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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.

CRM in Chat Translation, Call Centers and UC, Key CRM Problems, WFO and Lean Six Sigma

October 31, 2011

GeoFluent Customizer is a product billed by its makers, Lionbridge, as being able to improve base language models by using your enterprise’s language assets for an enhanced customer chat translation experience.

Basically that means that while, yes, you can find free chat translation services out there, Lionbridge is betting you wouldn’t want to actually allow valuable customers to utilize them in fear of inaccuracies.  

How is Lionbridge GeoFluent different? It offers real-time on-demand custom translation in a cloud app -- automated machine translation technology, instantly translating content and communications into multiple languages.The GeoFluent platform accomplishes this, Lionbridge officials say, by integrating advanced cloud-based language tools with a real-time translation service, a statistical machine translation engine from IBM’s Watson Research Center.

The chat translation platform can also be customized using your content and configured for specific business processes for multilingual communication such as eSupport, forums, blogs, web pages, chat sessions and other such uses.

Read more here.

Call Center Staffing, Effective Call Center Scheduling, Salesforce.com and Social Enterprise, B2B Content Marketing

October 25, 2011


If you’re like many -- actually, probably most -- small to medium size call centers, you still use spreadsheets to forecast and manage call center schedules and workforce planning. You think hey, this is an okay way to do it, since we have fewer agents. We don’t need all that fancy- schmancy software, it’s not like we’re trying to ride herd on 10,000 agents here.

Cloud CRM Reading, Real Time Chat Translation, Parlance's nameConnector, Mobility and Business IT

October 19, 2011

Soffront’s blog is one of the more interesting ones available, frequently touching on areas not of direct profit to the company, which makes it more worthwhile than most kept blogs.

One of its latest entries of interest is five of the best books for marketers. In addition to these, this reporter heartily recommends the 1995 book Where The Suckers Moon: The Life And Death Of An Advertising Campaign, by a New York Times advertising columnist, Randall Rothenberg. It details, step by painful step, the marriage of an old and decrepit automaker, Subaru, and a (then-) young, hip ad agency, Wieden & Kennedy.

Wieden & Kennedy won one of the most hotly-contested contracts of the year, despite the fact that their creative director hated car companies.

Entrepreneurs in the Cloud, Easy Expense Management Software, Appealing M2M Offerings, Better IVR Menus

October 14, 2011

There is a rising number of entrepreneurs seeking cloud-based communications these days, partly because the cloud can support the kind of apps that make communication easier, include features that enable mobility and lower costs, with require no phone equipment for continuous upgrading.

Market research firm In-Stat recently estimated the total number of mobile VoIP users will reach 288 million by the end of 2013, generating annual revenues of $35.2 billion. That’s a heck of a market.

In fact, of these, “well over half will be associated with online mobile VoIP providers, under one-third will use mobile VoIP with 3G MVNOs or mobile operators, and 11 percent with WiMAX/LTE operators,” In-Stat analysts found in the report, “Mobile VoIP -- Transforming the Future of Wireless Voice.”

As Frank Dickson, In-Stat analyst remarked, “The near-term opportunity for mobile VoIP is closely linked with the growing success of dual-mode phones and other Wi-Fi connected devices... [but] mobile VoIP still poses a direct threat to operator voice revenue.”

CRM and Advertising, Improve Auto Attendants, Dallas Cowboy Headsets, Social CRM

October 11, 2011

Industry insider Darryl Bolduc asks the good question: Why is advertising becoming more like customer relationship management still such a foreign concept?

“We see it at Moxie, and we see it across client work,” says Bolduc,  vice president, client partner Client Partner for CRM and direct response at Moxie, a digital-based ad agency, noting that “e-mail marketers have known of this potential for years, they've taken the lead from CRM systems, lists and strategies that drive loyalty, retention and re-engagement.”

Maybe that’s why, as Bolduc observes, e-mail media is “seeing a resurgence as budgets rebound, while digital media is benefiting from traditional marketers familiar with these data intensive environments.”

As Bolduc explains, online displays are using more behavioral and transactional advertising strategies: “We've got an amazing story being built for some of our most technically and digitally aware clients -- a CRM discipline, specifically micro targeting and dynamic segmentation, is being applied through online display.”

He calls this “a big change in the way online display operates, adding to complexities that already make online display tedious, like sizes, tagging and inventory management.”

“Tedious” being the nice word for that, of course. This is a family publication.

Read more here.

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