Why the Cloud Works Best for Contact Center Seasonality

Posted by Emily Bolt on Thu, Aug 20, 2015

According to the US Department of Labor, there are more than seven million businesses nationwide that employ approximately 135 million part-time and seasonal workers. Businesses that experience seasonal highs and lows need to be prepared for the increase and decrease in contact center activity that comes along with those fluctuations. Luckily, cloud-based workforce optimization solutions meet these seasonality needs and provide a way for businesses to invest in state of the art software platforms without the high cost of hardware and license fees.

Flexibility is key for all seasonal business needs and the contact center is no exception.

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Topics: Cloud Workforce Optimization

The Transformation of WFM to WFO

Posted by Lane Winward on Thu, Aug 13, 2015

How does the saying go? “The only thing that doesn't change is that everything changes all the time.” I am sure the exact wording of the quote is a bit different, but you get the idea well enough.

As much as it is difficult to do, at this point in my life I am forced to acknowledge that I am climbing up there in years. For good or bad, this means that the way I do many things would be termed “old school” by a lot of people. One example is that when I see the term “WFM” (workforce management) I think of the time when this just meant making schedules for a staffed workforce that more closely mirrors the incoming arrival of work to be done. In my old way of thinking, WFM meant creating a more efficient work model by having “the right people in the right place at the right time.”

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Topics: Workforce Optimization

Call Center vs. Contact Center

Posted by Emily Bolt on Thu, Aug 6, 2015

While these terms tend to be used interchangeably, they do in fact describe two different things. The difference between a call center and a contact center lies in the services that are offered. A traditional call center handles inbound and outbound calls to deal with such things as order placement and status, purchase orders, surveys, and technical support. Contact centers represent the evolution of the call center to meet the needs of customers today in the digital age (source). They are customer centers that can manage multiple forms of voice and data communications, such as: phone, email, live chat, and social media. A fully functioning contact center meets the needs of customers for text and visual communications in addition to phone calls.

All contact centers are call centers, but not all call centers are contact centers.

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Topics: Contact Center

What Everybody Ought To Know About Cloud Workforce Optimization (Infographic)

Posted by Joe Halloran on Wed, Jul 15, 2015

Workforce Optimization users around the world are eliminating the most complex, costly and time-consuming aspects of their Workforce Optimization solutions by experiencing the cloud - a hosted environment that simplifies operations and cuts expenses. In the next year, more than 65% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to a hybrid cloud model, and 11% of IT budget will shift from in-house to cloud delivery. By 2017, the hosted contact center market is projected to reach $3.162 billion, up from $1.761 billion in 2012.

But, one of the most common concerns when it comes to hosting Workforce Optimization in the cloud is security. Cloud data centers are considered to be far more secure than on premise servers and are trusted by a large number of enterprise organizations storing private customer data. By 2019, Gartner research predicts that 90% of organizations will have personal data on systems they don't own or control for this reason. These data centers boast N+N redundancy and are geographically redundant with expert real-time monitoring of the platform.

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Topics: Cloud Workforce Optimization

Improve Customer Engagement with Cloud Workforce Optimization

Posted by Marije Gould on Fri, Jul 10, 2015

In a particularly turbulent economic environment, the ability for companies to attract and retain customers can make the difference between survival and failure. By putting a focus on customers, a company can access vital information needed to understand customer expectations and anticipate what is needed to meet their needs. It is essential to have the knowledge, relevant information and solutions to transform the customer experience and increase the level of commitment of interactions by making them more contextual and more individual. This can be applied to all channels by giving employees the necessary tools to achieve these objectives. While many large companies have the means to invest in technologies that will enrich interactions with customers, optimize their workforce and improve their processes, such investments remain out of reach for many growing companies. In this context, could the cloud to be the answer?

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Topics: Cloud Workforce Optimization

The Need for Intelligent Alarming as a Solution and a Service

Posted by Mike Schorr on Wed, Jul 1, 2015

In a complex, interconnected solution such as Workforce Optimization, downtime can have a cascading effect. One single service failing can negatively impact the entire ecosystem. Specifically in a call recording environment, a single obscure error may indicate systemic issues that could lead to loss of calls, productivity, and revenue. This could then result in levied penalties in regulated environments, and more. All of these things have created the need for intelligent alarming, both as a solution and a service.

Even basic deployments of Workforce Optimization software come with a myriad of potential failure points, some more obscure than others.  Application Uptime, one of the most important things that should be monitored, is more than a buzz phrase; it can represent the vital difference between being in compliance or out of compliance and having satisfied and unsatisfied customers.

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Topics: Managed Services

Master Exceptions with Intradiem Real-Time Adherence

Posted by Nik Moissiadis on Fri, Jun 19, 2015

Typically, when we delve into subjects like contact center operations, efficiency and occupancy, we tend to focus on the agent.  This makes sense, since agents represent the overwhelming majority of personnel in the contact center, as well as the reason companies invest in sizable investments in business tools and automation, such as Workforce Optimization software.  These are the people on the front lines, addressing customer requests, wishes and demands, ultimately contributing to the company’s image in the marketplace. 

However, the availability, responsiveness, skill and knowledge of the agent depends on master schedules published by those responsible for the Workforce Management (WFM) application. Today, inefficiently, adherence to those schedules is managed manually. This means that companies continue to invest in valuable resources, including supervisory and management personnel to ensure they are meeting their real-time adherence goals (an internal metric) instead of refocusing such resources in customer-facing engagements or other key functions

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Topics: Contact Center Solutions

Debunking Common Myths About Cloud-based WFO

Posted by Jeremy Powell on Thu, Jun 11, 2015

“If someone asks me what cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, cloud computing is a better way to run your business” says Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com. While many people probably agree with Mr. Benioff, there are others out there who aren’t so sure about the cloud and the role it could take in the way they do business. The contact center space is no exception. As companies contemplate the move from premise to cloud-based Workforce Optimization solutions, many myths skew their judgment. These myths were the topic of Adtech Global’s speaking session this week at Engage 2015, Verint’s Global Customer Conference.

Myth 1: Cloud-based WFO is not as reliable as premise based WFO. It is hard to trust in what you cannot see. That is human nature, but by no means is cloud-based WFO less reliable than premise based WFO. Our cloud-based WFO solution, StratxTM, has 99.999% uptime, N+N redundancy, a virtual appliance on the customer site, geographically redundant data centers, and expert real-time monitoring of the platform.

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Topics: Cloud Workforce Optimization

Voice of the Customer Analytics (Infographic)

Posted by Verint on Fri, Jun 5, 2015

Customer experience is a journey that ultimately creates an important foundation for every business. The journey begins with building the customer’s knowledge and continues with creating business alignment and sustained value. Unfortunately, 86% of surveyed respondents in a Forrester Research study said their companies don’t actually expect to get much value from a Customer Experience strategy.

Multiple factors can play a part in this.  Only 40% of surveyed respondents collect descriptive data that could help explain why customers perceived interactions the way they did, only 34% said that their companies review customer experience metrics regularly, and only 60% said that they consistently gather feedback from customers about their interactions. Also, only 35% of surveyed firms consistently follow a process for designing customer experience. Overall, customer experience can help your business optimize the service experience by identifying operational processes to improve.

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Topics: Contact Center Services

Speech Analytics & Marketing: An Unlikely Pair

Posted by Scott Bakken on Fri, May 29, 2015

(This article was originally posted in the February 2015 issue of Contact Center Pipeline.)

In the days before speech analytics, marketing intelligence could be hard to come by. According to Jim Linkhauer, now a speech analytics consultant for Adtech Global, a provider of contact center services, the most effective data extraction tool was a box of Krispy Kremes. “When I was an operations manager,” Linkhauer recalls, “I would have to walk down the middle of the call center with a box of doughnuts to get agents to tell me anything about what customers were saying about the product we were selling.”

After his company implemented a speech tool, Linkhauer combed through analytics results during a national product launch and gleaned insights about everything from the effectiveness of the ad campaign to competitive offers to customer complaints. Linkhauer began sending the marketing team nuggets of information on a daily basis to aid and support their strategic decisions. “Listening to what the voice of the customer was telling us about the product we were launching was invaluable,” Linkhauer says. “Data like ‘5 percent of callers are signing up long-term’ and ‘how often callers bring up names of specific competitors when the new product is mentioned’ would end up on the CEO’s desk and he’d say, ‘This is awesome! What else can you tell me?’”

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