Wednesday Sep 30, 2015

New Microsite Featuring the Latest Oracle Service Cloud Content

Let's face it. You're busy. You don't have time to visit several different websites to research the latest customer service and support trends. You need one place to go where you can find information on topics like how to:

  • Engage customers online with seamless web and social self-service 
  • Empower contact center agents to deliver personal, omni-channel support
  • Equip field service techs to arrive on schedule and fix it right the first time

You're in luck! For the next week, all that information can be found on this microsite. Everything from how-to guides to customer case studies to side-by-side vendor comparsions. All right here for you -- in one convenient place.

 Visit the microsite today so you can deliver modern customer service to every customer, every time!

Wednesday Sep 23, 2015

Take a Quick Tour of Oracle Service Cloud

What do you know about Oracle Service Cloud? You may have heard it delivers complete, out-of-the-box customer service. Or that it enables lasting, profitable customer relationships by delivering unified web, social and contact center experiences.

But that ‘marketing speak’ only gets you so far… To really understand what Oracle Service Cloud can do for your business, you have to take a test drive. Get behind the steering wheel and try out its capabilities.

Oracle Service Cloud’s Quick Tour Demo puts you in the driver’s seat. Click here to see firsthand how Oracle’s Web Customer Service can help you deliver the very best customer experience (CX)—while lowering costs and increasing conversions.

Choose ‘Show Me’ if you want a chauffeured experience. Or ‘Try It’ to navigate for yourself.

Want to see more? Then Sign up for a live demo customized to your needs.

Monday Sep 21, 2015

CustomerThink Webcast Series: 3 Stages of Evolution to Becoming a Modern Customer Service Organization

Many businesses today are at some stage of their journey to delivering an optimal, differentiated Customer Experience (CX), with the vision of building sustainable growth and profits through stronger customer relationships and reliable business data. Getting a vision around the “what” you want to deliver is not easy. The next question is even harder: “How” to build, deliver and grow to reach your visionary state?

In this 3-part CustomerThink webcast series, CX thought leaders Kate Leggett (Forrester), Ray Wang (Constellation Research) and Bruce Temkin (Temkin Group) will guide you through the Roadmap to Modern Customer Service. They will help you:

  • Benchmark where you are in your industry
  • Identify the issues you need to solve and in what order
  • Invest in technologies that best meet your goals
  • Incrementally measure your success along the way

Register now

First Webcast: Get Going with Modern Customer Service
Thursday, Oct. 15, 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET
Join Kate Leggett and JP Saunders as they discuss the first stage of the Roadmap to Modern Customer Service: Get Going. At this initial stage, organizations focus on moving from limited silo channels, to multiple channels of choice, so customers can engage on any device. They invest in channels and knowledge to improve interaction capabilities and reduce service volume and cost through greater operational efficiency.

Second Webcast: Get Better with Modern Customer Service
Thursday, Nov. 12, 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET
Join Ray Wang and JP Saunders as they discuss the second stage of the Roadmap to Modern Customer Service: Get Better. At this next stage, organizations focus on transitioning from silo systems, to a unified platform that enables agents to deliver consistent, relevant, cross-channel service. Here they invest in contact center staff and processes to improve service quality, customer satisfaction and customer retention—leveraging the savings they’ve gained from the first stage.

Third Webcast: Get Ahead with Modern Customer Service
Thursday, Dec. 10, 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET
Join Bruce Temkin and JP Saunders as they discuss the third stage of the Roadmap to Modern Customer Service: Get Ahead. At this advanced stage, organizations focus on evolving from anonymous service experiences to personalized, segmented engagements in every channel. They invest in data and analytics to create more opportunities for acquiring new customers at lower cost, and for expanding their relationships with brand advocates. This ability to monetize engagements enables companies to achieve sustainable growth and profits.

At the end of this series, you will come away knowing what to focus on, and how to measure your success—so you can start modernizing your customer service capabilities with a self-funding model right away!

Register today!

Speaker Biographies

Kate Leggett, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
Kate serves Application Development & Delivery Professionals. She is a leading expert on customer relationship management (CRM) and customer service strategies, maturity, benchmarking, governance, and ROI. Kate has extensive industry experience, with more than 10 years of leadership at CRM and customer service software companies, where she held senior product marketing and product management roles.

R “Ray” Wang, Principal Analyst and Founder, Constellation Research
R "Ray" Wang is the author of the popular business strategy and technology blog "A Software Insider’s Point of View". With viewership in the 10's of millions of page views a year, his blog provides insight into how disruptive technologies and new business models such as digital transformation impact brands, enterprises, and organizations.

Bruce Temkin, CCXP, Managing Partner & Customer Experience Transformist, Temkin Group
Bruce Temkin is widely viewed as a customer experience visionary. He has worked with hundreds of large organizations on defining and accelerating their customer experience journeys. His company, Temkin Group, is a leading research and consultancy focused on enterprise-wide customer experience transformation. It helps many of the world’s largest brands lead their transformational journeys towards customer-centricity and build loyalty by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners.

JP Saunders, Senior Director, CX Strategists, Oracle (Host)
In his current capacity, JP leads the go-to-market initiatives for the Oracle CX Cloud Service offering. A recognized thought leader, innovator and strategist, JP has over 16 years experience in SaaS, Customer Service, Customer Experience and CRM application development. JP joined Oracle through the RightNow acquisition where he led the Global Product Marketing team. Prior to that, JP lead Product Management for a Social CRM startup that was part of the Oracle Inner Circle partner. 

Tuesday Sep 08, 2015

October 7 Webcast: How to Become a Customer-Adaptive Enterprise with Ovum Principal Analyst Jeremy Cox and Oracle VP of Product Management Stephen Fioretti

Business transformation, customer engagement, omnichannel… These strategies sound promising, but how do you actually implement them to stay ‘persistently’ relevant to customers? Ovum Principal Analyst Jeremy Cox will help guide you as he presents the eight core attributes of the Customer-Adaptive Enterprise on this webcast Wednesday, October 7 at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET. 

Ovum’s Jeremy Cox, and Oracle’s Stephen Fioretti, will assist you in determining your current customer engagement maturity level—and what actions you must take to deliver an integrated omnichannel service experience. 

Specific topics include:
  • Introduction to the Customer-Adaptive Enterprise 
  • Maturity Levels of Omnichannel Customer Engagement 
  • Service Organization Transformation: Opportunities, Pitfalls and Success Stories 
  • Leveraging Social, the Internet of Things (IOT) and New Channels

You will come away knowing your next steps for operationalizing your omnichannel strategy! 

Register now

Jeremy Cox. Principal Analyst, Ovum
Customer Engagement

As part of Ovum’s Customer Engagement team, Jeremy leads the research and insights into CRM and its potential for spearheading customer-driven business transformation (the customer-adaptive enterprise). With over 20 years’ CRM strategy development and implementation experience, on the inside (IBM) and as a consultant and change agent. He is well placed to support enterprises on their next-generation customer transformation journey.

Jeremy joined Ovum in July 2012, and quickly established the broader customer-adaptive enterprise context, identifying eight core attributes that organizations need if they are to be persistently relevant to their customers: Visionary leadership, an engaged workforce, collaborative, acute sensing capabilities to generate insight and foresight, a superior omnichannel customer experience, continuous innovation, connected, simplified and adaptive processes, and an adaptive enterprise architecture. He has written many papers on transformational CRM, the customer-adaptive enterprise, omnichannel customer engagement, harnessing the voice of the customer to drive continuous improvement in the customer experience, and continuous innovation.

Prior to joining Ovum, Jeremy ran his own transformational CRM consultancy supporting enterprises in both the public and private sectors, with clients such as The Pensions Regulator, The North West Development Agency, HP, Microsoft, Carlson Wagonlit Traveler Services, Pitney Bowes, Honeywell, Eli Lilly, and mid-market firms including Goldsmith Williams Solicitors, Camps Solicitors, and Hurst & Co Accountants. He was also a principal consultant CRM at KPMG Consulting, and held various CRM internal consulting roles at IBM during the transformation years of the mid to late 1990s.
Jeremy co-authored “Mid-Market CRM” with Professor Francis Buttle FCIM and has spoken at various European conferences on CRM as a transformational business strategy enabled by IT, and what it takes to become a customer-adaptive enterprise. He has a master’s degree with distinction from Manchester Business School in strategic market management and CRM.

Stephen Fioretti, Vice President of Product Management, Oracle
Oracle Service Cloud
Stephen Fioretti has Product Management and Strategy responsibility for part of Oracle’s Customer Experience (CX) Strategy as well as Oracle Service Cloud products, where he drives strategy, product roadmap and go-to-market initiatives. Previously at Oracle and Siebel, he served as vice president of Product Management and Strategy for various CRM cloud and on-premise products, specifically in the domains of multi-channel service and support, sales force automation, partner relationship management, and configuration, pricing and quoting.

Before joining Siebel in 2002, Fioretti was Vice President of Business Development at SeeCommerce, a privately-held provider of Supply Chain Performance Management Solutions. Prior to SeeCommerce, Mr. Fioretti spent 5 years at Hyperion Solutions, a leading provider of enterprise business performance management and business intelligence solutions, where he served in executives roles as VP of Marketing and VP of Alliances. Fioretti has spent over 20 years in the information technology industry, including sales, marketing and channel roles at Sybase and Hewlett-Packard. 

Mr. Fioretti holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of California at Davis, as well as a Master's of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Thursday Aug 13, 2015

Co-browse Your Way to Faster Resolution and Higher Member Satisfaction

Picture it. You’re a customer care representative working for a large health care payer. You’re on the phone with an angry member as she’s trying to explain the trouble she’s having accessing her claims online. You want to help but you’re having difficulty understanding her issue without being able to see what she sees. And your situation is made tougher by having to flip through an inch-thick binder to find possible solutions or multiple knowledge bases!

With these limited support tools, it’s no wonder health care consumers are frustrated. Care representatives are equally frustrated because they aren’t empowered to deliver great service. The consequences: a 40% annual churn rate in members and an up to 50% turnover in support staff! 

Fortunately, co-browse can turn this situation around… 

Oracle Co-browse allows care representatives to see a member’s computer screen in real-time so they can guide her to the information she needs—whether that’s help with a claims issue, benefits question or application for enrollment. Co-browse ensures the care representative has an exact view of the member’s screen, adapting on the fly even as customers change their browser settings or resize the window. It also works on any mobile browser or device, and can even be added as a support feature within a company’s mobile app.

Regarding HIPAA compliance, Oracle Co-browse meets the strictest security standards by protecting sensitive data while still giving care representatives the information they need to resolve issues.

But don’t take our word for it; check out what Oracle Co-browse has done for our customers!

Health Care Payer Case Study
The largest health insurance network in the U.S. was facing high Average Handle Times (AHT) on website-related issues. It wanted to reduce handle time, and boost web self-service and member satisfaction. It leveraged Oracle Co-browse to accomplish these goals while ensuring the highest levels of data security.

By empowering care representatives to do co-browsing sessions, the network and its regional organizations:
  • Reduced call handle times by 85%
  • Increased member satisfaction and loyalty
  • Maintained strict data security while co-browsing across its own and external websites

To find out the top ten benefits co-browse can drive for your organization, please click here
To learn more about the unique capabilities only Oracle Co-browse provides, please click here.

Wednesday Aug 05, 2015

Join the Oracle Customer Experience Team at CRM Evolution 2015 by Chaundera Wolfe

It's that exciting time of year again, where we get to connect with like-minded customer experience enthusiasts at one of the industry’s leading events: CRM Evolution. With the New York City Theater District in the background, this event is a great opportunity to talk about the latest trends in customer experience, service, social, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and more. Innovative brands such as iRobot, The Golden State Warriors and thought leaders like Michael Krigsman, @mkrigsman (CXO Talk) and @Brian Vellmure (Value Creator) are able to come together and chat about the future customer experience landscape in a live and engaging format.

Please come by and visit the Oracle Customer Experience team at the New York Marriott Marquis August 17-19 during the CRM Evolution 2015 or Customer Service Experience conferences. We always appreciate the opportunity to talk about current customer engagement challenges as well as innovative solutions. And join our discussion Tuesday, August 18th at 3:00 p.m. ET on how to “Accelerate Success with Modern Service” with Stephen Fioretti of Oracle Service Cloud.

If you are not going to be attending this year’s event, or you happen to miss a keynote speaker, don’t worry. The Oracle Social Cloud team is going to be sharing all the latest and greatest insights and speaker nuggets during the event from their Social Intelligence Center, and also across social channels like @OracleSocial, @OracleServCloud. Please do reach out with your favorite CRM Evolution moments, pressing questions, and just plain fun photos of yourself enjoying the conference. Hope to see you all there!

Monday Jun 22, 2015

LinkedIn Wins Gartner & 1to1 Media Customer Service Excellence Award by Stephen Fioretti

LinkedIn was named a Gold winner in the Customer Service Excellence category for the 2015 Gartner & 1to1 Media Customer Experience Excellence Awards. For over a decade, Gartner and 1to1 Media have used this joint awards program to honor select, customer-centric organizations that have achieved outstanding business performance by implementing enterprise-wide, service-focused strategies. LinkedIn will be presented with this innovation in service excellence award at the Gartner 360 Summit September 9-11 in San Diego.

What helps LinkedIn bring people, processes, and technologies together to provide a superior customer experience? Andy Yasutake, Director of Tech Solutions and Operations, outlines several principles LinkedIn follows to increase business efficiency and member satisfaction.

Focus on ‘Member First’ in all you do.

LinkedIn’s mission is to connect its users and make them more productive and successful. Thus, the company implemented a ‘Members First’ initiative, and started making changes based on the Voice of the Customer. For example, when LinkedIn learned that its members placed high value on rapid response time, it encouraged agents to respond more quickly to inquiries. With the help of Oracle Service Cloud, LinkedIn achieved an 85% decrease in average initial response time, a 68% decrease in resolution time, and a 23% increase in customer satisfaction!

Your customers don’t care about organizational boundaries.
Break them down.

LinkedIn recognized that its members interacted with the brand as a whole, not just exclusively with sales, marketing, or service. As a result, the company broke down information silos between these departments and encouraged employees to step outside their given expertise to resolve issues quickly and/or prevent them from escalating. Leveraging all its assets, rapidly responding to member feedback, and rethinking roles allows the company to maximize the value of every touch and bring added value to the member journey.

Help your customers help themselves.
With over 350 million worldwide users, and more than two new members joining per second, LinkedIn expected to employ around 5,000-10,000 service representatives. However, with Oracle Service Cloud, LinkedIn was able to achieve a 97% self-service rate, thereby reducing the company’s potential need for support staff. The result? Instead of employing 5,000-10,000 reps, LinkedIn has been able to maintain agents at 750-800, easing costs and boosting efficiency, all while growing 40% year-over-year.

On the digital front, LinkedIn noticed that 50% of its web traffic came through mobile devices, and that 21% of users accessing its knowledge center were not there to solve a specific issue, but instead to learn about the product and develop their career. Therefore, the company placed emphasis on creating knowledge base articles and a mobile Help Center, enabling users to enjoy this content easily from any device.

Optimizing its support processes and empowering members to self-serve has allowed LinkedIn to efficiently provide top-tier service.

Congratulations to LinkedIn for your outstanding achievement. Oracle is honored to have partnered with you to deliver your award-winning customer experience! 

Tuesday May 19, 2015

Oracle Takeaways from Forrester Webcast: Customer Service Trends for 2015 by Christine Randle

It is hard to believe that it has been a decade since social disrupted standard operating procedures for companies. Brands had enjoyed a healthy measure of control before social media-enabled customers around the globe were able to connect and share information. Before, companies controlled not only the information that customers and prospects received, but how and when they received it—effectively spoon-feeding corporate messages to the world.

The advent of social changed this dynamic forever and ushered in The Age of the Customer.

Today, customers control the conversations they have with businesses, and brands have scrambled to adapt. Companies must become customer-obsessed and deliver experiences that meet customer expectations to succeed.

Why? Because loyal customers are less likely to churn, and they are also more likely to recommend your brand and spend more money with your company. When customers spend more money, it directly impacts and increases revenue. For this reason, it is essential to keep your customers satisfied and loyal to your brand. Besides, customer service should be a core element of your CX strategy.

Still, this is hard stuff. So it helps to get some perspective. A May 2015 webinar hosted by Forrester and featuring Forrester Research’s Kate Leggett, Trends 2015: The Future Of Customer Service, helps to make sense of customer service in 2015. Take a look at the below takeaways that we pulled from the webcast, and let us know what trends you see in your organization.

Customers increasingly rely on self-service. According to the April 2015 Forrester Research report, “Contact Centers Must Go Digital Or Die,” more customers (76%) used web self-service than the phone (73%) for customer service. Why? Because it is an easy way to get answers. Today, the phone is increasingly used for escalation, or when a customer cannot find the answer to a question. Generally, these are the most difficult inquiries and have longer handle times. But, this offers a great opportunity for companies to use the phone channel to support and deepen customer relationships. It is important to note that channel usage changes year-over-year. As such, you should survey your customers to find out what channels they prefer for customer service interactions and deploy those channels accordingly.

Adopt a mobile-first mindset.
Think about your own mobile device usage and you’ll see why customers increasingly look to contact brands via this channel. But, more than that, customers want to be able to start a conversation on mobile and then switch over to a laptop or desktop seamlessly—without needing to rehash the issue with an agent. In 2015, customers will continue to demand effortless interactions of this type over both web and mobile channels.

Explore proactive engagement.
We are all customers, right? And, as customers, we know what we want, when, where, and how we want it. To effectively leverage this fact, businesses will begin to experiment with proactive engagement. This refers to proactive chat, promotions, or content served up to customers at the appropriate time to help answer questions, easing the transition from the research phase to purchase.

Leverage connected devices for preemptive service.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has taken off in a big way, and with it comes the prospect of preemptive service. From Wi-Fi connected self-learning thermostats to smart, self-propelled vacuum cleaners IoT has the potential to reshape customer service. IoT offers businesses the opportunity to deliver preemptive service that our parents could never have imagined: Proactive communication of product information back to the company to diagnose preemptively and fix issues without customer intervention!

Analytics will power offers, decisions, and connections.
There is no “one size fits all” service. Instead, use analytics to deliver deeply personalized customer service by understanding and leveraging data from past interactions, services, and purchases. Additionally, interactions must be tailored to the channel of choice. For example, the tone of an email interaction will likely vary from that of a social or chat interaction. These nuances are important in order to optimize service quality, predict next steps, ensure satisfaction, and produce loyalty, which correlates to increased revenue.

Journey analytics will improve end-to-end service.
What does your typical customer journey look like? It is likely to cross multiple communication channels: social, web, email, and phone. Often, these touch points are managed by different functional organizations within a company. It is tricky, but ultimately customers do not care about your internal org structure. What they care about is the ability to cross channels seamlessly to get support without needing to repeat themselves at each point in the journey (we all know how frustrating that can be). But, organizational silos make it difficult to deliver consistent service experiences. Not only that, but few companies have a measure in place that encompasses all channels. Forrester expects that organizations will move to broader, more comprehensive customer service measurement programs, which span all communication channels, to help businesses understand the costs and pain points in the customer journey.

Focus on improving the agent experience.
It is staggering the amount of applications that contact center agents use on a daily basis to answer customer questions. Organizations will look to push proactive information to agents, to minimize effort, and to help streamline service delivery. If companies can improve the agent experience, by helping to guide them through resolution paths, then agents will have more confidence to help customers and to deliver truly personalized experiences.

Adopt SaaS for agility.
A March 2015 Forrester Research report, Trends 2015: The Future Of Customer Service, found that 32% of companies have already replaced or plan to replace, most or all on-premise solutions with SaaS alternatives within 2 years. Why? Because moving applications to the Cloud pushes the burden of software and hardware maintenance back onto the vendor. This allows companies to be agile and focus on innovating with new features, ultimately creating differentiated, rewarding customer experiences.

Read how Sony uses its online digital experience to proactively engage customers.

Monday Apr 27, 2015

Modern Customer Experience Metrics by David Lanning

As organizations evolve on their roadmap to a modern customer experience, they are adopting new business processes and technologies that allow them to support the needs of the connected customer. As a result of adopting new communication channels, companies now have an additional set of metrics that can be used to measure and improve the effectiveness of their multi-channel customer experience.

The traditional, internally- focused operational metrics like Average Handle Time (AHT) or Occupancy are insufficient to assess the customer’s perspective of the end-to-end experience. To measure the customer experience in a multi-channel world, companies must adopt and leverage a new set of metrics that provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of their multi-channel customer experience initiatives.

Modern Customer Experience Metrics

First Phase of Modern Customer Experience
In the first phase of a modern customer experience, companies address their ability to manage customer interactions on multiple channels. The new communication channels like chat, community and social provide a new set of metrics that provide valuable insight into customer behaviors and expectations.

Chat and Co-browse
Each of the new channels in a multi-channel environment contains metrics that can be used to measure the effectiveness of a company’s ability to handle interactions on these channels. For instance, as companies add online support in the form of chat or co-browse, they have the ability to provide support ‘in-the-moment’ that leads to higher online retention and reduced site abandons. By measuring and analyzing online support requests on chat or co-browse, companies can identify issues that are directly impacting the connected customer experience. Chat and co-browse metrics provide insight into why customers left the online experience to get the information or assistance they needed to complete their online transaction.

Online Communities
Companies that provide online communities also have a new set of metrics they can use to measure and improve the community experience and effectiveness. Companies can measure how many of their customers are engaged in the community (Community Participation Rate) and how often they post information (Community Post Rate). These new metrics provide direct insight into customer participation rates and provide metrics that measure the effectiveness of their initiatives to promote community involvement and customer loyalty. Community metrics like the number of active members in an online community can be used to measure the number of loyal customers who are contributing to the community.

Similarly, there are a number of new metrics that can be used to measure the effectiveness of a company’s social strategy and initiatives. Leading companies have developed strategies and operational practices to actively engage in the conversation on social networks. These social networks provide metrics like Fan Growth Rate, Like / Dislike Ratio and other social metrics that can be used to measure the effectiveness of their social networks. The beauty of these metrics are that customers on social networks are posting continuously and allow the company to gain real-time information on the experience without requiring a formal feedback survey or other means of gathering customer perceptions. Social metrics can be accessed in real-time and used to adjust the company’s social strategy without the lengthy delay associated with outbound customer satisfaction surveys.

Second Phase of Modern Customer Experience
As companies advance on their journey to a modern customer experience they employ strategies, businesses processes and complementary technology designed to assist customers who cross multiple channels to obtain information, or to connect with support resources to complete a transaction. This cross-channel environment provides an additional set of metrics that can be used to measure and improve cross-channel business processes.

Online experience metrics that measure the customer’s ability to connect to online knowledge or to support resources can be used to measure the effectiveness of a company’s online support effectiveness. Web site tracking metrics that show the number of clicks (customer effort) required to find relevant knowledge, or to find an online support resource, can be used to measure the effectiveness of the site design. By adding web tracking tags to knowledge articles companies can now measure the end-to-end online journey and optimize the use of knowledge to reduce customer effort during online transactions.

Website tracking metrics can also be used to determine where customers opt-out of the online channel to obtain additional support. These metrics provide web experience designers with the information they need to measure the impact of site design changes to increase online conversions or reduce site abandons. The overall impact of the cross-channel experience initiatives can be assessed by adding customer effort score that provides a broad view of the cross-channel experience.

Third Phase of Modern Customer Experience
As companies advance to providing a personalized, omni-channel experience, additional metrics are available to measure the company’s ability to make offers and recommendations that recognize the value and preferences of the customer. The omni-channel experience leverages the customer’s profile information and cross-channel interaction history to make appropriate offers, product recommendations and create customized business processes for each customer. The omni-channel experience model provides companies a new set of metrics that can be used to measure the effectiveness of their personalization strategy. New metrics like conversion rate on personalized offers, percentage of offers made in the customer’s native language and percentage of customers who receive support in their native language are examples of new metrics available to measure the organization’s ability to personalize the experience.

Many of the new customer experience metrics like community participation rates, or ‘likes’ on a social network are measured from actual customer behavior. Although sentiment metrics like customer satisfaction (CSAT) and net promoter score (NPS) are a reasonable indicator of intent, the new experience metrics provide an actual measure of action taken by customers to recommend a product or service. These new experience metrics are an important element in a balanced score card of experience metrics. By capturing metrics on actions taken, as well as traditional experience metrics like CSAT and NPS, companies can create a balanced score card that provides immediate insight into the effectiveness of their customer experience programs.  

The Roadmap to ModernTM customer service allows organizations to evolve from an internally-focused to an externally-focused organization that maximizes customer value throughout acquisition, retention and support processes. By leveraging new business processes centered on the customer experience, complementary technology and the metrics available in a multi-channel world, companies can create a competitive advantage by providing a compelling customer experience that significantly increases customer acquisition and customer loyalty.

You can learn more Multi-Channel (first phase), Cross-Channel (second phase) and Omni-Channel (third phase) engagement strategies to become a more Modern Customer Service organization on our website.

Friday Apr 24, 2015

5 Tips for Budget-Friendly Training in the Modern Contact Center

As contact center leaders you’re always being asked to do more with less. Agent training is no exception. Here are 5 tips for low or no cost ways to train agents from ICMI’s webcast featuring Justin Robbins (ICMI), Jana Meyers (American Century), Joe Landers (Oracle) and Kristine Chisholm (ICMI).

Tip 1: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in Recorded Contacts

Encourage agents to share recorded contacts of positive customer interactions as well as negative ones. Using difficult customer interactions as teaching moments helps you brainstorm more effective approaches for resolving customer issues. This is critical because customers who have issues satisfactorily resolved are more loyal than customers who haven’t had problems yet with your products and services.

Another technique is having agents actually become customers of your company. This experience creates empathy and empowers agents to find ways to continually improve service.

Tip 2: The Power of One

You know having the right agents in the right place at the right time is critical. But many agents don’t understand the ripple effect that can occur when they return late from a break. In a 50-person contact center, one late agent can slow overall response time 20 seconds. Demonstrate this impact in a fun way by using ping pong balls in the break room to represent incoming calls.

Tip 3: What’s the Score?

Agents often don’t get to see how their performance will be measured until after training. They also don’t get to learn why metrics like customer satisfaction (CSAT) are so important—and what they can do to positively influence CSAT. Bringing in stakeholders like the Head of Customer Service can help agents understand the connection between their performance and CSAT. Also recognizing top-performing agents at the training can serve to inspire new recruits and provide them with go-to mentors.

Tip 4: Play the Best Hand Given the Cards You’re Dealt

Nearly 92% of agent-facing applications aren’t as efficient as they could be. That means system workarounds are inevitable. If you don’t provide agents with standard best practices for workarounds, they’ll invent their own. And those workarounds will result in more variability and inefficiency. So sit down with your agents to proactively identify the best workarounds. It will make them feel heard and lower their frustration and burnout.

Tip 5: Turn the Tables and Let Agents Measure You!

Get agent feedback right after training sessions—just like you measure CSAT immediately after a customer interaction. And build practice time into your training. For example, have two weeks in the classroom followed by a week of taking calls. This approach helps agents better retain what they’re learning and also builds confidence as they take on progressively more complex inquiries. Additionally, having top-performing agents serve as mentors or buddies can ease trainees’ transition to the production floor.

Finally, even the best 6-week training program can’t teach agents everything they need to know. This is especially true now that most easy issues are resolved via customer self-service. What ends up in the contact center are complex issues requiring more insight and information. That is why having a consolidated knowledge base with guided resolution is so crucial. It enables newer hires to perform like your best agents. And helps you determine what additional knowledge is needed to better serve customers.

With these tips, you can prepare your agents for the demands of the modern contact center without breaking the bank!

Click here to watch the webcast replay.

For more information on modern customer service, please visit our website.


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