What's New in In Queue
Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, [email protected]
LiveOps: Life in the Cloud.
With the avalanche of industry information regarding contact centers in
the cloud that seems to find its way to your e-mail inbox every day,
this month we are pleased to welcome LiveOps as a supporter of the
NACC’s efforts to get above the shouting and bring you information
presented in a reasonable and useful manner. For the rest of the
year, we will be working with LiveOps to provide you with hype-free
information about the realities of contact center functions that reside
in the cloud. With a focus on transforming customer service in
the social enterprise, LiveOps provides a multi-channel experience with
on-demand scalability and state-of-the-art applications. To learn
more about LiveOps, click on the banner on this newsletter.
Desktop Analytics. I first started
researching and writing about desktop analytics three years ago and was
fascinated by what I discovered. It seems the industry at large
is beginning to gain an understanding of the benefits of desktop
analytics as well since desktop analytics have shown up on the list of
the top five products to be evaluated for purchase for the second year
in a row. With the announcement of desktop analytics from
Calabrio last month, it is a solution that is now within reach of
contact centers of all sizes. For readers still not completely
familiar with desktop analytics, I have written a brief analysis of how
it works in this issue of In Queue - Look for it below.
Volunteer Membership Drive. Due to some
recent changes in employment that has led to member turnover, we’re
shoring up our volunteer member corps with a summer membership
drive. Becoming a volunteer NACC member is easy. Volunteer
memberships are provided at no cost in exchange for 30 minutes of your
time during the one year membership period. All we ask of our
volunteer members is to participate in our surveys, which typically
take four minutes or less to complete. In 2012, we ran a total of
three surveys. In 2013, we have yet to run a single one!
That will likely change during the summer as we gear up our research
efforts, but we still promise to ask for no more than 30 minutes of
your time during the year.
NACC membership gives you access to reports, our Job Board, business
opportunities as they come to us, and the opportunity to tap into the
membership network for inquiries, advice and review. We promise
to ask for no more than 30 minutes of your time in total to participate
in our brief surveys during the course of the year. It’s a great
deal. If you’d like to join us, send me an e-mail with the word
“Volunteer” in the subject line and I’ll set up your membership.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.
What Do Call Centers And The General Education Development (GED) Diploma Have In Common?
David Butler, PhD., Executive Director, NACC, [email protected]
my travels around the region and country, I cannot help but look at
roadside billboards. With their bright colors and often clever ads,
they are a welcome distraction from the boredom of the road.
Recently, I noticed the same billboard showing up with greater
frequency around the Southeastern part of the U.S. These
billboards feature a set of three celebrities all wearing headphones
and the message was something about the GED diploma.
Since I was traveling a bit over the speed limit the first time I saw
this particular billboard, I couldn’t make out what the GED text was
all about and I wasn’t sure how this all related to celebrity contact
center agents. Unfortunately, my lead foot prevented me from
getting a good read on this billboard several times as I was on a
recent road trip, but last week I noticed the billboard approaching and
I not only slowed down, I pulled off the road and snapped a picture of
When I finally had a chance to examine the billboard in the photo, I
discovered the ad was not for contact center services but was instead
an advertisement encouraging people to get a GED diploma. Excuse
me? How are the contact center and the GED related? This ad
company has it all wrong.
We have collected contact center industry data over the past decade and
a half, so we know that the typical contact center agent has a high
school diploma and some college. For the most part, they are not
GED recipients. To try to clear up the inconsistencies, I Googled
the ad phrase, “GED Peptalk” and discovered that despite the appearance
of contact center agents on the billboard, the billboard itself had
nothing to do with contact centers.
The campaign is being run out of Chicago by the Ad Council. There
are also television commercials associated with the “GED Peptalk” ad
campaign, which you can watch on YouTube. Basically, there
are 13 celebrities delivering their own unique pitch over the phone,
encouraging people to get their GED. The celebrities are posing
as contact center agents, supposedly responding to callers seeking
advice regarding the completion of their high school education.
The celebrities encourage the callers to seek a high school equivalency
diploma, the GED.
What I found interesting about this campaign is that the ad company
behind it apparently believes that the audience would respond well to
the celebrity contact center agent interaction. If we assume that
the ad is targeting a younger audience, this makes the ad even more
interesting. Although the target market is more likely to turn to
apps or text messaging for their communications needs, there is a trust
factor that is associated with a phone conversation, especially when
there is a trusted source on the other end. This not only
validates the importance of the contact center today, it indicates that
contact centers are an ingrained part of the general consciousness of
the younger generation of the American population.
Text Analytics: Contact Center Solution For Everyone
Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, [email protected]
we refer to desktop analytics as a solution for everyone, we are not
exaggerating. I suppose if we look under a few rocks, we may find
a call center or two that still does not provide computer workstations
for their agents, but it is unlikely. The overwhelming majority
of contact center agents and management today rely on a computer
workstation, or desktop, in order to do their job.
Desktop analytics provides an automated means of not only capturing
what the agent is doing at his or her desktop at any point in a
customer service or other transaction, it also captures how the desktop
is responding. Desktop analytics provides what is essentially a
time-and-motion study of what occurs on a contact center agent’s
desktop. By analyzing activities on the agent workstation,
desktop analytics reveals the differences in skills, training,
adherence to rules and motivational variances among agents.
Previously identified only through random quality management recording
reviews, desktop analytics ensures that every movement on the agent’s
desktop is recorded and analyzed.
While at first glance this may seem like yet another technology
solution designed to capture agent “Gotchas” during work hours, this is
not the case at all. It’s true that it can be instrumental in
discovering those agents who succumb to the temptation of Facebook or
other off-limits Internet sites on company time, but desktop analytics
identify system problems that might otherwise go unnoticed unless
reported by an agent.
Besides offering coaching opportunities that can improve contact center
productivity, desktop analytics reveals issues that are often
undetectable. Examples of these issues include error messages on
the agent desktop that disrupt service flow, problems moving
applications that delay call completion, and protracted page rendering
that slows the rate of service delivery. Unless reported at every
incidence, these disruptive system issues often go unnoticed.
In the past, contact center supervisors, managers and executives have
had to rely on monitoring technologies designed to accomplish other
tasks in order to capture some of the problems and issues listed
above. Given the random-by-design nature of most monitoring
technologies, the likelihood of consistently recording instances of
problematic issues is very slim.
Many contact centers spend a great deal of time and money recording and
evaluating voice recordings and creating reports that track the
performance of each agent, agent team, and the contact center as a
whole. Despite the efficiencies gleaned from these monitoring and
analytics solutions, money is being left on the table as more subtle
performance deficiencies go unnoticed. Desktop analytics offers a
means of ensuring these performance deficiencies are identified.
As with many analytics solutions, advances in platform design are
bringing costs down to the point where these solutions are now
available to contact centers of all sizes. Last month Calabrio (www.calabrio.com)
introduced a desktop analytics solution that resides on their workforce
optimization solution, functioning in concert with their speech
analytics solution for the small-to-medium sized contact center.
Advanced analytics solutions are now within the financial reach of all
customer service organizations regardless of size.
The appeal of text analytics likely has to do with the fact that it can
be administered and used without any special training and the results
are immediate, leading to a typically rapid return on investment
(ROI). It automates what is usually a labor-intensive review
process and identifies performance deficiencies in both the agent
population and the contact center’s technology solution. As
evidenced by the demand for desktop analytics revealed by our 2012
year-end survey of NACC members, it is a solution whose time has come.
Call Center Comics!
If you like this comic and would like to see more, write Ozzie at [email protected] and visit his website at http://callcentercomics.com/cartoon_categories.htm
or just click on the comic to take you to his page. The NACC
appreciates Ozzie letting us use some of his comics in our newsletter.
To view past issues of In Queue, please click here.
If you would like to contribute to In Queue, please reply to this email with "Contribute" in the subject line.
Copyright 2013 National Association of Call Centers