CPI's Blog

Inbound Email Best Practices for Your Contact Center

Steve McKinney

Many organizations today are flooded with customer emails. These are important communications from your customers but tracking and responding to them can be taxing and straining for resource-strapped contact centers.

Learn how to efficiently take advantage of the treasure trove of information that comes into your contact center every day through email - plus how to report on it, manage it, and deliver the experience that your customers have come to expect.

Here is a recent webinar where I shared my personal experiences on how the best companies around the world are handling inbound email in their contact centers.

Avoid Customer Servitude - Part 3

Christy Green We’ve been talking about the importance of providing a superior customer experience by making it easy for your customers to work with you. In my last two posts, the first 6 steps I outlined were focused on setting up web self-service and properly optimizing your site to give customers an omni-channel experience. Today’s suggestions are about tracking and measuring, which are equally important, but often overlooked!

Avoid Customer Servitude - Part 2

Christy Green

Last time, I cautioned about turning your customers into indentured servants by making them have to work too hard to get the information they need when contacting your company.

One of the most important things an organization can do for their customers is help them save time. People want to get what they need quickly, in the manner in which they want to get it, then move on with their life. More than likely, browsing your website for 15 minutes to find the information they need, or waiting on hold to speak with a customer service representative is not considered one of their favorite hobbies!

Avoid Customer Servitude

Christy Green A few months ago, I switched to the cable company that everyone loves to hate. Recently as I was paying bills, I realized I’d never gotten a bill from them. So I searched their website until I found the number for customer service (which is quite well hidden). I called at 7:02 pm, only to find out that they close at 7:00. A couple nights later, I called again, only to find out there were “longer than average hold times”. I waited a few minutes then gave up. On my third attempt, I searched for a way to find my account online (bear in mind, I had received nothing from them. No bills, no email, nothing). Somehow from the website they were able to identify me by my location, which was pretty cool, and after a bit more effort on my part, I found they had assigned me an email address and were sending my bills to that account! Which would’ve been OK, if only I’d known about it! To make matters worse, three months of bills had been sent to that unknown account, which also included installation charges, late fees and a disconnect notice! Adding insult to injury, it took a whole bunch of time and effort on my part to even find this out. Why do I have to work to get my cable bill?

Video: Meet Gen Y - An Intriguing Customer Service Presentation and Panel Discussion

Chris Dellen

Did you know that by 2017, Gen Y will outspend Baby Boomers? This year alone in the U.S., Gen Y will collectively shell out $240 billion. That incredible buying power from such an intriguing generation poses unique challenges for contact centers. How do we provide quick, personalized service to Gen Y? And which communication channels should we be using to serve them? These are real questions that you’re likely struggling with in your contact center. And if not yet, you will be soon!

How to Avoid Pitfalls in your CX Contact Center Overhaul

Christy Green

Improving customer experience is top of mind for most companies these days, but how do you do it? Where do you start?

Considering that consumers are adopting new technology at a faster rate than businesses, and that leveraging new technology will likely be the cornerstone of many CX improvements, the challenge is how to maximize your investment, while also making sure you deploy solutions that are seamless. The book Eight to Great offers some sound advice, based on the experience of thousands of companies around the world.

5 Hot Trends to Accelerate CX in Your Contact Center in 2015

Steve McKinney

Last month I attended an event in Las Vegas with close to 300 Customer Service Professionals to learn and exchange information about “The Modern Customer Experience”. As I listened to the guest speakers from some very large companies with household names share their service strategy for the next two or three years, it became clear that the landscape has changed.

The Omni-Channel Contact Center

Christy Green

While traveling recently, I had to call my credit card company to notify them that it was actually me making those charges outside the country. After wading through their IVR, I put in the requested info to identify myself. Then I was transferred to an agent. Guess what the first thing was I had to do? Provide the exact same info I had just input. That agent couldn’t help me because I was traveling internationally, so they had to transfer me. When I reached the second agent….you guessed it, I had to start all over. All this while making an international call. Unfortunately, this type of transaction wasn’t even an option on their website.

Simple Technique to Reduce Average Handle Time and Increase Customer Satisfaction in Your Contact Center

Chris Dellen

When I visit contact centers and bring up the metric, Average Handle Time (AHT), I receive many different reactions. In one camp, there are those that are completely focused on squeezing every drop of efficiency out of their contact center. In the other camp, there are those who don’t even bother to measure AHT because they want to make sure that agents are empowered to solve their customers’ problems, even if it takes hours (literally) on a call to do it.

Reader's Choice: CPI's 10 Most Popular Contact Center Blog Posts

Chris Dellen

In an effort to continually improve the content we deliver to you, we looked back over the years and compiled our reader's top 10 most popular contact center blog posts.

We invite you to take a minute and explore these 10 posts then share with us in the comments which is your favorite. Every couple weeks when we send you an email, we want to make sure they're helpful and useful to you, today.


6 Keys to Successful Chat Deployment in your Contact Center

Christy Green

Live chat is one of the best ways to get instant communication with a company. In a survey of 2,000 consumers for a 2014 Customer Service Benchmark report from eDigitalResearch, 26% of the survey respondents had used live chat to communicate with a brand within the last 12 months and satisfaction rates were high. 73% said they were 'extremely satisfied' or 'satisfied' with the level of service live chat afforded them. The findings also revealed that 30% of consumers expect live chat to be an option to contact a company.

The 3 Pillars of Workforce Management, Part 1

In my 20+ years of experience in call centers, I’ve learned that Workforce Management is the true backbone of the center. Almost every aspect of what happens runs through the WFM staff – including agent staffing, training, budgets, PTO scheduling and more.

I see Workforce Management in 3 very distinctive but inclusive parts of one another - the Real-Time Analyst, the Forecaster and the Reporting Specialists.

My 2015 Contact Center Non-Resolution Resolutions

Ruth Lochary

Happy New Year! I’m a little late to the party – but, it’s a new year for my 2015 blog posts! The time for resolutions has come and gone. Most resolutions made January 1 are dropped by January 31. So, why am I talking about resolutions? Because there are 3 things I want you to turn into habits for 2015. Don’t just make a resolution – make a commitment!

8 Steps to Make Your 2015 Contact Center Resolutions Stick

Christy Green

The start of a new year often brings new initiatives or other opportunities for transformation. But how often have you seen the effort not bring about the desired results, or even worse, fizzle out completely? How can we implement new processes and procedures and get the change to stick, and bring about the results we want?

The Powerful Benefits of Customer Experience Journey Mapping

Christy Green

Today, customer experience is at the forefront of company strategy across industries worldwide. According to a recent Gartner survey, 89% of companies surveyed plan to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience by 2016. However, fewer than half the companies surveyed rated their customer experience as exceptional today, but two-thirds expect it to be so in two years. In order to thrive in today's customer empowered environment, companies need to deliver the best customer experiences when, where and how customers want it.

6 Best Practices for Implementing Knowledge Management for Your Contact Center Agents and Customers

Steve McKinney

Would your customers get the same answer if they asked two different contact center agents the same question? Would your agent’s response be the same as the information posted on your website, mobile app, or Facebook page?

3 Knowledge Management Lessons to Utilize in Your Contact Center

Jennifer Ball I just finished a rather large internal knowledge management (KM) project and realize that many of you may be going through the same process in your contact center. I followed a simple, yet powerful roadmap that I unexpectedly learned from my physical therapist and thought it may help you in your knowledge management project.

Cybersecurity Awareness in the Contact Center Environment

Carla Kraus

As CPI’s Facility Security Officer, I’m required to take training classes on an ongoing basis. I recently completed a course on Cybersecurity Awareness. I came away with several key tips that can be applied within the framework of how we conduct ourselves in the “cyber” world.

Usually our blog posts focus broadly on contact center operations - centered on improving efficiency, increasing customer satisfaction, and even generating revenue. However, in light of the recent cyberattacks on Chase, Target, and Home Depot, this information is not only relevant to you as a consumer, but also relevant with the type of scrutiny your reps will receive by your customers as they discuss sensitive information.

The Power of Knowledge Management in Customer Service

Steve McKinney

I’m almost out of breathe from running.  No, I haven’t suddenly taken up exercise, although I need to! Rather I’m running from roof top to roof top yelling at the top of my lungs, “Get your Knowledge Management in place." 


CPI Revamps Panera Bread's Agent Desktop - Improving Agent Handle Time by 50%

Chris Dellen

One of the biggest measurements of success we have at CPI is when we have the opportunity to help our customers raise the bar, do something innovative, and sometimes even help them revolutionize their industry.