” using specific descriptors, causes, behaviors, and examples. Document, document, document! It drives consistency across agents, locations, lines of business, and all points in between. Frankly, until you actual define and document the behaviors within in your form, it is not a QM program.
<Ok Ok, now I have a form AND guidelines. So, I’m done, right?!?>
Wrong again… communicate! Train agents and management on the guidelines so they know what’s expected and how to perform. This leads to QM and management having better reference points for evaluation.
As part of your QM process you must calibrate regularly! Be deliberate about your calibration process. Plan group calibrations carefully to create processes that minimize “the loudest voice wins” effect, explore scoring contacts independently, submit scores ahead of time, and come together to discuss areas of divergence. Create focus in group calibrations to discuss specific parts of the form and expect that participants are well-versed in quality guidelines. Most importantly, remember to update those guidelines as processes change! This is a living document that should evolve and be shared as guidelines change.
Now, how does QM work within your organization? Build a culture that understands how important quality is. They are not the police. They hear your customers and your agents, and can help you drive better processes. Hiring, Quality, Training, Incentives and Motivation all need to be on the same page!
My final tip, take it to the cloud! I have worked in the premise based world for a long time, and the cloud has significant advantages, especially when building workforce optimization in your contact center. It is easy to experiment and add new connection channels with customers when you are in the cloud. As you add more channels it easier to expand points of service, whether to homes or offices. The cloud allows you to change at the speed of your business and pay for what you use. With premise platforms you are often stuck with old hardware because maintenance and upgrades are just too costly. In the cloud, maintenance and upgrades are included! You are always on the top platform with the newest features. The cloud is more unified, more agile, and more cost-effective. What are you waiting for?
CMSWire - When we look to a company for answers, what do we want?
We want a seamless experience and answers tailored to our needs, no matter how we reach out. Whether we visit a store, check a website, send an email, call customer service or all of the above, we want the source or person on the other end to understand our relevant history and quickly provide answers. We want omnichannel service, and so do our customers.
The Omnichannel Enterprise
Omnichannel service — seamless interactions across the customer journey — involves the whole enterprise. An emerging standard that goes beyond multichannel, omnichannel is an advanced concept gaining ground in sectors like retail and banking where customer experience is the key differentiator.
Providing omnichannel service requires a cross-functional team with players from marketing, sales, customer service, operations and IT. Working together, they need to understand and architect the customer journey that identifies the service touch points and how the customer may switch between channels continuously and seamlessly. The vision of omnichannel is that the customer — at any point in the journey and on any channel — will have a consistent and optimized experience, even when they switch channels.
The Contact Center: Caulk in the Gap, Agent of Change
Customer behavior puts the contact center in a leading role in providing omnichannel service. With the rise of the web and self-service options, many predicted that there would be fewer voice calls. Yes, customers are using the web and self-service, but they are also still calling, and when they do, the stakes are much higher. They’ve likely exhausted other channels and their problem still isn’t solved or their question remains unanswered. The contact center becomes the fixer, or what I call the caulk in the gap left in other areas.
Maybe the customer went to the company website and the FAQ was inaccurate or out of date. Then they sent an email that was routed to inside sales, with no reply. Finally, they called the service line for answers. This is where the contact center not only fills the gap, but reveals the gaps in service. And because contact centers are handling new types of customer communications like online chat and text, more and more gaps are coming to light each day.
Providing omnichannel service, and the advanced customer interactions that come with it, requires cross-functional dedication to creating a consistent customer experience. The contact center can be a leader in this effort because it is actively discovering gaps in the customer journey.
The Omnichannel Contact Center
From the customer’s point of view, omnichannel means that regardless of how they contact customer service, or where they are on their journey, they will have the same experience and consistent results, even when they switch channels.
There’s a lot riding on the contact center agents who play a key role in providing answers and converting a potentially negative customer experience into a positive experience. These agents need sophisticated yet easy-to-use tools as well as real time feedback, excellent training and coaching. They will need advanced technology that supports omnichannel interactions.
Introducing the omnichannel contact center:
- Communicates with customers across multiple channels and can do so simultaneously (such as sending a text to a customer on a voice call)
- Knows and understands the customer’s context and past interactions within their journey
- Remembers and is able to thread or carry this contextual understanding from one channel to another
- Provides consistent and personalized service in every channel the customer uses
Agents can provide these types of advanced interactions when systems and software are integrated into a unified platform. This unification makes a customer’s identity, context and relevant history accessible, thereby enabling the contact center to deliver seamless experiences.
Omnichannel: Made Possible in the Cloud
If your contact center is using disconnected on premises systems, omnichannel is difficult if not impossible to achieve. Cloud technology offers a flexible and agile environment that enables rapid response as well as a test-and-refine approach.
As channels proliferate and as customers become more demanding, you need the ability to understand your customers and to evaluate your operations from end to end. You will need to experiment and to add services. Cloud contact center systems have the advanced technology and built-in flexibility needed to adapt to the emerging requirements of omnichannel customers.
About the Author
Madelyn Gengelbach is vice president of strategic marketing at inContact. She has worked for Fortune 50 firms to startups, including Sprint, Hallmark Cards and H&R Block.
Forefront Magazine - When it was time to bring her far-flung team together a few months ago, Mariann McDonagh eschewed some typical corporate outings in favor of a cooking school session where people worked to prepare an elaborate Thai meal and eventually gather together to enjoy the fruits - and vegetables - of their labor.
“I thought it would be a great team-building event rather than racing cars or shooting each other with paintballs,” said McDonagh, who considers herself an expert in the kitchen.
Creating a cohesive culture for her team members is something McDonagh spends a lot of time and energy on considering more than half work somewhere other than inContact’s U.S. offices. The company provides cloud-based call center services to clients around the world, so its reliance on remote work makes sense. But that global reach means McDonagh can’t just call an impromptu afternoon meeting to make sure everyone is on track. Instead, she relies on “relentless communications” using a range of tech tools, including Skype, Google Hangouts and text messaging, to convey the company’s mission.
“If you could see my desk right now, I have about six communications devices on it. We sort of knock down the walls of remoteness by constantly connecting,” she said. “I think the most important thing is that each of the individuals on the team understands what it is that we’re doing, understands what their part in it is, knows what they need to do to be successful and how they are going to be measured.”
From Random to Revamped
That wasn’t how things worked when McDonagh joined inContact four years ago. Then, the small, entry-level marketing staff performed what she calls “random acts of marketing” without a strategic plan. McDonagh was brought in to change that after a round of fundraising that inContact executives hoped would spark aggressive growth for the firm. McDonagh revamped marketing messages to position inContact as a brand leader, beefed up her department’s infrastructure and rebuilt her staff with more emphasis on seniority and specialization.
“One of the tough things is I had to change out about 90 percent of the team and bring in a lot of different skill sets,” she said.
Patchwork of Peers
But the changes paid off, resulting in a more than 100 percent increase in lead flow year over year for the past four years And they’ve allowed McDonagh, who also oversees inContact’s Product Management Team of about 30, to expand the core Marketing Team from seven to 21. With the larger staff, McDonagh is now able to implement a peer mentoring system in which employees with different skill sets pair up.
“I like to say that my team is like a patchwork quilt,” she said. “We don’t have two people who come from exactly the same background. So when they stitch together, they make something really interesting and beautiful.”
It’s not unusual for McDonagh to mentor team members who are two or three notches below her on the corporate totem pole. Her team also looks to other inContact departments and industry events to pick up best practices.
“We do a cross-departmental mentoring where we’ve got folks who have interesting skill sets,” she said. “They may be good speakers or excellent product marketers, and they are mentoring back into my group to really add skills, experience and a new perspective.”
McDonagh’s own background encompasses several unique positions, including a stint running marketing for an Australian firm and as a Director of Custom Publishing for a firm that produced magazines in multiple languages for IBM’s global partners. One of her most educational experiences came with Cheyenne Software, now part of Computer Associates, where McDonagh handled the product marketing for a new version of Cheyenne’s biggest software line.
“That really cut my teeth on the whole spectrum of integrated marketing that accompanied a product launch, everything from packaging to advertising to partner communications, global launch events and PR,” she said. “I had the opportunity to really direct and touch every facet of that product launch.”
It was that experience, in part, that helped McDonagh become as comfortable in the executive office as she is in the kitchen.
“Having a recipe, but being comfortable enough to riff on it, is really what it’s all about. I look at recipes, but I rarely cook from them, and I think that’s the same way I think about driving this team and driving the business,” she said. “I read a lot of business books and talk to a lot of folks in the industry, then I take that back and I make it my own. I spice it up in my own way.”
ICMI - Every contact center has a training process. Normally there is a process for new employees, otherwise known as onboarding, and also one for continuing education. Creating dynamic training curriculum to keep agents engaged and delivering it efficiently is difficult. But, the question you should ask yourself is how are the topics for the curriculum chosen, and how do I know I am successful? How does training interoperate within your business?
There are a number of great tools in the market today that can help you create curriculum and deliver it seamlessly. But, what happens if the topics are not driving the right behavior? Let’s talk through five best practices to create a training program that will drive positive improvement and growth in your contact center.
1. Make a plan for your eLearning efforts. Understanding the process flow from beginning to end is important to drive consistency. Outline how the education within your contact center flows from time of hire and throughout their tenure: how frequently are they refreshed with critical/ compliance information, how often do they need skills training, etc. Include information regarding owners as well.
2. Develop a training committee to help drive consistency in topics and success throughout the organization. Include all pieces of your organization: quality, workforce, recruiting, HR, etc. The training committee should discuss how to create better work models to improve trends and develop successful processes for agents.
3. Measure your success. Unless you track changes and improvements (or lack thereof) you will not know if your time and effort were worth the cost. Measure the effectiveness of your organizational changes. Are you bringing in stronger candidates now that you know what skills are needed to succeed? Is your attrition rate declining? Do agents have a strong sense of your commitment to their success? Are you correlating the success of your agents to the long-term business goals?
4. Find the right tools to make life a little bit easier. Tools can be expensive, but ultimately the ROI is well worth it. Not only can you reduce attrition, which impacts the costs behind recruiting, hiring, and frequent training, but you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by better equipping your agents. The cloud makes eLearning tools affordable and agile to your needs. Tools that interoperate with other WFO components will drive more productivity within your organization.
5. Document your process. I cannot stress this enough. Once you have identified the process that works for your organization, document it, share it, and change it as needed. Most importantly, continue document it and maintain consistency across all teams and departments, as well as set expectations and hold teams accountable to impact change.
Contact Professional - Does this scene from your local schoolyard remind you of anything at your very own contact center?
You see two kids on a playground. There’s a little shoving, a little shouting. The teacher intervenes, forcing them to cooperate. Supervision is required but the kids still don’t play well together. Eventually they have to be separated.
Are you grappling, like this teacher, with multiple systems at your contact center, trying your best to force them to work well together? Your premise-based ACD and IVR solution is from one provider, your outbound dialer is from another. Workforce management comes from yet another. The systems are not naturally integrated and don’t seamlessly work together.
Inflexible Contact Center Systems
Here are some of the culprits and results of multiple, dis-integrated systems.
1) Personnel Productivity Drops
In this world of forced integration of inflexible systems, efficiency and effectiveness are lacking. For example, agents must log in and out of different places to transition from inbound to outbound campaigns. Separate systems require managers to pull reports from multiple places and manually aggregate data. There’s no holistic reporting. Even when a solution is used to integrate data (forced cooperation), a managers’ involvement (supervision) is needed for the systems to work well together.
2) Customers Ultimately Suffer
Dis-integrated contact center software creates an escalating problem: first, agents are inefficient and frustrated due to disconnected information; next, managers are ineffective due to manual requirements; finally, customers are disappointed because they don’t get the service they expect, even demand.
3) Ad hoc Fixes Exacerbate the Problem
Some contact centers segregate systems into different platforms (separate the kids). Different agents have access to different data. Customers are handed off from one agent to the next. Rather than improve the customer experience, this makes it more complex. An agent with partial customer information doesn’t fully understand each customer’s unique perspective. The customer has to explain her journey, again. Rigid premise-based technologies stand in the way of creating standout customer experiences. Time is wasted; opportunities are lost.
Flexible Contact Centers in the Cloud: Seamless, Optimized, Proactive
Contact centers should be able to ebb and flow with the needs of the customer, operating in a fluid manner. But if a contact center uses premise-based software, it invariably gets stuck with difficult-to-integrate and outdated technology. Change is even harder since making the business case for expensive upgrades is a challenge and installation is a hassle.
The cloud’s fluidity means contact centers can always be on the latest and greatest technology while also taking advantage of a seamlessly connected all-in-one solution.
In this cloud playground scenario, the kids play well together and the school itself is optimized. Cloud technology allows for scalability – contact centers are not buying licensing for the year’s high-water mark. That is, the school doesn’t pay for all of the kids in the classroom during summer break.
In the cloud, the contact center is set up for its exact needs. When more is needed, functionality in the cloud is easily turned on. When less is needed, functionality is easily turned off. With an all-in-one, seamless solution in the cloud, automated operations and proactive service become a reality.
So, if you’re trying to establish a positive relationship between your technology “kids” in your contact center “playground,” consider moving that playground to the cloud. It’s where championship teams are born.
Forrester - Kate Leggett, Principal Analyst serving Application Development and Delivery Professionals, examines several of the available options - including from the cloud - to best manage the growing CRM and WFO challenges for today's contact centers.
ICMI - Mining for the hidden gems in each customer interaction, small as though they may seem, can lead to a wealth of knowledge.
ICMI - Kristyn Emenecker, Vice President of WFO Solutions Group for inContact, provides solutions for contact center management to be revenue contributors and key strategic members of their corporate enterprise leadership team by becoming a Workforce-Intelligent Contact Center (TM).
1to1 Media - The acquisition of Uptivity by inContact provides more cloud solutions to companies looking to differentiate themselves through improved customer service and creating a better customer experience.
Ventana Research - Industry analyst Richard Snow gives his perspective on the inContact's roadmap for WFO in the cloud based on his recent interview with Kristyn Emenecker, inContact VP of WFO Solutions. Good links to related to Ventana Research Next-Generation Benchmarks.
Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) - Interview with Henri St. Andre, inContact Director of Trust, about inContact's long term commitment to Trust in the Cloud.
CMS Wire - The $22-billion call center market — dominated by legacy solutions from Avaya, Cisco Systems and Genesys — is ripe for disruption and cloud contact center solutions are positioned to strike.
CMO.com - Several Chief Marketing Officers, including Mariann McDonagh of inContact, provide valuable advice using the power of 20/20 hindsight.
Nemertes Research - Small and mid-sized contact centers now have more cloud options as providers move to integrate workforce optimization products and features into their solutions.
CMS Wire - 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.
CRM Magazine - "Folks are specifically interested in contact center infrastructure with ready WFO solutions," Mariann McDonagh says, "especially those in the midsize market, which has traditionally been and underserved market for WFO."
No Jitter - The holy grail of a fully-integrated cloud contact center suite continues to drive acquisition activity.
Smart Customer Service - Forward-thinking contact center executives and quality assurance managers know that their organizations have room for improvement, even transformation. Intuitively, they know that they're wasting precious time and money on failed customer calls. And they know they're leaving money on the table from sales not made. But without objective, meaningful, and specific facts, what can they do? What can you do? Consider the power of speech analytics in the cloud.
1to1 Media - By embracing the conversational nature of social media, companies can generate dialogue, moving beyond the basic batch-and-blast techniques of yesteryear as they work to strengthen customer relationships and boost loyalty.
ICMI - Contact Center Workforce Managers are the data “artists” within the company. This is a very important and challenging position. It’s about understanding and knowing when you’ll be the busiest, making sure people are adhering to what is planned and then quickly anticipating and adjusting throughout the day. With all these moving parts, below are ten workforce strategies to optimize your workforce.
CRM Xchange - WFO helps reduce complexity because it ties together human performance and behavior to operational data—providing information to manage people for better results.
Direct Marketing News - “Generally speaking, the majority of companies have not mastered multichannel marketing. Not because they don't want to improve, but because technology is still an obstacle,” says Madelyn Gengelbach, VP of strategic marketing at contact center provider inContact.
CRM Buyer - No one else in the market provides this many new features in each release.
ICMI - Regardless of the type of business, you are always looking for ways to drive performance. It’s like trying to find the shiny object to keep everyone’s attention, while behind the scenes making a positive impact on your business. How do you engage your workforce?
CMO.com - To become “chief growth officers,” CMOs and their teams need to work alongside sales. We need to build and continually pursue a trusted relationship. Here are five ways to align interests and build trust.
Wired, Innovation Insights - Innovation can be a powerful precursor to profitable growth by enhancing the customer experience. As such, the “I” in CIO has evolved from Infrastructure to Information to Innovation. While the CEO’s job is to enhance innovation, the CIO’s job is to be the innovator -- to take innovation and run with it.
Customer Magazine - Employing work-at-home agents can help companies build more successful customer care and outreach programs by enabling them to call on a larger workforce, pair callers with certain affinities with like-minded agents, and lower their costs in the process.
DestinationCRM - inContact is setting an aggressive pace for innovation in the contact center industry. With this release, we are strengthening our cloud platform and suite of products to address the advanced interactions that customers expect today.
Contact Professional - It’s time to expect more from SMS, and contact center agents need the tools required to deliver great customer experiences across this emerging channel. So here are three tips for delivering great SMS customer experiences.
No Jitter - CIOs are looking for THE best solutions--often regardless of premise or cloud. This means that cloud contact center providers that want to set themselves apart from the increasing number of competitors are seeking to push the envelope--providing not just table stakes but innovation. Innovation is clearly inContact's core message with the announcement today.
ICMI - Workforce management (WFM) tools are a great start, but it’s really just the beginning. Workforce optimization (WFO) is comprised of many processes and tools that are used for assessment and improvement of the agent and organization. With a full suite, you get powerful tools to help understand and act on four key levers: Presence, Proficiency, Performance, and Perception.
CRM Magazine - Customers no longer need to purchase expensive hardware or hire specialized staff to manage their speech analytics engine, because it's all there in the cloud.
ICMI - Getting a text is exciting. We all love receiving SMS messages from the people closest to us - whether it’s a family member, friend, or co-worker. They reach us wherever we are, and we pause our day to share a quick laugh and respond. The easy back and forth makes texting a very personal form of communication, and this intimacy is the reason that generic SMS marketing blasts tend to annoy customers and erode brand loyalty.
CMSWire - Cloud technology and social CRM can operationalize social customer care so that companies realign their systems and operations around customer preferences. Brands that listen and respond through social media are not only providing another channel for customers to reach them, but providing a level of customer service that drives customer loyalty — which is always at a premium.
CMO - "Satisfying unrecognized needs is especially critical for CMOs operating in emerging markets. We must have a strategic approach from the get-go. We’re not chasing what’s already there; we’re looking for the next big growth area to create." Mariann McDonagh, inContact CMO and Paul Jarman, inContact CEO, talk about what CEOs really want from their CMO.
CRM Magazine - "Customers don't care what channels you support—they only care that you are in the ones they are in. People start with inContact because they realize how important it is to provide customer support across all channels," Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, says.
CRM Magazine - Hot off a number of sizable customer wins and key partnerships, this is a company on the move. "inContact is one of the ones to watch in 2014," McGee-Smith says. "Solid product improvement, coupled with strong reseller agreements with [companies such as] Verizon and Unify, have been key to its growth."
ICMI - Good marketers never lose sight of what customers want, and in today’s online age, they want responsive, informed social service. The only way to deliver that is through the contact center.
CRMXchange - Consumers want to feel as if companies know them, and are able to proactively anticipate their needs. This is why contact centers must be tightly integrated with sales, marketing, and CRM activities that enable a holistic view of customer experience.
Contact Professional - There’s intelligence to be gathered from every customer call, but it’s a lot of information to sift through, and actually getting to the most important insights can be costly and time-consuming. Speech analytics is a game-changer.
1to1 Media - While most professionals are fixated on Big Data and the insight such intelligence offers, many neglect the meaning behind day-to-day interactions and the type of impact this granular information has on the organization's approach to customer experience.
ICMI - Mariann McDonagh, inContact CMO, notes on the need for a more personalized customer experience. “As a customer, one personalized proactive experience can completely transform your perception. It transforms the relationship between a brand and the consumer.”
Enterprise Apps Today - Mobile CRM, which has been gaining momentum for quite some time, is a trend that will only get hotter in 2014, experts predict.
CMO: Marketing is exceedingly more than that pretty bow. And it’s up to us, as CMOs, to exploit marketing’s true power.
Reuters, Canada: When InContact Inc, a provider of internet-based call center services, wanted to gauge the success of its video marketing campaign, it turned to Canadian video analytics startup Vidyard.
Telecom Ramblings: For most consumers, the ‘voice’ of a brand is the customer service associate that they interact with either in the store or through the company’s contact center operations, typically accessed either by calling a toll-free number or virtually through a website’s chat function.
CMO: CMO.com spends a great deal of time keeping on top of what's ahead for marketers. But who better to answer this question for the new year than those leading marketers, themselves?
Contact Centre Helper, The UK's Most Popular Contact Centre Magazine: Cloud enables UK organisations to deliver customer service in ways that would not be possible using on-premise solutions without significant organisational upheaval and financial cost.
Speech Technology News: inContact, a provider of cloud contact center software and contact center optimization tools, has added speech analytics capabilities from Verint Systems to its platform.
1to1 Media: Though the year may be coming to an end, brands and businesses are just beginning to implement new customer experience strategies as they work to differentiate their sales, service, social, and marketing offerings.
1to1 Media: Technology has become an unavoidable component in helping to deliver quality customer service, yet companies still must maintain a humanistic approach in order to preserve the personalized experiences that cultivate satisfaction and loyalty.
Forbes: A new front is opening in the tablet wars: the battle for the office worker.
ICMI: “There is a huge misconception in the multichannel world that the personal connection is no longer necessary,” says Mariann McDonagh, CMO for inContact. “WRONG! Just because you give a customer every channel they want, doesn’t mean that they also don’t want to talk to a real person now and again.”
1to1 Media: Last week, I had the good fortune to moderate a panel discussion on creating memorable customer experiences at inContact's annual user conference, ICUC 2013.
1to1 Media: Though cloud-based technology has been part of the enterprise for nearly a decade, today’s tools offer simple solutions that allow organizations to bridge internal gaps, gather consumer insight, and boost the omnichannel experience.
IAOP: Nick Carr's controversial essay "IT Doesn't Matter" claimed that IT - just as railroads and electricity - will ultimately become a commodity accessible to all.
CRMBuyer: A pacing engine algorithm included in the new software is designed to maximize agent efficiency and minimize abandoned calls.
No Jitter: A new release, based on patented technology, is like "progressive and predictive dialing had a baby."
CMSWire: Customer engagement centers, contact centers, call centers. Whatever your organization calls them, there are requirements for a successful one.
1to1 Media: Over the years there have been quite a few technologies that have emerged that have offered the double threat of strengthening the customer experience while improving operational efficiency.
Forbes: Earlier this week I wrote Customers Want Companies To Be Proactive When It Comes to Customer Service on the back of a chat I recently had with Mariann McDonaugh, the Chief Marketing Officer, of inContact.
BizReport: Brand new research reveals the majority of customers are happy for companies to contact them by telephone and many will answer calls from unfamiliar numbers, but the same research reveals the extent to which the dreaded predictive dialer pause causes amenable consumers to hang up and feel unvalued.
1to1 Media: For today's consumer, automated and unsolicited phone calls have evolved into an expected nuisance.
ICMI: Treat every call as a one-time opportunity for you to demonstrate that you understand the needs of your customer. If you don't measure up, they'll take their business elsewhere.
Adrian Swinscoe: Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting to Mariann McDonagh, the Chief Marketing Officer, of inContact about the results of their July 2013 customer service survey. What I found interesting about this survey was that they were examining how customers react when contacted 'proactively' by companies.
Wired, Innovation Insights: Companies like to say that all customers are treated equally, but is this really the case? Perhaps the more appropriate question is whether they should be seen as equal.
Wired, Innovation Insights: Companies of all sizes are struggling to keep up with rapid changes in consumer expectations.
CMO: Today, we chief marketing officers have the choice to grow ourselves, our teams, and our businesses. There's a window of opportunity for CMOs to step up and out beyond our so-called limitations and our own comfort zones.
CIO: When Ray Valentine first started managing technology for major call center providers 20 years ago, you had do everything yourself. "I came up through the old, big, Avaya premise-based heavy iron solutions," Valentine says.
Wired, Innovation Insights: "The Cloud" has been the term du jour for the past 12-24 months. Software business people who've been using "it" as a techology delivery model for a while feel redeemed that the rest of the word finally sees its virtues...
Wired, Innovation Insights: It's common wisdom that a trio of dimensions make up the context of business problems today: people, process, and product or technology. I have a slightly different take...
Wired, Innovation Insights: Have you ever wondered why meetings with so many people around the table frequently leave you with a feeling that little was accomplished?
CMO.com: Each time a customer communicates with your contact center, it’s safe to say they expect to be heard. Unfortunately, many marketers simply overlook this critical source of customer feedback.
Wired, Innovation Insights: What's in store for contact centers?
Connections Magazine: What you need to know about PCI compliance and protecting customer data in the cloud contact center.
Wired, Innovation Insights: Implement mobile strategies that reflect the growing trends expectations of consumers.
eMarketing and Commerce: Bridging the gap between marketing and contact center with voice-of-the-customer.
Business2Community: Service and experience critical to loyalty.
CMO.com: Don’t look now, but that brand loyalty we worked so hard for could easily slip away.
eM+C: Offering a variety of communication channels in addition to a 1-800 number isn't a nice to have, it's a must.
Wired, Innovation Insights: Cloud technology is built for innovation to help companies respond to customer service demands.
CIO Insight: Technology has empowered customers with more information than ever—for better and worse.
Government Technology: United Way Worldwide partnered with InContact to support 5 contact centers providing 211 customer service assistance for tax filers.
Forbes: inContact listed as one of America's most trusted companies.
Information Management:Contact center software provider inContact Inc. announced that its recently launched cloud universal queue will be expanded with the availability of social customer care channels from partner SoCoCare.
Government Technology: inContact customer United Way Worldwide, in partnership with the National Disability Institute and Goodwill, is behind MyFreeTaxes.com, which provides free assistance for low-income Americans in filing state and federal tax returns.
MediaPost: More than half of U.S. adults said they would consider switching to another brand or company for service if they were offered more channels to connect with the brand.
BizReport: Brand loyalty is being trumped by customized customer service experiences, according to a new consumer survey by inContact and Harris Interactive.
CMSWire: Consumers want what they want when they want it, and if your company can’t meet their needs when they’re ready to pay for it, brand loyalty isn't going to sway them.
1to1 Media In Action Series: Discover effective ways to develop customer-centric self-service strategies along with tips for avoiding potential minefields.
Network World: inContact Cloud Contact Center Software is highlighted.
Call Center Times: Mariann McDonagh, CMO, discusses new additions to 13.1 product release.
TMCnet: Over the years, cloud contact center software has quickly grown to deliver benefits of traditional premise applications combined with a much more flexible and scalable model...
inContact Senior Product Marketing Manager Madelyn Gengelbach analogized the improvements to installing a new high-tech kitchen and then tweaking the appliances to further enhance the results.
The newest release offers customer service managers the chance to view customer messages in one unified stream, regardless of the channel used.
The company expands multichannel offering with Universal Queue, new agent interface, true inbound and outbound blending, and an API-driven cloud ecosystem.
Cloud contact center software provider inContact has launched a new version of its product that provides contact center agents with expanded capabilities, including a universal queue and an API-driven partner ecosystem.
Call-center operations move about to save money — but there is a price to be paid.
Mariann McDonagh, CMO, inContact talks about the "silent customer" and how to proactively address customers' needs.
Our CMO, Mariann McDonagh, discusses how the Millennial generation impacts the contact center.
Call Center Times, October 4, 2012
Emergency Management, September 6, 2012
Forbes, August 23, 2012
1to1 Media, August 31, 2012
CivSource, August 23, 2012
ICMI, August 13, 2012
ICMI, July 23, 2012
Customer Think, July 19, 2012
TMCnet, July 10, 2012
Manila Bulletin, July 6, 2012
StreetInsider.com, June 19, 2012
CRM Advocate, June 2012
CIO, June 13, 2012
1to1 Media, June 4, 2012
Manila Bulletin, May 13, 2012
The Phillippine Star, May 14, 2012
Customer Interaction Solutions, May 2012
Customer Interaction Solutions, May 2012
Zambo Times, April 13, 2012
E-Commerce Times, April 9, 2012
Enterprise Apps Today, April 6, 2012
ICMI, April 4, 2012
TMCnet, April 3, 2012
CRMAdvocate, April 3, 2012
DestinationCRM.com, April 3, 2012
DestinationCRM.com, April 3, 2012
1to1, February 28, 2012
Manilla Bulletin, January 17, 2012
Comms Business, December 16, 2011
1to1 Media, December 15, 2011
TMCnet, December 2, 2011
Manilla Bulletin, November 28, 2011
Peoples Tonight, November 27, 2011
The Daily Tribune, November 26, 2011
InformationWeek, November 23, 2011
Call Center Times, Nov. 21, 2011
Destination CRM, November 21, 2011
NetworkWorld, Nov. 18, 2011
Telecom Paper, November 18, 2011
Contact Center World, November 17, 2011
TMCnet, November 17, 2011
Connected Planet, November 17, 2011
crmadvocate.com, October 31, 2011
information-management.com, October 26, 2011
TMCnet, October 26, 2011
Callcentre.co.uk, October 9, 2011
CommsDealer.com, October 9, 2011
CallCenterClinic.com, October 9, 2011
The 1to1 Blog, September 29, 2011
CRM Advocate, September 15, 2011
KSL Radio, September 8, 2011
1to1 Media Blog, September 8, 2011
Business Mirror, August 28, 2011
Manila Bulletin, August 4, 2011
Manila Bulletin, August 4, 2011
The Daily Tribune, August 3, 2011
Manila Standard Today, August 3, 2011
Business Mirror, August 3, 2011
The Manila Times, August 1, 2011
Manila Bulletin, July 19, 2011
1to1 Blog, July 12, 2011
The Manila Times, July 11, 2011
The Philippine Star, July 11, 2011
The Philippine Star, July 11, 2011
1to1 Magazine, July 11, 2011
Business Mirror, July 11, 2011
Commuter Express, July 11, 2011
The Manila Times, July 9, 2011
Peoples Journal Tonight, July 9, 2011
TMCnet, July 01, 2011
Contact Professional, June 30, 2011
Business Mirror, June 28, 2011
InformationWeek, June 22, 2011
Ventana Research blog, June 22, 2011
Utah Business, June 17, 2011
TMCnet, June 16, 2011
Channel Partners, June 16, 2011
The Salt Lake Tribune, June 16, 2011
Malaya Online, June 16, 2011
Malaya, June 16, 2011
Manila Bulletin, June 12, 2011
Ventana Research Blog, June 8, 2011
Manila Bulletin, June 6, 2011
Manila Bulletin, June 6, 2011
Channel Partners, June 2011
TMCnet, June 01, 2011
TMCnet, June 01, 2011
CRMInnovation, May 31, 2011
CRMAdvocate, May 26, 2011
1to1 Blog, May 26, 2011
Benzinga, May 26, 2011
Contact Professional, May 17, 2011
eWeek, May 5, 2011
TMCnet.com, May 3, 2011
Ventana Research Blog, May 3, 2011
The Motley Fool, April 29, 2011
Manila Bulletin, April 25, 2011
Manila Bulletin, April 25, 2011
Malaya, April 13, 2011
Malaya Online, April 13, 2011
Manila Bulletin Online, April 25, 2011
BusinessWorld, April 20, 2011
Manila Bulletin, April 10, 2011
Manila Bulletin, April 4, 2011
TMCnet, April 01, 2011
ICMI, March 23, 2011
Newsbytes, March 17, 2011
The Manila Times.net, March 24, 2011
ABS-CBNnews.com, March 18, 2011
BusinessWorld, March 17, 2011
The Manila Times Online, March 17, 2011
Manila Times, March 17, 2011
Business Mirror, March 18-19, 2011
Business Mirror Online, March 18-19, 2011
Manila Bulletin, March 18, 2011
Manila Bulletin Online, March 18, 2011
Newsbytes.ph, March 17, 2011
ABS-CBNNews.com, March 18, 2011
Manila Bulletin, March 18, 2011
1to1 Blog, March 17, 2011
Call Centre Europe, March 2010
Malaya, March 10, 2011
YeHey!, March 07, 2011
Newsbytes.ph, December 12, 2010
Computerworld Philippines Online, February 22, 2011
Yehey!, March 16, 2011
CRMAdvocate, February 2011
Manila Bulletin, February 21, 2011
Malaya, February 16, 2011
Credit Union Journal, February 14, 2011
Business Mirror, February 14, 2011
Malaya, February 14, 2011
Computerworld Philippines Online, February 08, 2011
Yehey!, February 15, 2011
Malaya, February 04-05, 2011
DestinationCRM.com, January 7, 2011
The Phillipines Star Online, February 13, 2011
Channel Partners, January 12, 2011
Business World, January 12, 2011
Malaya, January 12, 2011
Newsbytes.ph, January 10, 2011
Newsbytes.ph, January 10, 2010
The 1to1 Blog, December 28, 2010
December 22, 2010, BusinessWorld
Philippine Daily Inquirer Online, December 15, 2010
Newsbytes.ph, December 12, 2010
No Jitter, December 10, 2010
GMAnews.tv, December 06, 2010
Contact Professional, December 2, 2010
CRMXchange, December 1, 2010
Ventana Research, November 27, 2010
Team YEHEY Blog, November 23, 2010
Business Mirror, November 19-20, 2010
BusinessWorld, November 18, 2010
Malaya, November 17, 2010
The Philippine Star, November 14, 2010
The Manila Times, October 4, 2010
Manila Bulletin, October 4, 2010
Newsbytes.ph, October 3, 2010
The Philippine Star, October 2, 2010
Balita.ph, October 1, 2010
Balita.ph, October 2, 2010
Contact Management, September / October 2010
The Manila Times, October 1, 2010
Business Mirror, October 1, 2010
Business World, October 1, 2010
CRMXchange, October 2010
TMCnet, September 30, 2010
ContactCenterWorld.com, September 15, 2010
1to1 Magazine, August 23, 2010
PHONE+, August 2010
Utah Business, August 10, 2010
BnetTV, August 5, 2010
Destination CRM, December 3, 2010
Contact Center World, August 2, 2010
Computer Business Review, August 4, 2010
Phone+, August 3, 2010
Call Center Times, August 2, 2010
TMCnet, August 2, 2010
Ventana Research blog, July 30, 2010
TMCnet, June 30, 2010
Business Mirror, June 11, 2010
Utah Business, June 2010
1to1 Magazine, April 5, 2010
DestinationCRM.com, March 24, 2010
FOX Business, March 24, 2010
Utah Business, March 2010
Customer Interaction Solutions, March 2010
BusinessWorld, February 04-05, 2011
CRN Magazine, February 2010
TMCnet, January 12, 2010