Brother, Can You Spare 4 Minutes?

Posted by Paul Stockford - Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research

Mar 3, 2015 1:18:40 PM

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During the Great Depression of last century, “Brother, can you spare a dime” became a commonly heard phrase in the U.S., and eventually went on to become the title of a song written in 1930 and famously recorded by Bing Crosby, Al Jolson and Rudy Vallee. The song talks about the struggles of the depression era and of the people who helped build our nation and then found themselves in bread lines hoping for something to eat.

While my situation is not nearly as dire, I decided to co-opt the title anyway in the hope of persuading you, the reader, to give me four minutes of your time to help the not-for-profit National Association of Call Centers (NACC) gather the data needed for continued contact center research in 2015.

Although Saddletree Research is my primary business, I have worked under contract as research director for the NACC since 2008. Each year we ask the end-user community to help us launch our annual research by participating in a brief survey that will take about four minutes to complete. The survey can be found here

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Topics: Contact Centers, Survey Resources, Survey Analysis, Survey Research, Call Centers

Can Smarter Video Equal Business Intelligence?

Posted by Colleen Gustitus

Mar 2, 2015 11:03:49 AM

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Not long ago, video surveillance was used primarily for a couple of very distinct purposes—mainly capturing evidence of a crime or another incident such as a slip and fall. But today, video cameras and associated analytics deliver a much broader set of benefits. Organizations are using video surveillance to help improve customer service, prevent crimes, train employees and offer performance feedback—as well as making improvements to the organization’s bottom line.

As these types of capabilities become more popular and accessible, the retail industry in particular stands poised to reap significant value from the evolution of video surveillance technologies.

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Topics: Video Intelligence Solutions, Surveillance Analytics, Video Management Software, Network Video Recorders, Security Solutions, Retail, Video and Situational Intelligence, Analytics, video analytics, Business Intelligence, People Counting

The Role of People in the Digital World

Posted by Steven Thurlow

Feb 26, 2015 10:57:47 AM

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We’ve all seen it, whether in a restaurant, on a train or bus, or at just about any public location. People are spending time interacting with their smartphone, tablet or other digital device. We live in a digital world where you can access information online whenever and wherever you want.

Companies and organizations have adapted to this digital world, allowing customers to research, shop and get help online at their convenience. They did this to enhance the customer experience, but also to improve the efficiency of the contact center.

With the plethora of information and services available to customers online, do customer service agents truly have a place in this digital world? Well, yes. Actually, they are more critical to the customer service experience than ever before.

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Topics: Contact Centers, Workforce Optimization, Customer Service, Customer Experience, Loyalty, customer engagement optimization

Top 5 Predictions for Government and Public Sector Customer Service Part 2: 2015 Predictions

Posted by David Moody

Feb 25, 2015 2:05:00 PM

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Now that I’ve graded my performance on my predictions for government and public sector customer service in 2014, it’s time for my Top 5 predictions for 2015. Enjoy!

1. Customer experience becomes strategic for government

Government and public sector organizations will increasingly approach customer experience in a more strategic manner, just like their private sector counterparts have been doing for years. We will see more digital strategies being implemented to improve customer service as a primary goal than, for example, reducing the cost to serve. We will also see a transition from qualitative to quantitative measurement of customer service.

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Topics: Contact Centers, Customer Service, Customer Experience, Social Media, customer engagement optimization, Government, Public sector

What Relationship Do You Want With Your Customers?

Posted by Susanne Pitts

Feb 24, 2015 2:20:59 PM

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A customer engagement strategy is rapidly turning into a must-have. Recently Verint’s Ryan Hollenbeck, senior vice president, marketing, spoke with John Ragsdale of TSIA (Technology Services Industry Association) about how more and more B2B companies are embracing the importance of such a strategy.

As Hollenbeck explains, customer engagement strategies have risen to the top of the priority list for many Verint customers. He discusses some of the reasons why.

Read on for the discussion.

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Topics: Voice of the Customer, Customer Service, Customer Experience, customer engagement optimization

The Silent Rise of Chat in Customer Service Adoption

Posted by Esteban Kolsky - thinkJar

Feb 23, 2015 11:18:26 AM

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Continuing on the delivery of the early insights into the third version of the customer service adoption and usage study we are conducting with our friends at KANA®, A Verint® Company (the summary of early findings is here), I’d like to explore the rise of chat in contact centers.

Chat has had a love-hate relationship in the contact center since its early days in the late 1990s. Early on touted as the replacement for the telephone (with many advantages over it) due to the low-latency nature of its operations, chat has succeeded (a few times) and failed along the myriad electronic channels we brought along to form a contact center.

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Topics: Contact Centers, Customer Service, Customer Experience, Social Media, Knowledge Management

The Anti-Omnichannel Experience

Posted by Daniel Ziv

Feb 20, 2015 11:56:57 AM

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Have you ever had a phone call with a contact center where it felt as if no one understood you were the customer? Perhaps you spoke to multiple customer service agents who were unable to effectively address your issue?

In this day and age of the customer experience and the corresponding executive focus on it, it’s fairly attention-getting when multiple agents cannot solve one issue. But there’s good news. Customer engagement optimization encompasses a variety of solutions that can help ensure that customer needs are prioritized and resolved.

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Topics: Voice of the Customer, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer Analytics, Workforce Optimization, Customer Service, Customer Experience, Analytics, customer engagement optimization, omnichannel, Knowledge Management

Top 5 Predictions for Government and Public Sector Customer Service Part 1: 2014 in Review

Posted by David Moody

Feb 19, 2015 11:13:06 AM

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You may remember that I made some predictions for what would take place in government and public sector customer service in 2014. Now that we have moved into 2015, it’s time to take a look at how I did with my predictions. I’ll review each prediction and give them a grade (on a scale of 1-10, with 1 meaning I totally missed on my prediction and 10 meaning I was spot on with my prediction). Let’s see how I did.

1. The public sector will adopt customer-centric user models for their digital user interfaces.

While I still believe my prediction will come true, despite a few exceptions (such as Fylde Council in the U.K.), there was little evidence of this in 2014. As I said before, more than most, the successful use of government websites by the general public will significantly increase if designed with a customer-centric user model. Score 1/10.

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Topics: Customer Service, Customer Experience, Social Media, Mobile, Government, Public sector

Vacation Heck and the Customer Experience

Posted by Sean Mahoney

Feb 18, 2015 10:42:52 AM

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Ahhh, holidays. I use that word in both senses: a break from regular working life usually spent with friends and family that often involves travel—and the traditional celebrations occurring near the end of the calendar year. They are both often full of fun, relaxation, stress and conflict—often all at once.

For Thanksgiving my family and I decided to do things a little differently and headed to the beach. We’ve been renting a home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for 20 years now for our summer getaways, but this time the home we rented was palatial. The amenities were all top-of-the-line, the kitchen Emeril-worthy, and the views phenomenal.

As we returned to our palace one day, my wife and I discovered a problem with the hot water. Or, more properly, with the lack thereof.

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Topics: Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Customer Experience, customer engagement optimization

The Emergence of Mobile Customer Service

Posted by Esteban Kolsky - thinkJar

Feb 17, 2015 10:38:56 AM

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Continuing the series of blog posts examining the early results of the customer service channels adoption and usage study generously sponsored by KANA®, A Verint® Company (read the summary and the previous entry on social, and watch this blog for the next entry in a couple of weeks), I want to address some of the findings around mobile customer service.

One of the questions that we began asking two years ago was in reference to mobile customer service. Just like social customer service before, it took the enterprise by storm (and surprise) with a very fast pace.

Although it is not properly defined yet (meaning if you ask most customer service organizations what they are doing about it—as we have in past interview follow-ups—they are not sure and bundle mobile websites with mobile apps with mobile agent interfaces as one big “solution”), there is a lot of investment being diverted toward it.

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Topics: Customer Service, Customer Experience, Mobile

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