Search

Blogs

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...

Workforce Management’s Got Game

Here’s what motivates employees. Reward. Competition. Recognition. Achievement. That’s not me talking: that’s the behavioral scientists and the workplace experts. No need to cite sources, since everyone agrees. Gamification helps with all of that. By that, I mean, an environment where day-to-day efforts receive day-to-day recognition and reward. This comes especially into play in the...

This Year (with WFM) Everybody Gets a Raise

That’s right: I’m spending your money. But you won’t mind . . . if you’ve got a first-tier WFM solution in place. Here’s why. Start with your agents. The goals here include improving call handling performance, and motivating and retaining agents. WFM systems help achieve those goals with smarter scheduling, gamification and continual coaching. Lifestyle...

Schedules Are Just a Part of Scheduling

Time for a quick contact center free association challenge. I say “call center scheduling.” You say . . . . “agent work hours”? It’s a trick question, because that answer is correct and incorrect. Or, more precisely, it’s just a part of the right response. Call Center scheduling is a lot more complex and a lot...

The Omnichannel IVR Guru

In one of our internal seminars the other day, Donny Jackson, our Senior VP of Software Development, gave us a kind of point-to-point roadmap of how IVR is part of, and in many ways central to, omni-channel commerce architecture. I thought I’d share the main stops along the way with you. It begins with intelligent...

Smart Scheduling Improves Motivation and Productivity

Productivity and motivation go hand in hand in the call center. Or at least they should. Too often, both are missing in the call center, or one shoves the other aside. One of the obstacles to bringing those together is scheduling. It’s a kind of Goldilocks dilemma: how do you get it just right? How...

Is Your IVR as Good as It Gets?

FIRST PRINCIPLE When IVR works well, customers love it—and often prefer it. When it doesn’t, they hate it. And far too often, it doesn’t work well. I know: tell you something you don’t know. To work well, your IVR system has to be smart. Smart IVR solutions never make you repeat information your customers have...

Building Rome. Eating Elephants. Omni-Channel.

What do they have in common? You do them all one step at a time. When it comes to implementing technologies, or finding new ways to connect technologies, bite-at-a-time is the predominant best practice—for a lot of reasons. But here’s the question people often struggle with. Which bite do I take first? Your customers will...

Omnichannel Commerce: A Big Deal for B2B

In recent blogs, I’ve repeated a phrase: omnichannel commerce. It’s not often used, but I didn’t invent it. I use it because it creates a clear distinction between what omnichannel is today—primarily a retail architecture—and what omnichannel will be when it matures: an architecture used in every category of business. (Fact check me on this:...

Omni-Channel: No Rip, Replace (or Ripple)

One of the key buttons I’ll be pushing in the Omnichannel Blog over the coming months is the simplicity of moving to the omnichannel model. I’ll be returning often to the theme that the omnichannel is not a technology, but a way of thinking about technology. To transition to virtual desktops, or advanced disaster recovery,...

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel—the Distinction is Clear

Search for “Omni-Channel vs. multichannel” and there are a lot of explanations as to what the difference is between them. Some are spot on; others are dense and circuitous and brimming with jargon—and not close to hitting the mark. Here’s what I think is the easiest way to distinguish between multi-channel and omni-channel. Multichannel describes...

Omnichannel for 2015—It’s All in Your Mind

As one year ends and another begins, it’s customary to look both ways: behind us at the technologies and best practices of the past year, and ahead at what’s next. Omnichannel leaps to mind. If we look back, we see how retailers have embraced the omnichannel experience, and the clear value it’s brought to them...

Hosted WFM: Gamification and Mobility Features from Teleopti and USAN

Developed by Teleopti and hosted by USAN, the recently released WFM version 8 includes more than 100 improvements over the previous release, making it a truly groundbreaking solution. Two of the most exciting features are gamification and mobility. You can also visit the WFM product page. Gamification – motivate your employees with fun! In the...

Game On! at ICMI Contact Center Demo & Conference

Join Team USAN us November 3-5 in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency for the ICMI Contact Center Demo and Conference. We will be demonstrating the power of Teleopti’s Workforce Management (WFM) gamification and mobility features at pedestal 103. Look for the guys in the awesome blue football jerseys to get a first-hand look at our WFM...

How to Make Omni-channel Customer Service a Reality

Phone. Email. Social media. Your website. Customers have many ways to engage with your company. But siloed communication channels create a fragmented experience that frustrates customers and impacts service levels. Integrating multiple channels enables organizations to deliver consistent service and lead customers on a coherent customer journey. For some time now companies have recognized the...