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Brendan Read
TMC
| Contact Center/CRM Views and Analysis

Wearable Tech Expo 2014 Kicking off in NYC

My team is at the Jacob Javits Center setting up for Wearable Tech Expo 2014 which will take place Wednesday and Thursday...

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #7

Tsahi Levent-Levi’s white paper, “Seven Reasons for WebRTC Server-Side Processing,” details a variety of WebRTC-related scenarios that necessitate a media server....

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How signaling spikes affect networks: 3 real-world examples

By: Josee Loudiadis, Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent

Data and signaling growth are usually good news for network operators, since growth often translates into higher revenues. But when growth is averaged over a month or quarter, the daily highs and lows of network activity are smoothed out. And signaling spikes remain hidden within the averages. These spikes can overwhelm available signaling capacity, which impairs the customer experience, as well as the operator’s reputation.

What happens when a spike occurs? Typically, a CPU Overload alarm appears on various mobile nodes. And the Network Operations Center (NOC) immediately starts praying that the burst is short-lived and doesn’t go over maximum peak-rate capacity. Because when that happens, all consumers are denied service access. Then, the process of identifying the source of the problem begins. This can be arduous, because it often involves applications completely out of NOC control. And the issue can’t be resolved easily without solid network analytics that enables engagement with application and device developers.

That’s the reason signaling information is a crucial part of the Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Apps Rankings report and why LTE World 2014 devotes an entire pre-conference day to the topic. It’s also why this blog offers a closer look at how some real-world disruptive signaling spikes got started — and were finally resolved.

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The Expanding Channel Programs

Not only do I see more cloud service providers looking to the channel for sales, I see other channel programs expanding....

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #6

In a recent blog about the current state of WebRTC, I mentioned that readers should check out an excellent white paper...

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The Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation: It's Not All About Data- Mobile Voice and Messaging Share Plans Offer Plenty of Appeal

Alcatel-Lucent’s Rich Crowe continues the Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation blog series by examining the degree to which consumers are interested in share plans that include unlimited voice and messaging but don’t include data.

The last Six Degrees blog explored consumer attitudes toward two different mobile share plan options: sharing data only and sharing voice, messaging and data. This blog will explore attitudes toward a 3rd option: sharing unlimited voice and messaging — but not data — across multiple devices or subscribers.

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200G Optical Networks: What you need to know

By: Earl Kennedy, IP Transport Product Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Optical network operators have already made the move to 100G. But skyrocketing bandwidth demand means many are already pondering what’s next. With a 200G optical solution hitting the market, you probably have questions about when to move to 200G optical – and what you need to know when you make that move.

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Improving Capacity Through Virtual Call Centers

February 15, 2008

Call Center Jobs: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

February 14, 2008

Tight Retail Return Policies

February 13, 2008

Here's a customer service pet peeve that I've developed recently. If you have tried to return anything recently, you may have noticed that retailers have fairly seriously tightened up their return policies. I realize that the point is to catch "serial returners" who buy merchandise regularly knowing they are going to return it. But in my opinion, when the "net" starts to catch consumers with legitimate issues, it has been cast too wide.

According to the National Retail Federation, about 40 percent of retailers have tightened their policies.

My most recent aggravation?



The ATA Position On Do-Not-Call

February 7, 2008

You may have read that his week, Congress addressed two bills, H.R. 2601 and H. R. 3541, which will affect the future of the federal Do-No-Call Registry.  Currently, there are approximately 150 million people who have listed their phone numbers on the DNC Registry, and there has been a large political effort to ensure that consumer’s information will not be purged from this list.

Sneaky ISP Fees

February 6, 2008

2007 Outsourcing Market Trends

February 5, 2008

B-to-B Telemarketing

February 4, 2008

I often get questions about outbound telemarketing calls to places of business, and how companies can stop them. (Here's a piece from the Raleigh News & Observer on the topic.) The answer is, you probably can't, unless you ask each solicitor to list you on their internal do-not-call list. The Federal Do-Not-Call Registry is for personal, home phone numbers, not places of business.

Many companies hesitate to put their business numbers on any do-not-call lists, mindful of the fact that it could affect legitimate incoming business calls.

Outrageous (Call Center) Interactions

February 1, 2008

If you have been a call center agent for any length of time, there are probably some calls that you will never forget. Calls during which you started to wonder who was trying to upsell whom. Calls during which you felt more like a therapist than a customer service rep. Even calls that were so weird, you became convinced you were being filmed for a new "Candid Camera" reality show.

Interactive Intelligence wants to hear about them.

Agents And I.D. Theft

January 31, 2008

When the topic of customer data privacy comes up, there is a lot to talk about. Encryption, standards, firewalls, software, monitoring...and it's all great.

The problem is, most of it fails to address the most common origination of customer identity theft: the call center agent who walks out the door at the end of his shift with a list of social security and/or credit card numbers.

As you'll see in this story, a former TeleTech employee was recently convicted of using customer information to open accounts in others' names and changing the address to his own, allowing him to have merchandise sent to himself.

Many companies nowadays are trying to combat this kind of identity theft by allowing no paper whatsoever in the call center (notepads can be used to jot down customer information), and allowing agents no access to personal e-mail so they cannot cut and paste information into an e-mail and send it to themselves.

Some companies are even offering solutions for call centers who take credit card information over the phone: the agent is required to transfer the customer into an IVR, which takes the credit card information and processes it automatically. The agent never hears the credit card information.

One doesn't like to think one's employees could be thieves, but let's face it: there are thieves in every profession, and pretending that you have none in your organization is wishful thinking.

TES











Is Your Call Center Ready?

January 31, 2008

According to holiday numbers for 2006/2007 (not this previous holiday season) released by the National Retail Federation, brick and mortar holiday retail growth was just three percent. Online sales, however, grew 19 percent.

According to researchers the e-tailing group, which recently released its 10th Annual Mystery Shopping Study and measured over 200 metrics on 100 consumer e-commerce sites in the fourth quarter of 2007, there has been both an increased presence and better execution of features that either deliver a richer, more robust experience and technologies that enable faster, more efficient shopping.

As more and more people who have never lived before the Internet age become consumers with good disposable income, shoppers' expectations for sterling online shopping experience is going to rise. This means well-designed Web sites with Web 2.0 technologies are a MUST, as is multichannel customer service that makes shoppers think, "Wow."

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