| Contact Center/CRM Views and Analysis

November 2009

You are browsing the archive for November 2009.

May Nortel Execs' Stockings Be Laden With Coal

November 30, 2009

While Americans were stuffing themselves with turkey, the turkeys that are brooding over the maggot-infested remains of Canadian-HQ'ed Nortel have decided to munch on what meat is left.

Canada's CBC reported Thursday that Nortel's management approved a plan earlier this fall to reward themselves with salary increases, investments or bonuses. An internal document obtained by the broadcaster outlines a new compensation scheme for 72 Nortel executives that will see them get a total of $7.5 million on top of their current salaries in 2009.

Of those 72, 14 will be getting compensation of $500,000 or more.

Who Needs Telemarketers? Pay People To Tweet and Post Instead

November 23, 2009

Here's a budding new and potentially more profitable and much less costly option to those hated (and in turn heavily regulated) cold-call telemarketing calls: paying people to pitch goodies via their social networks i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.

A story published in the Nov.21 New York Times reports that Amazon.com will start "paying commissions to individuals who refer buyers to the site via Twitter messages. (People must first sign up for Amazon Associates, a program in which Amazon pays Web publishers for referrals to its site.)".

Want To Make Money? Shape Up Your Voice Self-Service

November 18, 2009

OK contact center managers and execs, here's a winner of a tip to make money and not leave it on the table: clean up your automated voice a.k.a. IVR self-service and quit treating it as the back of the bus for all those 80 percent of non-elite customers who generate the 20 percent of revenues.

Because if you don't you're going to lose that 20 percent who can easily go elsewhere. And they may not come back when they do qualify to speak promptly to a live agent.

Make Customers Smile? Give Them Low Priced Half-Decent Products

November 13, 2009

Image via Wikipedia

A Nov.11 Los Angeles Times column by David Lazarus makes more kicks at the commonly stated (if not truly believed, and for good reason) assumption of organizations, their contact centers, and their suppliers that customers really give a rat's hindquarters about customer service especially in this tough economy.

In the piece, titled 'The sad illusion of happy customers' Mr. Lazarus takes a sharp look at electronics retailer Best Buy's new nationwide marketing campaign 'They'll be happy, you'll be happy, we'll be happy.'

"What they're saying is that the company will bend over backward to help you shop for gifts this holiday season and will do whatever it takes to ensure that gift recipients are pleased with what they get. This, in turn, will warm the hearts of Best Buy shareholders.

"Happy customers is a long-term strategy for us," Best Buy's chief marketing officer, Barry Judge, told me.

Lest We Forget...

November 11, 2009

Take a moment today, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, to think about and honor those who sacrificed, and who are willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedoms, for our nations.

The most moving words that have written about those who fought and died in war, and who continue to do so is arguably the poem 'In Flanders Fields'. It was written, reports Wikipedia by a Canadian military physician, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on May 3, 1915 during the infamous 'War to End All Wars' i.e. the First World War, after he had watched his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, only 22 years old, die in battle the day before in Belgium.

Automation Dooming Indian Outsourced Contact Center Jobs?

November 9, 2009

About a dozen years ago I heard a comment ascribed to a longtime CEO of a leading global teleservices firm who reputedly said: "I don't care where in the world you go, self-service will always be cheaper."

Well thanks to technologies such as electronic order entry, improved IVR, speech recognition but more importantly web self-service and more recently outbound notifications there is a growing realization that automation could doom many jobs, such as in contact centers, even in India, long the land of low-cost offshore outsourcing.

A blog entry that appeared in the New York Times last week by Vikas Bajaj says that India too is worried about where the jobs will come from in future (thanks Rich for the tip) 


Why Treat Contact Center (and Other Service) Employees Well In Tough Times

November 3, 2009

Ask anyone who works in the service sector: contact centers, hospitality, retail, and transportation especially, the one thing besides lousy supervisors and managers that drives them up the wall and that is wild scheduling--days, times, even locations worked changed on a moment's notice--resulting in fewer hours and less income.

Too often employees apply for and are hired for jobs that employers tell them will pay X for a given number of hours: 20-30-40/week. What happens though is that many of these 'hours' become 'on call' i.e. they have to be 'Janey or Jimmy on the spot' but they don't get paid.

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