31 May 2018

Meet the ComputerTalk Team: Georgia Coward

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in ComputerTalk

 

Name: Georgia Coward

Function: People Functions

Education: BA English - University of Western Ontario; HRM Post-Graduate Certificate - George Brown College; CHRP - Human Resources Professionals Association



What do you do here?

I am the People Function Lead, which means that I am customer service for all the employees. I do your traditional HR stuff, such as full-cycle recruiting (from campus recruiting to experienced hires), health and safety compliance, benefits and retirement administration, staff performance reviews and profiles, compensations and total rewards (market data, pay scales), planning social events, and a many other ad hoc projects.

What do you like about your role?

I like the variety. If I'm overwhelmed or can't do something right away, I can switch to something else. Being able to work between 5 or 6 different problems or projects works for me as I don't have the patience to work on one task at a time. As well, I like the autonomy. I don’t need to go to Blair [ComputerTalk's Chief of Staff] every 30 seconds to ask if my work is okay for approval because that would slow everything down. She trusts me and lets me run with things, but is always there for support. I talk to a lot of my other friends who work in HR and they are assigned to 4 or 5 tasks for the whole year. They must go to their manager with every draft to get approval, which I couldn't imagine for myself.

17 May 2018

How Gamification Supercharges Employee Performance in the Contact Center

Written by Danielle Wong, Posted in Contact Center, ComputerTalk, Unified Communications

First thing’s first: What is gamification?

According to Gartner, "gamification is the use of game mechanics to drive engagement in non-game business scenarios and to change behaviors in a target audience to achieve business outcomes." By applying activities and this game thinking methodology to the workplace, this can lead to greater contact center results, benefitting both employees and the organization itself. Through leaderboards, points, challenges, and incentives, gamification can help motivate and engage contact center users. For users to be successful in their role, employee motivation is a crucial component to deliver the best experience for their customers.

What is the value of implementing gamification in your contact center?

When implementing new strategies in organizations, the questions always asked are: Is it worth it and how will we measure success? To determine the return on investment, gamification involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) of contact center employees during their shifts. Some examples of KPIs that are measured include the average time contacts spend in queue, the average speed of answer, first contact resolution, total call duration, etc. These KPIs differ from organization to organization, but the metrics are utilized to motivate agents to improve performance by reaching goals and competing against each other.

How will this benefit the organization?

One of the benefits of implementing a gamification strategy in your contact center is improved employee performance. If agents perform well, then the company performs well. Consequently, this leads to organizational growth with their people, products, and service.

02 April 2018

Physical Cybersecurity in the Contact Center

Written by Nicole Robinson, Posted in Contact Center, Unified Communications

 

Modern businesses are obsessed with cybersecurity. And with good reason. By 2021, the damage caused by cyber crime will exceed $6 trillion annually.

You’d be crazy not to protect your business from cyber attacks. We are so concerned, however, with protecting ourselves that we forget about the most vulnerable target of all: humans. Contact centers are extraordinarily susceptible to data breaches caused by human error.

Vulnerability in the Contact Center

Contact center agents use empathy to create successful and positive customer interactions. They frequently make concessions so that customers are left with positive feelings about the business. Customers know this, and they take advantage of it. Sometimes this manifests in relatively innocent ways, when a customer uses anger to score a discount on their phone bill. Many agents are tasked with making customers happy, so they will offer discounts, coupons or even product and service upgrades. The alternative manifestation, however, can be significantly more malicious.

Cyber Attacks Take a Physical Form

Imagine a customer calls in on behalf of their elderly parent. They claim that their parent just set up a phone plan with a new device. The elderly parent has forgotten their password, and the caller needs to login and configure their services. The customer apologizes, but seems exasperated and just wants to help their parent. An agent would imagine that helping this caller is a harmless endeavor, but the reality is much more sinister.

This caller is a type of cyber attacker that uses physical means and takes advantage of human error to steal sensitive information. Using a tactic called social engineering, the caller takes advantage of agents’ empathy, and use the power of conversation to gain access to the personal information of unsuspecting victims. This new type of cyber attack can’t be prevented with firewalls and encryption, so how do you protect your organization and your customers from this?

19 March 2018

The Personalized Contact Center Experience

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Contact Center, ComputerTalk, Unified Communications

In today’s digital world, customers expect flawless experiences across every touchpoint with your organization. The key to a flawless customer experience is relevance.

Your customers are looking for information and interactions that are relevant to them, and they don’t want all the fluff. The last thing they want to do is dig through webpages and IVR menus to find the right person or the right information. Relevance doesn’t just apply to information though. Customers also need relevance in the context of time, place, device and more.

The solution to the relevance problem is personalization. Personalization is the most powerful tool you can use to deliver a relevant experience for customers. At a high level, personalization consists of demographics and behavior. These two categories are then broken down into numerous data points that you will use to better understand the customer. In the digital age, this information is so readily available that we no longer ask the question “Why should I personalize?” The question now is “Why not personalize?

14 March 2018

4 Reasons Global Enterprise Need Cloud

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Contact Center, ComputerTalk

Many global enterprises choose to manage their own technology, and with good reason. When platforms like the contact center are serving thousands of employees and millions of customers worldwide, you can’t afford to miss a beat.

Many enterprises view self-managed, on-premises solutions as more reliable and easier to control. In reality, modern-day cloud solutions are as reliable as (sometimes more reliable than) on-premises solutions. Some of the benefits to the cloud are obvious, such as cost savings, no need to manage infrastructure and reliable high availability. However, when deciding between cloud and on-premises, there are more things for global enterprises to consider. Here are 4 compelling reasons why global enterprises need the cloud:

21 February 2018

Small contact center, big data

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Contact Center, ComputerTalk

Do you know how much data is generated by your contact center? The answer might surprise you. Even the smallest contact centers that field only 100s of calls per day are generating massive amounts of data.

Whether your contact center handles 100 calls per day, or 10 000 calls per day, you have a significant data source on your hands.It’s easy to collect data, but it is crucial that you know how to sift through it and, more importantly, how to use it.

Data sources

The contact center operates in an environment involving various internal and external stakeholders, as well as multiple channels. This means that the enormous amount of data entering the contact center is coming through a number of sources and in many different formats. Here are some of the most common data sources in the contact center:

  • Text-based transcripts, such as email, SMS, and IM
  • Voice call recordings
  • Screen recordings
  • IVR data, including menu choices and information entered
  • Queuing information, such as time spent in queue
  • Data from integration sources, such as a CRM
  • Manual input information from agents

As you can see, there is a significant amount of data flowing in and out of the contact center at all times, from a number of sources. The job of the contact center is to collect all of that information, and to provide tools to optimize business processes by understanding the data. How are you using your data?