Tradeshow season is upon us! What better way to start the action than by exhibiting at the highest rated event for contact center professionals? Join Fonolo at the Contact Center Expo & Conference, May 21-24, 2018 at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Florida. Produced by ICMI, a trusted advisor in the industry, the Contact Center Expo & Conference educates and motivates professionals looking to further their knowledge in an industry undergoing constant change. Continue reading
Category Archives: Call Center
I read countless articles on how to reduce stress in the call center and often wonder, “why is the contact center environment so traumatic?” Well, there are a few reasons for this. The first is quite obvious: Most call center horror stories feature an angry customer, venting their frustration about a faulty product or terrible service. Dealing with angry customers is difficult! Other causes of stress in the call center are less noticeable, ranging from a lack of social support, to feeling undervalued, to role conflict between employees.
Realistically, there are always going to be angry customers, but isn’t it interesting that all the other stress-inducing areas are internal to the contact center? What this means is that we can potentially solve these problems.
Every leading organization understands the importance of having happy people in their front-line staff. Here are some tips for call center managers to help agents survive the year, and ultimately reduce stress in the workplace.
They say you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. And, like anything in life, work is made so much better when you have a great friend with you. In fact, it turns out that having a friend at work isn’t just great for your personal and psychological well-being, it’s actually great for business as well.
Whether a department or company is looking to maintain high morale and employee retention, or looking for creative ideas to increase customer satisfaction, a corporate culture that fosters strong professional relationships amongst colleagues is one that is ahead of the curve. Here’s how having a best friend a work is beneficial for the employee, the culture, and bottom line of the company.
It’s been an exciting year so far in the world of contact centers. In just the last month we saw the release of Apple’s Business Chat, the announcement of Twilio’s new Flex call center platform and the acquisition of Altocloud by Genesys. A new pricing model, based on pure consumption, seems to be emerging. A new privacy regulation (GDPR) has multiple impacts on call centers that operate in, or provide service to, Europe. In short, there’s a lot going on!
The only way to keep up, is to rely on other folks to dive deep into each topic. Fortunately, we have many such people in our industry producing excellent content. Below are some of the reports that we have found most interesting. (You should also check out, 4 Contact Center Reports to Start Off Your Year.)
You may think that watching movies and television shows is something you do for sheer amusement – providing little educational value. Well, think again! I know I recently spoke about the importance of reading vs. watching television in my latest blog on the top customer experience books, but let’s not completely underestimate the power of the tube. You’ve likely learned some real life lessons, long after the popcorn and peanut M&M’s had been devoured. So to the customer service folks who are ready to take more away from TV and movies then simply an entertainment fix – this one is for you.
Below I’ve illustrated seven lessons about customer service we can all learn from TV shows, movies, and even cartoons! Continue reading →
Persuasion is one of the most creative ways for a customer service representative to deliver an optimal experience to consumers. Persuasion isn’t manipulation, rather it’s an effective way to positively influence and retain customers through engagement, connection, and creative problem solving.
When executed effectively, consumers don’t even realize they are being convinced to buy a product or service, or to continue returning to a particular company or brand. Persuasion, in its most sophisticated form is subtle, swift, and a highly effective tool for every call center or customer service department to implement. Here’s how to use persuasion to deliver exceptional customer service.
In the wide world of call center metrics, “service level” has always held a special place. It gives the industry a universally understood way to talk about how quickly calls are answered by agents. Its origins go back over 5 decades, to the earliest days of call centers.
The longevity of service level is astonishing when one considers the enormous changes that have occurred in customer service technology over the last few decades. Even more astonishing is that most call centers would name the same target value for that metric: the magical “80/20”.
Now – finally – this dominance may be fading. Contact centers are realizing more and more that adhering too closely to this one metric may not yield optimal results.
Even if you’ve only read one really great book in your life, you probably understand the satisfaction one gets after turning that last and final page. It feels good to know you didn’t waste hours in front of the television; instead, you gave yourself the opportunity to explore your imagination.
If you’re an avid reader, I’m sure there have been times where you haven’t quite reached this sense of accomplishment. I used to believe that you should read each book until the very end, even if you don’t like the contents of the storyline. But a wise reader helped me to change my approach. If a book isn’t speaking to you, it’s ok to put it down and move on to the next one. You might lose that feeling of satisfaction, but you’ll be content in moving forward to a better read.
In any event, reading provides a slew of benefits. It gives you knowledge, improves memory, develops imagination, and also translates to better writing abilities. These are all great skills for any customer experience leader. We’ve listed six solid reads below; take some time to peruse this book list and pick the ones you like. You’ll be sure to obtain valuable insights from CX experts and anyone working in a customer facing role!
Whether it’s a bad date, a bland meal, or a mean comment on social media, negative experiences tend to stand out in people’s minds; nearly to the point of entirely clouding out any of the good. This phenomenon is especially exacerbated when it comes to a negative experience with customer service.
The truth is that a negative customer service experience can spread like wildfire through social media, causing some serious damage to consumer trust and brand perception. Even the most minor of complaints and misunderstandings can quickly be blown out of proportion if not handled correctly. Here are a few key ways for a call center customer service representative to remain calm, and effectively manage a difficult customer – saving the company a lot of trouble in the long run.
Apple’s new Business Chat could have a huge impact on customer service by changing the balance of forces between consumers and companies.
We all know what good customer service should look like, and the people on the “inside” know it just as well as you do. Those folks – from the CIO down to the floor-level call center manager – are consumers too, after all; but the pressure of short-term goals leads them astray.
For example, they know that hiring more agents will shorten hold times. But that extra cost is obvious and immediate, whereas the damage from frustrated customers is gradual and hard to measure.
Consumer complaints can exert pressure, but it is diffuse. There’s no enforcement mechanism. There’s no sheriff in town. I believe Apple is aiming to change that situation with Business Chat.