How frequently are call centre agents genuinely polite and friendly?
It might seem a reasonable assumption that customers who reach out to a call centre should be able to expect politeness and friendliness from the agent that they are put in contact with – and of course, it is. Indeed, research indicates that this is an especially high priority among many young customers who do […]
What customers want when they contact an organisation – and what they get
Contact centres are key to an organisation’s success, primarily due to being the primary customer touchpoint. When customers contact organisations, it is important that the organisation understands what customers most want and value during the interaction. What customers want A recent survey of 1,000 UK customers for the new Exceeding UK Customer Expectations report produced […]
The concept of ‘failure demand’, and its relevance to contact centres
Every organisation will have received complaints from customers, and they’re of course seen as being problematic. However, customer complaints are also invaluable to businesses given the scope they provide for organisations to pinpoint where they may presently be going wrong, and what they might need to do in order to prevent a current customer from […]
How big a factor is customer experience in organisations’ competition with industry rivals?
Given that any commercial organisation’s fundamental purpose is to extract maximum profit for its shareholders, with this being generally achieved through a combination of driving up revenue and lowering costs, it is instructive to consider the role that customer experience has in the realisation of these objectives in the 2020s. Factors like widespread Internet access […]
Sentiment analysis – what contact centres should consider
A potentially powerful tool for contact centres looking to make informed changes to their services in order to enhance the customer experience, is sentiment analysis. Sentiment analysis provides a means by which customer and agent emotions within interactions can be quantified. This can relate to interactions that take place on the phone or through alternative […]
Call centre salaries were on the up in 2022 – especially for experienced agents
According to recently released contact centre research, agents working at such sites saw major increases in their salaries over the course of 2022. In the case of new agents, the rise was reportedly 9.7%, although an even higher increase of 11.3% was reported for the salaries of experienced agents. It is believed that such increases […]
The rise of automated web chat and conversational AI in UK contact centres – and the attendant cost benefits
Most people who have ever reached out to a contact centre in the UK will be highly familiar with web chat as a customer service channel. Web chat sessions – also sometimes referred to as ‘instant messaging’, or IM – offer a live or automated assistance option to those who may be browsing a given […]
What’s driving the strategy of US contact centers?
It is fascinating and instructive to look over the findings of recent research into the strategic priorities of contact centers in the United States. When such contact centers were asked to assign an importance score to various drivers for strategic contact center change – with a zero score indicating a “very unimportant” factor, and 100 […]
Rising salaries and falling performance exert pressure on UK contact centres
Organisations around the UK – and across all vertical market sectors – have had to deal with escalating pressures from various sources in recent times, and the evidence points to the situation with call centres being little different. In particular, the latest call centre data analysis points to a lethal combination of climbing salaries and […]
What are the potential merits of visual IVR and routing menus for contact centers?
When it comes to call center telecommunications, many interactions with a customer begin with interactive voice response (IVR). This begins with an initial welcome and instructions on how to proceed through the routing menu. This announcement is generally less than 15 seconds in length. That said, our recent US call center research has suggested that […]
What does the use of digital customer service channels tell us about what US contact centers’ priorities should be?
A key theme among the findings of surveys of United States contact centers has been the emergence of all manner of digital customer contact channels in recent years. But in an age in which there is intensifying talk of the ever-greater use of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) across so many aspects of businesses’ operations, […]
Agent engagement, morale, and empowerment – and the implications for your contact center
It goes without saying that no one wants to work in a despondent environment – and those that do find themselves in such a situation will quickly become disengaged. Agents with low morale deliver lower engagement and performance, as well as higher rates of absenteeism and turnover. As such, improving morale is good for business […]
What are some of the customer identity verification processes that contact centres are best advised to put in place for fraud reduction?
An increasing number of customer experience journeys in the 2020s begin with some form of identity verification process. Such customer security processes are about two factors: whether the person reaching out to the contact centre is who they say they are, and whether that person is allowed to do what they are trying to do. […]
What solutions, approaches and business processes do UK contact centres use to reduce the risk of card fraud?
After being presented with a multitude of different methods, the results from a survey of over 200 UK businesses indicate that, on average, a call centre employs 3.6 techniques to reduce card fraud and thus support Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance. Some of the most common card fraud reduction solutions, approaches […]
How effectively is your contact centre recognising and handling ‘moments of truth’ in customer interactions?
In a recent article of ours, we wrote about the Customer Interaction Cube, which provides a structure setting out no fewer than eight different types of customer interaction, based on factors including the emotional importance, urgency, and complexity of the customer’s query. Even the structure outlined by this 2x2x2 cube, however, can only ever represent […]
Introducing the Customer Interaction Cube, and the eight types of contact centre interaction
Whatever the specific vertical market a given organisation’s contact or call centre operates in, there are two main influences that will need to guide its decisions: the commercial activity within that sector, and the preferences and requirements that customers have in relation to contacting the organisation. Yes, the nature of the given business vertical market […]
The role of first-contact resolution as a major driver for customer experience
When it comes to striving to ensure the most positive customer experience (CX) at call centres, first-contact resolution (FCR) ought to be a key topic of conversation. After all, surveys of both organisations and customers have unearthed plenty of evidence of FCR being a primary factor in positive CX – yet its importance hasn’t always […]
What does CX mean to a customer? A comparison of customer and business views
While the vast majority of organisations aim to provide the best possible customer experience – or at least claim to do so – it is not always straightforward to determine what elements most contribute to making such a positive customer experience a reality. Nonetheless, the question has to be considered, given how this shapes organisations’ […]
Optimising your contact centre omnichannel workforce management
When it comes to forecasting and predicting resource requirements for telephony, the mechanics and mathematics underpinning this are well-established and widely understood. We are however increasingly in the omnichannel era of customer service, defined by the wholesale use of digital channels such as email, web chat and social media, which are not subject to the […]
For what purposes can post-call analytics be best used by call centres?
Analytics will always have a key role to play in effective workplace optimisation in the call centre, and the most widely used type of interaction analytics functionality is historical post-call speech analytics. When speech analytics solutions first began to be implemented, the focus was generally on the analysis of large numbers of recorded calls, with […]