I Want VoIP but Don’t Trust the Internet for my Contact Center. Do I Have Options?

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As VoIP service gains acceptance and is adopted more and more in the enterprise and SMB space, consumers are educating themselves (either through painful trial and error or being thorough students prior to a deployment) on VoIP in many areas of the technology: equipment, network, providers, and best practices.

What they find in some cases is that they need better reliability, call quality or just peace of mind than what the public internet can offer as a transport network for their customer calls.

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What is your Service Preference?

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I was reading on Harvard Business Review's website and in rapid succession I came across Ron Ashkenas' blog post titled "How Simple (and Human) Is Your Customer Service?" and Anthony Tjan's blog post titled "The Best Business Model in the World". I was overjoyed to see these two subjects together because inContact offers a software as a service technology (see Tjan's blog) that helps with what Ashkenas was writing about. 

It would be easy for me to go on and on about the values of a SaaS distribution model for contact centers and likely sometime soon I will, but Ashkenas' blog struck a stronger cord with me.  There is nothing that I find more refreshing than reading about someone like Ashkenas' view on customer service.  He highlights in his blog the different preferences that people have when it comes to customer service and that got me to thinking.

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Great Service Through Self-Service? Well … Maybe …

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Would you rather talk to a live agent or take matters into your own hands through self-service?  As with most things in life, the correct answer is "it depends".  It depends on the nature of the transaction (eg, sales, customer service, technical support, etc.)  It depends on the accessibility / usability / availability of self-serve options.  It depends on your personality.  It depends on your technical proficiency.  And frankly, a lot of it depends on your age.

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I am Not Going to Leave a Message After Your "Beep"…

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While sitting at my desk the other day I had a question and I knew just who to call for the answer. I made the call and after a few seconds of ringing I was transferred to voicemail. I immediately hung up and called the next best person I could think of for a response. Again, ringing and voicemail. I immediately hung up again. After calling 5 people with the same ringing then voicemail routine I hung up the phone and thought about what I had just done. I didn’t leave a single voicemail. I had five opportunities to leave a message and wait for someone to call me, but I didn’t. Why?

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Customer Interaction Specialist

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It is interesting to see the shift of late in the contact center world away from an environment where the contact center agent is the center of attention to where now more and more the center of attention is the customer.

At inContact, I am working to change that mentality as well.  We do some really neat things with contact center solutions and we do them in a delivery model that is innovative and beginning to really gain acceptance.  But our strength is more than just being a SaaS company or delivering useful features.  Our strength is that we are customer interaction specialists.

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Bruce Temkin to Speak at ICUC 2010

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In my previous blog post, I introduced the first of the two amazing customer service-focused keynote speakers we’ll have at ICUC this year. I’m now pleased to introduce you to Bruce Temkin.

Bruce is practically a household name when it comes to transforming the customer experience. Prior to founding the Temkin Group this year, Bruce was Vice President & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research focusing on customer experience. For his last few years at Forrester, he was the company’s most-read analyst for 13 consecutive quarters.

Bruce  published many of Forrester’s most popular research reports on customer experience including “Experience-Based Differentiation,” “The Customer Experience Journey,” “Customer Experience Boosts Revenue.” He also created Forrester’s Customer Experience Index that ranks more than 100 US companies, as well as Forrester’s “Voice of the Customer Award.”

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Congratulations, You Got that Promotion! Now What?

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Today you start your new job as the manager of your contact center.  Most likely, you’ve risen through the ranks of supervisor and agent; maybe even in this center.  Nervousness and excitement fill the air.  Your boss has faith in your abilities and you are appreciated and a valued member of the team.  These are great feelings, but I suspect there is also some stress and worry mixed in there. You have accepted a new job and along with that comes difficult tasks and requirements that are different than what you have been doing.  

I want you to succeed.  Running a contact center is a terrific challenge. And If I were you, this is what I would do this week:

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