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Automation, digitization, WFH, and rising expectations are reshaping the business customer experience.
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It’s time to conduct an in-depth review of three WFH factors: benefits, trade-offs, and risks.
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How task mining and RPA can help agent productivity, and ultimately the customer experience in contact centers.
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With the industry norm of only 5% of calls being listened to, the risks are becoming increasingly high for issues to be missed.
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Are your agents filling in the gaps in your process with sticky notes?
It seems like the one constant in the contact center industry is change, and the ch-ch-changes we’ve seen over the past nearly two years are unprecedented.
Artificial intelligence and contact center agents can work shoulder-to-shoulder as they create secure, superior customer experiences.
Intelligent automation technology is uniquely positioned to promote critical connections between agents and the organization, particularly in a remote environment.
Instead of text-heavy knowledge base articles and documents, ProcedureFlow uses a visual guide to provide agents with the processes they need when they need them.
This year there was more time to plan, more time to think through what a virtual conference should look like, and perhaps get creative in terms of how a virtual conference could be presented.
There has been a recent influx in flexible DIY chatbot solutions, such as IVAs, to bring the power of conversational AI to the hands of business users.
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Customer interactions are about to get a lot more complicated. It’s the job of contact center agents and CX experts to make those experiences feel simple.
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The hard part is done—the decision to transition to work from home as a staffing strategy to a work strategy—and we know it works!
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Modern contact centers must be flexible and have the agility to respond and scale to match any number of challenges.
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The cost structure of legacy call recording technology is being destroyed by the cloud and open APIs. The move from pipes to platforms is on.
An alert, educated remote workforce adds considerable strength to your cybersecurity defenses.
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The support analyst function is not an ‘in your spare time’ role. It’s a mission-critical component of any technology solution.
Gamification is a powerful tool in motivating workforces and breathing life into the disconnected, remote atmosphere created by WFH models.
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The key to capitalizing on the promise of AI is understanding that AI isn’t one monolithic piece of software, but instead represents a family of approaches and capabilities that serve distinct purposes.
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AI shouldn’t be about replacing people; instead, it’s about asking yourself how you can use the technology to partner with and enhance human teams.
Companies aren’t able to close the Engagement Capacity Gap by simply hiring more people because hiring more people isn’t scalable.
The desire to offer a low-effort, simple experience while also deterring fraud has made identity verification the number one challenge businesses face.
When live-agent capabilities are combined with smart technologies, customers get faster service and first-call resolution rates increase.
The human voice is one of the safest ways to verify a
A true CXSP partners with all of the top CCaaS vendors—not just one or two, as in the past—creating a truly unbiased approach.
IVR security technology has improved by leaps and bounds in the past several years, but many contact centers have been slow to implement the latest and greatest advances.
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Rather than reset for ‘back to normal,’ embracing today’s operational cornerstones can lay a strong foundation for future success.
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Companies end up spending a lot of energy trying to reduce costs, deflect customer interactions and retain customers without having to spend money on them.
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One in four businesses saw fraud attempts increase in their call centers, which often are a vulnerable, enticing access point for fraudsters.
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Today’s contact centers are not only battle-hardened, they have laid the foundation for the next generation of success.
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Given the last eight months of global turmoil, it’s easy to forget that contact centers already had a long list of compelling reasons to change.
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It is clear that the old brick-and-mortar ways will have to step aside in favor of the power of analytics.
Our data shows that many customers actually appreciate being placed on hold if it’s done in the right manner.
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With agents working from different locations, at disparate times and with varied workplace environments, agility will be a hallmark of successful agent management moving forward.
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Some of the key differences between cloud and premise are blurring as vendors offer (and downright encourage!) purchase models based on subscription pricing.
The flexibility to pivot and transform work, processes and personnel quickly is accelerated in the cloud.
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While we may not want to use the pandemic as our permanent technology adoption playbook, it has certainly allowed us to practice a rapid approach to digital transformation.
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The contact center can be a tough environment. Lots of noise, all-day use, agents coming and going, and lots of wear and tear.
The world of workforce management is changing more rapidly than at any other time in our history.
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Having proven their mettle and efficacy on the customer front lines, [IVAs] are quickly graduating to a manager role in the organization.
Pricing is primarily about licensing—except when it’s not! Market disruptions have created an interesting mix of possibilities, and you must spend the time to find the best fit for your usage profiles.
The industry’s hesitant approach to AI before the pandemic is poised to become a much more confident near-term march toward AI deployment.
At a time when many companies are grappling with how their technology investments impact their bottom line, providing the highest quality of customer support must remain a key initiative.
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Phone-based support was already struggling to meet the demands of an increasingly digital world. Facing the strain of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s simply no longer viable.
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Mobile WFM communications help keep home agents engaged in the scheduling process and part of the team.
One common misconception about virtual assistants is that they are ‘all or nothing,’ meaning that the goal should be to fully automate a customer interaction.
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WAH agents don’t just have to be wired technically, they need to be properly wired emotionally.
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This ability to be wherever a customer’s journey starts or ends gives KM solutions the unique ability to fulfill the true holy grail for customer experience-savvy organizations: increasing customer lifetime value while reducing costs.
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Automated analytics software can give contact center managers a complete picture of a customer interaction by looking at patterns in speech, desktop and text interactions.
Rich in historical metrics, WFM is prime for the implementation of artificial intelligence and analytics.
Digital empathy happens when companies ‘listen’ to customer behavior across channels, learn from it and apply their knowledge to improve a customer’s digital experience.
Cloud-based systems open a whole new world of features. Make sure you know what to ask for when you are evaluating a new dialing system.
Enabling human agents is a perennial challenge in the contact center industry, particularly in terms of supporting the need for remote working without compromising productivity.
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An AI-infused KM system delivers “knowledge at your fingertips,” making it easy for customers to access the right information 24/7.
Do you have the appropriate technology for your staff to work from home during a disease outbreak?
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If removing friction from the customer journey is your goal, then it’s time to consider using intelligent automation.
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The more I researched the Roarin’ Twenties of a century ago, the more I began thinking that we may be on the cusp of a Roarin’ Twenties of our own. This could be a decade that defines the current millennium.
The study found that the number of channels agents are balancing is the second most common stressor (67%), just behind the amount of paid time off they receive (75%).
There are so many opportunities in these little moments that customers have when they’re calling into a contact center or engaging with a frontline employee to make things better—and that’s what excites us.
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No one likes to jump through hoops to get the information they’re looking for, so if the identity verification process is rife with unnecessary speed bumps, customer experience is going to take a serious hit.
I’ve been around the telecommunications industry for a very long time, and I’ve seen many successful products and software solutions that were once thought impossible.
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This new uber-heterogenous mix of full-time, part-time, contract and virtual agents has made the sheer act of scheduling center resources exponentially more difficult and complex.
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The future of the contact center is both humans and bots working in harmony to deliver efficient service—all in the name of happier customers.
Given that a contact center is often the first touchpoint for many customers, it’s crucial that any new technology runs smoothly in a test environment before being deployed for customers in public use.
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This partnering of technology and human interaction delivers superior results compared to using either approach on its own.
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If asked what the differentiator for Saddletree has been for the past 20 years, I’d have to say it’s the kind of relationships I’ve built with so many of my clients.
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WFM is an operating culture and philosophy, not just software.
Non-real-time tasks are good “test beds” that advance learning while shielding customers and agents from bumps.
Sixty percent of consumers globally expect to be able to engage with an organization at any time and on any channel.
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The fact that you can now buy inexpensive, powerful, yet ‘easier-to-operate’ speech tools with impressive NLP platforms is changing the landscape.
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Thirty seconds on hold is much different to a customer who is waiting than to an agent who is seeking assistance.
The practice of spoofing has gotten so inexpensive that it has grown exponentially, leading to the proliferation of these calls and the nearly nonstop ringing of the phone.
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‘Future-ready’ includes the capability to deliver superior service by whatever channels members choose to reach their credit unions.
One good option for real-time communication in the CC is a “Help” queue.
More than discovering what customers are talking about, sentiment analysis lets users know how the customer feels.
The most significant security risk to a company’s data or systems comes from within—human error.
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Way too many centers still have way too many manual process steps, negatively impacting the customer experience and the cost of doing business.
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Brands that have successfully implemented chatbots have taken a hybrid approach, with AI helping to make human interactions more effective and more impactful.
Build awareness of the risks and impacts of a bad desktop and show your business and IT leaders that you have a problem.
Modern consumers want to self-service if they can do so in an efficient and effective manner.
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Providing a broad range of technology options allows us to fulfill our clients’ knowledge management needs across maturity levels.
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Big Data relies on analytics to create value from data of all sorts, and analytics’ superpower is to detect patterns.
Lasting vendor relationships are not driven by contracts and handshakes. They are built on consistent relationship processes.
If tools aren’t supporting your agents, your agents cannot support customers.
If you don’t know the specifics behind the metrics and conversations going on within your company, it’s hard to make a quality plan to move your goal forward in the most effective way possible.
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Practicing skills over time optimizes the process of learning, and when practice is enriched by feedback, it transforms knowledge into successful on-the-job performance.
Most centers have ample opportunity to improve—and technology can help in the pursuit of change.
RPA can be that helping hand in the contact center to eliminate tedious, time-consuming tasks, reduce hold time and after-call work, and help agents and seasonal workers onboard and get up to speed quickly.
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Organizations are forging ahead with plans for AI deployments and automation projects. Do you have a plan in place to transform the people and process side of the equation?
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Empower agents to provide insightful, proactive service by unlocking the power of customer data.
New technologies and best practices for an increasingly complex compliance environment.
Virtual marketplaces for contact center solutions are growing in popularity.
Without someone focused on optimizing knowledge, it can quickly grow stale and ineffective in meeting agent needs.
We’ve come a long way since landline telephones were the main point of contact. How will consumer expectations and technology impact the contact center’s present and future growth and success?
Many old, bad IVRs are idling away as businesses look the other way—but customers feel the pain every day. It’s time to do something!
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There are some tasks that automated processes will never be able to accomplish with the same results or general efficiency as a human being.
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Almost three-quarters (72%) of the respondents named this as the top criteria for deciding upon a headset brand.
Even if not all companies can compete with big-budget blue-chip giants, there’s no excuse not to create good customer experiences.
While HAL was able to converse naturally with people on any imaginable topic, the conversational user experience with AI still isn’t there and probably won’t be anytime soon.
The contact center innovations of the past 40 years have succeeded in improving agent productivity and delivering a more satisfactory service to end users, but their record for substituting automation for labor is mixed.
You can’t fight changes in customer behavior, and as their expectations change we either keep pace or lose customers.
Make sure leadership and support staff understand what you measure, why you measure it, and which actions are expected in response to the information.
Cloud infrastructure is designed around productivity and integration, which means advanced encryption of all data, whether it’s in transit or at rest, and between apps, networks and users
It’s time to take these tools, and the related processes and roles, to the next level; the market has us poised to do just that.
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Freeing CSRs from repetitive manual tasks allows them to tap into their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and to focus on transactions that require an emotional connection.
Like it or not, your contact center is still a call center. It needs voice communication that is reliable and high quality, but adaptable to today’s varying staffing models.
Smaller companies cannot afford to fall into the trap of foregoing superior customer experiences simply because they don’t have the resources to compete toe-to-toe with barraising corporate giants.
What if the cost of workforce optimization software exceeds your budget, or you don’t need the robust feature set of an enterprise solution?
Our attention to customer care and guidance throughout the first year or two of our partnership is what makes the difference for our customers.
Speech analytics, onscreen guidance, WFM and e-learning should be native to your platform, not independent of coaching.
Take a top-down strategic approach that keeps you in charge and focuses on what really matters to your center.
Customers want to have the utmost confidence that you are protecting their data and treating it with the respect it deserves… even as you continue to gather more of it.
In the future, the next big acquisition moves will not come from other WFO vendors but from the giant companies that sell software or services that analyze customer data.
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Chatbots can make a big impact now, and as artificial intelligence evolves, your organization should be poised to evolve with it.
A provider should be your partner in success, not just a company that sells you a service.
Enhancements in core technology and network connectivity, along with the proliferation of cloud systems, create a simplified approach to remote access to contact center systems.
Long-term relevance for Aspect was going to mean rethinking the product portfolio, rethinking how our enterprise customers are going to compete to maximize the value of their consumer relationships, and do it in an omnichannel, extreme self-service contex
Besides measuring standard contact center metrics, a majority of the organizations represented in the roundtable discussions are determining the appropriate customer experience (CX) metrics
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Messaging a business directly is a fast and convenient way for people to get in touch with questions about products and services, appointments and customer support.
The smartphone is becoming the ubiquitous and predominant tool for both self-service and assisted service
Enterprises will not achieve an omnichannel customer experience with tools alone. Strategy comes first, followed by the process, integration and organizational elements to drive value from the technology and deliver on the goals.
When used in conjunction with other feedback channels, digital feedback can provide unique insights into the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ that traditional surveys offer.
With software, it’s not always easy to separate a CXM solution from other applications intertwined and provided in the same platform.
Contact center managers get a 360-degree view of customer call interactions and a big picture look at agent productivity for intelligent analysis and decision-making.
A stalemate can occur when the center wants IT to educate them on what’s possible and IT wants the center to define what they want or need.
Manage your future, your visibility and your value by contextualizing all contact center activities in the framework of customer experience—only then will the most senior levels of the enterprise recognize and fund the contact center of the future.
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Predictive analytics isn’t yet a mass-market solution, but it’s only a matter of time before the mass market realizes the power of predictive analytics and that changes.
Omnichannel is not about everyone taking every media; it’s about managing all media effectively and creating a ‘seamless, integrated’ customer experience as they use their channels of choice.
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Find areas of opportunity to decrease customer effort or automate mundane tasks for your customers.
Connected devices are just that—connected—and the number of linked brands, services and products makes delivering support all the more challenging.
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The numbers are extraordinary and Calabrio has become an industry force to be reckoned with under Goodmanson’s leadership.
There are many choices of where to focus investments, time and resources in pursing optimization. The first step is to change how you use what you have to get some quick gains.
As economic power continues to flow from seller to buyer, it becomes increasingly important to strategically leverage the consumer information that resides in the contact center.
When agents can self-identify errors and opportunities for improvement, the coaching session is viewed in a positive manner and not taken as criticism.
Purchasing a speech tool is like hiring someone to remodel your house only to discover that he can also repair your dented fender, prepare your taxes and whip up gourmet dinners for your family.
With the cloud, your contact center has the freedom to receive regular upgrades and integrate solutions for all users—all in one place without the hassle of ripping and replacing existing systems.
The digital workplace offers an ROI to the organization in the form of increased productivity, information sharing and business agility.
Centers can choose between applying enterprise tools to their needs, or finding niche services and applications to manage the various stages of screening, assessments and interviews.
As with all innovation since the industrial revolution, machines are freeing us from tedious tasks, such as answering account balance questions a hundred times a day.
The headset plays an important role as a technical interface, ensuring a seamless interaction with the company’s IT environment.
You have to define the functionality you seek as well as the integration requirements to look for the right solution type and associated vendors.
What a list of ‘call requirements’ actually represents is the way QM professionals want the interaction to be experienced. It is, in reality, branding the interaction in a rudimentary fashion.
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The Kachina Award will not be an easy award to win. It has to be earned, but those who do win will have the satisfaction of knowing that they have achieved something special.
To deliver a great customer experience, your contact center has to be aware of interaction trends in a timely manner.
Audio shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought. Audio is a vital component to an IT infrastructure.
In all but the most basic centers, active vendor management will be a key part of ensuring a good partnership with the vendor and ongoing success for the users.
A speech tool is not a plug-and-play technology. Your organization must be prepared to dedicate the proper resources that will ensure its success.
Our customer service quality staff selectively plays example call recordings back to operators to help them learn how to improve call handling.
Cloud providers are tearing down the traditional models for development, testing and deployment, creating and implementing new versions and releases quickly.
Anyone can copy your software, but it’s very hard to copy your hiring and training strategy, and your culture. Those are the two fundamentals that have set us up for success.
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Technology is an important aspect of effectively supporting omnichannel, but for many contact centers, this is a sore point as their solution only supports disparate channels.
Segmentation is not always about offering more to some than others. Rather, it’s about providing a level of service that is fitting to the specific customer’s needs.
When people hand over their sensitive payment information, they expect it to be handled in a secure and professional manner.
There is a massive focus in the industry to try to push customers toward digital, not just to reduce costs, but because customers are asking to have those channels available.
The enterprise market has matured, and technology innovations, such as software-only solutions running on virtual machines, have reduced costs. Major vendors know the small center market is BIG. Cloud vendors make it ‘easy and quick’ with little reliance
Daily microlearning reinforces previous training, builds up knowledge over time, and keeps critical information top of mind, where agents can access it as needed.
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Pinpointing agent knowledge gaps and problematic behavior paves the way for coaching opportunities to improve performance, productivity and call-handling strategies.
Cowboys work hard and take pride in their work. When a cowboy makes a promise, he keeps it. When he says he will do something, he does it.
People Engagement Technology
Superior audio technology puts control of the modern office environment back into the hands of the people who manage and work in these spaces.
With the advent of the Internet, cloud computing and advances in voice technology, it is now possible to intelligently route calls globally from the cloud.
Currently, business agility is the number one driver of cloud adoption. The financial flexibility, real-time service access and volume flexibility mean rapid response to changing needs and market conditions.
The old tools and techniques aren’t enough. Success requires customization and personalization, not a one-size-fits-all approach. The key is to use data and technology well at each stage of the process.
The overriding challenge in today’s contact center is to bring together the numerous communications channels so that they appear to the customer as a single pipeline to service. The problem is, things don’t work like that.
By predefining and using search capabilities to scour speech and text data, the contact center can enable more thorough call compliance to mitigate risk, identify mentions of legal action, and implement tactics to prevent future exposure.
Risk exposures exist at every point where the enterprise touches the customer.
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Get the basics right and you—and your employees and customers—will get even more out of the next nice niche technology you pursue.
I don’t pay attention to Twitter feeds or Facebook posts about any service provider. Digital marketing plays a very small role in any of the decision making factors I use when purchasing any type of contact center equipment.
Workforce Intelligence gives managers information about how employees are doing so they can better understand their agents and the contact center as a whole.
Some models, regardless of cost, may be in higher demand and will yield a higher trade-in value than more expensive, less popular models.
Considering the smaller size of support staff, WFO software can potentially have a greater impact on the Small-Medium Business than it does on their larger counterpart.
In a perfect world, the contact center’s technology procurement is part of an overarching IT strategy, and any purchase makes progress along a defined roadmap.
Choosing a comprehensive contact center platform is no easy feat. Keep a pulse on what your needs will consist of in five days, five months and five years.
Text is the app that never leaves your phone. It’s the only app that everybody has that is consistent no matter which mobile platform or wireless carrier the consumer uses.
If the rush to the cloud continues, the attention paid to premise-based systems by vendors will decrease proportionately. It may get to a point where what is ‘right’ or ‘best’ will no longer matter.
Contact center agents themselves present the biggest potential risk because they are the most transient employees with the most access to sensitive customer data.
While traditional KPIs remain essential barometers of performance, an increasing number of contact centers are also directly measuring the pulse of the customer.
Skinny data can help you cross the finish line while big data is still generating a multitude of reports that are just as likely to confuse as impress.
Technology Workforce Optimization
The right option may be out there, but contact centers must frame what they really want, perform in-depth due diligence to find the right partner, and define how MS will be managed and funded.
A fundamental element of providing an excellent customer experience is making it easy for customers to get their questions answered through whichever means they prefer.
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In today’s digital landscape, companies must provide a personalized experience that creates an authentic, immediate connection with the customer—that’s what customer engagement is all about.
As companies of all sizes are driven by a desire to go far and fast with strained IT resources, suites have taken over the market on many levels.
If I did trade places, it would have to be with someone whose job allows them freedom to stretch their imagination, explore uncharted territory, take ownership of outcomes and have a little fun along the way.
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When customers need the human touch, technology enablers can help to ensure successful interactions.
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Tools and tips to collaborate and connect with your work-at-home team members.
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