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Utilities Customer Engagement: Still Many Challenges Ahead

Everyone agrees that customer engagement at utilities across the country, and even around the world has improved greatly in the last few years, but there are still many challenges ahead. Utilities face so many challenges that the industry has even seen the birth of a new type of executive -- the utilities executive as a rock star....

Customer Self Service: The Future is Now

Customer self service is not a new idea. Banks have been using self service features for decades. ATM's and online account management are just two ways banks have been able to help customers help themselves while reducing customer service costs. All businesses can learn much from the banking industry's history of leveraging customer self service....

What Cloud-based Call Centers Mean for Your Customers

The benefits that cloud-based call centers provide to businesses are garnering a lot of attention. The industry is touting its low TCO, scalability and better disaster recovery. While the cloud offers some impressive benefits to call centers, nobody is talking about how it benefits customers. The cloud works on a scalable outsourcing principle, pulling resources from multiple...

Smart Grid 2.0 Requires Utilities to Improve Customer Engagement

Electricity is all around us and we rely on it daily, but many consumers take it for granted until their service is interrupted by a power failure.  In the digital age, electricity is absolutely essential for a vibrant economy and for a high quality of life.  As utilities seek to update the smart grid to...

Cost and convenience might be the tiebreakers in premise vs. hosted call centers

Call center technology should be at the core of your customer resource management. It consists of the hardware, software and skilled people to screen, refer and handle customer inquiries, complaints and (if you do it right) future business. Among other things, the best call center technology gives the customer the most hassle-free experience. The person...

You Get the Customer Experience Idea, What’s Missing is Customer Engagement

Without even trying every company produces a customer experience – good or bad – when they interact with their customers. But no business in today’s service-driven economy can afford to leave it at that. You have probably defined an ideal customer experience and have many solutions in place to help your company create it: an...

Customers Want a Conversation

I just saw where Spencer Dean (@SpenceDean) of inContact (@inContact) posted “Do you collaborate with your customers?” on LinkedIn and referenced an article by Brandon Evans (@brandone) of CrowdTap (@Crowdtap). The article is entitled “Customers Don’t Want Ads, They Want A Conversation” and I think it’s great. It talks about the shift from marketing “at”...

Financial Services Customer Engagement Means Customer Empowerment

These days, consumers are more wired in than ever before through the internet and mobile technology. Consumers have become used to having any inquiry answered immediately and information delivered upon request. Increasingly, today's consumers seek empowerment through a variety of self-service options in everything from healthcare to paying bills. Nowhere is this trend more evident...

Listening to the Voice of the Customer speaks volumes in ROI

As the economy begins improving, you are probably seeking tools to solidify your customer base and reach out for new business. Your existing resources in doing all that are most likely the usual eclectic mix of experienced people, backed up by an array of computer hardware and software that runs everything. In all those parts,...

The Voice of the Customer is Clear: It's Our Way or the Highway

“The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.” —Woodrow Wilson, speech at the University of Tennessee (June 17, 1890) Corporations are learning and practicing this truth today in larger numbers.  The concept of the “Voice of the Customer” (VoC) is the 5th largest trend in Customer Experience, according to Kate...

How do I do "customer experience?"

Before we can address the question “How do I do customer service?", we first have to define some terms.  According to Harley Manning at Forrester, customer experience is defined as "How customers perceive their interactions with your company."  He further defines an interaction: "It’s when you and your customers have a two-way exchange." If we...

How Emerging Channels Can Improve the Customer Experience

USAN has teamed up with ICMI (International Customer Management Institute) to find out how call centers are using emerging channels to improve the customer experience. Be one of the first 200 participants and receive a $5 Starbucks gift card! Take the survey now!

Fight or Flight: Voice of the Customer and Why it Matters Most to Healthcare Customer Engagement

Let us say that, for whatever reason, your customers feel dismayed about the service they have received from your business. Let us say that your customers take it as personally as the negative experience can possibly be taken. Consider for a moment the old flight or fight mechanism, a common primal, physiological occurrence in conflict...

Inspire Loyalty and Save Money with Great Customer Self Service

These days, you can buy your groceries, do your banking, check in at the airport, finish your Christmas shopping and even check out your library books all without interacting with another human being. Yet many companies still act under the erroneous assumption that customers prefer live service, when in fact, the opposite is becoming the...

Affordable Care Act Focuses on Healthcare Customer Engagement

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act taking full effect in 2014, the healthcare industry is taking careful note of who will direct the government's purse. No surprise—it's the customer. Consumer input of their experience and satisfaction will connect nearly one-third of the fed's government value payment program (i.e., bonuses, penalties, and reimbursements to...

Customer Engagement, a Must for Utilities

In the not-so-distant past, the communication between utilities and their customers was minimal and often single-channeled.  A customer would receive their somewhat confusing monthly utility bill in the mail, and the utility would receive their monthly payment.  Thus was the extent of the utility-customer relationship. However, advances in technology along with consumers who expect better...

Process over Premise: Cloud-Based Call Centers

The way a business conceptualizes its call center could be the difference between falling in line or out of sync with a company's long term vision. If process is the underlying functionality of a call center, and premise is the brick and mortar placement (real estate to locate, labor to train, and technology to purchase...

Valentine Hell?! Florists More than Others Know the Immediacy of Poor Social Media Servicing

Last week on Valentine's Day we posted a graphic novel style story, A Customer Engagement Love Story, to depict how a fictitious major florist could provide multi-channel service with the USAN customer engagement platform. On the same day, Business Insider posted this story, Valentine's Twitter Hell For Florist That Failed To Deliver. The article describes how FTD...

How to Provide Customer Service in Social Media Channels

(Updated 2/18/13) Social media impacts companies every day, yet most still don’t have a strategy to integrate it into their core business. Shockingly, many companies still ignore social media service opportunities - and at their own peril. A recent article in Business Insider noted that over 97% of tweets go unnoticed, unread and are not acted upon. This...

Customer Experience: Lost in the Information Shuffle

When I was in first grade, my family moved overseas to Belgium.  While I was away, my elementary school closed and merged with another one.  After several years, we moved back into our old house and I resumed classes at the "new" school.  Even though half the school should have remembered me, and the other...