Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Barriers to Omnichannel Customer Communications

Posted by Richard Snow on Jun 11, 2013 10:52:11 AM

In never ceases to amaze me, the number of new terms and acronyms the contact center market generates. Just as everyone is getting used to the fact that customers interact with companies through multiple communication channels (multichannel for short), someone invents the term omnichannel and we all have to get our heads around what this means. My research into the contact center in the cloud shows that companies now support on average nearly five communication channels, and although the traditional channels are still the most common, as the chart shows, there are signs that new channels such as chat (used by 37%), social media (29%), text messaging (22%) and video (5%) are on the increase.

Read More

Topics: Call Center, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Customer Service, Echopass, Enghouse interactive, Five9, Interactive Intelligence, LiveOps, Mobile Apps, NewVoicemedia, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Social CRM, Social Media, Unified Communications, Voice of the Customer, Customer Experience, Analytics

LiveOps Improves the Agent Experience

Posted by Richard Snow on Feb 13, 2013 10:26:30 AM

My recent research into the contact center in the cloud shows the typical agent’s life is not an easy one. Agents are expected to handle more types of interactions that arrive through more communication channels as found in our research with inbound, email and outbound in use by more than 74 percent of organizations, meet an increasing number of performance metrics, and leave each caller feeling happy with the interaction. And they have to do this with a desktop that my research shows can only be described as “a mess.” It typically has on it multiple business applications (such as CRM, ERP and knowledge management), multiple systems to access communication channels (phone, email, IM, social media), message boards and performance dashboards.

Read More

Topics: Call Center, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Customer Service, LiveOps, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Social CRM, Social Media, Workforce Force Optimization, Customer Experience, Analytics

Salesforce.com Advances Customer Interaction

Posted by Richard Snow on Aug 2, 2012 10:53:08 AM

Since it was founded in 1999, salesforce.com has been driving other vendors and end-user organizations to rethink how they supply and purchase software. The company has grown from being a supplier of CRM in the cloud to a vendor with diverse offerings that include a development platform, an app exchange, platforms that support marketing, sales and customer service, knowledge management, desktop technology, collaboration, website development, social media support and analytics. Along the way it has also become a powerful marketing machine – which sometimes gets in the way of understanding just what its products do and don’t do, and where they all fit. This obfuscation also extends to its extensive range of partners, where again it is sometimes hard to know who it deals with and how.

Read More

Topics: Business Collaboration, Call Center, Cisco, Cloud Computing, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Customer Service, Interactive Intelligence, LiveOps, NewVoicemedia, Salesforce.com, Social CRM, Social Media, Speech Analytics, Text Analytics, Vocalcom, Voice of the Customer, Customer Experience, Analytics

Agents Performance Management is Hot for Successful Customer Interactions

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 16, 2012 12:23:44 PM

Our benchmark research into agent performance management shows that the majority of companies are not very mature in their use of people, processes, information and technology in handling customer interactions. Companies are most mature is their use of information, but even in this area they are hampered by their failure to use the latest technologies available to support their efforts.

Read More

Topics: Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Cloud Computing, coaching, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Enkata, Envision, Genesys, KnopahSoft, LiveOps, NICE Systems, OnviSource, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Social Media, Speech Analytics, Text Analytics, Training, Verint, Voice of the Customer, VPI, Workforce Force Optimization, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Analytics, Call Copy, Compensation

Cloudforce UK Shows Salesforce.com at Its Best

Posted by Richard Snow on May 24, 2012 11:14:00 AM

When the Salesforce.com marketing machine rolls into town, you have to sit up and listen, and that’s what 14,000 attendees did at the latest Cloudforce event in London. The company took over a vast portion of the ExCel London Exhibition Centre to accommodate the keynote speech, lots of side events and meeting rooms and an expo floor where attendees could see demonstrations of every product and service, including many from partners showing what they have to offer.

Read More

Topics: Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Call Center, Cloud Computing, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Customer Service, Information Applications (IA), LiveOps, NewVoicemedia, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Salesforce.com, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Text Analytics, Vocalcom, Voice of the Customer, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Customer Experience, Analytics, Business Intelligence

It’s Time for the Contact Center To Change

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 26, 2011 4:07:13 PM

Twenty years ago, when I began consulting in the contact center industry, building a call center was a hard, resource-consuming task. Just to begin handling calls required purchasing lots of proprietary equipment, such as PBXs and automatic call distributors (ACDs), as well as software for computer/telephony integration (CTI) and business applications such as case management and CRM – and then spending a lot of time and effort integrating them. Lots of tasks were managed using spreadsheets, and if you wanted anything more than the basic reports available from your PBX/ACD supplier, you would have to budget a great deal more money. Right from those early days, call center managers focused on efficiency and relied on basic metrics such as queue lengths, average call-handling time, hold times and call transfers.

Read More

Topics: Call Center, Cloud Computing, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Contactual, CRM, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Feedback Management, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Customer Service, Desktop Analytics, InContact, Interactive Intelligence, LiveOps, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SAP, Social CRM, Social Media, Speech Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Voice of the Customer, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Customer Experience, Analytics

LiveOps Enhances Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Richard Snow on Nov 27, 2010 1:23:48 PM

I have written a couple of pieces this year about the exciting news that a few vendors are now able to provide companies with a call center they can access in the Internet cloud – Will Cloud Computing Finally Bring Innovation to the Contact Center? and Is a “Contact Center in the Cloud” a Reality? There is currently a lot of hype around any kind of cloud-based computing, and the same is true of the contact center. From my perspective, people should be clear about what this phrase really means. Anyone that has been involved in building an on-premises contact center knows it typically involves integrating complex call-management systems (such as PBX, ACD and IVR) and several computer systems including call routing, call recording, workforce management, CRM, agent quality monitoring and performance management, reporting and analytics. The idea is that calls or other types of interactions are delivered to the company’s call center location and then the combination of these technologies determines the best agent to handle the interaction and delivers it to that person. The contact center in the cloud shifts some or all of these systems to a third party, and the company accesses them over the Internet. The difference is that instead of going to the company’s location, an interaction is directly delivered to the best person to handle it, regardless of whether that person is in another location, in a contact center, in another line of business, working at home or even out of the office using a mobile phone. In addition, users are in control in the sense that rather than depending on in-house IT, they can access the service from anywhere with an Internet connection and get new features and functions without waiting for IT to upgrade.

Read More

Topics: Call Center, Cloud Computing, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Customer Relationship Management, Customer Service, LiveOps, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Customer Experience