Contact Centers

Multichannel Experience Most Dysfunctional Aspect of Customer Service
February 24, 2010

Mountain View, Calif. (February 23, 2010): eGain Communications Corporation (OTC BB: EGAN.OB), the leading provider of multichannel customer service and knowledge management software for on-site or on-demand deployment, reported that over 70% of leading North American enterprise businesses were rated "below average" or "poor" in multichannel customer service experience.

Rethink Your (Web-Influenced) Call Center
March 1, 2009

When catalogers and retailers first started to go multichannel, they believed Web-based self-service would be significantly more cost efficient than fielding a full operation of customer service reps at terminals. Over the long haul, they reasoned, humans are more expensive than machines. But like the benefits of the paperless office, many call-center payroll reductions have been elusive.

It’s as if Eddie’s Still There
January 1, 2009

Like many entrepreneurs who launched catalog businesses in bygone eras, the late Eddie Smith, whom I had the pleasure of knowing during the ’90s and early 2000s, stuck firmly to a number of ironclad principles during his 50-plus years at the helm of the National Wholesale catalog.

Outsourcing to Save Call-Center Costs
November 18, 2008

I’ve always been a proponent of in-house call centers, especially as a former manager of one. But times are tough … and changing. Every company today is looking for ways to save money without hurting sales and customer service. As the pressure on businesses to dramatically reduce costs intensifies, look to domestic or offshore outsourcing of some or all call-center and data entry functions as a way to improve your bottom line. Companies can outsource these functions to avoid using capital for new order management and telephone systems. One of our clients recently outsourced 300,000 phone calls offshore, resulting in a substantial reduction in

7 Strategies to Upgrade Call-Center Performance, Part 2 of 2
September 9, 2008

In the final installment of this two-part series on tips to upgrade call-center customer service levels, we continue our coverage of a whitepaper, 7 Innovations to Reinvent Phone-Based Customer Service, from the multichannel customer service and knowledge management software provider eGain, by revealing the final three strategies from the list. (For part 1, and strategies one through four, click here.) 5. Phone-aided Web collaboration. This tactic, browsing the Web while speaking to customers on the phone simultaneously, enables call-center reps to help customers complete online transactions such as form filling and online shopping. At the same time, it trains reps on how to use

7 Strategies to Upgrade Call-Center Performance, Part 1 of 2
September 2, 2008

The rise of electronic communications between businesses and customers over the past decade-plus, albeit a productive one, has resulted in at least one negative side effect: Call-center customer service has suffered. With that in mind, a recent whitepaper from the multichannel customer service and knowledge management software provider eGain, 7 Innovations to Reinvent Phone-Based Customer Service, offers seven fresh approaches to optimizing performance in the call center. This week, in the first part of this two-part series, we’ll present the first four of these strategies. Then check back next week for the rest. 1. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The benefits of implementing VoIP

Are Your Call-Center Reps Performing?
August 19, 2008

When times are tough, B-to-B marketers need to stay close to their customers via their call-center reps. On the front lines, reps hear customer objections, concerns and moods. Marketers will want to stay informed to develop sales tactics and offers that will incentivize that next purchase. As you stay close to your reps, you’ll inevitably discover that some are getting better results than others. Why?
Here are some common metrics you can use to evaluate your inbound call-center reps.
1. Paid time, time ready to receive calls and time on the phone. You’ll be surprised at how much of the paid time gets eaten

Customers More Satisfied With Call Centers
August 5, 2008

According to the Contact Center Satisfaction Index 2008 report, overall customer satisfaction with commercial call centers is up slightly, to 72 percent from last year’s 70 percent. The online survey, conducted the CFI Group using the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index, polled more than 2,200 participants who called a call center within the previous month and interacted with a customer service representative (CSR). Here are some more findings of the report: * 95 percent of customers who have a satisfying call-center experience will do business with the same company again, compared to only 35 percent of dissatisfied customers; * 92 percent

8 Tips to Improve Call-Center Productivity
July 15, 2008

I visit at least one catalog company each week as part of my job. I always ask for the tour — it’s my favorite part of the visit. More often than not, I’m shocked at the overall state of many companies’ call centers. Some offices are downright slovenly, and the average customer service rep couldn’t care less about his job or the company. The employee time clock mentality prevails. Business owners and managers too often complain, if not openly joke, about how difficult it is to find good people for call-center work at $10/hour. I often find myself standing there trying to be polite,