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Industry News and Best Practices

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Take advantage of Advance Pricing - $699 for individuals, $200 discount.

 

After 3 years at the Opal Sands in Clearwater Beach FL, this year, CallMiner's 11th annual conference moves 2 degrees South and 2 degrees East to the beautiful blue waters and shores of the Atlantic Ocean. This year's event will be hosted at the iconic Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort conveniently located just 7 miles from the Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL). Margaritaville sits ocean-front on the famous Broadwalk of Hollywood Beach, home to 3 pools, a FlowRider® surf simulator, 4 restaurants, and 349 rooms all 11 stories or higher providing amazing views of the beach, the ocean, and the intercoastal waterway. Despite the casual lifestyle of the hotel's brand identity owner, similar to the Opal Sands, Margaritaville is well appointed,  four-diamond resort, with décor inspired by the lyrics of Jimmy Buffet and in the colors of the sea, sand, and sky.

 

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort

 

And while Jimmy's platinum selling album and title track suggest changes in latitudes drive changes in attitudes, much of the attitude of LISTEN will be retained from the success of previous years. As former SVP of Strategic Accounts at Sitel expressed - LISTEN is not just a conference but rather a community and a movement - a unique gathering of like-minded individuals getting together to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with extracting intelligence from customer interactions. 

 

However as true to our culture of LISTENing and continuous process improvement we have made some adjustments beyond the location, to make LISTEN 2019 our best event yet. Last year's workshops were standing room only, so we've extended first day workshops to include additional free training for analysts and program owners to get the most out the CallMiner Eureka platform. In parallel with the analyst workshops, by your request, we are adding industry specific exchanges. These industry exchanges will facilitate conversations between executives, program owners, and analysts in similar industries to discuss industry specific challenges. Industry exchanges will be scheduled for Collections, Financial Services, Business Process Outsourcers, Retail / Consumer Goods & Services, Utilities & Energy, and others based on demand and registration.

 

Workshops and Exchanges

 

This year we'll be featuring three guest keynote speakers. Kicking off Tuesday is Ross Bernstein, leadership consultant and sports author. Ross will relate sports leadership to winning in business and customer experience. Wednesday we will feature CX consultant and best selling author of several customer experience books, Micah Solomon, followed by Kate Leggett, VP and Principal Analyst and Customer Relationship and Service Strategy Expert, from leading industry analyst, Forrester. Additional thought-leading speakers will include speech analytics pioneer, CallMiner Founder and CTO, Jeff Gallino, and CallMiner Vice President of Artificial Intelligence, Rick Britt.

LISTEN 2019 Keynote Speakers

 

Frequently we have heard that LISTEN offers too many parallel tracks, preventing attendance in some great sessions  (can too much of a good thing be bad?). As a result, this year we have reduced our track count and scheduled more sessions in series to allow for each attendee to maximize their session participation and learning. We'll host a senior level executive track this year, which will feature prominent leaders from various industries sharing best practices in uses of data and analytics, improving employee and customer engagement, and competing on customer experience. Following his keynote, Ross will be hosting an executive session on the Champions Code. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements of executives and organizations participating in this industry's first Executive Exchange.

 

In addition to the Executive Exchange, we'll offer sessions for both Analysts and Program Owners across three different levels of experience and competency, providing content of interest for those just starting out, to those seasoned veterans.  We'll also be introducing the Eureka demo lounge giving attendees an opportunity to interact with CallMiner product experts and relax while taking in personalized demos of the latest and greatest in interaction analytics and conversational Artificial Intelligence.

 Jimmy Stowe and the Stowaways

 

What's a LISTEN event without great networking and social activities? Our new location gives us plenty of opportunities for new networking activities on opening day Monday November 4th, ranging from fun in the sun, to volunteer events helping to support the community. We'll highlight our annual celebration with, what else, a Parrot Head party at the Margaritaville Bar and Grill, featuring Jimmy Stowe and the Stowaways, covering all the Jimmy Buffett favorites and more. In fact Buffett, who has played live with Jimmy Stow and the Stowaways, said of the band, "I gotta say Jimmy Stowe knows ’em better than we know ’em… he does 'em like the records were made."

 

Lastly - bigger and better than ever, returning to LISTEN 2019 is the Escape Room Challenge III. Test your puzzle solving and analytical skills finding clues both in Eureka and within the room. In this year's challenge we pick up on the trail from LISTEN 2018's Escape Room II - adventurous participants will join forces with H.I.V.E's secret team of elite operatives known as the AnT's (Agents in Ties), to undertake in H.I.V.E's most dangerous mission yet: capture and contain an alien menace that threatens to the end the world as we know it!

 

Escape Room III

 

While you may have missed the Early Bird special, for a limited time we are offering Advance Pricing at $699, $200 off the regular event price for individuals. Advance Pricing also allows for an additional 10% of when registering groups of three or more.

 

So what are you waiting for? Book now and reserve your spot at LISTEN 2019 today!

www.listen2019.com/register 

 

Following is a high level agenda to help plan travel.

 

Monday, Nov 4th

9:00 AM

Workshops and Industry Exchanges

 

12:00 PM

Networking, Social, and Volunteer Activities

 

6:30 PM

Welcome Reception / Meet the Sponsors

Tuesday, Nov 5th

8:30 AM

Kickoff & Keynotes

 

11:00 AM

Breakout Sessions

 

4:00 PM

Keynotes

 

6:00 PM

Dinner & Parrot Head Party

Wednesday, Nov 6th

8:45 AM

Keynotes

 

10:30 AM

Breakout Sessions

 

4:15 PM

Closing Remarks

 

Airports

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) - 6.1 Miles

Miami International Airport (MIA) - 25 Miles

Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) - 53 Miles

 

 

LISTEN, Product User Forums, Eureka Academy, LISTEN 2019

Sometimes in life you get handed an amazing opportunity.  Our recent trip to meet with the MSO industry group C5 was such a time.  I was fortunate to join Todd Barber and Ryan Carrigan in Anchorage Alaska for a whirlwind trip.  We spent two days with our gracious and wonderful C5 friends discussing the future and the MSO industry, and on Friday we all stole away as a group to get a taste of Alaska.  

 

Below you will find some of the amazing images from my trip. 

 

CallMiner.com/swag

Hi All,

 

I'm excited to announce that we have launched a Swag Shop to allow you to order custom CallMiner and Eureka Swag.  The shop has been in beta for several months with staff - and based on the logo'd shirts, hats, and other items I'm seeing around the office - the shop is a hit!

 

Rolling out CallMiner and looking to get the team engaged? Seasoned analyst and want to show-off your analytics cool-ness? Grab some swag!

 

Take a look and let us know what you think. We'll also be adding new designs in the future, and evolving the shop with new products based on interest and demand.

 

Visit the shop at CallMiner.com/swag!

 

Swag Shop

Product User Forums

Eureka Academy

UPDATE: New York Date and Venue Selected

 

REGISTER HERE: https://callminer.com/listen-cx-analytics-summit-2019/
Coming to a city near you! - well... specifically Los Angeles (April 24), Chicago (May 7), Dallas (May 22), and New York (May 9). CallMiner is hosting single day summits to get customers and prospects together to network, discuss best practices in analyzing your customer conversations, and hear about the latest in product enhancements released or coming soon to the Eureka platform.

 

Great Venues!

Los Angeles - The Porsche Experience Center.. talk about Speed to Intelligence!

Chicago - The historic Wrigley Field

New York - Time Square Crowne Plaza followed by a reception at SiriusXM studios

Dallas - T&T Stadium - home of the Dallas Cowboys

 

final-map@2.png.png While we're super excited to gather in November for our annual conference this year hosted at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, we figured we shouldn't wait a full year to have the opportunity to get together again. We have far too much news to share - from our latest updates in Coach, to new products Visualize and Capture, to the amazing advancements we've made with AI and machine learning.

 

Each event will have a similar agenda, including featured speakers from our amazing group of customers and partners. We are hosting at some super cool venues as well including the Porsche Experience Center in LA, Wrigley Field in Chicago, and the Cowboys (AT&T) Stadium in Dallas. We hope to see you there, but be sure to register as space is limited.

 

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REGISTER HERE: https://callminer.com/listen-cx-analytics-summit-2019/

 

Product User Forums

Industry News and Best Practices

The Call Centre Helper Technology Awards give recognition to the best products and solutions on the market and help contact centre managers make informed decisions about the technologies they invest in.

 

Award voting ends March 1. Vote today!

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/technology-awards-2019

 

CallMiner was voted Best Speech Analytics Software in 2018 and hope to repeat it this year!

 

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Product User Forums Industry News and Best Practices

We're excited to launch a new space within the CallMiner community - Community Rewards. In this space we'll be featuring special and exclusive offers from vendors for CallMiner Customers who are members of the Engagement Optimization community. Be sure to visit this space to check out the inaugural offer for mortgages and a related up coming webinar.

 

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You can find the Community Rewards space in the Resources menu.

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Be sure to follow the space to stay on top of any new offers posted in the future.

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If your organization has a VIP, friends and family or special discount program, please be sure to contact marketing@callminer.com to discuss how we can place your offer in front of CallMiner customer community members.

 

Community Help & Feedback

Product User Forums

It seems like everyone is talking about artificial intelligence (AI) and how it is effecting our lives at home, at work, as well as how we communicate, shop and consume media. And AI is changing the customer experience! With the capability to not only process data, but predict insights and drive business decisions, AI will be the cornerstone in the future of customer service for customers and your call center agents.

 

Click here to see the full infographic for The Role of AI in Customer Experience.

 

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We are delighted to announce that CallMiner Eureka – our Post Contact Interaction Analytics Suite - has been shortlisted for the 2018 Call Centre Helper “Top 10 Contact Center Technology” awards.  

 

You can help us make the ‘Top 10 list’ by voting for Eureka HERE.

 

It will take you less than 1 minute to cast your vote, and as a result you will help to give recognition to CallMiner Eureka and help other contact center managers make informed decisions about the technologies they invest in.

 

So, if you and those using Eureka can please provide your vote and ask your colleagues to do the same, it would be greatly appreciated. The winning products will be announced in late May 2018.

 

Voting closes on 6th April and we'd love your vote – VOTE HERE!

 

Thank you very much in advance for your support.

Conversational commerce is changing the way customers interact with brands and companies. Younger generations, like millennials, look at the transition as a valuable one because it utilizes technology they rely on every day, their smartphones. Overall, customer culture is evolving, and consumers have a desire for more accessible communication methods that let them interact with businesses when they want and from wherever they are.

 

What is conversational commerce?

The term, conversational commerce, was initially published by Uber’s Chris Messina on Medium and since grown significantly. It refers to the use of messaging apps for shopping, communicating, and overall interaction with businesses. This method of communication gives consumers a way to chat, make purchases, ask questions, and get help from companies without having to call them during specific hours.

 

Some businesses have built-in message systems in their mobile apps, and others utilize Facebook Messenger and chatbots. Most recently, companies such as Dish and Capital One are partnering with Amazon Echo which acts as an interface with individual companies through voice commands.

 

Since the use of messaging continues to rise for personal and business use with more than 1.4 billion messages sent in 2015, conversational commerce is simplifying the customer journey. Businesses that are quick to embrace this new form of communication will quickly establish a loyal following and increase revenue as a result.

 

How will conversational commerce impact businesses in 2018?

While conversational commerce is a step in the right direction for consumers’ needs, there are areas of concerns for businesses to consider. To successfully implement a conversational commerce strategy, each of the below should be reviewed and a plan created by company leaders.

 

1. Analyzing customer conversations at every touch point.

The increase of communication options makes it easier for more of your customers to connect with you, but it also increases the number of conversations your call center agents have on a daily basis. Depending on how you currently track and analyze calls, the influx may create a burden for your quality assurance team.

 

Companies that want to expand customer interactions to more than one user interface need to invest in a call center analytics solution that can automate the tracking process. Analytics solutions automatically capture every conversation including voice, text, social media, and emails and transcribe the information into a central database. The database stores 100% of these customer conversations so businesses can research and identify trends that occur over time.

 

When used successfully, businesses become more proactive at fixing product issues, increasing staffing when necessary, creating new services, and educating their team on best practices.

 

2. An increased opportunity for fraud.

Hackers spend their days looking for new ways to make money. The introduction of conversational commerce gives them just that. But, now instead of trying to hack into an account online or via the telephone, they can now use messaging to access account details.

 

Call centers will need to tighten or create new security strategies to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information. By establishing procedures including ongoing security upgrades for apps and account authentication by the user, they are less likely to experience a cyber breach. Speech Analytics can also help identify behaviors of fraudsters and prevent them from completing transactions.

 

3. A need for new analytics.

In the past, your call center may have tracked customer satisfaction, first call resolution rates, or average handle time. With the increase of messaging to communicate will create a need for new metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).

 

With this new technology, call centers will also need to track which communication methods create the happiest clients, first-message resolution, average response time, and the number of conversations via platforms to properly staff the customer service.

 

What steps can contact centers take to keep up with the transition?

Any business that wants to grow and expand in 2018 and beyond should be looking at conversational commerce today.  Decide how you want to or can integrate it into your existing procedures. Do you already have the avenues in place such as a Facebook business profile where you can build a chatbot through messenger to manage customer purchases and conversations?

 

From there it is important that your brainstorm with your customer service team, managers, and leaders on how it will impact you internally. Will you need additional personnel? Can you move current team members around to fulfill the needs? What type of training do employees need? Will there be any holes in the customer service strategy to consider?

 

Lastly, make sure you have a call center analytics system that lets you track, record, analyze, search, and customize reports that calculate overall contact center and agent performance. This is the one way to understand how conversation commerce impacts your customer satisfaction, revenue, and bottom line.

 

Conversational Commerce is here to stay. The digital avenue it opens for businesses to deliver personalized and speedy service will not go unnoticed in the future of customer service.

 

How have you/do you plan to incorporate Conversational Commerce into your business?

 

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CallMiner CX Intelligence Summit in Boston, April 10

Submissions due Friday, March 16

 

We are excited to offer this opportunity to speak at our upcoming CX Intelligence Summit. We have one remaining 45-minute session open for a great speaker and content.

Please send your proposed session titles and descriptions to marketing@callminer.com by Friday, March 16 for consideration. We will let you know by Monday, March 19 if you have been selected. For your participation we will cover your travel and hotel costs for the event.

Topics should support the event theme – Elevate CX with Intelligent Insight

  • For Customers:
    • Discuss how you have accelerated speed to CX intelligence with Interaction Analytics
    • Use of interaction analytics across channels to improve all areas of the business is a plus
    • Quantifiable results are a plus
  • For Partners and other Subject Matter Experts:
    • Share best practices and trends in measuring and improving customer experience in this age of the customer
    • Share new technologies that assist in better servicing the customer including, but not limited to Interaction Analytics, Voice Biometrics, AI, Bots, Omnichannel engagement
    • Share case studies, examples of your customers or other organizations that are employ any of the above with measured results in better experience

Check out the summit website for full details about the event.

 

We look forward to receiving your proposals!

“I don’t understand how my organization can use speech analytics.”

 

This is a statement I hear often from those who don't have speech analytics, as well as those who do. Speech analytics has the potential to transform an organization and its relationships with customers, but organizations seldom harness its power to make that happen. The reason is the journey to speech begins without adequate planning, preparation and understanding of how to use the technology.

 

Typically, speech neophytes start off by using it to grab low-hanging-fruit issues in an attempt to show ROI. After this fruit is picked, they run out of quick-hit ideas and get bogged down in what to tackle next.

 

Here's what I hear:

  • “My boss told me to start using speech analytics and make it work, but I have no idea where to begin, even after reading the user guide.”
  • “We built out our first project and not really sure where to go next”
  • “We’re struggling to have meaningful impact on the organization”
  • “The executive sponsor who implemented speech didn’t share the vision with anyone and has since left, so nobody knows what to do with it.”

 

Speech analytics isn’t "just" software. Rather, think about it as an innovative methodology that can alter the way we think about solving problems. At least, it has that potential, but newbies get caught up in their limited definition of what constitutes a "problem." Invariably, when I've asked organizations, “What’s your definition of a problem?” the answer I receive is, “A problem with agents.”

 

While speech analytics can solve some agent problems, restricting ourselves only to agent problems devalues its potential. Until we see "problems" as more than just agent issues, we won't leverage the power of speech analytics to solve many other types of enterprise problems. Once this concept sinks in, it will open up a whole new world to you, and speech analytics will become the first tool to reach for – whether it’s a large scale project or quality monitoring.

If you’re new to speech analytics and are beginning to assemble a vision but aren’t sure how speech analytics will fit into your organization, it’s paramount that you craft a blueprint for its use. Otherwise, you might find yourself struggling in only a few months and speech analytics could end up being a piece of shelf ware and that’s a surprise no one wants to see.

 

About MainTrax

MainTrax is a leading provider of speech analytics professional services to organizations that use speech software to improve business results. Visit our website here.

 

WHAT IF SPEECH ANALYTICS DIDN’T HAVE TO BE SO HARD?

 

MainTrax is excited to join Lawson Concepts to announce a NEW one-of-a-kind speech analytics “blueprint that works” workshop that will help take your organization to the next level.

 

 

 

Join us in Chicago June 26-27

 

 

Visit Our Website

 

 

Download Chicago Workshop information (pdf)

Defining BPO Automation

Business process outsourcing (BPO) of operations and responsibilities by companies to third-party service providers is widely employed in the business world. Its main advantage is to increase a company’s flexibility in how it deals with its targets and goals, whether measured through cost or time efficiency, and the practice is typically found in internal business functions such as human resources, finance and accounting.

 

Business process outsourcing (BPO) of operations and responsibilities by companies to third-party service providers is widely employed in the business world. Its main advantage is to increase a company’s flexibility in how it deals with its targets and goals, whether measured through cost or time efficiency, and the practice is typically found in internal business functions such as human resources, finance and accounting.

 

BPO Automation, refers to the application of robotic process automation (RPA) software  and it is a rising force in the field of customer-related services such as contact centers.

 

Examples of BPO Automation in the Call Center

At its core, BPO automation is designed to improve efficiency and productivity, reduce margins and overhead, and increase performance toward targets and goals setup by contact center managers. This is done by reducing the amount of work needed on actions that are consistent and repeatable: automation is most effective when dealing with numerous repetitive tasks. This makes BPO Automation particularly effective in scenarios such as:

 

  • Initial customer contact: this is a time when agents might notoriously struggle to jump from one system (basic customer profile information) to another (prior order histories, current order status etc…). With the right RPA automation workflow in place, the system could reduce the complexity associated with numerous logins, copying and pasting data, and searching for resources in manuals and training notes.
  • Ongoing customer engagement: it is often while trying to make changes to users’ accounts while on the line that agents make mistakes. Trying to update customer accounts based on the outcome of the call, selecting the right upsell, and validating customer satisfaction when they are pleased with the call are all actions that can easily rely on robotic process automation, therefore enhancing the agent and customer experience.

 

Benefits of enabling BPO Automation for Call Center Agents

Interestingly, one area where RPA can help is through by streamlining the management of multiple systems and applications for agents. Below are some of these benefits:

 

  • Retaining customer focus: the repetitive tasks of moving data, checking and re-keying can simply be automated, allowing agents to stay focused on the call and thus improving their customer-focus. The right workflow automation could streamline the amount of systems agents need to juggle during a call, and remedy to customers’ most frustrating complaint, namely: “why are you asking for the same information again?”
  • Improving agent productivity: similarly, an RPA could integrate data into the right fields, freeing time for agents to focus on their goals and targets, therefore elevating service levels and agent productivity.
  • Maximizing data accuracy: By linking numerous systems, automated solutions can process real-time consumer data that is validated and checked accurately, always keeping customer records up to date and error-free. Agents can rest assured that their information is up to date, and they do not have to worry about entering data in the wrong fields, for instance.
  • Empowering agents: far from rendering agents obsolete, the right RPA software can let managers and agent take control of their workflow thanks to intuitive and visual approaches.

 

BPO Automation & Speech Analytics

BPO automation and speech analytics is a powerful duo for further enabling contact centers improve agent performance and the customer experience, boost operational efficiency, improve regulatory compliance and increase sales. Speech analytics automates the Quality Assurance (QA) process and monitors 100% of customer interactions. Rather than having to listen to full recordings of calls, speech analytics automatically transcribes, categorizes, tags and scores all interactions saving staff endless hours of manual QA.

Final thoughts

While most of us think of automation as a technology solely reserved for the manufacturing and robotics industries, the truth is that software automation is now increasingly relied upon in a variety of fields, including contact and call centers. Business process outsourcing seems unlikely to slow down in the near future, and even if the topic is hotly debated by the press, it is still an effective method of increasing company flexibility, reducing overhead and increasing ROI.

 

In conclusion, while some commentators seem to believe that contact centers as we know them will disappear sometime in the future, others are more confident that the skills of agents can never be matched by software. In any case, combining a human workforce with BPO automation and speech analytics could be a very promising answer for call center managers worldwide.

 

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o matter what industry you serve, one thing is certain; call centers can’t deliver a positive customer experience without the right agents in place. Hiring the right team can make or break any call center, but it takes more than just reviewing qualifications during the hiring process. Leadership and management teams have a responsibility to maintain morale and keep agents happy after they are hired.

 

 

When a call center builds a team of trained agents, the last thing they want is for the agent to quit or move on to another company. Agent attrition is an ongoing problem for many call centers across the country. According to Gartner, agent attrition is at its highest during their first 90 days on the job and is a result of being overwhelmed by the responsibilities.  The cost of losing an agent, depending on their experience and responsibilities ranges from $1,500 to $20,000.

 

The good news is that agents are more likely to remain at a call center when they are happy, and studies show that happier employees are actually more productive. Taking steps to create happy employees becomes a significant win for call centers with:

  • Decreased recruitment and training costs
  • Improved productivity
  • Better customer service
  • Increased customer retention

 

The big question is how can call center managers and leaders keep their agents happy? We have put together a list with seven tips to help keep your agents happy below.

 

1.       Skip the micromanaging.

When managers micromanage employees, it can be detrimental to the well-being of any call center. Agents want to feel like management trusts their capabilities. To do that effectively, managers need to have quality leadership skills that inspire employees to perform at their best.

 

Managers can inspire employees by empowering them to make decisions without having to gain approval first. Create a policy that lists the types of decisions call center agents can make on their own. Train and educate them on how to make these decisions effectively. By doing so, a call center increases morale and creates a better customer experience which results in higher profits.

 

Implementing speech analytics software is another way to minimize micromanagement, because the software tracks what is happening in the call center based on your criteria. Managers can review and monitor calls from their office to identify an areas of concern. The software also gives agents access to their call data, giving them the ability to self-manage their performance. If an area of their call receives a low score, they know to adjust without being told which makes them feel empowered and requires less effort from management.

 

2.       Create recognition guidelines.

Recognizing employees for their hard work or going above and beyond is beneficial. But, not every individual likes public recognition. You can recognize employees through rewards, incentives, and public praise. Before you institute a recognition program, it is best to uncover how they want to be recognized. When it comes to negative or constructive criticism, it is crucial these conversations are held privately with the individuals.

 

3.       Schedule team-building events.

All work and no play is never fun. Agents work better when they enjoy what they are doing and build solid relationships with co-workers. Hosting team building events like office luncheons, socials, or offsite events provides agents a place to talk about their lives, let their walls down, and they learn how to better communicate with others on the team.

 

Companies can also increase agent engagement through gamification by instituting a structured game and rewarding points based on data tracked in your speech analytics software. If you want to improve first call resolution rates, you can create a game that rewards agents for certain steps they complete on a call. The points can then be redeemed for certain prizes or activities.

 

4.       Don’t stop educating them.

Agents need knowledge of the products and services you offer. Let’s face it, in today’s fast-paced environment, products and services often change quickly or without notice. Make it a point to continuously offer training, so they don’t get blindsided by customer calls or inquiries.

 

Call centers that use speech analytics can review real-time data about individual agents or the entire agent team. The data provided makes it easier for managers to identify specific areas on which the whole team needs training. Since no two agents have the same amount of experience, speech analytics software also lets managers personalize training for individual agents based on call scoring and monitoring.

 

5.       Create a positive culture.

A positive culture breeds positivity from among agents. When negativity breaks into your environment, it festers and makes team members miserable. To create a positive culture, managers need to model the desired attitude. They also need to proactively minimize negativity by listening to agent concerns.

 

In the past, managers had to manually track agents’ performance or judge them based on a small, random sampling of interactions. Since there was no consistency or evidence of concerns, negative performance conversations could quickly result in a negative assessment of the employee. With speech analytics, managers gain access to objective data regarding performance on 100% of an agent’s interactions, resulting in fairer treatmentof each agent.

 

6.       Promote from within.

Not every member of a call center agent team wants to remain in the same position indefinitely. When new positions become available, giving agents the opportunity to apply and interview for the spot shows that you value their longevity with the company. To make promotions like these possible, managers should constantly be looking for and molding the next leader through knowledge and trainings, so they are prepared.

 

7.       Supply the tools they need. 

There is nothing worse than setting expectations of high-quality and quantity customer service for agents and then not supplying them with the right tools. Up-to-date technology like phones and computers are just one piece of the puzzle. They also need easy access to knowledge bases, customer management systems, and feedback on their performance. Interaction or speech analytics software gives agents access to the information they need to improve the customer experience and gives management objective performance data on each agent to that they can tailor coaching and training to their specific needs. By automating the Quality Assurance process, speech analytics also helps improve contact center efficiency, regulatory compliance, and sales and collector performance, which, in the end, also affects agent happiness and customer satisfaction.

 

Keeping call center agents happy offers many benefits. If you’re currently suffering from high attrition rates, there is no overnight fix to solve the current struggles it creates. Implementing these tips is a good starting point to invoke change in your call center and experience increased productivity, decreased expenses, and create a consistently positive customer experience.

 

What tactics do you use in your organization to keep agents happy

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Employees are arguably the biggest asset of any business. Without the right team in place, businesses can’t properly serve their customers. For call centers, employees are also the biggest expense making how they spend their work time increasingly important to managers. While you can hope that they are actively working every minute of the day, the truth is they probably are not.

 

What is Call Center Shrinkage?

Call center shrinkage is the number of hours an employee is paid but not productively working. Breaks, lunch, meetings, and absenteeism keep agents from their number one responsibility, answering calls. While some of these workday interruptions can be planned for like vacations, others like sick days cannot. Every second an agent spends not answering phone calls directly impacts your bottom line, customer experience, and call center metrics like speed of answer and customer satisfaction.

 

How do you Calculate Shrinkage?

There are two types of shrinkage, internal and external. Internal shrinkage is lost time caused by internal operational choices like mandatory trainings, meetings, and system downtime. External shrinkage includes factors out the business’s control like vacations, sick days, and paid holidays. Shrinkage is used by call center managers to properly staff agents.

 

To calculate shrinkage, you need the following data for the year:

  • Total hours of shrinkage
  • Total hours of available work time

 

When you have these numbers, you can plug them into the below equation:

  1. Shrinkage percentage= (Total hours of shrinkage/ Total hours of available work time) x 100
  2. This will give your shrinkage percentage to use in the below formula when calculating number of agents to schedule:
  3. Number of employees needed/(1-shrinkage percentage)
  4. For example, if you need 100 agents and your shrinkage percentage is 25 percent.
  5. 100/(1-.25)= 133.33
  6. You would need to staff 133 employees to have full coverage of phone calls.

 

How can you Eliminate Shrinkage?

Shrinkage can be deadly to a call center. If there are not enough agents to answer calls, customers get frustrated and hang up before being addressed. This can cost you money and cause a bad reputation if it’s ongoing. As a call center manager, you need to take a proactive approach in reducing shrinkage. Here are six tips that can help eliminate shrinkage:

 

1. Track Schedules.

One way to calculate the amount of internal shrinkage is to require agents to clock in and out while working. The best way to track this is by using a cloud-based application where employees login on their computers. Using a computer based application works best because employees are guaranteed to be at their work station.

 

These apps allow employees to mark when they take breaks, attend meetings, or participate in trainings. Managers can run reports weekly or monthly to see the amount of time employees spend away from the phone involved in alternate activities.

 

2. Break it into Categories.

Tracking employee’s daily activity should be detailed to gain better insight. Within your time tracking app, you can create categories for different types of interruptions. This way you can identify if employees are being pulled away for too many meetings/trainings, or if they are abusing lunch or break privileges.

 

3. Discuss Chronic Absenteeism.

A team is only as strong as their weakest link. Constant sick days and requested time off by one employee can cause problems within the entire team. Identifying employees that take numerous days off is just the start of a solution.

 

Managers should also hold a meeting with these employees and discuss how it impacts the team and business. The underlying cause for call-offs may be a short-term problem. If it isn’t, it is vital that you make a plan with the individual to change it moving forward and hold them accountable.

 

4. Use Analytics Software.

When call center agents spend large amounts of time being pulled from their desks to research or track down information it impacts your efficiency and increases shrinkage rates. You can minimize this with the right customer interaction analytics software because it acts as a central hub for client information, knowledge, resources, and real-time data. This eliminates the need for employees to leave their desks for answers. Analytics software can also help you track less obvious sources of shrinkage – like systems that are not optimized or the causes of high average handle times and long periods of silence on calls.

 

5. Engage Employees.

Keeping employees engaged and excited about their job is especially hard in call centers because of the high stress levels. But, when employees enjoy going to work, feel empowered, and valued, they are less likely to call off unexpectedly.

 

6. Promote Health and Wellness.

According to the World Health Organization, an employee’s health is directly impacted by their workplace. More and more workplaces are promoting and creating a culture based on healthy life choices. When employees embrace these choices, they take fewer sick days and are more focused at work.

Properly managing shrinkage increases productivity, employee happiness while creating a better customer experience and improving your bottom line.

 

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Businesses face a variety of challenges every day from increasing sales to maintaining a good reputation and establishing a team culture. Perhaps, no challenge is as important as creating an exceptional customer experience for individuals that call your business. Manifesting a positive experience for every customer is the key to increasing sales, maintaining your reputation, and retaining great employees.

 

Plenty of businesses know customer experience is essential, in fact, 89% of marketers expect it to be their key differentiator in 2017. Now is the time to find a way to fine-tune your customer experience strategy if you want to stay ahead of your competition. Customer interaction analytics, call management, and IVR routing are some of the solutions businesses use to improve the customer experience.

 

What is IVR?

IVR is short for interactive voice response and is an automated call answering system. When customers call businesses with IVR, they answer a series of questions using voice recognition or their touch-phone telephone keypads. Ideally, the IVR system collects this information to determine the type of the call and routes the caller to the department or individual best-fitted to handle the call.

 

What are the Benefits?

When IVR is set up correctly, it benefits to your business and customers.

 

  • Reduce on-hold time.

IVR routing gives customers options the minute they call you instead of having to wait for an operator to pick up.  In addition, if there is a wait time to connect with the appropriate representative, IVR offers a callback feature. The callback feature lets the caller claim their place in line without staying on the phone. They receive a call when the representative is free from previous calls.

  • Improve first call resolution rates.

There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than calling a business; waiting for an answer, only to find out the answer didn’t help them. In cases like these, customers usually call back angry. IVR helps manage incoming calls, so they get to the individual most qualified to solve their problem.

  • Offer service around the clock.

Some IVR systems automate various tasks or call types without requiring customers to speak to a live agent. You can customize your IVR to share balance information, payment due date, or a website URL where they can find their answer.

  • Personalize every call.

One feature of IVR is the caller id software. Representatives know who is on the phone and why there are calling before they answer. This allows them to personally greet the caller when they answer.

  • Connect customers to the right department.

Collecting information about the reason for the call allows the IVR system to connect callers with the right department and get their question resolved the first time.

  • Increase customer satisfaction.

When calling a business doesn’t seem stressful or require a lot of effort, customers are typically more satisfied with their experience. Satisfied customers are more likely to return for future needs, refer others, and share their experience with others.

  • Eliminate wasted resources.

Time and money are two critical components every business needs to continue to grow. Wasting either can be detrimental to success. IVR systems increase call routing efficiency and eliminate time spent by representatives handling calls beyond their qualifications.

  • Increase company profits.

All of these benefits combined directly impact your business’s bottom line.

 

IVR & Speech Analytics: The Perfect Duo

Some businesses think using either IVR technology will answer all their customer experience struggles. While an IVR system offers many benefits, delivering exceptional customer experiences across the entire customer journey requires more.

 

Speech analytics gives businesses the ability to transcribe all customer interactions into one searchable database. With speech analytics, businesses can pinpoint root cause of each call and trends across all calls without supervisors having to review recording or review entire transcripts. If an influx of calls occurs because customers are struggling with using a new product, a business can quickly identify this. In turn, they can create new product training pieces to fix the issue and eliminate the excess calls.

 

Speech analytics or customer interaction analytics lets you also look at e-mail, live chat, and text messaging. Seeing data from all touch points gives you a well-rounded view of your customer, their needs and their opinions on products and services.

 

Final Thoughts

Your customer experience tells customers exactly what they can expect from you moving forward. If it’s anything less than desirable, your business reputation and success will falter. Adding IVR and speech analytics to your call center operations will improve the customer experience as well as save you time, money, and increase your customer service efficiency.

 

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