Illustration by Eric Jackson

Despite the flurry of holiday-related activities that take place in December, and the crunch time for centers in some sectors, Pipeline readers took the time to check in at the blog for contact center-related tips, profiles, trends, news and advice. The following are the five most-read blog posts for this past month.

Human Touch Still Preferred for Customer Service
Recent research shows that, despite the rise in digital customer service channels and options, 79% of consumers prefer that the human touch remain part of customer service when engaging with brands and service providers. A global study, The Digital Tipping Point: How Do Organizations Balance the Demands for Digital and Human Customer Service, just released by Verint Systems, with support from Opinium Research and IDC, surveyed more than 24,000 consumers in 12 countries and polled more than 1,000 businesses to identify the right balance between digital and human customer service.

Inside View: Nicole Berry, Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc.
The ability to think strategically, solve problems, provide effective feedback and motivate staff—these are the marks of a good leader. What separates good from great often comes down to personal values that are formed early in life. For Nicole Berry, those values are communication, honesty and humility. They compose what she refers to as a “three-pillar system” that drives her leadership approach.

Regifting for 2017
Can you believe it? It’s now seven years since we first dedicated our end-of-year Agility Factor column to our worldwide contact center regifting initiative (actually, it is more like a movement than an initiative). In that time, we’ve cleaned up the basement, storage areas, stairwells and even the roof of our collective contact center. Quite frankly, we’ve done such a good job that I was concerned about our ability to find enough useless stuff this year to meet our regifting quota. I wasn’t even sure where to look, until I stumbled into the kitchen… and, wow, what a mess! How the heck did we skip this in past years???

Getting Closer to the Customer
One of the best things to happen to the contact center in the last 10 to 15 years is the attention placed on customer feedback. Surveying customers used to be an informal activity done by a small minority of centers; today, it is a best practice followed by the vast majority of us. Customers now have a voice, and contact center leaders have direct insight into the service improvements most valued by customers.

State of the WFO Industry
Workforce Optimization (WFO) technology has been a hotbed of activity as buyers and users clamor for new tools and seek to get more out of what they already have. Workforce Management (WFM) and Quality Monitoring (QM) have achieved widespread deployment. Performance Management (PM), agent development, and analytics present the opportunity to not just schedule the right number of people and provide QM scores, but to truly optimize operations.