| Contact Center/CRM Views and Analysis

March 2006

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The Packaging Industry...

March 31, 2006

...has gone mad. If you thought that the telecom industry has more than enough to annoy (IVRs, outbound telemarketing, cell phone billing), then consider the packaging industry.

I just opened a bottle of fish water conditioner since I needed to change the tank water of the goldfish I keep on my desk (Skippy). After taking the small bottle out of the clamshell package, I found a small protective cap ring on the bottle.

Impulse Buying Doesn't Work For Technology

March 31, 2006

Several months ago,¬ our annual Buyer's Guide issue¬ went off into the mail.¬ It's a resource we hope you'll keep and refer to throughout the calendar year, particularly when your 17-year-old call center reader board spontaneously combusts, setting off the sprinklers, which in turns ruins all your headsets. Not that we're hoping you experience a scenario like that, but hey‚Ķyou never know. One thing at Customer Interaction Solutions we try to do every year is to not only discuss what to buy, but how to go about buying it. ¬  We're a nation of impulse buyers.

IP-Based Call Centers

March 30, 2006

If you're thinking about moving to an IP-based call center but are not sure how to proceed, attend today's Webinar entitled, "The Whys, Hows and Whats of IP-based Systems for the Call Center." The event, which will begin at 2:00 pm EST, is being sponsored by Nuasis Corporation, and presented by myself and Nuasis' Joe McFadden.

For more information or to attend, click here: http://www.tmcnet.com/Webinar/nuasis/ip-based-systems-for-call-centers.htm


Largest Union Chooses SER

March 28, 2006

SER Solutions today announced that Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has implemented SER's CPS Enterprise Edition (CPS E2), its next-generation outbound call management solution, to support the organization's Political Action Center across its contact centers nationwide. 

Using CPS E2, SEIU conducts fundraising campaigns, get-out-the-vote efforts, rally participation, member services and representative programs, and other services for local unions and industry divisions with greater productivity and reliability.

More info about SER and the implemenation may be found at www.ser.com.


Real News?

March 27, 2006

Remember when mainstream news organizations actually gave news? Today, on the CNN headlines, there are stories about "Scarlett Johansson, the sexiest women alive," information about David Hasselhof's alleged wife-abuse, a story about the Dixie Chicks, an article about a "Muslim Madonna" who "shows skin" and garners death threats, a story about a dancing NFL player, and finally a link to a video of a dog who had a freak accident with a stick.

Am I the only one afraid that at this rate,20 years from now, news stations will carry only video of people banging rocks together and mimicking fart sounds?


Bands & Search Engine Feedback

March 24, 2006

I got an e-mail from Dave Home in the UK today pointing me toward an article called "Band Names In The Internet Age" that he wrote for his indie music review site CoolNoise.com.


He points to, among others, an existing band named "A," which is, in essence, completely screwed on the search engine front.

Thanks for the link, Dave.


Kudos To Convergys

March 23, 2006

Outsourced customer care provider Convergys announced today that for the sixth consecutive year, the company has been chosen as one of "America's Most Admired Companies" by Fortune Magazine. Fortune surveyed 10,000 executives, directors, and securities analysts to rate the companies in their own industry based on eight key attributes: innovation, employee talent, use of financial assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment value and quality of products and services.

Congratulations to Convergys!


Filipino Call Centers To Grow

March 22, 2006

An article in the Asian Journal today discussed projections for Filipino call center growth, which may turn out to be staggering in the next four years. Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has said that the number of call centers in the country may increase 15-fold by 2010, bringing the percentage of Filipinos working in call centers by that date to two percent of the population.

The entire article may be viewed here: http://www.asianjournal.com/?c=47&a=11520&sid=c1115e59ccb70393535e88ae494f3436

Aspect Leads In Magic Quadrant

March 21, 2006

Aspect Software announced today that it has been positioned in the "leaders quadrant" in Gartner's Magic Quadrant devoted to "contact center infrastructure," (i.e., the meat and potatoes solutions that contact centers use to actually transact their business on a daily basis).

Aspect attained this much-sought-after position because, according to Gartner, ‚ÄúLeaders are high-viability vendors with broad profiles, significant market share, broad geographic coverage, a clear vision for how contact center needs will evolve and a proven track record for delivering contact center products.‚Ä̬†

Congratulations to Aspect. 


Credit Freeze Feedback

March 20, 2006

I'm getting a great deal of feedback on my series of articles regarding credit freezing. I've gotten some different perspectives from these e-mails, so I'm going to start and post some of them. One reader wrote and said,

Dear Tracey:

I read your column on security freezes and found it very interesting.¬ If it were me, I might add Innovis Data Solutions (CBC Innovis) to your security freeze list, the fourth ‚Äúsecret‚ÄĚ credit bureau that may eventually start selling credit reports.¬  Check NJ PIRG for more info.

Aspect Does Outbound

March 16, 2006

Aspect Software today announced¬ the general availability of¬  its Aspect Enterprise Campaign Manager 2.0, which is an outbound campaign strategy management and call optimization product.

In an era when even companies that do primarily outbound don't want to be known as companies that do outbound, it's nice to see continued innovation in this area. I have been busy compiling the "Outbound Technologies Roundup" for the upcoming April edition of Customer Interaction Solutions, and I was bowled overy by how many companies are still aggressively pursuing...and succeeding...by focusing on outbound technologies and services.

It's also a fallacy that the only growth in outbound is overseas...evidence from this year's Top 50 Teleservices Agencies Ranking proves that U.S.

Dialers On EBay

March 13, 2006

You know your industry has arrived when the tools of its trade are being sold on eBay. Never thought I'd see the day when you can visit eBay to bid online for ETS/AMCAT 2000 predictive dialers: http://cgi.ebay.com/Predictive-Dialer-Bid-Per-Seat-More-Dialers-My-Store_W0QQitemZ5870957258QQcategoryZ51279QQcmdZViewItem


Credit Freezing

March 13, 2006

My article last week about the ability to "freeze" your credit with the credit agencies so no one can steal your identity has caused me to get a lot of mail. I'll reproduce one letter I have received already:

Tracey:¬  Read your article/letters re Credit Freeze.

Thought you might like to know:

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America, increasing 600 percent since the year 2000.

Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter

March 10, 2006

If you're a space buff like I am, visit www.nasa.gov right now and choose the MRO - Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter page, where you can watch live on NASA TV the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) mission control monitoring of the "burn" the vehicle is undergoing to insert itself into orbit around Mars, at which time it will begin a 6-month-long aerobraking process to slow itself down before it begins returning what may be the most detailed data about Mars to date. Among other things, it will search for traces of water beneath our nearest neighbor planet.

Exciting stuff!


Outbound Provider: Last Call

March 9, 2006

In our April issue, Customer Interaction Solutions magazine will be running a roundup of outbound technology providers.

This is the last call to be included: to find out how, visit http://news.tmcnet.com/news/2006/02/06/1346988.htm


Illiterate Spammers

March 9, 2006

I received the following spoof e-mail today, purportedly from a colleage:

I found your email from whois info of a web page that was used in spam and illigal activity,
please do something or you will be sued and busted. Was very dumb to leave your email, a**hole!
P.S Attached file is self-exatracting archive with information about your criminal activity.

Of course, our spam filters eliminated the virus, but left the text behind. All I can say is...I'm glad spammers are such illiterate losers...it helps those of us who have real jobs to spot them easily and their "illigal" activities. Dude.


Walmart Blogs Itself

March 7, 2006

An article that appears in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/07/technology/07blog.html?_r=1&oref=login) today discusses the fact that Walmart appears to be employing bloggers to post positive comments about the media-challenged company.

My experience with Walmart and the blogosphere is rather different. A blog I posted last year about bad Walmart customer service has drawn a tirade of negative comments about the retail supergiant by readers. This truly is the company that everybody loves to hate. And until Walmart figures out why it deserves a lot of this criticism, it will continue to operate in the "point the gun, aim for the foot" method of publicity that it seems to enjoy.

Here's a link to the commentary on Walmart: http://blog.tmcnet.com/walmart-customer-service.asp



Getting More Call Center For Less

March 6, 2006

The days of a single call center...one centralized location full of agents...may be starting to fade. Why? Because today's technology allows companies to efficiently tie together a host of disparate locations and inviduals into a single virtual call center, and in doing so, companies can save a great deal of money on overhead while improving the resources of its call center entity.

Join us tomorrow for a Webinar entitled, "Multisite Call Center Strategies To Reduce Costs and Increase Productivity" and learn how to create such a virtual call center entity on your own. The Webinar is sponsored by Telephony@Work, and takes place at 2:00 pm EST.

For more information, visit http://www.tmcnet.com/Webinar/telephonyatwork/multisite-call-center-strategies-reduce-cost.htm


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