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

Country Music and Wi-Fi Offload

This past Sunday night I attended the 50th annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards, hosted at the AT&T Stadium outside...

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Why Aren't You My Customer?

COMPTEL had a sales training session for attendees with Stephen Schiffman. Schiffman has written 50+ books in his 35 year career...

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How Imagine Communications is Bringing Video Distribution to the cloud and Beyond

At the end of 2014 I declared Imagine Communications one of the companies to watch in 2015, specifically stating: The video industry...

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The Race to Gigabit is About Business

The cable companies racing to Gigabit networks isn't about delivering ultra-fast broadband to consumers. The Gigabit announcements get them good PR...

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Four Ways Cable Operators Can Boost the Customer Experience

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

The customer experience has always mattered, but its importance has grown in recent years. This has been driven by increased global competition, including the almost instant availability of alternations, and the rising expectations by fickle and informed consumer. Yet, cable operators have a long way to travel if they want to deliver the customer experience (CX) that consumers demand.

The Temkin Group’s Q3 2014 survey of 10,000 US consumers’ opinions about goods and services registered the lowest ranking average Net Promoter Score (NPS) for pay TV providers, a telling statistic. Internet service providers did almost as poorly, coming in only one position higher.

“As technology innovations drive shifts in consumer behavior and open new service opportunities, operators must start eliminating pain points,” stressed Alcatel-Lucent’s Nicholas Cadwgan in a recent TechZine article, Cable MSOs transform the customer experience. “This includes any obstacles that will impede their ability to launch and provide adequate care and quality assurance for those services.”

Cadwgan lays out four customer experience management (CEM) areas that cable operators should focus on.

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HP Can't Compete in Public Cloud as Amazon Machine Learning Launches

There are long-term trends in technology we all know are happening. Computers will get more powerful. More devices will be connected. Finally,...

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Will United + Continental = Fewer Contact Center Jobs?

May 7, 2010

When companies merge the impetus is to immediately cut costs to achieve the hoped-of financial benefits. And all too often that means consolidation and cutbacks in the back offices i.e. contact centers. So when United Airlines and Continental Airlines announced their merger earlier this week my radar went on to see if that is going to happen in this instance. The suspicion is yes, to some extent, but not as great as it would be if both firms were head-on competitors in major markets.

Can Outsourcers Bring Social Media Home?

April 21, 2010

Outsourcing firms, especially those in the contact center space have to be that one-half-step ahead of their clientele, which tends to be fairly conservative, but which expects their suppliers to be on top of trends. This is a tail-perched-on-the-picket-fence situation because outsourcing is a notoriously highly-competitive thin-margin business and outsourcers have little spare cash, which means technology investments must have strong and immediate ROIs, yet companies find the money for them to have the tools to meet clients' needs. And that sharp point is about to become even more uncomfortable with the rise of social media.

Don't Start Bulldozers Yet On Contact Center Expansion

April 12, 2010

"The survey confirms something we've known for years: the contact center industry is one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. economy," said James K. Noble, President and CEO of Noble Systems. "The overwhelmingly positive response reflects the strong diversity and innovation in the field today. Contact centers are an integral part of customer relationship management in an increasingly global and virtual marketplace." This is great news. Yet is it time to finally fire up the bulldozers on that new center? The hard reality is that the U.S. is still in the economic doldrums, with high unemployment and underemployment and long-term indebtedness that has squished consumers' pocketbooks. Bottom line: less spending resulting in fewer calls to contact centers for orders and service.

Cracking Down On Dumb Telemarketing Tricks

March 31, 2010

If one thinks that the rise of e-mail and the ease of spam has drawn all the mutts, skels and bottom-feeding marketers and clients from telemarketing, think again. The trick du jour is spoofing phone numbers to make CallerID-savvy consumers and businesses think the callers are not telemarketers or are from other and reputable companies so that they will pick up the lines.

CorpComm/PR Not Contact Centers For Managing Social Media

March 18, 2010

One of the key issues that are emerging with the rise of social media as a customer interaction tool is who should track, analyze and respond to what is being said on these sites. A strong argument can be made is that it should be corporate communications/public relations either in-house or outside agencies rather than contact centers.

How To Get Buy-In For Telework? Offer It To Managers

March 11, 2010

If a firm hires the right people both employees and supervisors, set expectations, track performance, get ahold of staff when they are not meeting the standards to point them in the right direction and follow then what difference does it make where they are? A word or two has just as much meaning if written in a text or uttered in a call as it does when the accompanying breaths can be felt on your neck. And they can be delivered at much less cost compared with housing everyone in the same room.

Canadians Are The Real Story of the 2010 Olympics

March 1, 2010

You now have had a chance to see us as who we are, sometimes a little cocky as if expecting to get humbled, and we did, whether thinking we could actually stage with global warming and predictions of a warm winter events at Cypress...or more tragically creating the arguably dangerous sled track at Whistler on which a young Georgian athlete died; we were at that track a few days later for the women's luge finals (there was an impromptu memorial set up for him under the Olympic rings in Whistler Village)...or when we faced the Americans in the men's hockey preliminaries. Yet you also saw how we faced that adversity with perseverance and sometimes a little bit of luck. We just dug in our heels and worked at it.

More Reasons Why Traditional Contact Centers Are Doomed

February 23, 2010

I've been covering and working in this industry for over 14 years yet I've always thought the notion of contact centers, especially inbound first level ones kind of strange, as if they were a transitional means until the technologies and practices caught up with consumer and business demands for sales and service. This is beginning to happen, which will doom traditional contact centers. If I were in the business of making contact center decisions I'd not approve any money to expand existing sites, or buy outsourcing services located in on-premises locations. Instead I would put the money into automated voice and web solutions, home agents and presence.

Not Serving Obnoxious Customers

February 10, 2010

Companies like Tim Horton's, where employees interact with customers face-to-face make it clear to the clientele that these enterprises have the right to refuse service and as the Canadian coffee giant demonstrated will make this stick. Perhaps contact centers need a similar approach and language printed on bills and posted on web sites. Give the scum 'three strikes and you're out'. Perhaps institute a trigger of two objectionable calls for supervisors to make outbound inquiries to the dear persons to see "what's their problem?"

Hope For Haiti Telethon Results

January 26, 2010

The Hope for Haiti telethon was a success. The Los Angeles Times reported that more than 83 million people tuned in Friday night with an average audience of more than 24 million viewers, leading to at least $61 million in to help survivors of the Jan. 12 earthquake.
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