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

How to Reduce PCI Scope in the Customer Service Center

Customer service centers don’t have much of an option when it comes to whether or not they handle financial transactions. Customers expect to be able to make a payment or complete a purchase when they call your company, and if they can’t, they’ll take their business elsewhere. The one thing customer service centers can do... Read More

When You Make Me Wait Don’t Waste My Time

There are lots of great suggestions about how to keep customers from zeroing out. But sometimes zeroing out is exactly what you want them to do. When? Whenever they want. If your customer wants to talk to an agent, make it happen. If he hits zero, send him on to a live agent, no questions... Read More

When They Gotta Go They Gotta Go

We talk a lot about IVR containment. Containment is a good thing. The fewer people that zero out the better your return on your IVR investment. But there’s one time where containment is not a good thing. When the caller doesn’t want to be contained.Your business success doesn’t depend upon how well you keep customers... Read More

Not Your Father’s IVR

Sometimes, I’m just thinking out loud here, in a world of smartphones and devices and the Internet of Things, we begin to look at IVR as another telegraph or typewriter—something so yesterday, so antiquated, so powerless—at least in comparison.   But it’s just not true: certainly not today, and it will be even less so... Read More

ANI Starts Smart Conversations

USAN recently published a white paper called How to Make Customers Fall in Love with Your IVR. It’s a spotlight piece, designed to highlight the value of advanced IVR features. I thought I’d spend a few blog posts drilling down a little more deeply into those features. I’m going to start with the way IVR... Read More

Workforce Management and Spreadsheets

Nothing is quite so satisfying as finding a workaround to solve a problem that would have otherwise cost you money. It’s creative. Sometimes simpler. Often ingenuous. Always cheaper. Of course, sometimes the workaround turns out to be a disaster in disguise, doesn’t it? For call center workforce management, the workaround is the spreadsheet. Sure, for... Read More