A cold, dark January has translated into more time spent reading industry blogs. Pipeline readers kicked off the new year by browsing forward-looking topics on technology, customer service trends, the supervisor’s role, tackling absenteeism and how to deliver bad news.
What to Do When Your IVR Goes Out of Support
As some folks gaze into the future, they see a world filled with smartphones where users routinely text instead of call. With that in mind, they’re reluctant to invest in voice-based technology—especially IVR—given an expectation that its days are numbered. But wait! Phone calls still constitute a substantial volume, if not the majority of contacts, for most centers. And some centers have IVRs that handle a double-digit percentage of their contacts. Their customers would protest mightily if it were taken away. So you can’t just toss out that golden oldie IVR technology just yet.
How to Prepare for 5 Customer Service Trends in 2019
As organizations plan for success in 2019, emerging trends will influence how customer service is delivered. The evolving landscape will drive changes in how customer service representatives are utilized, trained and even compensated. Technology will continue to innovate processes and shift the way inquiries are handled. With new demands, customer service leaders must prepare their workforce.
How to Be a Supervisor in the Modern Contact Center
Company cultures and leadership styles tend to shift over the years as they adapt to the behaviors and expectations of the dominant generation in the workforce. This is evidenced today by a rise in employee-centric values and transparent leadership practices among senior executives across industries (courtesy of the millennials). While the millennial generation’s workplace expectations have influenced leaders at all levels of the contact center, probably the most profound impact can be seen in the frontline supervisor’s function.
Absenteeism Is a Pain
Absenteeism is a pain, we all know that. According to Benchmark Portal, absenteeism equates to 6.48% of all scheduled hours in a contact center. Everyone is looking for a silver bullet to stop absenteeism. A quick Google search brings up thousands of articles with countless ideas for reducing absenteeism. Suffice it to say, there is no perfect solution. When you figure in differences in cultures, customers, contact types, B2B vs. B2C, expectations and leadership, it just gets more complicated.
Please Don’t Shoot the Messenger!
The origin of the phrase “don’t shoot the messenger” comes from ancient times when the only option for communication during wars between kingdoms was the use of human envoys. When one side or the other sought to initiate a negotiation it sent a “messenger.” The messenger carried a white flag and it was customary not to kill the messenger since the message could be “we surrender” or a similar option. Hence, the messenger was allowed to cross the battlefield and meet with the opposing side’s leader, king, queen, emperor, etc. When negotiation was complete, the messenger again passed safely through enemy territory with the response. Unfortunately, there were times when the messenger brought forth an unwanted message and was, in fact, killed in spite of the “don’t kill the messenger” agreement.