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

VoLTE Versus WebRTC: I didn't know it was a battle

When I talk to customers, they often ask about how WebRTC compares to voice over LTE (VoLTE), and which technology “will...

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These 3 Do Everything Together

At a few shows, including the latest ITEXPO, the 3 big cablecos - TWC, Comcast and Charter - share a booth....

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Modems? In This Day and Age?

Not so many years ago, the only way to connect to the Internet was via a modem. You would use your...

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How to Speed Small Cell Site Acquisition on a Large Scale

By: Jean Jones, Director, Wireless Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Outdoor small cells are now widely recognized as a great solution for expanding mobile capacity and coverage. And their use is expected to grow sevenfold by 2018.[1] So here’s the next big question: How can you put these cells where they’re needed, faster and at lower cost?

Maybe you’ve already encountered deployment issues, including difficulties with small cell site acquisition. According to an Informa Telecoms & Media survey, nearly 60% of mobile operators say that deployment problems are their biggest small cell challenge.[2] In other words, operators’ top concerns are not about small cell technologies or products. Instead, they’re about the practical aspects of getting these cells up and running on light posts, utility poles, bus stops, buildings and other street locations.

This blog looks at a collaborative approach that makes these deployment processes faster and easier. Alcatel-Lucent adopted these methods for our Metro Cell Express Site Certification Program. And we’re discussing them here, because this business model earned a top award in the small cell innovation leadership category.

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HumansFirst ColdSmoke Lets You Buy with your Smartphone

While speech-technology has come a long way, we still haven’t entered the world of Star Trek reruns where the computer can do...

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Structural Separation via REIT Equals Zero Taxes

Windstream got the endorsement of the IRS to transfer their assets - copper and fiber plant - to a REIT and...

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Connected Cars as an Everyday Lifestyle

By: Ellis Lindsay, General Manager, Customer Experience Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent 

I drive to work and back home in my car every day. I tune in to a radio station for traffic news and upcoming events nearby. Like many of you I’m sure, this is a typical everyday activity. And like never before, we are connected to our home, our families, our phones, our work and our friends in a network that seems to be always on. Shouldn’t we be in a lifestyle where we are consistently connected to the everyday activities in our lives? Well, let me introduce you to the world of Connected Cars. Full Story »

Curing the Pareto Illness

October 12, 2010

One of the most serious illnesses to strike organizations is the Pareto Principle: the notion that 20 percent of customers create 80 percent of the value, which is embedded in CRM methodology. To maximize profits the object is to focus resources on retaining and attracting the top 20 while giving minimal least-cost service to the bottom 80. The Pareto Principle offers firms short-term gains through cost reductions while building greater loyalty and hopefully revenue from elite buyers. Yet it inflicts the medium/long-term pain from rising expenses, shrinking customer bases and individual income and spending declines.

NBC's Outsourced: Amusing, Little Edgy, Mildly Inaccurate, Has Possibilities

September 28, 2010

As one who has covered and worked in the contact center industry for the past 15 years I admit I had my reservations about NBC's new show Outsourced...Yet NBC to its credit balanced these issues that touch on the edge i.e. the bricks being thrown into and collected in the now-vacant Kansas City contact center for Mid America Novelties. It did so by focusing on the cultural clashes in both directions: accents, food, ways of life, interactions and yes humor.

Making The Canadian Census Voluntary Is Ideology Trumping Business, and Privacy

August 30, 2010

Mr. Harper's moves are a triumph of a narrow extremist anti-government libertarian ideology over logic, the public good and ironically (given the so-called free enterprise bent of his party) business sense and needs.

If The U.S. Is Finally Cheaper Than India, Don't Foul Up The Opportunity

August 23, 2010

Is the U.S. finally competitive with India for contact centers and IT? That's the spin on the word from BPO outsourcer Genpact. Company president and ceo Pramod Bhasin was reported in Hindu Business Line saying that his firm is doubling its U.S. workforce to 2,000 in the next two to three years to provide BPO, help desk and other services.

Rethinking Do Not Call

July 16, 2010

in this multichannel/customer in charge era it makes no sense at all to continue with opt-our regimes like DNC and CAN-SPAM. Opt-in, and tough, enforced and integrated legislation is what today's environment calls for to enable consumers to conduct interactions and transactions without being bothered at their cost by scam artists and thieves pretending to be 'marketers'

Making the IVR Ogre Customer-Friendly

June 25, 2010

Customers may not exactly be a fan of IVR systems but if they are programmed right, with their needs in mind, they can actually do some good by enabling them to get the services and items they need with minimal waits: and aggravation.

AT&T Teaches How Not To Respond to Complaints in The Social Era

June 5, 2010

This example of how not to respond to customers' complaints in this social media era, where unless you respond to them quickly and authentically including by the CEOs your rep is DOA, comes courtesy of--and perhaps to no surprise to those of us in or follow this industry)--AT&T, via CNN. CNN reported Thursday that AT&T apologized to one of its customers after a staffer left a voicemail warning that individual had e-mailed the carrier's CEO with complaints.

Don't SLAPP Social Media (or SLAPP, period)

June 2, 2010

Strategic lawsuits against public participation or SLAPPs are the cowards' way of quieting dissent; the legal equivalent of glove-covered brass knuckles. Now comes the disturbing if not unexpected report from The New York Times that firms have been attempting to SLAPP consumers they appear to have annoyed and who have in turn posted comments on social media sites.

Shame On You, Teleperformance!

May 20, 2010

Contact center agents and supervisors are on the front lines of companies' relations with customers, in service, support, loyalty, sales, lead generation, billing and collections. They put on the smiles when they answer and make calls and contacts for their employers and if they are outsourcers their clients, on all manner of shifts. They receive in return more brickbats than bouquets while meeting stringent performance objectives, monitored up the tailfeathers, confined to tiny cubicles except for precisely measured periods. The contact center pay and benefits, while slightly higher and the hours are steadier than retail and hospitality are low yet unlike those fields there is little in the way of advancement, and so accordingly is the status of their work. So when I read the release that Teleperformance USA, a unit of French-owned SR Teleperformance had to pay nearly $2 million in back wages to almost 16,000 contact center workers for overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) my reaction was one of disgust.

The Disinterested Customer

May 13, 2010

most customers: consumers and organizations are not really interested in such engagements. They don't want to be "fans". That they turn off after so much blather on their screen and in their ears. Moreover, customer loyalty is fickle. A product or service that shines in the first instance may stink in the second either in the manufacturing, delivery or price, which means bye-bye buyer... There are still a large number of social and other channels and channel providers to pick from. The smart ones will make enough but are not so greedy so as to drive away the very source of their profits while satisfying or at least not annoying the customers. For it is best to have disinterested customers than ticked off ones.
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