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November 2005

You are browsing the archive for November 2005.

Knowlagent Shutting Down?

November 30, 2005

A rumor came my way today that call center solutions provider Knowlagent is on its way to being defunct. This is a rumor...I've had no authoritative confirmation. If any readers have info about the topic, feel free to e-mail me.



Corporate IT's Downfall?

November 30, 2005

A column by The Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein discusses the increasingly popularity of the idea that the large IT infrastructures maintained by most large companies today will become unnecessary. Just as in the early days of electricity, when companies generated their own power until an advisor to Thomas Edison pointed out that better economies of scale could be achieved by centralizing electricity generation, allowing companies to share it off a centralized grid (and thus giving birth to the first public electric utility company), some IT industry visionaries are endorsing this method for the future of corporate information technology.

By sharing centralized IT resources, companies could pay for only what they use and radically lower their administration budgets.

Find the column here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/29/AR2005112901096.html?nav=hcmodule

Impatient Customers

November 29, 2005

Preliminary research from a Dimension Data report released today indicates that Americans are the most impatient customers in the world.

Contact centers in North America report that Americans are impatient – willing to wait an average of only 37 seconds for their calls to be answered. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, customers are willing to wait 67 seconds before abandoning a call; and people in Asia-Pacific are the most patient, willing to hold on a full 72 seconds.

The 35-second difference between Americans and people in the Far East may not seem like much, but multiply that by a million calls, and you'll see that the difference is enough to completely change the modes of operation between U.S.

Walmart Versus America?

November 28, 2005

Since a blog I did recently about Walmart customer service has generated a lot of postings regarding everything from customer service and selection to its (lack of) celebration of Christmas to the temperature in the store, I thought I'd post a link to an article in today's Washington Post that theorizes that despite the company's shortcomings, the amount of money saved on food and dry goods purchases by lower-income Americans more than cancels out the company's stinginess on benefits and wages.

I'm not defending the article, just posting a link:



In-Flight Phone Usage

November 17, 2005

There are several things I hope for before I get on an airplane. One, that I won't be seated between two arm-rest hogs. I also hope for basic hygiene from my seat companions, which includes restraint from engaging in any bodily function that causes smells or extraordinary noises. Third, I usually hope to avoid being seated next to an infant who has just discovered the delights of using his or her lungs and vocal chords to maximum capacity; or a small child with an upset tummy, a bad case of motion sickness and uncanny projectile aim.

Disaster Recovery

November 16, 2005

Disaster recovery for call centers is a very timely topic. Since this year's disastrous hurricane season, the number of case-study-style reports, both positive and horrific, have been streaming in through the business wires. Companies that were prepared having amazing stories to tell.

I'm moderating a Webinar tomorrow about Disaster Recovery In The Call Center, which is to be sponsored by Nuasis Corp. I've gotten a sneak peek at the material, and it's amazingly informative.

Sign up here: http://www.tmcnet.com/Webinar/nuasis/new-look-at-disaster-recovery-for-the-call-center.htm

I'll "see" you tomorrow!


Peter Drucker

November 16, 2005

There is a wonderful obituary in the London Times today for Peter Drucker, who was considered to be the father of modern business management theory.

My favorite part is Drucker's quote about consultants and the over-use of the word "guru" nowadays by (most self-anointed) experts: "People use the word ‘guru’ only because ‘charlatan’ is too long”.

You can read the obituary here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,60-1873611,00.html


Extraterrestrial Domain Registration

November 15, 2005

Do you have all the URLs you need to properly conduct your business? Do you have your product names all covered? Do you have a better URL than your competitors?


Sony Suspends Controversial Anti-Pirating System

November 14, 2005

For the moment, Sony has decided to temporarily suspend the use of its system designed to limit the number of copies of CDs consumers can make, after a deluge of criticism, most notably that the system is a sort of spyware and renders users' computers vulnerable to hackers. But the company admits no wrongdoing, and denies the spyware accusation.


I'm just glad that Sony doesn't publish books, or long ago I would have gone over my "limit" of re-reads on several hundred of my favorite books.


Efficacy Of Tin Foil Hats

November 11, 2005

If you're a government/alien conspiracy theorist, or you just want to blend in among them at DefCon shows, here's a piece of news from MIT that should interest you.

An MIT study has determined that tin foil hats, a staple in the kits of the "X-Files-Are-Real" crowd, actually AMPLIFY rather than mask radio signals that fall into the frequencies allotted to the U.S. government by the FCC.

My friend Ainsley pointed this study out to me this morning. She believes that this news indicates that the actual conspiracy is one between the U.S. government and the Reynolds Wrap people.

Not coincidentally, Ainsley looks fabulous in tin foil chapeaus.


Go Away, Customers

November 10, 2005

I do a lot of online bill paying...my credit cards, my utilities, my telecom bills. But I have found that with all the various sites I deal with, companies large and small, some portion of the Internet transaction, whether it's the ability to view a balance or pay a bill, is "down" about 10 percent of the time. "Sorry! That function is not available now!"

Think of a retail store, such as a supermarket, that is closed one in ten times you tried to shop there. "Sorry! We're cleaning up spilled applesauce in aisle five. Come back later!"

I don't see a difference.


Unlimited Afterlife Minutes

November 8, 2005

An article in The Australian details how increasingly, deceased Irish people are taking their cell phones with them to the grave.


In Victorian times, some people were so terrified that they would be buried alive, they were sometimes interred with a string around their finger, which extended through the coffin, up through the soil, and connected to a bell above the grave. Watchmen were employed to listen for the sounds of the bells in graveyards, signifying that a recently arrived resident was not quite dead yet.

Perhaps this is the modern equivalent. But which carriers could ever guarantee that one could get a signal through a casket and six feet of soil?


CRM Builds 72,000 Sq Ft House

November 3, 2005

What's a billionaire software mogul to do when the neighbors start complaining about your proposed 72,000 square foot house?

Here's a question...when you live in a 72,000 square foot house, how big is your "junk drawer"?


UK Telemarketing Fines

November 1, 2005

And American call centers thought U.S. "Teleservices Sales Rule" fines were punishing? New telemarketing restrictions in the UK dictate a fine of up to £50,000 (U.S. $88,000) per incident.

Here's the full article from the Glasgow Herald: http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/49873.html


Stressful Call Center Jobs

November 1, 2005

If you work in a call center and think your job is tough (and we know it is), spare a moment for the people manning the FEMA call centers, taking (on some days) 73,000 calls from desperate and even suicidal people displaced by the hurricanes.


These people should all be given call center agent of the year awards.


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