Independent Contact Center Consultants: Bridging Strategy, Technology and Operations Since 2004

Posts By: Lori Bocklund

Will IVR Ever Win Our Hearts?

Whenever I tell people that I’m in the call center business, I brace myself for a diatribe about “those darn systems” real people too often hide behind. Without fail, an Interactive Voice Response system (IVR) takes center stage. It doesn’t have to be this way. Imagine a world where the response from your new acquaintance… Read More »

Enabling Technology for Multi-channel Customer Contact

In a world of expanding customer contact channels and the departmental silos that go with them, is it possible to optimize the customer experience and deliver on business objectives? The answer can be a resounding “YES!” given a carefully constructed multi-channel strategy, an effective governing body, and the right people, processes, and technologies to support… Read More »

Selection Criteria for Cross-channel Analytics

If there was Pulitzer prize for achievement in ambiguous terminology, contact center “analytics” would certainly be in the running. Seemingly every vendor has a solution – e.g., speech analytics, data analytics, text analytics, performance analytics, customer experience analytics – with no consistent naming convention to describe the target use. If you are planning to purchase… Read More »

Get Your Contact Center Technology Off The Island

Contact center personnel often feel like the ill-fated crew on “Gilligan’s Island” – cast away on their own island. Lacking connection with the “mainland,” they leverage their own resources to devise tools and processes that meet their immediate needs. Everyone knows that this situation is far from optimal, but the organizational chasm always seems too… Read More »

Co-Browsing Takes Web-based Customer Service Up a Notch

If you strike up a conversation about Web-based self service with contact center professionals, you’ll likely get a glow of satisfaction over the growing base of customers tinged with a hint of frustration over the channel’s isolation from other modes of contact. Organizational siloes are an unfortunate reality that most folks tolerate due to the… Read More »

VoIP Transforms Outsourcing for Agents

Outsourcing is nothing new. For years, centers have allocated certain inbound call types and/or percentages of calls to third party service partners using relatively simple technology. In such cases, the outsourcer supplies people as well as the technology for contact routing, management, and reporting. While this model offers ease of implementation with simple, proven technology,… Read More »

Self-Service for Tech-Savvy Consumers

If you think self-service is old news, think again. A new generation of tech-savvy consumers has entered the fray with decidedly different notions about what constitutes effective communication. Mobile trumps land-line and full-screen. Text messaging trumps voice. Event-triggered notices trump customer-initiated inquiries. There’s a golden opportunity to deliver superior customer service AND bolster the bottom… Read More »

Technology Enables Cross-Selling/Up-Selling for Contact Centers

Cross-selling/up-selling is a strategic focus for centers that seek to add value to their customer interactions. Technology is a crucial resource when setting these strategies in motion. It plays a part in every stage of the process – from hiring/training agents to management contacts to evaluating results. Technology prepares agents for success. During the hiring… Read More »

Contact Center Vendor Selection: Get to Know Potential Partners Early

A healthy relationship with a vendor takes hard work, effective communication, and setting appropriate expectations. It starts before you sign on the dotted line. Take time to build relationship with potential vendors/distributors well in advance of your target procurement and implementation time frame. A “courtship” is far more than an educational exercise to become familiar… Read More »

7 Steps to Success for Web Chat in the Contact Center

Web chat for contact centers is on the rise. Three-quarters of the participants in our 2010 Multi-Channel Customer Contact Survey said they either supported web chat today or planned to do so within the next 2 years. I’m not surprised. Web chat boosts the success rate of Web-based self-service by helping customers solve problems or complete… Read More »