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November 2011

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Cloud Contact Center Platforms, Kindle Customers Penguinless, Voice Management CRM Down Under, Wake Up!

November 28, 2011

Isn’t capacity planning for cash and equipment a good idea? You’d think so, but you’d be outing yourself as a dinosaur, evidently.

According to LiveVox’s recent blog post, it’s time to keep an eye on “the ability of contact centers to get financing for capital investments like new technology” over the coming months, since as they see it, “corporate lending for capital improvements is still difficult to secure, especially in the small-to-medium business (SMB) space.”

Nobody knows when such funding is coming back, LiveVox says, warning that while “otherwise stable companies might be caught in macroeconomic forces when it comes to raising capital,” one option is to turn to LiveVox’s area of specialty, cloud contact center platforms.

Read more here.

Kindle’s library-style loan capability is one of the more attractive features of the Kindle, but it appears there are still some kinks to be worked out.

Penguin Group (USA), a sizeable publisher, has suspended putting e-editions of new books out for loan on the Kindle, citing “new concerns about the security of our digital editions," according to Penguin officials.

As PC Magazine explains, “Amazon formally launched its library book lending program in September, which allows Kindle and Kindle app users to borrow e-books from more than 11,000 libraries in the United States.”

Kindle users can search for the book they want on the library, check it out using a valid library card and select the "Send to Kindle" option, when they must sign in with their Amazon account.

According to the Associated Press, the publisher “did not cite any specific titles in its release and did not immediately respond to requests to clarify its security concerns.”

Read more here.

Customers and Smartphone Freedom, B2B Customers and Christmas, Improve SMB UM, Contact Center Restructuring

November 21, 2011

All hail FleshEatingZipper.com and The Smartphone Manifesto! Forget the Occupy Wall Street kiddos, we are proposing Genuine Revolution! Unfortunately we can’t condense it all down to 140 characters, so try to stay with us as we hit the Manifesto’s high(er) points:  First off, as Comrade Campbell has noted , mobile VoIP is a communication technology platform that people use to send and receive phone calls with the Internet connection on a mobile device. This varies from standard cellular service as the call is not being placed through the voice network.

Six Sigma For Workforces, More Effective Employees, Customers and Cloud, Down Under Contact Center Trends

November 21, 2011


A recent white paper from Genesys Telecommunications Labs titled “Human Capital Asset Management and Workforce Optimization: Applying Techniques of Six Sigma” presents an approach to improving employee productivity by applying techniques to the area of workforce optimization originally derived from process manufacturing – “the methodology of one of the most popular of these business management strategy approaches, called Six Sigma.”


Developed by Motorola in 1981, Six Sigma originated as a set of practices designed to improve manufacturing processes and eliminate manufacturing defects, but has been applied to a wide range of other business processes since then.

Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty, Plantronics Q2 Results, SMB CRM in Cloud, Customer-Friendly IVR

November 11, 2011

Obviously this isn’t the first time you’ve heard somebody tell you that customer satisfaction is critical to customer loyalty. Certainly we hope you’re aware that customer loyalty is a key contributor to profits -- pretty much any reputable study will show that customers are far cheaper to keep than to acquire, and get more profitable the longer they stay with you.

But it’s devilishly hard to quantify customer satisfaction, much less measure and track it.

Speech analytics leader UTOPY offers a way to measure customer dissatisfaction on any call, company officials claim, “by precisely and comprehensively analyzing all calls. UTOPY detects any indication of customer dissatisfaction within every conversation by accurately analyzing the entire interaction.”

Again, it’s measuring almost exclusively dissatisfied customers, since satisfied customers rarely call in to say what a great job you’re doing.

One advantage to the UTOPY approach is that it can link post-call customer surveys directly to the actual call so the actual interaction can be heard and the survey results be tied back to specific agents, call reasons, products or more.

Read more here.

Customer Service in App Deployment, Contact Center Restructuring, Open Source UM for SMBs, B2B Marketing and Christmas

November 11, 2011

A recent appliance deployment video production from NEI explained how system integration and a dedicated partner can help maximize uptime and enhance customer service worldwide.

Technology vendors spend countless hours planning both their products and the appliance deployment strategies companies can take, said Jeff Hudgins, NEI Vice President of Marketing, in the video, including how to get their products to market, but “often overlook the importance of a comprehensive support and maintenance program.”

Of course, it’s not news to anybody that customer support is a key component of customer loyalty, and that customer loyalty is the goal, as it’s much cheaper to keep a current customer than it is to gain a new one. As Hudgins correctly notes, “failure to quickly and effectively resolve customer support issues will erode the brand you worked so hard to create.”

Read more here.


Leonard Klie has written a hugely useful, detailed overview of ten practical steps you can take to rearchitect an underperforming contact center.

Avoiding Customer Hate, Protecting Customer Data, Giving Customers Cheaper Smartphone Charges, Automotive CRM

November 7, 2011

Amdocs, a provider of telecommunications services, recently posted a blog that is more imaginative and interesting than most industry-generated blogs – gotta love any blog starting a post with “Imagine receiving a bill for $18,000 dollars.”

No, it’s not Rewrite John Lennon Day,  that really happened to one retiree in Dover, Mass., after a promotional no-limit data plan expired without warning.

Due to a new agreement between US carriers and the Federal Communications Commission, however, “mobile subscribers nearing their monthly limit for voice, text or data services will now receive an alert when they are in danger of being charged extra.”

Which does rather take the sport out of it, but we suppose, on balance, it’s a giant leap for mankind and all that.

Politicians pandering to their P.R. by jumping on such legislation, which helps 0.0003 percent of all Americans but looks like you’re taking A Firm Stand on An Important Social Problem, know their stuff: According to data released from CTIA, the American wireless industry association, there are now more wireless customer connections in the US (327.6 million) than people (315.5 million), the blog reports, adding that “as the number of connected devices grows, customers need to feel confident that their multiple devices won’t lead them down the track of financial ruin through unexpected charges.”

Read more here.

PCI and information security experts are warning that “due to an increasing number of payment card breaches within both the merchant and service provider industries, organizations are now receiving increased pressure from acquirers and card brands to become PCI DSS compliant.”

The purpose of PCI DSS is to ensure that confidential cardholder data is always secure, which, of course, is what you want -- “the Payment Card Industry Security Standard (PCI DSS) Program specifies 12 requirements and uses a best-practice approach for securing sensitive information,” IT Governance company officials say.

And there’s a ready-made market for this.

Groupon's Customer Fix, PatronManagerCRM, Commence CRM Adds European Head

November 4, 2011

According to research featured on the Retrevo blog, the phenomenon of Black Friday shoppers, those who are interested only in heavily-discounted merchandise, could be a 365-day a year reality due to Groupon.

That’s “thanks to Groupon” or “blame it on Groupon,” depending on your perspective, whether you’re out buying the merchandise or the one paying for it to clutter up your house.

And talk about finding a deal - The Wall Street Journal is reporting that while Groupon's initial public offering, scheduled to begin trading November 4 on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol GRPN, is “getting generally negative reviews from analysts,” but should find pricing “within its expected range of $16 to $18 a share.”

Retrevo cites from a recent Gadgetology study, finding what the study’s authors say is “a class of shoppers who buy lots of things through deal sites and they expect deep discounts on what they buy.”

In fact, the study profiles what it calls a “Deal Addict” -- much like the people waiting outside Kmart in their folding chairs, munching doughnuts and sipping coffee in the predawn hours before Black Friday as if it were a new Star Wars movie opening.

Read more here.

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