Brendan Read : The Readerboard
Brendan Read
TMC
| Contact Center/CRM Views and Analysis

What's With the MSO Consolidation?

Charter was the first company to make a play for TWC. Now reports are in that Charter is chasing Bright House....

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Expect Security Funding Bubble to Pop in 3-5 Years

Security is one of the hottest areas in tech right now. Indeed, there is infinite possibility in this space because technology...

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SmartPhoneMan and His Interaction with Media Servers on St. Patrick's Day

Last week we made it about halfway through SmartPhoneMan’s day.  Let’s finish his day.  Right now, he’s in a rush to...

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Verizon Invites the Channel Once More

Jon Arnold wrote up a good review of Verizon's Broad Cloud offering (VCE). One glaring problem is that it targets in...

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Media Servers and St. Patrick's Day

Last week I wrote about the important role media servers play in the network.  Today is St. Patrick’s Day and let’s...

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What Can You Learn from Target?

I was reading a couple of articles about Target. The retailer has not been doing well lately, including closing all Canada...

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Media Servers Will Play an Increasingly Important Role for Telco Apps

Media servers play an important role in enabling many of the real-time communications applications many of us use every day.  When...

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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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