| Contact Center/CRM Views and Analysis

May 2006

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Veteran ID Theft

May 24, 2006

Because I wrote a few articles on credit freezing back a few months ago, several veterans who suspect their info was among the 26 million names on a stolen VA official's laptop have contacted me asking what their next steps should be.

The VA has set up a special call center and hotline for veterans, as well as an FAQ page: http://www.firstgov.gov/veteransinfo. I hope they have staffed it sufficiently. The potential for 26 million phone calls is very high.

RightNow Acquires Salesnet

May 22, 2006

RightNow Technologies has just announced that it has bought Salesnet, an on-demand CRM provider. The acquisition was engineered to bring to RightNow Salesnet's sales workflow automation expertise. Jonathan Tang, president and co-founder of Salesnet, will become vice president of sales solutions at RightNow.

RightNow has stated that its goal is to support Salesnet’s existing customers and ultimately provide a seamless upgrade path to broader customer experience management solutions. Salesnet’s corporate office in Boston will become RightNow’s Boston office and will continue to include development, sales, marketing and support functions.


New Call Centers

May 19, 2006

The growth of call centers, both U.S. domestic and international, is becoming hard to ignore. As consumer companies finally start to realize that the quality of customer service they provide is becoming the primary determinant factor in whether they keep or lose customers, these organizations are scrambling to build world-class facilities.

And it shows in the amount of recruitment taking place.

Issues Facing Call Centers

May 17, 2006

A public relations person sent me an e-mail today; she was doing a little information scouting on behalf of her client. She asked me what I thought the three biggest issues facing contact centers today were. I came up with these three:

1)  Raising customer service quality while simultaneously lowering costs. 

2)  Fighting high turnover by improving training and helping agents feel like professionals and not bodies in chairs. 

3)  Keeping abreast of new technologies in an era in which corporate management won't purchase new software/equipment unless it can prove immediate ROI. 

But then...I don't work in a call center every day. I'd be interested to hear other opinions about this.


Also Sprach Zarathustra

May 10, 2006

On MSNBC today: "Mexican Monolith Could Change History" http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12703283/

Surely I'm not the only one who read this story with Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra," the theme music to 2001: A Space Odyssey, in my head?

Skippy's Birthday

May 8, 2006

I have a goldfish. The golfish's name is Skippy. (This is starting out like a pre-K "I Can Read!" book, I know.) The fish sits in a tank on my desk and is both the unofficial mascot of the TMC Editorial Team, and a favorite amusement of the young children of fellow TMCers when they visit.

Yesterday was the third anniversary of my acquisition of Skippy, for whom I paid 12 cents.

Verizon Causes Pain

May 8, 2006

Here's a link to today's blog from Caroline Mayer from the Washington Post. Her issue is the continuation of the appalling customer service from Verizon. Since Verizon is one of my pet-peeve bad customer service organizations, I thought I would share:


The comments posted to the blog, most of them by people who have run into the same problems (or worse) point to the fact that this company has GOT to clean up its customer service. What's the use of having a first-class network when you abuse your customers?


Colbert & The Blogosphere

May 4, 2006

Whatever your opinion of Stephen Colbert's presentation at the recent White House Correspondents' Dinner, you must admit that it has created an interesting phenomenon.

Though the speech and its fallout have been barely mentioned on the mainstream news Web sites and in newspapers, it's currently one of the most hotly debated topics in the blogosphere. Why the disconnect?

I have no idea.

Keef Vs. Tree

May 1, 2006

Several news agencies are reporting that Keith Richards was injured over the weekend when he fell out of a palm tree in Fiji. There is no word yet on what exactly Keith was doing in the palm tree, but his handlers confirmed he was flown from Fiji to New Zealand for treatment of a mild concussion.

According to medical sources, the symptoms of concussion include vagueness, confusion, speech problems, memory problems, unusual behavior and dilated pupils.


The doctor that confirmed the concussion in Keith surely deserves an award for "Differential Diagnosis Of The Year."


PS: I hope Keith gets well soon. Fairfield County wouldn't be the same without him.

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