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July 01, 2008

Finding the Perfect Balance of Live and Self-Service

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor


In today’s tech-savvy world customers expect personalized service whether interacting with an IVR or live agent, or using a mobile phone or Web channel. So often, it seems, more and more forward-thinking companies are implementing multi-channel contact center strategies.
 
But often, it isn’t as simple as that because this approach requires a more delicate balance of live agent service and self-service applications to suit a variety of customer needs and preferences, according to Ken Landoline, program manager of Customer-Centric Strategies at Yankee Group.
 
Landoline was a key speaker during TMCnet’s webinar last week titled: “Finding the perfect balance of live and self-service.”
 
Landoline covered such varied topics as metrics centered around the cost reduction and customer satisfaction to incorporating outbound notification services, such as voice or SMS, as a key element.
 
“The concept is to blend customer service through mixing and matching of live and self-service,” said Landoline. “The evolving customer care strategies are the reason there is a link. It  is really about customer centric cost reduction; reducing costs but keeping customers needs at the forefront of planning.”
 
“Customer-centricity requires delicate balance,” noted Landoline, who also highlighted key benefits enterprises could gain by being first-to-market with multimodal applications and services.
 
Prior to joining Yankee Group, Landoline was an analyst with Robert Frances Group and Giga Information Group (now Forrester Research (News - Alert)), where he developed voice telephony services and created industry-leading research on voice and data convergence and technology evolution in the telecommunications marketplace.
 
In these roles, he advised many Fortune 2000 end-user companies, vendors and investment institutions on the development and implementation of telecommunications systems and services, with special emphasis on multi-channel contact centers, speech applications and VoIP technology.
 
Landoline spent 20 years holding a variety of management positions in the telecommunications industry at Siemens (News - Alert) Business Communications, AT&T Large Business Systems (now Avaya) and Fujitsu.
 
In addition, Kevin McPartlan (News - Alert), vice president of Contact Center Solutions at Intervoice also weighed in on the topics Ken covered.

McPartlan is the vice president and general manager of Contact Center Solutions at Intervoice (News - Alert). He has more than 25 years of experience in providing strategic product and engineering leadership at successful telecommunications and call center companies such as Aspect (News - Alert) Communications, ROLM Corporation and David Systems.
 
For more information or to listen to a replay of the webinar, please click here.

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