Managing Remote Contact Centers

In the past, customers lost through dissatisfaction with customer-service centers barely were noticed by enterprises. Losses were often offset, or at least rationalized, by cost savings. Now, a loss in top-line sales is inexcusable to most companies — for any reason. While the pros and cons of outsourcing remain a topic of debate, many customer-service managers find themselves grappling day to day with the challenges of managing far-flung contact center operations. “Remote centers are doable, but

No Free Lunch: Why Customer-Service Outsourcing Doesn’t Work

“We’ve got it backwards. In our society we demean customer service and hand it over to the younger-generation workforce or to offshore outsourcing. In India, customer service is a serious career. Here, it’s only sales that really matters,” says Dane Anderson of Meta Group. There is no such thing as a free lunch or cheap outsourcing, says Gartner. The firm predicts that 80 percent of organizations that outsource customer service will fail to reduce costs. “An

Cross-Selling and Upselling in a Do-Not-Call World

“Companies need to evaluate all service touchpoints, including IVR interactions, outbound transactional messaging and alerts, online and offline statements, and online service interactions,” says Forrester’s John Ragsdale. Every interaction with every customer is an opportunity to sell. In early October, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal to invalidate the national Do Not Call regulations. Hefty fines — up to $11,000 per phone call — remain in force. “Consumer privacy Latest News about privacy regulations are

Analyst: Contact Center Belongs to Marketing

Contact centers lose significant opportunities to increase revenue or customer loyalty, because they often get shunted off to the edges of the enterprise, says Richard Feinberg of Purdue University’s Center for Customer Driven Quality. The contact center — once the red-headed stepchild of an enterprise — should be located front and center, and in close relation to marketing. This advice from Forrester Research comes in response to a series of trends in customer service and associated

Contact Centers Under the Gun

Even though the status of the FTC’s Do-Not-Call registry is now questionable, 27 states already have passed laws that regulate consumer calling, and more legislation is pending. Given Wednesday’s ruling by a U.S. district court in Oklahoma City, which says, in essence, that the Federal Trade Commission Latest News about Federal Trade Commission (FTC) did not have the authority to establish its Do-Not-Call (DNC) registry, there is serious doubt as to whether the list will take

Super Bowl Ads Use Web to Maintain Buzz

It’s not often that a CEO begins a quarterly earnings call by talking about a fictional character. But on Wednesday, Reebok’s Paul Fireman couldn’t stop talking about Terry Tate, the “office linebacker” charged with righting injustices in the workplace, which Reebok introduced during its third-quarter Super Bowl ad. The response to the ad, he said, has been overwhelming. On top of a media tour in New York — he decked the “Today” show’s Al Roker for