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Gamification Badges of Honor

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 (you can find it here). I can’t say I agree with everything in it, but there’s one point that he makes that is I think vital....

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...

The Debate Continues: IVR in the Cloud versus On-Premise

In the minds of companies that rely on IVR there’s still resistance and uncertainty about the wisdom of moving to the cloud. There are still quite a few of you that worry about whether IVR in the cloud is a smart thing to do. Let’s take a minute and break down some misconceptions. Loss of...

John, Paul, George, Ringo and IVR

One thing people complain about with IVRs is the music they have to listen to during the long waits (but we know they’re really complaining about the wait itself). If you think about it, those IVR systems are really playing an endless loop of Beatles songs. The Long and Winding Road (Listen) That’s how customers...

Is Your IVR A Good Host?

When a call comes in, your IVR is like a conference host. It greets attendees, uncovers their needs, and handles as many issues as possible on the spot. When it can’t, it takes customers to the right booths and breakout sessions. Here are five of the reasons IVRs do a lousy job as host—and how they can...

Turning Over the Agent Turnover Rate

Turning Over the Agent Turnover Rate Annual turnover in the call center can be huge—as large is 60%. That’s nearly two thirds of your agents leaving each year. You’ve made a significant investment in them, including salary, training and benefits. A large part of that is wasted if you don’t retain staff for a long...

Forecasting Needs More than a Spreadsheet

Call center forecasting is tough as nails to do well with a spreadsheet, unless you know how to program a service level prediction formula like this into Excel: zdk =  ρqd ,k +φ  d + εdk;         εdk ∼ N(0, σ2), Not in your wheelhouse? It’s not in mine either. Fortunately, you don’t really have to...

Why good customer service is sometimes hard to find

Will Jones, a reporter for Local 4 News in Detroit, recently posted this article - on why good customer service is hard to find. In the piece Will specifically addresses IVR technology's role, with the help of USAN's senior vice president of sales and marketing Tad Thompson. Jones recognizes that companies are prioritizing customer service and that...