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How The Right Technology Can Make You A Better Manager

Effectively managing a contact center takes a lot of organizational knowledge, people skills, and foresight. It takes more work than many people may realize to keep things running smoothly, and there are quite a few moving pieces that you have to be keeping an eye on at any given time.

Technology in the workplace, and especially in customer service, is quickly evolving to empower its users. If used properly, there are a number of different technologies available that can help you become a better manager, and keep things running smoothly.

Scheduling Software

Gone are the days of paper calendars filled with handwritten notes and covered in post-its.

Similarly, it doesn’t quite cut it to just email a spreadsheet with the weekly or monthly schedule. Using dedicated scheduling and management software to make, and keep track of, schedules doesn’t just give you peace of mind, it helps your employees by enabling them to instantly access their schedule, request changes, and stay posted on updates.

You have more control over scheduling, and can cut down on mix-ups and miscommunications that drive managers crazy.

Electronic Calendars

Scheduling software keeps you and your team on the same page when it comes to the monthly scheduling, but what about your own schedule?

This is where electronic calendar apps can bring some much-needed coherence to your schedule, and help you organize yourself better. Paper calendars only let you jot down a few brief notes before they’re full, but calendar apps allow you to leave detailed notes to yourself, and quickly zoom from an overview of the month or week to a specific day and hour.

A well-organized manager is a better manager, and you’ll quickly notice the difference when you make the switch to a more intuitive calendar system.

Project Management Software

Project management software is perfect for any manager looking for a way to communicate effectively with a number of team members over an easy-to-use platform.

Good communication, or its absence, can make or break any project or initiative that you’re working on in your contact center. As anyone with experience can tell you, communication is the key to any good relationship—and the relationship between management and employee is no exception.

Enterprise Feedback Management Software

In order to manage your contact center efficiently, you need to have a way to reliably track customer satisfaction […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

February 9th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

Customer Service Trends For 2017

As technology evolves and consumer demographics shift, customer service trends have a tendency to either grow quickly, or fall by the wayside. But that’s not ideal for many businesses who are looking to stay up-to-date with those current customer service trends. At this point, knowing what’s coming is half the battle. So take a look at some of these customer service trends that we can expect to see in 2017.

Chatbots

Chatbots are going to continue to be a trend in 2017 as the technology behind them gets better, and businesses get better at using them to help customers.

It’s a plus for everyone when a machine can chat online with a customer and resolve their issue. But we also know that there are still plenty of limitations on what a chatbot can do and how far they can go before it becomes necessary for the customer to speak with a real person.

In a perfect scenario, the chatbot would recognize that it could no longer help, and would give the conversation over to a human representative in a smooth, seamless transfer. This is part of an overall push towards AI that also shouldn’t be ignored—both in terms of helping the customer, and assisting the representative providing customer service.

Omnichannel

Bringing to bear a comprehensive omnichannel strategy is an ideal proposition for customer service, but if you’ve researched it for your contact center, you know it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Allowing customers to use several different channels of communication for customer service can be difficult to implement.

Still, having quality customer service on all channels—and providing customers with the ability to switch seamlessly between those channels—is worth it in the long run. Customers want to have their questions answered quickly, no matter what channel they happen to be using. It’s a challenge, but it’s more important than ever in 2017.

Self-Service

This is partially driven by changing consumer demographics and attitudes, and self-service is going to keep trending in 2017.

That’s in part because of the attitude that Millennials—now the largest living generation in the U.S.—have towards customer service and problem solving. Most would rather attempt to figure out a problem using web resources on their own, before they make a phone call or send an email.

Providing the resources consumers need for self-service is […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

February 8th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

Technology Outlook for Contact Centers in 2017

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to look toward what’s next in contact center technology for 2017.

Workforce optimization, customer service tools, Voice of the Customer – these are all areas in which technology continues to change and improve.

We went through some of the leading surveys and studies on these topics to find the top predictionsfor 2017. You can get a quick picture of the trends with this infographic from the Contact Center Network Group.

More contact centers migrate to the cloud.

According to a 2016 survey of contact centers by 8×8 and the Contact Center Network Group, more than 75 percent of contact centers have recognized the value the cloud has for their industry.

25 percent of contact centers have fully deployed their cloud services already; 28 percent have partially migrated to the cloud; and 21 percent plan to migrate to the cloud within the next year.

This has implications for software solution providers, which will need to focus on their cloud offerings to ensure their security, ease-of-use, and ease-of-migration. Solutions like the Verint Media Recorder Workforce Management solution are available as cloud or on-premise solutions, and are a great way to start your enterprise’s migration to cloud services.

Organizations are overhauling customer service protocols to fit an omnichannel world.

Customer service is still king – it just looks a whole lot different than it did 15 or even 5 years ago.

Lots of organizations are taking a complete, 360-degree look at their customer service processes and protocols to make them fit the omnichannel world that we’re now living in.

That means ensuring that response times for customer service are quick and efficient, as well as that customers have multiple channels through which to contact you. And that doesn’t just mean email and phone anymore.

Customers want to be able to get in touch through channels from live chat to social media, and they want their questions acknowledged – and if possible, resolved – fast. In addition, the experience across all channels should be seamless, whether the mode of contact is text, chat, phone, or a web form.

Self-service options are also an important part of this new omnichannel customer service universe, and more contact centers will implement them over the next year. Self-service tools include speech-recognition IVR, web-based knowledge portals, robot-assisted channels, […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

January 17th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

Emotions and Empathy Training for Your Contact Center Agents

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could read minds? We’d always know what people were thinking and how they were feeling. We’d know how to respond to them in order to get the best possible outcome.

Unfortunately for those us living in reality and working in contact center customer service, we have to make do with more prosaic methods of learning how to deal with people: contact center customer service training. It’s important to invest in call agent training that emphasizes the significance of being empathetic with callers and their emotional responses, as it can aid in improving your call center’s metrics and reaching your business’ KPIs. Here are a few key concepts that your call center agents need to be aware of:

Agents need to empathize with the customer on the purpose of the call

It is necessary for agents to empathize with customers on the purpose of their call and any potential unfriendly attitudes.

Normally, customers contact call centers to either resolve an issue or to complete a task, such as troubleshooting technical issues or paying credit card bills, neither of which are enjoyable experiences. That’s the reason behind unpleasant call experiences. By having this understanding, agents can better aid customers by directly focusing on issue resolutions rather than attitude correction.

Don’t take the customer’s negative emotions personally

A common complaint that call agents bring up is the unpleasant or even uncooperative attitude that customers can have during calls.

During training, it’s essential to stress that agents don’t lose their composure because of the caller’s negative or confrontational tone – especially since it will only worsen the situation and create an even greater conflict. Clients are simply frustrated by the issue and not directly at the agent themselves.

Provide direction for both the customer and the call

Most unhappy callers just need a minute or two to get things off their chest before introducing their problem to the agent. However, it’s also critical that agents don’t allow them to go off topic or vent for too long, as they can aggravate themselves further and unnecessarily prolong the call duration.

Agents need to be trained in effectively managing difficult customer’s emotions and attention. One method is to interrupt them, but acknowledge their feelings and refocus them on the task at hand. For example, the […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

January 13th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

Are Social Media and Digital Tools Making Traditional Contact Centers Obsolete?

Long gone are the days when the only way to reach a company’s customer service center was by picking up the phone and waiting – sometimes for as long as an hour, or even longer – for a service representative to help you with your problem.

Now that we have so many digital tools for instant communication, today’s customers expect to have their issues handled promptly and thoroughly – preferably without having to pick up the phone at all.

What does this mean for the traditional contact center? Are the new ways we communicate making them obsolete?

Contact centers that remain stuck in the old methods of customer service will not be able to compete.

In many ways, customer service standards of the 1990s and even early 2000s are no longer applicable.

The basic principles, of course, never change: Be courteous and polite. Be friendly. Handle a customer’s problems as efficiently as possible.

Timelines for responding to a customer’s problems, however, have changed drastically. In the past, when phone was the main means of communication, taking a day or two to get back to a customer whose issue needed additional attention was acceptable.

Today, customers expect to have their problems resolved very quickly, and acknowledged instantly. This is true across nearly every communication channel.

So if your contact center isn’t responding quickly to every comment and question you receive, you’re running the risk of obsolescence – not to mention very unhappy customers.

To stay relevant, contact centers must fully adapt to the omnichannel world that we now live in. That means giving your customers as many ways to contact you as possible and monitoring all those channels continuously.

This is no simple task, which is why many contact centers software to help them gather feedback. Two examples of this are Voice of the Customer Analytics  and Enterprise Feedback Management software.

And if you really want to make them happy, offer a self-service portal and allow them to resolve their own problems.

Despite the growth of self-service, contact centers have a huge opportunity to make themselves more important than ever.

There’s no doubt about it: self-service is the way that customer service is going, with more companies adding self-service options for their customers every year. In 2014, 76 percent of customers reported using self-service options, according to Forrester Research.

However, […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

January 13th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

How to Optimize Your Company’s Customer Experience

Advertising has gone a bit overboard in the high tech marketing environment of 2016 – to say the least. With the hottest SEO (search engine optimization) consultants vying for consumer attention, clients are developing an insatiable appetite for top positioning in the SERPs race (search engine results pages).

It’s been all about getting visitors to your website lately – finding them, luring them in. However, without a unique service or product to offer, and enough infectious passion to spread around, you’re going to have trouble coming up with loyal buyers, and creating a unique customer experience. If you aren’t deeply devoted to fulfilling customer expectations, you may just end up being one-off.

Imagine a used-car dealer whose inventory is ridiculously overpriced and who specializes in selling them (at exorbitant financing rates) to buyers with credit problems. He may keep his doors open by ripping off one person at a time, but without referrals and repeat business he’s eventually going to fail; with online reviews available for disgruntled users, it may be sooner rather than later.

Now that we’re on the same page (keeping clients once they’ve found us) let’s explore why it makes sense to use an integrated system to ensure the optimal experience your customer is looking for!

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Considered to be a specialized category of business management software, ERP was originally used to pull together human resources, maintenance and accounting ‘under one roof.’ Today, these web-based solutions are generally a suite of applications with some very important added functions. They can now give you a real-time, leveraged picture of your business operations – by collecting, storing, managing and interpreting the data derived from product planning, manufacturing, market, inventory tracking, payment and delivery.

One powerful tool is Impact360, a system with enhanced analytical capabilities; it integrates customer data with your work processes – increasing the retention of your customers while boosting the productivity of your employees. The software you choose should provide a broad insight into your client’s needs and handle most aspects of enterprise workforce optimization. For a contact center, this might include training which is customized to each agent in accordance with your customer base.

Workforce Management (WFM)

Maintaining a productive workforce is vital to anticipating and fulfilling customer needs. There is much more pressure and responsibility […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

January 6th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

Video Analytics In Public Safety

Over the years, video has come to play an integral role in public safety operations. Public and private video surveillance has helped catch criminals and prosecute those who break the law on camera. And the demand for video is increasing, both from first responders and the people that they protect. Video is increasingly becoming an important tool for evidence collection and police accountability alike.

There are several different ways that video analytics can improve public safety.

First, we have basic motion detection. Manually keeping an eye on cameras is a more challenging task than it seems. It’s hard to rely on human ability to stare at screens for hours at a time, and even after twenty minutes, a person’s attention span drops off. So it’s important to have the kind of technology that can detect movement and raise an alarm if there is activity where there shouldn’t be.

And unlike motion detection, video analytics can be programmed to disregard uninteresting or irrelevant changes like cloud cover or blowing leaves. That means that when an alarm is sounded, it’s likely that something truly is amiss. False alarms can be dangerous, because the more of them there are, the more likely it is that the real thing will be treated casually.

But video analytics can do more than simple motion detection. They can also read license plates and be set for even triggers. For instance, if the video picks up loitering at a certain time, that could be an indication of a potential crime about to occur. Video analytics can send an alert to law enforcement on patrol, so that they can arrive at the scene quickly and help prevent the crime or catch the perpetrators.

Video analytics is also used when it comes to homeland security issues. They can identify when a suspicious object has been dropped in an area, or if a car has been parked in a high-security area for too long. These small details might be missed by human error, but with video analytics, the officers and public safety officials have a backup.

And video analytics also help police and other organizations analyze huge amounts of video that they otherwise would have to go through manually, taking an impractical amount of time. Video analytics […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

January 5th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

5 Amazing Apps That are Improving Public Safety

At KOVA, we’re strong believers in the power of technology to make people and cities safer. Over the years, we’ve worked with countless agencies and public safety answering points (PSAPs) to implement tools like KEANS Services, an emergency notification system, and Verint Media Recorder for Public Safety.

One type of technology that’s having a major impact on public safety is mobile apps. Here’s a list of just a few that are making differences for everyone from first responders to citizens.

See Send

This app by My Mobile Witness takes the old mantra “See Something, Say Something” into the digital age. Anyone who downloads the app can securely send pictures and report suspicious activity to state centers run by police and the Department of Homeland Security.

All photos and tips are geotagged, so that they’re routed to the closest security center. This allows police and other public safety personnel to not only receive more tips from the public, but also create specific public alert messages to go out in a geographic area.

SilentPartner

Developed by KOVA Corp., Silent Partner is a mobile recording app for police officers, public safety officials, and anyone else who needs to gather data in the field, away from the office.

SilentPartner turns your smartphone into a secure mobile recording device, allowing users to capture any and all data that their phone can capture, from photos to videos to sound. They they can instantly tag or label that data for easy retrieval later, and then immediately and securely transmit that data to their home office database.

Advanced features of the SilentPartner system include Speech Analytics, which allows software to “listen” to the content of all of your calls. Trends within those calls are then automatically reported, which can help uncover commonalities between cases thought to be unrelated.

This is especially useful for detective bureaus that exist across multiple precincts, because it allows investigators to easily find linked cases. Rough transcription of calls, keyword and phrase searches, and indexing of communications are also options available with SilentPartner.

Mobile Patrol

Mobile Patrol is a public communication app that allows public safety officials and law enforcement to connect directly with their communities. Public safety agencies can use Mobile Patrol to let citizens see lists of recent bookings into detention facilities, release alerts about their most wanted […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

December 21st, 2016|Workforce Management|0 Comments

Best Contact Center Customer Service Quotes From Around The Web

Sometimes you don’t need an entire 1,000 word article to get the point across. Every now and then you just need a reminder of what your actual goals are. Think of it as a concentrated dose of motivation, contained in just a few words. That’s what these quotes are—motivation. Motivation for you and your employees to keep up your level of excellent customer service.

1. Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.

—Donald Porter

2. The way to a customer’s heart is much more than a loyalty program. Making customer evangelists is about creating experiences worth talking about.

—Valeria Maltoni

3. Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.

—Chip Bell

4. You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied.

—Jerry Fritz

5. A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.

—Jeff Bezos

6. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not a single act, but a habit.

—Aristotle

7. In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.

—Doug Warner

8. The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.

—John Russell

9. If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.

—Jeff Bezos

10. Customer service is a voluntary act that demonstrates a genuine desire to satisfy, if not delight, a customer.

—Steve Curtin

And if you’re still looking for some help managing your contact center, then call KOVA today. Our contact center software solutions are perfect for any business looking for ways to improve their customer service.

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

December 16th, 2016|Workforce Management|0 Comments

Public Safety: Keeping the Peace in Trying Times

Bet you thought that The Fierce Urgency of Now was just the cool title of an acclaimed book by Princeton Professor Julian Zelser that hit the streets in 2015. Nope – not by a longshot. In fact, those words were spoken by none other than civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, in a speech on April 4, 1967 for a gathering of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam, held in Riverside Church that evening in New York City.

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

A sorry state of affairs…
Today our nation finds itself in a similar position of frustration caused by too-frequent terror attacks on U.S. soil, and rescue operations held in foreign lands to save underprivileged and abused populations in desperate situations. Not that helping others is wrong – it’s what we do. It’s just that meanwhile Americans are suffering from poverty, job loss, and the inequality that comes from piling blame on those not really responsible for those undercurrents – African Americans and our officers in blue.

Whether the effects of social injustice are due to police carrying the burden of keeping the peace in low-income, high-crime communities – or an overall lack of respect for basic human rights – there is one common thread emerging from the recent volatile events between cops and black lives that matter in this oh-so-hot summer of 2016: patience has run its course and we need to acknowledge the problems and find some solutions, now.

President Obama’s been telling us over the past few weeks, “We’re better than this.” He returned early from peacekeeping talks overseas to offer a speech of consolation to the nation at the July 12th memorial for 5 policemen from Dallas – slain in an alarming ambush by a lone assailant with multiple weapons, a history of mental instability and too much hatred.

“While assigned to protect and keep orderly the peaceful protest and response to the killings of Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge and Philando Castile of Minnesota” – […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

December 9th, 2016|Workforce Management|0 Comments
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