Want to build journey maps for your customers? Just follow their footsteps.

Customer journey mapping can be a useful tool for organizations as they implement an omnichannel approach to customer engagement. However, like the customer journeys themselves, mapping is a complex endeavor that involves data integration, data analytics, and data visualization—capabilities that can be found in an omnichannel customer engagement platform like USAN’s Metaphor Engage. A customer... Read More

An Introduction to Customer Journey Mapping for Omnichannel Customer Engagement

Many companies today acknowledge that the customer experience is the business differentiator in their industry. As a result, contact center directors are focused on improving the customer experience by adopting omnichannel and increasing digital self-service options. At the same time, however, the customer service landscape is growing increasingly complex, making it difficult to achieve these... Read More

The Hybrid Customer Contact Center

In the last post, I talked about the Big Buckets. One bucket holds transactional (self-service) events. One contains interactional (live-agent) events. And the third is home to the hybrids: events that are both transactional and interactional. That third bucket—let’s call it the blended bucket—could soon be the biggest bucket as more and more companies adopt... Read More

The First Step in Planning Your Self-Service Investment

The First Step in Planning Your Self-Service Investment Planning your self-service investments means making decisions across multiple disciplines. USAN, in association with ContactBabel, has just published a nearly 200-page report on that topic—50 charts deep, covering all the critical topics that make up today’s self-service investment strategy. Those topics include transitioning to self-service, evaluating ROI,... Read More

Omnichannel: Balancing Cost and Control

Two of the most critical issues companies deal with when deciding on the right omnichannel solution are what it costs and how it’s controlled. The cost of installing and maintaining a sophisticated omnichannel operation is as low as it’s ever been, for three reasons: The cost of all the pieces of compute-network-store infrastructure becomes cheaper... Read More

Omnichannel KPIs – A New Focus

As contact centers evolve into omnichannel centers, they’ll need to establish and track new KPIs that accurately measure value and success. That means taking new approaches and establishing new metrics that map to omnichannel strategies and goals. Here are a few examples of each. New Approaches Qualitative as Well as Quantitative We’ve been primarily focused... Read More

Omnichannel in Action

The other day my errands turned into one omnichannel adventure after another. My experience offers three examples of how companies in three different industries improved my customer experience with their omnichannel solutions. Pick Up Prescriptions My first stop was my pharmacy. The pharmacy sent me a text telling me that a prescription had been automatically... Read More

Omnichannel Villains

There is a widely believed superstition that an omnichannel investment is expensive, complex and disruptive. Central to this myth are twin villains: the first is Rip and the second, Replace. Their shared mission: drive up omnichannel costs to the point where it’s an unjustifiable investment, with slow payback and weak ROI. Rip and Replace is... Read More

The Biggest 2017 Trend

It’s December now. Snow, in some places, is falling. Soon, holiday lights will be flickering and thoughts of what the new year will bring will occupy us. And we know what that means. That’s right. It will be time to read all the articles about IVR and contact center and customer service trends for 2017.... Read More

How to Show Customers Respect: The Gen X Edition

  How to Show Customers Respect: The Generation X Edition   Every customer wants respect and, of course, you want to give them that respect. The question is: How? What’s perceived as respectful by one generation may be perceived as an inconvenience by another. We’ve previously taken a look at how the values of Millennials... Read More

How to Show Customers Respect: The Millenial Edition

  When it comes to customer service, every generation wants to be shown respect. Obvious? Yes. Easy? No.   Respect means different things to different people. In order to show proper respect to your customers, you need to understand who they are and what they value. Here are five tips for showing Millennials respect that... Read More

How to Show Customers Respect: The Baby Boomer Edition

Regardless of who they are, everyone wants respect. That’s especially true when it comes to engaging with customer service. It’s also true that everyone perceives respect differently. While your customer service agents might mean well, their interactions with customers might not be coming through as intended. Here are five tips for showing respect to Baby... Read More

IVR and the Gold Customer

I’ll share a personal experience here and then see if I can’t raise it to a principle of IVR. I have a gold-level account at my bank. That gets me some extra services, free this and no-fee that. Most of the time I bank through online and mobile channels. But when I do call in... Read More

A First Time For Everything

I talk a lot about personalization. About how you can study how each caller into your IVR behaves over time, and about how to adjust the automated interaction to support and react based on that data. Of course, in order to analyze the behavior pattern of a caller, there has to be enough behavior to... Read More

Agent or IVR. They’re Very Much the Same

The other day I read an article called Top 10 Customer Experience Trends For 2016-17 by Brian Cantor. You can read it here. It has nothing to do with IVR. It’s about live-agent contact centers, and ways to improve the experience for the customer. Useful, pragmatic ideas. Here are some of the main points. •... Read More

Aristotle Would Have Something to Say about IVRs

Ah the old Tabula Rasa. Which of us in the world of contact center automation doesn’t think daily about the Stoic school of ancient Greek philosophy whose idea of mind was one of a blank slate (more literally, an “erased slate”) upon which is written life experiences. You know. Like an IVR. In fact, I... Read More

The Fastest Way to Lose Wait

In the past couple of posts I’ve talked about the importance of not allowing your IVR to stand in the way when your caller zeros out to reach an agent. But you face another issue that stands between call handoff and customer satisfaction: the wait. Here’s where your IVR comes back into play. Even though... Read More

How to reduce security risk in the cloud.

Security and regulatory compliance continue to be top cloud concerns, and for good reason. It’s hard to trust something you can’t see and have little control over. And yet technology providers keep trying to push customers to the cloud – their cloud. The reality is, you can improve your security posture and reduce compliance risk... Read More

How do you measure risk in your contact center?

Customer data is the lifeblood of the contact center. Your ability to deliver seamless customer experiences across multiple channels depends on it. Unfortunately, where there is data there is also security risk. The question is how do you handle that risk to reduce your company’s liability while enabling your agents to deliver the service customers... Read More