Contact center managers are, at their core, problem-solvers. One of the most challenging problems they often face is dealing with unpredictable spikes in call volume. Sometimes the causes of call spikes are understood, even anticipated. Yet, in many cases, these periods of peak call volume come as a real shock to everyone in the contact center. For example, a marketing event promoting a product sale would be an easy predictor for an influx in calls, whereas an unexpected power outage or sudden bout of the flu in the contact center isn’t something that can be readily planned for. Or is it?
Category Archives: Mobile
Text-based communication plays a growing role in customer service. There are several big questions around how it will evolve. The most important one, in my mind, is how text should work alongside voice. What is the ideal arrangement between typing and talking?
The second big question is: What channel will carry the messages? We have four broad categories: Web-based chat, SMS, social media (e.g. Twitter DMs), and proprietary networks (e.g. Facebook Messenger, Apple Chat). I know that other people divide things differently, but this structure makes sense to me. On that second question, there’s been quite a bit of news in recent months. Let’s go through it.
When I first stepped foot into the Fonolo office nearly a year ago, I was also knowingly dipping my toes into the customer service ecology. With the abundance of experts, thought leaders, Twitter handles, and publications that make up the DNA of both the customer service and customer experience industries, it quickly became clear that the learning curve would be steep. Luckily, though, there exist a host of organizations whose resources caught me up to speed in fairly short order.
Are you new to the customer service space and currently seeking a) some fundamental orientation information; and b) membership in some pivotal circles where important CS knowledge is shared? One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself in your education is exposure to some vital organizations that offer resources, events, and other educational pieces that will make you an expert in no time. Read on to learn about (and bookmark!) eight customer-focused organizations, acronyms and all, that you should be following this year and beyond.*
Here’s what we know: In the call center industry, it feels as though there is a carousel of new and emerging call center trends forever in rotation. A trend doesn’t even have to be new or never-before-seen, mind you; it could very well be an existing technology, process, product, or service that has finally garnered the attention it deserves.
In the call center industry, something big is trending: Call-backs. And it’s no surprise that call centers are addicted to this solution because, quite simply, it’s the secret to customer happiness.
It’s an IKEA slogan. It’s also IKEA’s raison d’être.
At a healthy 75 years’ old, the Scandinavian born-and-bred brand has well surpassed middle-age and earned its place among retail royalty, continuing to thrive and expand its utilitarian-while-whimsical offerings into the online world. Its products are nestled in households across the globe. Phrases from its brilliantly funny ads have crawled into common parlance. IKEA isn’t simply a store: It’s a cultural force.
IKEA’s long-running epic success is the result of its allegiance to a specific set of principles that guide its every move: To nurture loyalty, a company must dare to be a fixture at every stage of customers’ lives. It must consider their every want and desire. It must meet their needs with products, online and in-store experiences, and customer service offerings.
The proof is in the pudding: Loyal consumers continue to flock to the imposing blue mecca in their town centers (and soon, urban centers) because of IKEA’s ability to hold a customer’s familiar hand throughout their lifetime. With seven decades under its belt, the company has much to teach us about how offering powerful customer experiences can make a brand a force to be reckoned with.
December has arrived, which means different things for different people. While many of us are gearing up to slow down and spend quality time with family and friends, retail companies are bracing themselves for the clamor and chaos of the holiday season. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday to Boxing Day, this season signals a momentous time when consumers across the globe are ready and willing to spend, spend, spend.
Since most companies can anticipate a significant peak in sales during the final few months of the year, they can also anticipate a spike in customers, and in turn, a big increase in service requests. Here are a few things every retail company can do to maintain a high level of customer service and ensure that the momentum gained is maintained this festive season both in-store and online.
2018 has been a pivotal year for customer experience (CX). Industry wide, there is now a deeper understanding of CX as a multi-faceted, complex, incredibly important piece in the success (or failure) of any brand.
With this in mind, we’ve rounded up the most important and fascinating CX predictions for 2019, and provided our own thoughts on what they mean and how they will impact businesses in future. To stay at the top of your game in the year ahead, it’s essential to understand larger CX trends and how they are shaping our world and our industry. Read on as we detail five fascinating CX predictions to inform your 2019 CX strategy.
Over a decade ago, in 2007-era Toronto, Shai Berger, Jason Bigue, and Mike Pultz launched a little rocket of a company called Fonolo, unsure of where and how far it would take them. Many memorable years later, and with more employees climbing aboard along the way, Fonolo has grown to be known as the pioneer in cloud-based call-back solutions, to the delight of those in the call center industry.
Today we are chuffed to announce yet another milestone moment in the company’s growth and commitment to its customers: The release of our advanced new call-back platform. The new platform offers a breadth of new features supporting increased security, reporting, customization, and accessibility, intended to provide customers with the tools they need to handle the growing call-volume and complexity in their contact centers.
Consumers love to communicate with each other over text channels and, according to recent studies, they are eager to use this mode of communication to interact with businesses. There are three main forms of text-based communication battling for the future: Messaging, chat, and texting.
As a result, the world of messaging remains very fragmented (especially when viewed globally). No one channel is dominant enough to make the other channels irrelevant. This has profound implications for the world of customer service as companies are increasingly focused on providing omni-channel support. Continue reading →
Everyone involved in customer service wants to understand consumer channel preference. Otherwise, how can you allocate resources between phone, email, chat, SMS messaging and social channels?
So, we’re all involved in a little anthropology project. In my best David Attenborough voice: “Let’s observe this 35 year-old male as he wishes to find out why his order is late.”
In fact, it may be harder than anthropology because we are looking forward as well as at the present and the past. We also want to know what the preferences will be next year, and in five years. Otherwise, how can we plan ahead? Technology takes time to deploy.
It’s understandable that there is a craving for data on this topic. Every year, many analyst firms and research groups try to illuminate the future with surveys. And one of the most common ways to present results from those surveys is via the cohort chart. It seems to give us the exact answers we need, but can also be misleading.