Jeremy Watkin: Service Excellence in the Contact Center — People and Technology

3 Ways to Bridge the Gap From Training to Proficient Customer Service

When I started out in customer service nearly two decades ago we had this homegrown ticketing system that was completely archaic by today’s standards. But it had this feature where agents could be placed in “QA mode” so every response to a customer had...

4 Good Reasons to Kill Email-Based Customer Support

I recently sat with a group of customer service leaders who declared that email support was dead for their company. They were turning off their [email protected] email address(es) and instead channeling their customers to phone, web form, text(SMS), chat, and other messaging channels. This news...

4 Tips to Get Value From Contact Center Quality Scores

I have two scenarios for you regarding contact center quality assurance. In the first, imagine a manager or supervisor listening to a phone call and using a set of criteria to grade that call. They then add up all of the points and deliver...

Journey Mapping in the Contact Center: 6 Insights to Maximize the Value

I’ve recently been collaborating with my colleagues to improve customer satisfaction for one of our clients. While our approach has many aspects to it, one of the key initiatives has been to establish a new voice and style for how we interact with customers....

Customer Service Edge Cases. To Empower or Not to Empower?

Have you noticed the change in professional sports television viewing over the past few years where it’s become standard for a rules official, oftentimes a former referee, to provide expert interpretations of the rules and judgment calls in instant replay situations. If you’re not...

7 Essentials for a Customer Service Voice and Style Guide

Over the past few years, I’ve worked with dozens of our new clients at FCR to help them design a quality process for the customer service team that drives the sort of customer experience they want to deliver. Of the many different topics we...

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Support Channels: Which is Better for Agents and Customers?

I’ve found the topic of support channel mix to be an interesting study in organizations. Traditional channels can be categorized a few different ways. Phone and video are live channels that use both spoken and nonverbal communication. Email, not a live channel, is a...

3 Reasons Why Customer Satisfaction Should Not Replace Quality Assurance

Not long ago I saw a demo of a cool product for gathering customer feedback called Stella Connect. They have a fun angle on customer satisfaction where customers are invited to rate their experience with the specific agent that helped them. Customers can then...

Turn Your Contact Center Into a CX Lab

It’s not uncommon at FCR for one of our clients to reward a top-performing agent on the team with an all expenses paid trip to their headquarters. This is one of many ways our clients drive engagement on their outsourced teams — and I...

4 Myths About Chat Support. AI to the Rescue?

A big reason chat has taken hold in the market (setting aside customer preference) is that it promises reduced cost per contact because agents can handle multiple chats concurrently. For the purpose of this article, when I say “chat” I’m referring to all live...

Stay Nimble with “A La Carte” Customer Service Solutions

Just a bit over a year ago my boss approached me and asked me to start an “Emerging Technologies Team” at FCR. This was basically license for a few of us to watch a lot of sales demos and get familiar with the variety...

Quality Scores: Are They Really Necessary?

Pretty much every contact center on the planet has some sort of a quality assurance process — or so I learned when I contracted with an outsourcer a half dozen years ago. Since going to work for an outsourcer, I’ve been witness to dozens...

The CSAT Conundrum: Making Customers Happy vs. Limiting Concessions

In a previous role, I remember when we switched our sign up from an opt-in model to opt-out. This change led to many calls from surprised customers, sometimes months down the road, who didn't realize we were going to automatically bill their credit card....

Incentive Programs for Service Agents: A Pre-Implementation Checklist

As a contact center leader, I’ve tried it all when it comes to motivating agents. I’ve done gift cards, bagels, pizza parties, games, leaderboards, and trophies all in an effort to get my team...

4 Tips to Avoid the Customer Service Mistakes I Made 10 Years Ago

I had been managing a support team for a few years when my employer partnered with an outside group on a new business venture called Phone.com. In 2007, in the midst of the Global...

Transform Customer Service into a Customer Insight Machine

I’ve spent most of my professional career in a contact center, and let me tell you what us customer service operations folks are really good at. ...

In Customer Service, You Must Choose Between Speed and Wow. Or Do You?

Our client’s customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores were below goal and there was pressure to turn them around. I spoke with members of that team and they cited policies and various product failures as the...

Can Your Quality Assurance Team Really Monitor 100% of Calls? Should It?

A client recently posed an interesting question to our team, asking, “Is it possible to quality monitor...

A Recipe for Consistent Customer Service: 5 Key Ingredients

A customer contacted support because she dropped her beloved Winston and he could no longer stand on his own. She and the support agent discussed various options like fitting him with a peg leg,...

How Machine Learning Can Add Value to Customer Service Automation

It wasn’t long ago that we hosted a webinar for our clients that focused on emerging messaging channels for customer service. The shiny new object in the room by far was SMS chatbots. This...

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