Jeremy Watkin: Building a CX-focused Contact Center

4 Internal Customer Support Practices for the Modern Contact Center

Thinking back to the early days of my first management role in a small contact center, I can remember one day when a newly-hired customer support agent came over to my cubicle for what had to have been the twentieth time to ask me...

Optimizing Self-Service: 4 Lessons Learned from Our Chatbot Journey

Almost exactly a year ago, I published a column titled How to Optimize Zendesk to Deliver Both Effective and Efficient Customer Support. In my third point about the importance of optimizing your Zendesk knowledge base, I left incomplete exploring artificial intelligence as a means...

How to Optimize Zendesk to Deliver Both Effective and Efficient Customer Support

Just a couple of years ago I was working at a contact center outsourcing company where nearly half of our clients were Zendesk users. Part of my job was to regularly work with our managers and clients to share best practices for implementing and...

Macros Are an Essential Contact Center Tool… if Used Correctly. Here’s How

Macros, canned response, scripts, templates...call them what you want. They boast a number of benefits for contact centers handling text-based support channels like email, chat, SMS, social media, and more, including: Improved speed and accuracy when interacting with customers Reduced time to full resolution Faster…

New Contact Center Leaders, Here are Practical Solutions to Four Problems You’re Likely to...

My first job out of college was as a frontline agent in the contact center for a SaaS startup — and over the next 15 years, I grew into a director role. Ready for a change, I’ve been on an operations hiatus of sorts...

Contact Center Agent Productivity: Do’s and Don’ts of Dual Monitors and Wallboards

Walk into a modern contact center and you’re likely to see screens prominently placed in a couple of different places. Your eyes are first drawn to agent workstations where the typical agent uses not one, but two monitors to interact with customers. On the...

6 Questions to Answer Before Your Contact Center Agents Work From Home

Current events have highlighted the importance of work from home as essential to a good business continuity strategy. And this certainly rings true for contact centers who are challenged to continuously connect with their customers. But work from home as a business continuity solution...

How to Deal with Customer Abuse and Fraud: 6 Recommendations

As a contact center leader for a number of years at a SaaS (software as a service) company, one thing that I’m not sure my upbringing adequately prepared me for some “customers” actively trying to rip the company off. I reserve the term “customers”...

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...

Optimizing the Cancellation Experience: What’s the Right Amount of “Friction”?

In my work with a variety of customer service teams to understand their top contact drivers, especially in relation to customer satisfaction, I often find account cancellations are frequently near the top of the list. Over the course of my career, I’ve encountered company...

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...

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