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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...

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...

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...

Understanding PII - Personally Identifiable Information in the Contact Center

The contact center is fraught with risk, due in large part to the customer data agents collect and process. This data is not only valuable to your organization; it’s also valuable to cyber attackers and criminals. To fully understand data security risk, contact center managers must understand how the concept of data privacy has evolved....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Metaphor Workforce Gamification: Simple as Child's Play

There’s often resistance to deploying any new data-driven application. The anxiety is that there will be headaches and trauma associated with it. All the data mapping and validation and custom field development and so on. And while call center management is willing to endure that in order to create core WFM capabilities, they get a...

Workforce Management, It's a Family Affair

There is always a base stream of contact volume coming in to the Contact Center. Most of the volume is however driven by factors in other parts of the business. The WFM team must be fed with relevant information about expected outside call drivers and the process must be set up to enable them to...

Badges and Ribbons Encourage a Motivated Agent Workforce

I want to take a moment to talk about something that concerns some people who are bringing Gamification—or considering it—into their call center workforce management. Badges. Ribbons. Medals. Those little icons on an agent’s portal that say “good job,” or “great job” or even “need improvement.” Some people think that, as a reward, they’re too...

Call Centers Are Tailor-made for WFM Gamification

Many people think the earliest example of gamification in the business world is S&H Green Stamps in the final years of 19th century America. With each purchase, participating retailers would give shoppers a certain number of stamps which they would paste into books. Getting the stamps into the books was often a family affair: very...

How to Increase Revenue with Proactive Payment Requests

How to Increase Revenue with Proactive Payment Requests   What if you could proactively reach out to customers and provide them with a means to complete a financial transaction with your company? I’m not talking about a link in an email but an actual transaction form on their smartphone or other mobile device sent via...

The Risks of Doing Nothing (Again) to Improve the Contact Center

It’s 2016. Already. If you haven’t modernized your customer engagement technology in 2015—you’re another year later and further behind the curve. Today’s best companies use today’s best technologies to transform their contact centers into drivers of quality customer experiences. Your competitors may be among them. You should be too. But there’s risk when you update...

It’s Time to Get Serious about Omni-Channel Part 3: Interaction-Aware Omni-Channel

Your customer orders a shirt from your mobile app. She receives the wrong size. Now what? How does your omnichannel system respond? To answer that, I’m going to coin a couple of terms here—“results-aware omnichannel” and “interaction-aware omnichannel.” Spotlighting the difference between the two brings out the true potential of an omnichannel, and the unique...

It's Time to Get Serious about Omni-Channel Part 2: Software-Based Omni-Channel

A Software-Based Omnichannel As a technology matures, even in the early stages of that maturity, it gets smarter, smaller, streamlined. It also heads over to the software side of things. Software solutions—instead of software built to run on a hardware solution—are more versatile, easier to grow and evolve, easier to adapt, and a longer-value investment....

It's Time to Get Serious about Omni-Channel Part 1

Over the next few weeks we're going to be digging deeply into why omni-channel is important to any business that transacts or interacts with customers across channels and devices. And we're going to spend time breaking down some of the reasons why our pioneering Metaphor Engage omnichannel platform is so valuable. But for just a moment, we're going...