Tracking Children Online, Enhanced Contact Centers, Essential Call Center Technology, Newsflash -- Passwords Not Stolen

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David Sims
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Tracking Children Online, Enhanced Contact Centers, Essential Call Center Technology, Newsflash -- Passwords Not Stolen

My, yet another way this reporter’s behind the times. Maybe his kids, who roll their eyes whenever we refer to an iPod as a “Walkman,” are right after all.

According to industry observer Shane Richmond of Britain’s newspaper The Telegraph, researchers have found that “parents are sending an average of 312 emails and 600 text messages every year to keep track of their children.”

Maybe our kids aren’t really old enough to be too many places yet (that we don’t have to drive them to), or maybe it’s just that we have a good sense of where they are, but we certainly don’t text twice a day to find out where the heck they are.

Twenty percent of parents said that the best place to find out what their children were doing was on social networks, such as Facebook, according to Richmond’s reporting of the study, and we’ll agree that we have learned a couple, ah, interesting things about our kids’ social activities on Facebook. Someday Facebook is going to come out with a parental block kids can use. That will be a bad day.

Read more here.

In a recent white paper titled “Five Signs That Your Call Center Is Using Performance-Enhancing Methods,” officials from Knowlagent, a provider of call center operations designed to enhance agent productivity, note that many traditional methods used to manage agent performance aren’t working anymore, and below are excerpts of what the paper finds to be “some of the hallmarks of true, performance-enhancing training.”

Frequency: Too often training is an infrequent occasion as opposed to a consistent, systemic part of the call center operation. In a recent survey by Knowlagent, almost 40 percent of call centers reported training agents between one and four times a year. Many centers provide agents with access to a learning management system or knowledge base with the hopes that agents will go get the information and knowledge they need.

Targeting: Even if training is provided frequently, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t provide maximum value. If the center and the agent invest time in training, it should meet the needs of both. An agent does not want to be trained on something that isn’t relevant to their needs, and the center doesn’t want to train an agent on an area at which he or she excels, especially if there is another area that needs improving.

Read more here.

A recent blog post from LiveVox does a good job filling you in with, as the title says, the “Four Characteristics All Call Center Technology Must Have.” Obviously it’s LiveVox’s professional opinion, your own needs may vary, but it’s a good place to start to see if maybe you could add some pizzazz to your own call center operations.

Naturally, as the blogger notes, call centers are cost conscious. That’s true of yours as well. This is good and bad -- good that you’re watching costs, but you probably, especially if you’re a smaller company, limping along with outdated systems as long as you can. This has the effect of pitting productivity and efficiency gains against financial and opportunity costs, and dealing with tradeoffs.

First, are there minimal prerequisites? A new technology must be deployable without first requiring difficult or expensive system upgrades elsewhere. Otherwise you’re losing some of the advantage of your upgrade.

Is it resource neutral? Think of resources both in terms of finances and the time of your operations and IT staff. Dollars are a hard cost, yes, but as the blog post reminds us, there is also the opportunity cost of time spent by call center executives and staff.

Read more here.

Officials of Lockheed Martin Corporation, an information technology provider to the U.S. government, said recently that it had “thwarted a significant and tenacious attack" on its information systems that have greatly affected enterprise password management of confidential government passwords.

According to an account from industry observer Anshel Pfeffer, “No customer, program or employee personal data was compromised thanks to almost immediate protective action taken after the attack was detected May 21,” citing Jennifer Whitlow, a company spokeswoman.    


That’s a relief.                                    


Lockheed Martin is the world's largest aerospace company and the Pentagon's No. 1 supplier of sales. The company is still working to restore employee access, Pfeffer said, quoting Air Force Lieutenant Colonel April Cunningham as saying, “the incident's impact on the department is minimal and we don't expect any adverse effect.”

Read more here.

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