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Buyer Be Aware: A Guide to Buying IVR

If you’re thinking IVR, chances are you’re thinking of first-time installation, replacing what you have, or maximizing the return on your existing system. We’ve put together an eBook to help with all three. It’s called Press or Say Success: An IVR Buyer’s Guide for the 21st Century. It’s a no hype, no promo, no nonsense...

Gamification Means Playing to Win

Brian Burke is a Gartner analyst with a focus on gamification. Back at the beginning of 2014 he wrote a short blog post that I reread the other day. I can’t say I agree with everything in it, but there’s one point that he makes that is I think vital. Gamification is not useful for...

The Omnichannel KISS: Keep It Simple Service

I’ve shared a little bit in recent posts about what we uncovered, two years ago, in the ICMI survey we sponsored called Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center. Recently American Express released a new study titled 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer. I was really surprised by how much of the results of our own...

The Omni-Channel Contact Center: Q&A with Michael Gregorio

When it comes to tranforming the call center into an omnichannel contact center, there are several basic questions everyone must answer: How do you get there? What are the first steps? Where do you focus your resources? How do you measure it? As the director of product management at USAN, I was asked to review this topic...

Avoid an Omni-Channel Panic Attack

I’ve been looking at more recent surveys that explore the same issues of omnichannel value and adoption that we explored in our 2013 study, Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center. There’s one piece of very bad news . . . that is also very good news. I’ve talked before about how omni-channel is not...

IVR and the Freedom to Speak

Freedom of speech means many things. When it comes to your IVR, it means the freedom for your customers to leave behind the telephone touchpad and speak to the system in your own words and your own language. It’s moved beyond nice to have—today it’s become an imperative for companies who want to keep up...

WFM Vacation: Put Lifecycle Scheduling in Place and Relax

A workforce management solution provides the tools to help you make your agents’ home and work lives blend together better. It’s too difficult for you to do manually, or with a spreadsheet, or even with simple basic WFM functionality. But it’s a breeze, and yields quick and measurable results, for a WFM. Let’s look at...

You’re failing at Omni-Channel so far, aren’t you?

I mentioned in an earlier post a report we sponsored with ICMI entitled "Extreme Engagement in the Multi-Channel Contact Center". If you haven’t seen the post, or want to download the 30-page research study, you can do that here. Today I want to share one of the conclusions I came to as I revisited it...

IVR as a Sales Generator

Most business owners consider IVR a necessary evil and unrecoupable expense. But this is truly a short-sighted view when one considers the possibility of generating revenue from their interactive voice system. With the right technology and approach, your customer self-service systems can become revenue generation tools that can bring demonstrable ROI. Download this white paper...

You Shouldn't Be Able to Contain Your IVR Excitement!

Today, IVR systems are so intelligent, so full of customer information and, in many cases, so well connected within the omnichannel that they provide a level of quality customer service that is as extensive and friendly as any channel. Many calls—even complex calls—are handled more quickly, more easily, and more completely (for the customer and...

Graduating to Workforce Management

Don’t get mad at me if I drag out an old punch line: College was the best six years of my life. Here’s why I say don’t get mad. You may be a little late in graduating yourself—when it comes to the technology you use to manage your call center staff. Here’s how you should...

Extreme Engagement: USAN and ICMI Study Omni-Channel Service

I want to point you to a research study conducted by International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), and sponsored by USAN, a little less than two years ago. We wanted to know how call center management thought omnichannel customer service would impact (or is impacting) their operation. ICMI talked with 361 people, more than 2/3 of who...

Top Five Benefits of WFM: A Review

I want to repeat myself a little today. Over the last months I’ve shared some of the points of value of a first-caliber Workforce Management Solution in as much detail as these short posts allow. But I thought I’d catch my breath, take a step back, and bring all those benefits together in a quick-look...

IVR ROI: Generate Sales with a Smart IVR

A customer calls in to your IVR. She has an issue to solve, or a payment to make, or a delivery to check on. It doesn’t matter. She’s called you. She’s connected to you. She’s engaged in the interaction with your IVR. What a perfect to time for your IVR to sell her something. There...

How Many Hoops Did You Jump Through Today?

When people talk about creating an omnichannel, they often talk about eliminating silos. As well they should, since it’s a major benefit of the omnichannel. But I thought I’d talk today about eliminating something else—all the hoops those silos make you and your customers jump through. And there are lots of hoops—even for a simple...

A Spring Cleaning for Your IVR

Thinking about spring cleaning—out with the old and in with the new? You know: get rid of all those newspapers in the garage; plant fresh azaleas around the garden; update your IVR. Maybe your IVR is just getting long in the tooth, with old style functionality and awkward interfaces. Maybe, you’ve outgrown its capacity or...

Visit USAN at ICMI Contact Center Expo & Conference!

It's that time again - when contact center professionals converge at the Contact Center Expo & Conference to discover new ways to improve their centers’ performance, better manage people and resources, improve operations, properly select and implement technology and much more! Team USAN will be there, as usual, at Booth #111, ready to learn more about your omni-channel customer engagement strategies.

AI Apocalypse – When IVRs Rule the Contact Center

Blockbuster sci fi films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Terminator, The Matrix and countless others thrilled audiences with futuristic technology that seemed so far away. But is fiction becoming reality? Recent discussion among some of the best technological and scientific minds around—people like Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking—paints an apocalyptic picture of machines becoming...

Gaming the System: WFM Gamification in the Contact Center

Let’s play a game. It’s easy. Just answer two questions: How do you challenge your agents every day? How do you reward agents who meet those challenges? Take a minute to think about it. Now, those were kind of trick questions. Not because there’s some twist hidden in them, and not because we’re not going...

What is Omni-Channel and Why is it Important?

When it comes to great paintings, I’m a classic case of “I don’t know nothing about art, I just know what I like.” I’m kind of like your customers are when it comes to the omnichannel. A customer doesn’t know that the omnichannel is the seamless integration of multiple commerce channels. They know nothing about...