Index of All CCP Publications

Contact Center Pipeline's Publication Index gives you instant access to our entire library of articles, whitepapers, reports and more from the contact center industry. This is the most complete online resource available anywhere. Browse the directory for your subjects of interest by choosing from the options below.

By default this listing includes all available publications, so you may want to restrict the list by choosing from the options below or by selecting an item from the drop-down menu under Pipeline Publications.
            
1360 Items Found
 

Article Excerpts    October 2015 

Executive Talk Interview with JoAnn Morency

By Linda Harden

Contact Center Pipeline's Linda Harden sits down with JoAnn Morency, founding board member, NECCF, at the 2015 NECCF Vendor Forum.

Article Excerpts    October 2015 

Executive Talk Interview with Michael Pace

By Linda Harden

Contact Center Pipeline's Linda Harden sits down with Michael Pace, Principal, Pace of Service at the 2015 NECCF Vendor Forum.

Article Excerpts    October 2015 

Executive Talk Interview with Michael Pace

By Linda Harden

Contact Center Pipeline's Linda Harden sits down with Michael Pace, Principal, Pace of Service at the 2015 NECCF Vendor Forum.

Article Excerpts    October 2015 

Executive Talk Interview with Kristi Holcombe

By Linda Harden

Contact Center Pipeline's Linda Harden sits down with Kristi Holcombe, Director, Workforce Management, Travelers, at the 2015 NECCF Vendor Forum.

Article Excerpts    September 2015 

Executive Talk Interview with Mark Kantor

Contact Center Pipeline's Linda Harden sits down with Mark Kantor, Operations Support Team Lead, Lego, at the 2015 NECCF Vendor Forum.

Article Excerpts    September 2015 

Executive Talk Interview with Stacey Swim

Contact Center Pipeline's Linda Harden sits down with Stacey Swim, Contact Center Manager, Unum, at the 2015 NECCF Vendor Forum.

Article Excerpts  Agility Factor  June 2015 

Prepping for Next Year’s Budget

By Jay Minnucci

The annual staffing budget process is one of the most dreaded activities of the year—and one of the most important. How to get the most from your prep time.

Coming
Soon

Article Excerpts    June 2012 

Observing the Customer--Customer Service

By Cliff Hurst

Article Excerpts    June 2012 

Observing the Customer--Inbound Sales

By Cliff Hurst

Article Excerpts    June 2012 

Observing the Customer--Outbound Sales

By Cliff Hurst

Article Excerpts    March 2010  People management

Delivering Hope for Haiti

By Jeff Shearer

Deloitte’s CallCenter team recently volunteered its skills to serve the Haiti earthquake relief efforts. During the “Hope for Haiti” telethon, the Deloitte team took more calls in two hours than the CallCenter usually receives in a typical 24-hour day.

Article Excerpts    November 2009  Operations management

Contact Center Compensation Trends

By Susan Hash

Review the 2009 compensation rates for select positions and inbound contact center management salaries.

Article Excerpts    November 2009  Technology

Sales: Technology is the Great Enabler

By Lori Bocklund

Technology is helping centers in a variety of vertical markets to drive more value from their contacts. Check out these innovative ways that contact center technology supports cross-selling/upselling and the best practices they enable.

Article Excerpts    November 2009  Training and development

The Power of Accelerated Learning

By Rebecca Gibson

Boost training effectiveness by actively involving staff in the learning experience. Guidelines for embracing an accelerated learning approach that puts the learner front and center and promotes self-discovery and interaction.

Article Excerpts    October 2009  People management

Ideas for Affordable Contact Center Incentives

By Susan Hash

Ideas for developing staff incentives on a tight budget. The most effective rewards often don’t cost a lot.

Article Excerpts    October 2009  Strategic management

Outsouring in Today's Contact Center

By Jay Minnucci

Red flags to watch for regarding your outsourcing decisions and five tips for help making the right vendor choice if you do decide to outsource.

Article Excerpts    August 2009  Operations management

Sample Budget Top Page

By Jay Minnucci

Sample summary page to accompany your budget to explain in a snap shot your staffing request.

Article Excerpts    August 2009  Training and development

Seven Tips for Effective Training Emails

By Rebecca Gibson

Use these seven tips when creating training emails for your staff to make them more effective.

Article Excerpts    August 2009  Operations management

The Cost of Cutting Costs

By Jay Minnucci

Cuts in staffing may have some unintended consequences. Here are a few items that all decisions makes should know prior to cutting staffing levels in the contact center.

Article Excerpts    August 2009  Strategic management

Customer Surveys: Three Steps for Actionable Feedback

By Susan Hash

Follow these three recommendations for setting up an effective survey process.

Article Excerpts    August 2009  Training and development

Considerations for New Hire Training

By Kathleen Peterson

Despite the number of agents or the way training is delivered, consider these essential activities.

Article Excerpts    July 2009  Training and development

Cross Selling Techniques: How Do You Find the Right Fit?

By Wanda Sitzer

A three step formula to teach your agents a way to uncover customers' needs and make an offer that fits those needs.

Article Excerpts    July 2009  Operations management

Perceived Social Networking Roles Vary by Company Size

By Susan Hash

Results of a study by Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4CP) on the corporate risk of social networking technologies.

Article Excerpts    June 2009  People management

Quality Monitoring: Back to Basics

By Rebecca Gibson

Five fundamental back-to-basics strategies for your QM program.

Article Excerpts    June 2009  Technology

Unified Communications and Web 2.0

By Lori Bocklund

The contact center, unified communications and Web 2.0 support customer interaction.

Article Excerpts    June 2009  People management

The Impact of Agent Retention

By Kathleen Peterson

Do you have high turnover? Five factors to consider.

Article Excerpts    June 2009  Strategic management

The Impact of Word of Mouth in the Web 2.0 World

By Susan Hash

Five key points in quantifying the ROI of word of mouth.

Article Excerpts    June 2009  Training and development

Developing a High Powered Front Line

By Bob Furniss

Communicate to empower: seven tips to support your front line.

Article Excerpts    April 2009  Operations management

Align Service Level Goals with Customer Tolerance

By Tiffany LaReau

How to create a patience scatter diagram.

Article Excerpts    April 2009  Strategic management

No Service: A Seven-Step Journey

By Susan Hash

Take the journey through these seven steps to a proactive, zero-based approach to service.

Article Excerpts    April 2009  Operations management

Real Time Queue Management

By Tim Montgomery

Five attributes of the best "real time customer" call centers.

Article Excerpts    March 2009  Operations management

Staffing Models

By Lesley Vereen

Using staff models to illustrate impact of staff cuts on service.

Article Excerpts    March 2009  Technology

Optimizing Technology

By Lori Bocklund

List of tips for optimizing technology at each phase in the project lifecycle.

Article Excerpts    March 2009  Operations management

First Call Resolution

By Marilyn Saulnier

Strategies to improve FCR performance and techniques for measuring it.

Complete Issues    June 2017 

Blending AI with Human Support

By Susan Hash

Practical applications of AI in the contact center.

Complete Issues    May 2017  People management

Agent Retention

By Susan Hash

Contact center are still grappling with the age-old challenge of retaining entry-level staff. A look at recent findings and tips for closing the revolving door.

Complete Issues    April 2017  Operations management

Disaster Planning: The Human Factor

By Susan Hash

Support your contact center’s most important asset before, during and after a disaster.

Complete Issues    March 2017 

Elements of a High-Performing Culture

By Susan Hash

New insights on how to create an environment that inspires great work.

Complete Issues    February 2017  Strategic management

Agents Unscripted

By Susan Hash

More contact centers are empowering agents to go off script to deliver personalized, authentic experiences.

Complete Issues    January 2017  Strategic management

The Year Ahead: 17 on ’17

By Susan Hash

It’s the start of a brand-new year. What’s happening in the near future for contact centers? What should we keep an eye on in the next 12 months? We asked 17 industry experts to share their thoughts.

Complete Issues    December 2016  Strategic management

On the Road to Customer-Centricity

By Susan Hash

More organizations are making the move from talk to action. Where do most lie on the customer experience maturity curve? A look at the road behind, the journey ahead and actionable insights.

Complete Issues    November 2016  Strategic management

Supporting Digital Natives

By Susan Hash

Is your contact center prepared to engage with this influential customer segment?

Complete Issues    October 2016 

The Digital Workplace

By Susan Hash

Employees today have higher standards for digital technology in the workplace—and they’re willing to bypass jobs that provide substandard technology. How to prepare for a digital workplace initiative.

Complete Issues    September 2016 

Agent Performance Metrics

By Susan Hash

How effective are your performance metrics? Do they align with the organization’s strategic business goals? Highlights from our 2016 Agent Performance Report.

Complete Issues    August 2016  People management

Agent Appreciation

By Susan Hash

Recognize your agents on a regular basis. 15 ideas for showing frontline staff how much you value their contribution.

Complete Issues    July 2016 

How to Build a Great Culture

By Susan Hash

A great culture is the driving force behind employee engagement, high performance and, ultimately, customer loyalty. Seven culture lessons from contact center industry veterans.

Complete Issues    June 2016 

Upgrade the Self-Service Experience

By Susan Hash

Customers increasingly turn first to self-service to answer questions or solve problems. Trends, innovations and tactics for giving customers what they value most: Time.

Complete Issues    May 2016 

Customer Communities

By Susan Hash

Cultivating your own branded community can help to build stronger social relationships that will deliver value for your customers and the business.

Complete Issues    April 2016  People management

Employee Advocacy

By Susan Hash

An empowered and impassioned workforce can help to enhance your company’s reputation and engagement with customers.

Complete Issues    March 2016 

Contact Center Skills and Compensation Trends

By Susan Hash

Contact centers are in the midst of significant strategic and technological changes that will have a lasting impact on its workforce. A look at the evolving environment’s impact on roles, skill sets and compensation.

Complete Issues    February 2016 

Texting with Customers

By Susan Hash

You don’t need an app for that! Savvy businesses are adding live-agent SMS conversations to their customer service channel mix.

Complete Issues    January 2016 

Digital Customer Care

By Susan Hash

Consumers increasingly seek the ease and convenience of digital and social media channels to find basic information. A look back at a few companies that have successfully leveraged digital touchpoints to proactively respond to their customers’ information needs.

Complete Issues    December 2015  People management

Agent Development

By Susan Hash

Offering ongoing learning and development opportunities for your frontline staff is vital to the health of your contact center. Strategies to retain and grow your top performers.

Complete Issues    November 2015 

Personalize the Caller’s Experience

By Susan Hash

Complete Issues    October 2015 

Quality Monitoring

By Susan Hash

Is your QM program evolving to meet the needs of a fast-changing contact center environment? Industry experts offer best practices and advice for a customer-centric approach.

Complete Issues    September 2015 

Training Agents for Social Customer Care

By Susan Hash

Complete Issues    August 2015 

Hiring High-Performing Agents

By Susan Hash

Does your current hiring approach predict which candidates will thrive in a contact center role and which will fail? Tips, tools and techniques for smarter hiring.

Complete Issues    July 2015  Strategic management

Using Customer Insights to Drive Engagement

By Susan Hash

Key takeaways from Engage 2015, Verint’s Global Customer Conference.

Complete Issues    June 2015 

The Omnichannel Journey

By Susan Hash

Industry solutions providers offer insights on the omnichannel evolution and how it will impact your center.

Complete Issues    May 2015 

Cultivate a Companywide Customer Service Mindset

By Susan Hash

Ideas for getting buy-in from above, within and beyond the contact center.

Complete Issues    April 2015 

Nurturing Part-Time Staff

By Susan Hash

April 2015 Issue, Feature: Nuturing Part-Time Staff. Advice from top customer care and support center leaders on how to engage and retain part-time agents.

Complete Issues    March 2015 

Rewarding an Age-Diverse Workforce

By Susan Hash

Complete Issues    February 2015 

New-Hire Retention

By Susan Hash

Do a high percentage of your new agents leave within months of being hired? Practical points for retaining new talent through the critical first year.

Complete Issues    January 2015  Operations management

Creating a Customer-Focused Culture

By Susan Hash

Does your company culture support the type of behaviors that deliver great service? A look at the framework for building and sustaining a customer-centric culture.

Complete Issues    December 2014 

Customer-Friendly Privacy Practices

By Susan Hash

Customers have good reason to be concerned about how their information is being used and protected. Create a privacy policy and practices that build customer trust and loyalty.

Complete Issues    November 2014 

Improving FCR and Customer Experience

By Susan Hash

Despite the clear impact that first-contact resolution has on the customer experience, most companies find it difficult to measure and manage. A look at the key factors influencing FCR performance and customer experience.

Complete Issues    October 2014 

Adding Value Through Mobile

By Susan Hash

Mobile devices have given customers more control over their time, and higher expectations for companies to be available on their terms. A look at tools and technologies to enhance the mobile service experience.

Complete Issues    September 2014 

Tools to Drive an Empowered and Engaged Front Line

By Susan Hash

Today’s WFO tools can streamline processes and provide agents with a sense of ownership over their work.

Complete Issues    August 2014 

The Social Connection

By Susan Hash

Companies are finding ways to enhance the customer experience by generating excitement and advocacy through social networking. Key takeaways from four organizations that are leveraging social media to add value for customers.

Complete Issues    July 2014 

Create Customer-friendly Self-Service Content

By Susan Hash

Your customers want to use online help. Is your content providing them with the answers that they need—or simply driving frustrated callers to your contact center?

Complete Issues    June 2014  Strategic management

The Contact Center’s Contribution to CEM

By Susan Hash

Complete Issues    May 2014 

Outbound Customer Communications

By Susan Hash

Complete Issues    April 2014 

Multichannel Customer Experience

By Susan Hash

Do you have a strategic plan in place for delivering a consistent customer experience across multiple touchpoints? How to get the internal discussions started.

Complete Issues    March 2014 

Be an Educated Technology Customer

By Susan Hash

What is your contact center technology IQ? As technology grows more sophisticated and the business environment more complex, leaders need to take an active role in technology planning efforts. Vendors are standing by, ready to help you build your technology awareness and get the most value out of your tools.

Complete Issues    February 2014 

Social Service Strategy

By Susan Hash

Do you have an organizationwide plan in place for engaging with customers via social channels? A few important considerations before jumping into the conversation.

Complete Issues    January 2014  Technology

Transforming Knowledge in the Center

By Susan Hash

Is your outdated knowledge base overwhelming agents with too much information? Sometimes less is more. Today’s knowledge management solutions can deliver the one right answer to agents and customers, and do it quicker and easier.

Complete Issues    December 2013 

Managing a Global Workforce

By Susan Hash

Effective leadership in the global economy requires cross-cultural competencies. Learn how to develop a global mindset.

Complete Issues    November 2013  Strategic management

Using VoC to Drive Agent Performance

By Susan Hash

Customers’ expectations for a personalized service experience from knowledgeable agents are driving changes in contact center culture and performance goals, as well as the need for advanced QA and analytics tools.

Complete Issues    October 2013  People management

Proactive Customer Care

By Susan Hash

Is your center frustrating customers by operating in a reactive service mode? A look at techniques, tools and technologies to help you build a proactive customer care model.

Complete Issues    September 2013  People management

Managing a Multigenerational Workforce

By Susan Hash

One size does not fit all when managing today’s multigenerational workforce. Are your policies and practices aligning or alienating the various age groups in your center?

Complete Issues  Feature  September 2013  People management

Managing a Multigenerational Workforce

By Susan Hash

One size does not fit all when managing today's multigenerational workforce. Are your policies and practices aligning or alienating the various age groups in your center?

Complete Issues    August 2013  People management

Feature Article: Social Customer Care Agents

By su and Susan Hash

More contact centers are now including social media as part of their multichannel mix. Industry experts share their insights on frontline skill requirements, hiring and training for social media.

Complete Issues    July 2013  Strategic management

Co-Create an Experience That Customers Value

By Susan Hash

Do you have a company-centric view of your customers? Customer experience co-creation is a collaborative approach that gets customers involved in the process of designing their own experience through interactive and ongoing dialogue.

Complete Issues    June 2013  Strategic management

Feature Article: Mobile Customer Experience

By Susan Hash

As smartphone adoption continues to skyrocket, organizations are faced with opportunities and challenges for using mobile technology to add value for customers. Six companies share their successes and lessons learned.

Complete Issues    May 2013  Strategic management

Feature: Adding Emotion to the Customer Experience

By Susan Hash

What's the next step for high-performance service providers? Designing a customer experience that aligns corporate values and delivers an emotional connection to the brand.

Complete Issues    April 2013  Strategic management

Feature Article: It’s Time for Collaboration in the Center

By Susan Hash

Social networking is transforming the way employees learn, share and work. In a few short years, organizations have evolved from restricting employees’ use of social media in the workplace to embracing its capabilities for connecting, communicating and knowledge sharing.

Complete Issues    March 2013  Technology

Feature Article: Embracing Mobile Chat

By Susan Hash

Mobile is increasingly the device of choice for consumers. But while smartphones and tablets continue to grow in popularity, companies need to do more to engage customers who use their apps and mobile-enhanced websites. Live chat offers one option for providing a quality experience.

Complete Issues    February 2013  Strategic management

Feature Article: Social Media Customer Care

By Susan Hash

As more customers share their complaints, concerns and praise via social channels, companies are shifting their strategies from monitoring and listening to support activities. A look at three brands that are using social channels to drive higher levels of customer engagement.

Complete Issues    January 2013  People management

Feature Article: Gamification in the Center

By Susan Hash

Today, many companies are turning to gamification to enhance training and drive desired behaviors. It’s a growing trend, but one that is often misunderstood by the business community. Applying the right goals and incentives is critical to translating points and badges into higher performance and a successful program.

Complete Issues    December 2012  People management

Feature Article: Getting a Handle on Agent Turnover

By Susan Hash

To avoid a talent shortfall in the coming years, contact center leaders will need to think strategically to develop an agent retention program that aligns with the corporate culture, brand and customer experience vision. It starts by understanding the underlying issues that contribute to turnover.

Complete Issues    November 2012  Strategic management

Feature Article: Choosing the Right Metrics: Avoid 8 Common Mistakes

By Susan Hash

As contact centers add new channels to their mix, leaders are rethinking metrics and goals. Are your metrics driving performance, efficiency and value? Advice from our experts on how to make smart decisions and avoid the common pitfalls.

Complete Issues    October 2012  Strategic management

Feature Article: Social Customer Care

By Social Customer Care

Consumers have embraced social media as a communication channel and are using it to reach out to companies for help with their service issues. Unfortunately, most organizations are not prepared for a two-way conversation and are lagging far behind customers' expectations.

Complete Issues    September 2012 

Feature Article: Acting on Customer Insights

By Susan Hash

Organizations are swimming in data, yet contact centers are struggling to overcome internal barriers that block the ability to analyze and act on customer insights. A look at challenges and opportunities for driving value from customer insights.

Complete Issues    August 2012 

Feature Article: Adding Value with Live Chat

By Susan Hash

As consumer preference for using chat continues to grow, so, too, are the number of contact centers that are adding it to their channel mix. Chat providers share tips for enhancing the channel’s efficiency, quality and the customer experience.

Complete Issues    July 2012  Strategic management

Feature Article: 10 Reasons Why Employee Engagement Fails

By Susan Hash

Numerous studies have shown a strong link between employee engagement and high productivity, customer loyalty and profitability—yet the majority of U.S. employees are not engaged. Why aren’t companies doing a better job of driving it? A look at 10 top challenges.

Complete Issues    June 2012  Strategic management

Feature Article: Driving Customer Experience Across the Enterprise

By Susan Hash

Align your organization's touchpoints and support functions under a common customer experience mission.

Complete Issues    May 2012 

Feature Article: Making Work-at-Home Work

By Susan Hash

Work-at-home programs have evolved into an integral part of a corporate culture focused on flexibility and work-life support for frontline staff. Five companies with longstanding work-at-home programs share proven practices for success.

Complete Issues    April 2012 

Feature Article: Drive Continuous Improvement on the Front Line

By Susan Hash

Empower frontline agents to be proactive problem-solvers. Key learnings from leading-edge service providers who know firsthand the power that a continuous improvement culture has on customer satisfaction, quality, employee engagement and business performance.

Complete Issues    March 2012 

Feature Article: The Value of Training

By Susan Hash

Does your company view staff training as an expense or an investment? Align agent development programs with corporate goals and initiatives to get the funding that you need.

Complete Issues    February 2012 

Feature Article: Create a Branded Service Experience

By Susan Hash

Companies spend millions each year on marketing and advertising to create specific consumer perceptions and expectations about their brand’s personality. Yet, most contact centers undercut those efforts by delivering a generic service experience. Branding experts offer insights on how to create a unique and memorable service experience that is aligned with your company’s brand promise.

Complete Issues    January 2012 

Feature Article: Is Chief Customer Officer in Your Future?

The C-suite's growing focus on customer experience is paving the way for service leaders to take a seat at the executive table. A look at the key competencies that will help to position you for the chief customer officer role.

Complete Issues    December 2011 

Feature Article: Getting Top-Level Support

Does the C-suite really see the value of the contact center? Industry experts offer advice on how to adopt a strategic approach to address high-level pain points.

Complete Issues    November 2011 

Feature Article: Best Practices in Web Self-Service

In recent years, leading-edge organizations have set the bar for a more customer-oriented approach to online self-service. Top service providers share their insights for delivering self-service applications designed to enhance the customer experience.

Complete Issues    October 2011 

Feature Article: Contact Center Motivation

By Susan Hash

Dispel economy-based fear and anxiety by building a positive and productive work environment. A look at contact centers that motivate their frontline staff through empowerment, collaboration, recognition and fun.

Complete Issues    September 2011  People management

Feature Article: Home-Agent Best Practices

By Susan Hash

Interest in work-at-home programs is on the rise worldwide. Overseeing home-based staff requires a shift in management style for contact center supervisors. Four contact centers share their best practices, recommendations and lessons learned.

Complete Issues    August 2011 

Feature Article: Balancing Quality and Productivity

By Susan Hash

Customer interactions are growing increasingly complex, often requiring longer handle times as agents take a more consultative approach to resolving issues. A look at five service providers that are delivering high-quality customer experiences while streamlining call-handling processes and keeping costs in check.

Complete Issues    July 2011 

Feature Article: Curing Absenteeism

By Susan Hash

Poor attendance is a symptom of a deeper disorder in the center that stems from disengaged agents, low motivation and plummeting morale. To identify and address the underlying causes, take a holistic approach that begins with staff involvement.

Complete Issues  Feature  June 2011  Operations management

Feature Article: Contact Center Metrics

By Susan Hash

Welcome to the 21st century! Have your metrics evolved along with your center's customer experience and business goals?

Complete Issues    May 2011 

Feature Article: Take a Proactive Role in Customer-Centric Alignment

It's time for contact center leaders to take the lead in driving customer experience goals across the organization. Learn how to expand your role and cultivate key leaders to help you hone your strategic focus.

Complete Issues    April 2011 

Feature Article: Agent Skills Development

There is no doubt that today’s contact center environment demands a highly skilled workforce. Learn how to engage your frontline supervisors and agents to drive continuous growth and learning.

Complete Issues    March 2011 

Feature Article: Complying with the FMLA

It has been nearly two decades since the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted. While organizations have improved their understanding of the law, managers are still largely challenged when it comes to properly administering it in the contact center. Common mistakes that can put your company at risk.

Complete Issues    February 2011 

Feature Article: Finding the Value in Home Agents

A well-defined home-agent program can offer remarkable benefits in staffing and scheduling flexibility. Find out where contact centers are realizing the greatest benefits, as well as common oversights that cut into your cost savings.

Complete Issues    January 2011 

Feature Article: Managing Generation Y

By Susan Hash

Are you a Gen X or Baby Boomer manager struggling to get through to your 20-something agents? Gen Yers have been characterized as high maintenance, but they can also be a high-performing workforce for those who know how to manage them.

Complete Issues    December 2010 

Feature Article: The Changing Face of Service

The digital age is reshaping the way customers engage with companies. What do changing mobile and social networking preferences mean for contact centers? Find out how to align your service strategies with today's demand for anywhere, anytime, instant communication.

Complete Issues    November 2010 

Feature Article: Leading Customer-Centric Change

Contact center leaders with the ability to embrace change and align disparate functions will play a key role in helping their organizations to thrive in the post-recession economy. Learn about effective change-management practices for driving customer-focused initiatives.

Complete Issues    October 2010 

Feature Article: Managing Seasonal Call Volume

If your center deals with seasonal surges in call volume, it can be a challenge to make sure that the right resources are in the right place at the right time. Read about eight options for handling periods of peak demand.

Complete Issues    September 2010 

Feature Article: Managing a Distributed Workforce

Over the past few years, contact centers have been dealing with an increasingly distributed workforce. Advancements on the technology side can ensure a seamless workflow, but without regular face-to-face interaction, managers often find it difficult to communicate effectively with their remote agents and build a team-oriented culture. Industry experts offer tips for staying connected with distributed agents.

Complete Issues    August 2010 

Feature Article: Multichannel Feedback

To provide consistent service delivery across contact channels, organizations need to consolidate feedback sources to develop a unified view of the customer. A look at the barriers and challenges facing today’s multichannel organizations.

Complete Issues    July 2010 

Feature Article: Employee Engagement

The key drivers of employee engagement may differ from company to company, but the direct correlation to customer engagement and profitability has been proven at companies that recognize the value that their front line provides. A look at two companies whose employee-centric practices generate passion for customers and continuous improvement among their workforces.

Complete Issues    June 2010 

Feature Article: Retaining Top Performers

A dismal job market has curbed contact center attrition over the past couple of years, but multiple studies have indicated that as many as 60% of employees are planning to look for — or are already looking for — a new job in 2010. Contact center leaders offer ideas on how to retain top talent.

Complete Issues    May 2010 

Feature Article: Adding Sales to Your Service Culture

Companies have gotten smarter about the technology they use to support sales in the contact center, but most have not managed to make a successful cultural transformation from service to sales. A look at where centers are going wrong, and advice for making a smooth transition to a service-and-sales environment.

Complete Issues    April 2010 

Feature Article: Executing CEM Strategy

Recent research shows that organizations are experiencing a significant disconnect between developing a customer experience management strategy and actually implementing it. Read about the top challenges and what some companies are doing to drive customer experience process improvements in the contact center.

Complete Issues    March 2010 

Feature Article: Getting Social with Customers

Some companies are taking innovative approaches to social media that are transforming their businesses and culture. A look at five companies that are on the leading edge of customer-focused social strategies.

Complete Issues    February 2010 

Feature Article: Driving Process Excellence

Increasing the contact center’s performance often requires an in-depth look at inefficiencies and errors that take place in other areas of the company. Find out how contact center leaders are identifying these service barriers and driving an organizationwide focus on the customer experience.

Complete Issues    January 2010 

Feature Article: Recruiting for Retention

Contact centers can expect increased competition for skilled service staff in the post-recession labor market — and skyrocketing attrition for those lacking solid programs to retain both new and veteran agents. Industry experts offer strategies to help you meet your recruiting and retention goals.

Complete Issues    December 2009 

Feature Article: Contact Center Performance Measures

Contact centers are poised to play a key role in building customer value — yet most still rely on cost-efficiency metrics to drive performance. Learn about shifting business priorities that are impacting call center KPIs.

Complete Issues    November 2009 

Feature Article: Contact Center Compensation Trends

Short-term survival tactics are giving way to long-term growth strategies as organizations shift their focus from cost-containment to value and revenue generation. A look at the impact that more customer-centric priorities will have on contact center roles and pay.

Complete Issues    October 2009 

Feature Article: Low-Cost Agent Incentives

Effective incentive programs don’t have to cost a lot, and the return in increased performance and employee satisfaction can be substantial. Contact center leaders share tips and advice for creating low-cost incentives that keep your frontline staff engaged and motivated.

Complete Issues    September 2009 

Feature Article: Frontline Customer Care

Creating a strong service culture that enables your front line to act as customer advocates takes a shared vision, customer-centric metrics, communication and, importantly, a quality supervisor-employee relationship. Contact center leaders share their advice on how to set the stage for service excellence.

Complete Issues    August 2009 

Feature Article: Make Customer Feedback Actionable

Do your customer feedback methods provide input that is actionable and targeted toward improving the service experience? Contact center leaders offer essential advice on enhancing the process for collecting, analyzing and communicating the customer’s story.

Complete Issues    July 2009 

Feature Article: Safeguarding Customer Data

A data security breach can cripple your organization -- costing an average $202 per compromised customer record, as well as long-term lost revenues due to increased customer churn. The No. 1 weakness in corporate data security is people. Learn how mobile devices and social networking can expose your company to data theft.

Complete Issues    June 2009 

Feature Article: The Impact of Word of Mouth in the Web 2.0 World

Social media provides a powerful platform for customer complaints. Anger and frustration fuel the desire to rant to an audience -- and one irate customer can do irreparable damage to a company’s image. Find out how leading companies are taking control of the online buzz about their products and services.

Complete Issues    May 2009 

Feature Article: Evolve Reactive Service Practices into Proactive Customer Care

Break free of the complaint center image by reinventing the contact center’s role within your organization. Find out how to position your operation as a value center through the elimination of common errors and complaints, partnering with internal departments, developing a proactive service model and instilling the appropriate behaviors in your front line.

Complete Issues    April 2009 

Feature Article: Maximize the Value of Self-Service

Do your self-service channels offer consistent service that enhances the customer experience and supports your brand? Learn how leading organizations are working to understand their customers’ preferences, simplify self-service transactions, get customers to the right resources quickly and provide value-added services and information.

Complete Issues    March 2009 

Feature Article: Driving Performance in a Weak Economy

Most organizations are currently in survival mode, yet it’s during challenging times like these that leaders should be evaluating customer initiatives and looking for opportunities to emerge from the recession at the top of their market. Learn strategies for maximizing value and generating long-term success.

e-Newsletters    October 2012 

Designing a Customer-Centric Culture

By Janet LeBlanc

Culture is one of the most difficult organizational attributes to shape, change and evolve. Leaders play a critical role in creating and driving the architecture of their organization's culture. Here are five dimensions leaders need to influence when building a strong customer-centric culture.

e-Newsletters    October 2012 

Quick Tips to Leverage Technology for Training Efficiency

By Susan Hash

Fixing a business or performance problem is an effective way to demonstrate the value of training. But, in some cases, the process that needs to be fixed is the training itself. In her work with call centers, Rebecca Gibson, a contact center solutions consultant with Interactive Intelligence, sees a lot of inefficient training practices that contribute to wasted resources, time and budget.

e-Newsletters    September 2012 

Linking Customer Experience Metrics to Compensation: How to Set Effective Targets

By Janet LeBlanc

Every employee in the organization should have a customer experience metric on their performance scorecard, specific to their area of responsibility. This approach ensures that employees understand that improving the customer experience is “everyone’sresponsibility.” Furthermore, setting an overall corporate goal, such as a customer loyalty score or index, reinforces the message that employees must all work together to ensure an improvement in the end-to-end customer experience.

e-Newsletters    September 2012 

Three Compelling Trends in Home Working

By Michele Rowan

Contact center home working is predicted to grow 30% per annum, according to industry analysts. As more organizations implement home-working programs, some new and compelling trends are emerging.

e-Newsletters    August 2012 

Basic Training for New Team Leaders

By Mike Aoki

"Congratulations! You have been promoted to acting supervisor." It was 1993 when my manager pulled me aside and gave me the good news. I was thrilled at the chance to lead a contact center group, but I was also nervous. I was a top-performing agent, but I had never managed staff until now. Unfortunately, there was no training program for new team leaders at this company. I had to learn everything by trial and error. It was frustrating and counterproductive. I felt like I had been set up to fail.

e-Newsletters    July 2012 

Managing Onsite and Remote Staff: Tips for Building a Strong Team

By Susan Hash

Over time, all work groups develop norms, which are the rules and expectations (either formally or informally established) that guide the team members' behaviors. One area that is often overlooked when establishing the team's ground rules is how the individual members interact with and communicate with each other. Without agreed-upon standards for communication, unproductive norms may develop over time, such as team members not responding to a colleague's email, or thinking that it's OK to be a few minutes late to a virtual meeting.

e-Newsletters    July 2012 

Three Guidelines to Enhance Performance Management

By Rebecca Gibson

In too many contact centers, performance management is a checklist activity that managers and agents don't spend much time thinking about, except when goals or evaluations are due. The pitfalls associated with performance management programs can be traced to not spending enough time on the process. Managers who follow these three guidelines will vastly improve the quality of their performance management process.

e-Newsletters    July 2012 

How to Handle a Severe Staffing Shortfall

By Jay Minnucci

Understaffing is a fairly common occurrence in most contact centers, but there may be times when your center experiences a severe staffing shortage. We're not talking about the run-of-the-mill Monday with high call volume and an even higher number of call-ins. We are talking about a staffing situation where capacity is well below required numbers, and will remain that way for an extended number of weeks into the future.

e-Newsletters    June 2012 

The Evolving Contact Center Leader

By Rebecca Gibson

Every contact center leader is—and should be—concerned with staying professionally viable, and predicting the skills and experience that organizations will value next month, next year or five years from now. In an industry with almost daily shifting demands, how can you best align your skills and experience with evolving requirements?

e-Newsletters    June 2012 

Create a Branded Service Experience

By Susan Hash

Companies spend millions each year on marketing and advertising to distinguish their products from their competitors. Yet after spending their time and resources to create very specific perceptions and expectations about their brand's unique personality, most companies undercut their efforts by offering a generic service experience when customers call.

e-Newsletters    May 2012 

5 Best Practices for Reducing Handle Time

By Greg Levin

In successful call centers today, metrics like first-call resolution, quality and customer satisfaction have replaced average handle time (AHT) as the key performance indicator.

e-Newsletters    May 2012 

Getting Top-Level Support for the Contact Center

By Susan Hash

Over the years, I've had the chance to speak with many companies that are recognized as leading service providers within their industries. These companies stand out by putting their customers and frontline staff at the forefront of their processes and policies through demonstrated practices (think deeds, not words). One thing that all of these customer-centric companies have in common is top-level support for the contact center—that, and happy contact center leaders.

e-Newsletters    April 2012 

Coaching the Coach

By Jay Minnucci

Our coaches occupy the most critical blocks on our organizational charts. Wedged between those who set the policies for handling customers and those who carry out those policies, it is our coaches—supervisors mostly, but also trainers, QA staff and others—who translate objectives to behaviors.

e-Newsletters    April 2012 

How to Support a Fearless Work Environment

By Susan Hash

There is a great deal of fear in the workplace these days. The turbulent economy is affecting employee attitudes, creating fear and anxiety about budget cuts, layoffs and wage reductions.

e-Newsletters    April 2012 

Connecting Onsite and Work-at-Home Agents

By Susan Hash

Home-based contact center staff often miss the social aspect of being in the workplace. And while the isolation of working at home can be a difficult transition, onsite staff also must adapt when a center launches a home-based program.

e-Newsletters    March 2012 

Balancing Quality and Productivity

By Susan Hash

As customers increasingly choose self-service options for simple tasks and inquiries, agents are now handling more complicated calls that typically require problem-solving skills, a more consultative approach…and time. The industry's longtime reliance on handle time as a performance metric has created the perception among agents that speed trumps quality—and unfortunately, many employee scorecards and performance appraisals seem to support that view.

e-Newsletters    March 2012 

Curing Absenteeism

By Susan Hash

If your contact center's absenteeism is out of control and you're looking for a quick fix that will get your agents to show up for their shifts, then you're out of luck. High absenteeism generally is an indicator of a much larger problem that stems from disengaged agents, low motivation and poor morale.

e-Newsletters    January 2012 

Rethinking Contact Center Metrics: The Problem with Averages

By Susan Hash

While the contact center environment has evolved a great deal over the past decades, some metrics have not. Many centers focus on metrics that have been in place for years without considering whether they still make sense for the current business environment.

e-Newsletters    November 2011 

Driving Process Excellence

By Susan Hash

Identifying the barriers that lead to a poor customer experience (and increased traffic to the call center) requires an enterprisewide review of customer touchpoints and call drivers. Here is a brief look at three contact centers that are successfully driving end–to–end process improvements to ensure the optimal customer experience.

e-Newsletters    November 2011 

Agent Skills Development

By Susan Hash

Many contact centers have seen their training budgets slashed in recent years, crippling their efforts to expand the frontline's skills and deliver a consistently high-quality customer experience. While some organizations still don't realize the ROI that training provides, leading service providers understand the impact that knowledgeable contact center agents have on the customer experience.

e-Newsletters    September 2011 

Surviving a PR Nightmare

By Jay Minnucci

Every contact center should have a comprehensive recovery plan for the "typical" disaster. Not every worst-case scenario, though, fits the definition of a "traditional" disaster. Many events can ... have a disastrous impact on performance results, customer loyalty, employee satisfaction and/or revenue.

e-Newsletters    September 2011 

Home-Agent Programs

By Susan Hash

While the advantages of home-agent programs can be very appealing, if your model is not well-defined, you'll likely find yourself running into a few stumbling blocks that can make deep cuts in your potential savings. Following are four common mistakes that contact centers make when rolling out a home-agent program, which can lower the ROI.

e-Newsletters    August 2011 

Managing Gen Y

By Susan Hash

Are you a Generation X or Baby Boomer manager struggling to get through to your Gen Y agents? Gen Y employees (those 21 to 33 years old) have been described as the most high-maintenance workforce to date, but they can also be the most high-performing, if you learn what makes them tick.

e-Newsletters    July 2011 

7 Tactics for Optimizing Your Quality Program

By Greg Levin

Like it or not, quality monitoring is an absolute necessity in contact centers—and when carried out well, a truly valuable one at that. Trouble is, many contact centers struggle to get the most out of their quality monitoring efforts, or worse, don’t bother to formally monitor at all.

e-Newsletters    July 2011 

From Customer Service to Customer Experience

By Tim Montgomery

Contact centers play a critical role in the customer experience; however, it is important for organizations to understand that the center is just one piece of a much bigger pie. Progressive organizations are starting to take more of an outside-in approach to the way they are measuring service success.

e-Newsletters    June 2011 

Making the Case for Lower Turnover

By Jay Minnucci

In most contact centers, the executive team recognizes agent attrition as a necessary evil. They know there is some expense associated with it, but the general opinion is that the cost of the cure is likely greater than the benefit. It is your challenge to change that line of thinking. Building a case stands on three credible arguments.

e-Newsletters    June 2011 

Communicating Customer-Centric Change

By Susan Hash

Becoming a customer-centric organization typically requires a culture change that must be driven from the top. A collaborative approach that involves a close partnership with senior executives will ensure that customer-focused objectives have the type of high-level backing necessary to drive them throughout the organization.

e-Newsletters    May 2011 

Supporting Agents through Change

By Rebecca Gibson

Today more than ever, an organization's survival is dependent upon its ability to respond to the near-constant changes that impact businesses from every direction. When it comes to making changes of any kind, from a simple policy adjustment to a complete strategy overhaul, your success rests on how well your agents understand and embrace change.

e-Newsletters    May 2011 

Managing Seasonal Call Volume

By Susan Hash

It's every contact center's mission: Making sure that the right resources are in the right place at the right time. Things get a little trickier, though, when your center deals with seasonal surges in call volume. Whether your peak volume period lasts a few weeks or several months, there are several options to help you smooth out the workload. The following are a few strategies that have worked successfully for many contact centers.

e-Newsletters    April 2011 

Executive Interaction on the Front Lines

By Jay Minnucci

Interaction with the staff is important in most any leadership position, but it is absolutely critical in a contact center. The agent's job success depends on interpersonal skills, and it is the supervisors, managers, directors and top executives who model the desired behavior.

e-Newsletters    April 2011 

Staying Connected with a Distributed Workforce

By Susan Hash

The last few years have brought about a few considerable changes in the way contact centers manage their employees. One of the most significant is the growing proportion of distributed agents—whether they work from home, in other office locations or in satellite centers.

e-Newsletters    March 2011 

Four Key Drivers of Agent Engagement

By Susan Hash

What is it that makes the agents in certain contact centers especially enthusiastic about their jobs and more committed to delivering a high-quality customer experience on call after call? Higher pay alone won’t produce passionate concern for the company’s well-being and dedication to helping it achieve its vision or goals. The following are 4 key drivers found in centers with high levels of engagement.

e-Newsletters    March 2011 

Do you know who I am?

By Susan Hash

What your customers want you to know about IVR self-service. If you can make speech-based, automated phone self-service a success, everyone wins. Costs go down. Customer satisfaction goes up. Everyone gets what they want. But these systems—known as Interactive Voice Response (IVR)—often ignore the very basic tenets of customer service. Callers provide information, are made to wait, listen to irrelevant options, wait some more, only to be asked to repeat themselves. Who wouldn't be frustrated?

e-Newsletters    February 2011  People management

4 Best Practices to Retain Top Performers

By Susan Hash

Many contact centers are not aware of the underlying reasons why their top performers choose to leave. Traditional exit interviews don't offer reliable feedback because they only scratch the surface of the causes of attrition.

e-Newsletters    January 2011  People management

Recruiting, Engaging, Motivating and Retaining Generation Y

Are you a Gen X or Baby Boomer manager struggling to get through to your 20-something agents? Gen Yers have been characterized as high maintenance, but they can also be a high-performing workforce for those who know how to manage them.

e-Newsletters    January 2011  Strategic management

Adding Sales to a Service Culture

By Susan Hash

Companies have gotten smarter about the technology they use to support sales in the contact center, but most have not managed to make a successful cultural transformation from service to sales. A look at where centers are going wrong, and advice for making a smooth transition to a service-and-sales environment.

e-Newsletters    December 2010  Operations management

Executing Your Customer Experience Strategy

By Susan Hash

Most companies agree that ensuring a consistent, high-quality customer experience is essential for building loyalty and growing revenue.

e-Newsletters    November 2010  Operations management

Getting Social with Customers

By Susan Hash

Organizations now recognize that they can't afford to ignore the impact social media is having on customers, brand reputation and revenue. Here is a brief look at some of the social media forerunners.

e-Newsletters    October 2010  People management

Low Cost Agent Incentives

By Susan Hash

In tough economic times, what can you do to inspire your frontline staff and recognize them for their efforts? Fortunately, the most effective incentive programs don't have to cost a lot, and the return in higher morale and increased performance can be substantial.

e-Newsletters    September 2010  People management

Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent

By Susan Hash

Is your current recruiting and hiring strategy the same one that's been in place for the past five or 10 years? If so, you've just uncovered a key reason for high turnover in your contact center.

e-Newsletters    September 2010  Operations management

Create a winning Contact Center

Forget about all the cool technologies designed to "wow" your customers — delivering on the service basics time after time will earn their loyalty.

e-Newsletters    August 2010  Strategic management

Your customers are talking about you

By Susan Hash

Social media provides a powerful platform for customer complaints. Anger and frustration fuel the desire to rant to an audience -- and one irate customer can do irreparable damage to a company’s image. Find out how leading companies are taking control of the online buzz about their products and services.

e-Newsletters    June 2010 

Overcome Interdepartmental Barriers to Process Excellence

By Susan Hash

Identifying the barriers that lead to a poor customer experience (and increased traffic to the call center) requires an enterprisewide review of customer touchpoints and call drivers.

e-Newsletters    March 2010  Operations management

Inside Fedex and Comcast Call Centers

By Susan Hash

Although the recession has taken a heavy toll on employee morale, the increasingly competitive environment has customers expecting an even higher standard of service. What can you do to motivate and enable your front line to strive for exceptional service on every interaction?

e-Newsletters    February 2010 

Maximize the Value of Self-Service

By Susan Hash

Self-service channels can offer an effective alternative for conducting simple transactions and cutting support costs, but the inability to resolve issues on the first interaction remains a top challenge.

Pipeline Articles  Feature  June 2017  Technology

Blending AI with Human Support

By Susan Hash

Practical applications of AI in the contact center.

Pipeline Articles  Agility Factor  June 2017  Strategic management

Differentiator Series, Part 5: Selling and Promoting the Contact Center

By Jay Minnucci

Two steps to help key decision-makers understand the value that the contact center delivers to business success.

Pipeline Articles  Collections Strategy  June 2017  Strategic management

Safeguarding Brand Reputation and Cash Flow in Debt Collection

By Gary Dorman

Each interaction presents an opportunity or risk that can impact revenue recovery and customer relationships.

Pipeline Articles  Idiom Insights  June 2017  People management

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

By Kathleen M. Peterson and Deborah Gefteas

Ideas to liven up the contact center environment and encourage learning.

Pipeline Articles  Industry Outlook  June 2017  Operations management

5 Ways to Attract Tech-Savvy Contact Center Workers

By Tadd Wisinski

The war for talent is prompting contact centers to rethink workplace and location strategies.

Pipeline Articles  Leading Thoughts  June 2017  Operations management

Preparing for a Growth Event

By Charles Driest

Keep your eye on the POST to help your teams manage change—and thrive.

Pipeline Articles  Learning & Development  June 2017  People management

Planning for Disaster: 5 Tips for a Bulletproof Virtual Training Plan

By Benjamin Gertz

Don’t let a technical glitch interrupt the learning process.

Pipeline Articles  Performance Matters  June 2017  People management

Rewarding, Coaching and Goal-Setting

By Brian Burke

Do’s and don’ts for implementing and maintaining a holistic and programmatic approach.

Pipeline Articles  Tech Line  June 2017  Technology

What’s Your Path and Device for Voice Communications?

By Lori Bocklund

Big decisions loom beyond the “cloud vs. premise” debate. Other critical, interlinked decisions focus squarely on voice calls.

Pipeline Articles  The View from the Saddle  June 2017  Strategic management

Homeward Bound

By Paul Stockford

The at-home agent workforce movement is gaining momentum.

Pipeline Articles  Feature  May 2017  People management

Agent Retention

By Susan Hash

Contact center are still grappling with the age-old challenge of retaining entry-level staff. A look at recent findings and tips for closing the revolving door.

Pipeline Articles  Agent Disengagement  May 2017  Operations management

Examining the Myths and Costs of Agent Disengagement, Part 3

By John Goodman

Strategies for getting CFO investment in boosting agent engagement.

Pipeline Articles  Agility Factor  May 2017  Strategic management

Differentiator Series Part 4: Nailing Priorities

By Jay Minnucci

To get the most out of your initiatives, the right sequence matters. How to hone your prioritization skills.

Pipeline Articles  Data Security  May 2017  Technology

The Personalized Service and Data Security Dilemma

By Marije Gould

How do you continue to offer your