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CIS March 2006
CIS October 2006


Enhanced Performance In CRM And Customer Interaction
Through Analytics And Workforce Management

By Nadji Tehrani, Executive Group Publisher, Technology Marketing Corp.

People often ask me, “How can you write on so many diverse topics such as advanced technology, CRM, hiring and training, IP contact center, advanced speech technology, marketing, positioning and differentiation, integrated marketing and cutting-edge technology on performance enhancement, to name a few?” I say, “If you pioneered the concept of telemarketing, contact center, CRM center and promoted the hell out of the industry for the last 25 years, and if you actually and genuinely care about the industry and want to write authoritative articles about the industry, then it shouldn’t be that difficult!”


Good Customer Service For Dummies?
By Rich Tehrani, Group Editor-in-Chief, Technology Marketing Corp.
By way of an advance explanation, let me say that this column will depart from my usual piece; I found inspiration this month not only from the contact center industry, but from another publication. I had never before read Fast Company Magazine and may never have started if I didn’t come across an issue of the publication featuring comedian Lewis Black on the cover. If you aren’t familiar with Black, he is a comedian who spends much of his time being angry and not censoring his true feelings — including profanity, which he spews out at a rapid clip. I find him funny. He makes a lot of great points and seems to be able to take ordinary material and deliver it in such a way that his audience invariably winds up in stitches.

Case Study

Large Outsourcer Improves Customer Response Time And Reduces Costs Using IP-Based Communications Application Software Suite
By Interactive Intelligence Inc.
Alta Resources cites faster customer response time and reduced costs among the primary benefits of CIC. For instance, after deploying CIC, the company won a major client contract to create a complex IVR application.


What Role Should Technology Play As A Customer Care Differentiator?
Increasing Customer Expectations, Require A Strategic Vision ,
A Special Editorial Series Sponsored By Amcat

Today’s consumers have seen a technological explosion that is changing how they view the buying experience and beyond. What once required a trip to a bricks-and-mortar store to see available merchandise can now be accomplished by pressing a few buttons on a computer or even a cell phone, providing immediate gratification through the power to buy anything, anywhere.

Expanding Or Eliminating The Physical Borders Of The Call Center
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Editorial Director, Customer Interaction Solutions
Let’s say you’re an established company, and you’ve just decided to move your existing call center and therefore must do a lot of rehiring, or you’ve decided to start a call center for the first time. Perhaps you’ve even decided to outsource your call center services to an outside provider. Though there are many experts in your company and your customers value the experience and advice of your core employees, your call center agents are all relatively new, both to your company and your industry. They’re still learning, still undergoing training programs in your call center’s processes and systems and your company’s solutions.


Stop The Revolving Door — Five Best Practices In Contact Center Agent Training
By Shelby Test-Peralta, StarTek, Inc.
One of the major challenges for contact center managers is retaining employees. Not only is it costly to lose an agent — replacement can cost between $5,000 and $17,000 — employee turnover can have a negative impact on overall contact center performance, customer satisfaction and employee morale.


Sales Force Automation Implementation Challenges
By Bill Wheeler, Avidian Technologies
Resistance to change is the biggest challenge in implementing new sales software or improvement programs. It can be extremely difficult for people to change their habits and routines. Typically, about 20 percent of sales people push back hard, they may actually quit their job if forced into change they do not want. The majority of sales people (about 60 percent) will resist the change, but slowly accept it over time. The remaining 20 percent are ready for change and are often willing participants in the process.


Key Considerations In Post-Interaction Surveying:
Which Data Collection Channel Is Right For You?

By Mike Cholak, Convergys
It is a common question in marketing research: “Which data collection channel is right for my program? Telephone, Web or IVR?” If you are talking about a contact center post-interaction survey, the answer may not be a simple one-size-fits-all solution. Each data collection channel has its own pros and cons.

The Right Balance For The Call Center: Somewhere Between Prison And An Encounter Group
By David Sims TMCnet Contributing Editor
Naturally prisoners, virtual or actual, are not the most highly motivated, productive employees one can have. However, it’s not difficult to imagine that absenteeism and turnover are not the problems among actual prisoners that they can be among the virtual variety.


TMC Labs Innovation Awards, Part II
The TMC Labs Innovation Awards are now in their seventh year, and still TMC Labs is amazed at the continual innovation being brought to market in the contact center space to improve training, increase morale, reduce turnover, increase efficiency and reduce infrastructure software and hardware costs. The TMC Labs Innovation Award’s sole purpose is to distinguish products and services that have unique features and that often help to carve out a new market niche or start a trend..




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Go to TMCnet.com for the latest communications technology news

Noise Monitoring A Necessity To Prevent Hearing Loss Among Agents
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
In the past, it was believed that hearing damage or loss was not an inherent risk for call center agents as they were not sustaining long periods of high decimal sound through their headphones. Research from specific European studies indicated otherwise and thus the Health and Safety Organization initiated a drive to enforce standards in the work environment to protect the hearing of employees.

Nuance’s Jeff Foley On Call Steering
By Stefania Viscusi, TMCnet Assistant Editor
Call Steering is unique because unlike systems of the past, it is able to use the information a caller speaks and intelligently route them instead of forcing callers to choose how to categorize their problem. For example, a caller could say, “I have a, uhhh, billing question,” or “Yeah, can you tell me, um... when I made my last payment?” and the system will accurately route the caller.

Our 100th Issue Of IP Communications Thought Leadership
By Rich Tehrani, President and Editor-in-Chief

100 issues — wow — it has been an amazing ride. If you can believe it, the magnitude of this issue didn’t hit me until I sat down and started to write this column. As many of you know, in 1997 when we decided to launch a magazine titled INTERNET TELEPHONY, most people thought we were crazy.

UC Business Migration Drivers Versus IT Implementation Obstacles
By Art Rosenberg, TMCnet Contributing Editor
End users could care less about what IT worries about, as long as they get what they need or want from the technology to do their jobs more easily and efficiently. On the other hand, IT management is charged with delivering the technology that end users need and want. Because there is so much “business process” that can now be automated and improved by computer software, IT management is being admonished to “align” themselves with “business units” in order to understand what those end users need and want. My question is, exactly how are they really doing that? http://www.tmcnet.com


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