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

Restoration Hardware's E-commerce Fighting Formula

A Tasteful Blend of Starbucks and Apple Retail Experiences designed to make customers fall in loveApple has the most valuable retail real...

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Thoughts on ThinkGeek Customer Service

I’m on the phone with ThinkGeek because I purchased something which they shipped incorrectly. I tried email and didn’t get a...

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The Interworking Function (IWF) part of the Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC) now takes center stage

Diameter Signaling Controllers (DSCs) are the general term used to describe products that enable load balancing and scaling of Diameter signaling...

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New T-Mobile Pay as You Go LTE Pricing Changes Everything

Until recently, if you wanted a real data plan on a major carrier while using your cell phone, you were forced...

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How Sony May be Fighting to Unleak its Information

The recent attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment is about as scary as it gets as emails which insulted the company’s hired talent...

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4 Tips for the Busy Executive

I have a couple of prospective clients that keep delaying projects. One really wants to do the project but the people...

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Opening up the skies with LTE Air-to-Ground

By: Thierry Sens, Marketing Director Transportation Segment, Alcatel-Lucent

(Note:  Originally posted on Alcatel-Lucent corporate blog)

“Ladies and gentlemen, the fasten seat belt sign has now been turned on. Please ensure your mobile devices are switched off for the full duration of the flight” It is the announcement that many passengers dread as they hurry to finish up one more e-mail, or send one final text or tweet, before the start of a flight and a few hours of absence from the connected world.

But from the end of 2016 this is set to change in Europe. Inmarsat announced on November 20 that it has signed a contract with Alcatel-Lucent to develop Long-Term Evolution (LTE) air-to-ground technology, which will be delivered in partnership with service providers and airlines in 30 European countries. Alcatel-Lucent will supply the ground LTE radio infrastructure, which consists of antennas situated 100 km apart. The system is capable of providing download speeds of up to 75 mbps to planes using 2x15 MHz FDD licenses which Inmarsat owns in the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) S-band. This makes it not only the world’s fastest airborne broadband service, but a pioneer of future in-flight services for passengers and airline operations.

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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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