Time for an SaaS Update?

Cloud Contact Center | TMC Net

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S CUSTOMER SUPPORT SOFTWARE

It’s no secret – and definitely nothing new – a good help desk is necessary in allowing the corporate world to flourish, one business professional at a time.

At smaller companies, Help Desk Support and IT may, in fact, be the same department. But, at larger firms, they are as much the same as night and day. Help Desks are responsible for serving their own internal clientele in the best way possible. They also may serve as the company’s Tech Support department for external customers with incoming concerns with a company’s product lines, services or website functionality. They are often the first point of contact with tech concerns – and many times the only point of contact.

Susan J. Campbell recently discussed how your days are numbered if your differentiation isn’t based on quality service. No matter which audience you’re serving, if you are the first point of contact or the last – your focus better be on quality and maximized performance.

But, how can you do this when your desk isn’t organized and files are thrown all over the place? How can you do this when your own team isn’t on the same page, or when it takes 20 steps to complete just one task? How can better communication take place with your customers if support tickets are continually getting lost?

This most recent shift in cloud technologies and integrations has been teaching us that there are so many new and amazing tech options, helping us do our jobs better and with greater efficiency. Productivity is key. If your time behind that desk is not maximized, you are wasting your own potential.

In a Help Desk setting, we are also able to benefit from the potential that clouds bring to our communications and collaboration activity. Not to mention, cloud technologies are cutting costs to department budgets and are improving speed within the organizations over all infrastructure. Using software environments from 1999 is not going to cut it. In order to evolve your business model, you must evolve the way you are handling business.

If your team hasn’t yet discussed the need for a new direction in Help Desk SaaS (News – Alert), perhaps it’s the right time to start that conversation. Continued improvements to processes are what make a business run more effortlessly and with greater productivity. As the first line of defense, it is your responsibility to provide the company with better support to the outside world.

Everyone’s input is important and everyone on the team makes a difference. Include your team in the discussion for department needs in improving the Help Desk environment. Together, you will want to discuss whether the company needs new customer support software, integration or a whole new environment altogether. Discussing department needs will bring awareness to issues that have been avoided for a long time. Notes should be taken. Processes will be improved. Perhaps solutions such as TeamSupport would actually be an option in helping teams to continue this necessary dialog and eliminate miscommunication. Find out. Start the conversation. 

All stakeholders should feel a sense of ownership. Give everyone the chance to list their needs and which features they would most benefit from in their day-to-day work routine.

Prioritize the items on the list. Eliminate what is not important. Vote on which are the most important and why. These are all tips shared by Information-Age.

Help Desks can consist of both expert and intermediate abilities. What may have been mastered by you 10 years ago may be something new to someone else. Communicate these differences. You may find compromise to be an important factor in this part of process. You may find communication to be an even larger part of that process.

Come to the meeting armed with options. This will allow the team to weigh out benefits and costs of these technologies. Encourage everyone to research solutions beforehand.

In some cases, a business SaaS with a great reputation of updates and integrations is a better solution than a do-it-all platform. Then again, the opposite can be true. What are your needs? Do not pay for what you aren’t going to use.  Focus on the services you need to provide better service to your own customers.

Discuss a minimum feature set and select a solution that will provide you with a better feature-to-budget ratio. Factor in whether or not there is compliance or licensure necessary in using each option. Are there security requirements? What security is included?

Preparing your case to decision-makers will often allow your department to go outside of their budget if the external decision makers find it a good investment.

Always know what you want to do and why you want to do it. Continuous monitoring of system performance will help to validate adoption down the road. It will allow you to enrich the support off your clientele, both internal and external. Process improvements will strengthen this ability and allow your team to better succeed in support. Customers will continue to be satisfied; and your support team will, too.

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Sharegate Escorts Proprietary Information to Enterprise-friendly Platforms

Cloud Contact Center | TMC Net

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S OFFICE365TODAY

At a time when less is becoming more, we’re seeing the tech industry shift to efficiency and centralization. This week, Sharegate released a tool that will most likely gain popularity over the next few months. This tool, like so many others, is promising on better collaboration, communication and productivity. But, most importantly, as cloud-vested as it is, it is focused on ownership and security.

First of all, we need to acknowledge David Roe at CMS Wire for filling us in on the smaller details of this new innovative tool. Next we have to explain why this tool is so important. Let’s break it down.

Sharegate is, in a way, a bodyguard. He’s coming to usher information from Google (News – Alert) Drive, peacefully escorting properties from one user account to a more powerful enterprise account on Office 365. At Google Drive, or Google for Work, these properties were connected and made available through a web of connected users. At Office 365, they will now be stored on a central enterprise cloud with only primary ownership by each user. Sharegate is making sure this data gets to its destination safely – and without getting lost along the way. 

If you’re wondering why anyone would care so much about moving data to the Office365 platform when they are receiving great service at Google for free, then you will have to look at the current business model opposing Google Drive.

At Drive, individual users are owners of proprietary information. Once they delete their account or disconnect themselves from a workgroup, their data is no longer accessible to the team. Additionally, if they delete those files, they are no longer existent. What happens when someone moves on from a company into another position elsewhere – or what happens when someone is fired? They have the power to take that data with them and to disconnect previous shares from each file and drive.

While Google is amazing for the individual user, it is not effective for the enterprise model.

Sharegate is shifting focus by allowing the ownership of these files by individual users, but moving them into possession of the enterprise itself. This bars users, who are no longer part of the company or workgroup, from accessing secure documents and proprietary information. This gives more security to the enterprise systems that have been showing concern where cloud systems are lacking security.

Roe points out one very key fact. Drive was never really meant to be a cloud. In fact, Drive was originally Google Docs and an online storage and device synchronization with open source word processors and spreadsheets. When they partnered with Microsoft (News – Alert), they became Google Drive and increased productivity from within. Competing with Office 365’s new presence in 2014, they became Google for Work through rebranding and focused on collaboration.

With Office 365’s split into a more prominent product on its own, we have been seeing more adoption and partnership from companies all over the Net, as they integrate this product into their own service strategies.  So, again, it comes back to integration.

Not only are enterprise companies given more protection over internal company data, they are also able to integrate with broader product and service lines by using Office 365, as opposed to Google Drive… even if they have to pay a little more to do so. Systems are seeing less breach through this process.

While Google currently reports that over 2 million users are regularly using the Google for Work service, which includes a claim of an estimated 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies, only 23 of over all prominent businesses are actually accessing Drive on a regular basis. While they may have files on the system, most IT departments are slowly migrating files into the new system. The problem is accessibility, inconvenience and time inefficiencies.

A Bitglass report from August 2015 shows a 300-percent growth in Office 365 adoption and utilization by enterprise and small business users with Skyhigh reporting a total 87.3 percent of businesses regularly accessing the system for all their collaboration and file sharing needs.

While 4 million paying enterprise users are said to use Google for single in-app sign on and service features, most of these users are more active on Office 365 according to multiple studies. It is most likely that this four million simply kept their previous accounts, while using Drive for personal and freelance use in their Android (News – Alert) and Google-powered devices.

With Sharegate’s new migration tool, it will be interesting to see whether this influences the reported 4 million still accessing Drive’s current services or if the 2 million active users dwindles down. Making migration more efficient could impact Drive’s adoption and utilization quite drastically.

Will Drive become another Google service that ends up failing them? Most likely not, because they serve the individual user – But, less enterprises will be accessing Drive for their daily operations and collaborative needs. Then, again, Google is already showing signs that they aren’t about to let this happen. The competition begins.

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New York City Will Be America’s First Smart City

Next Generation Communications, IP Transformation, Advanced Broadband Networks, Digital Lifestyles, Eco-Sustainable Telco Solutions, Dynamic Enterprise, Service Delivery Environment, Advanced Broadband Networks, End to End Transformation, Advanced Business Models, Business Transformation, Services Transformation, Service Delivery Platform, Killer Telco Environment and Managed Telco Services

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S NEXT GENERATION COMMUNICATIONS

As smart and responsive cities continue to expand across the globe, LinkNYC has emerged as one of the most innovative moves yet in evolving the New York Metro Area. As the company begins to roll out free gigabit Wi-Fi across the city, we are enamored with everything that comes with it.

A city full of Millennials and the need to accommodate outdoor charging ports, LinkNYC has stepped it up a notch, as they knock out over 7500 payphones around the five-city borough and install multiple technology kiosks in their place. Connected by superfast citywide Wi-Fi, these “Links” serve as information stations, communication platforms and even city directories.

Paid (NewsAlert) for by advertising, Links are powered by highly effective OOH advertising networks and will be sustained on revenue alone. What is said to be a “rich, context aware platform,” all Links will feature digital signage on 55” HD displays and will bring the city over half a billion a year in revenue. These totems, as ZDNet has labeled them, will not be a burden to tax payers, as funding will be generated from partners, supporters and advertisers directly.

Sponsored by The City of NY and CityBridge, personal devices can be used with the systems. USB ports will allow for on-the-go charging and lead the city to become a more efficient and safer place to live. 9-11 will be a short swipe away and public service announcements will be immediately posted to warn passersby of harm in the immediate area.

Each kiosk will have a tablet to access e-mail, browsing the Web and a Vonage (NewsAlert) app for telephone calls. Users will have to provide their own headphones, however, or everyone else nearby will hear the conversation. Tons of new apps are set to rollout over the next ten years and are expected to bring continued innovation to communities all over the Big Apple. Connectivity is said to be 100 or more times faster than LTE (NewsAlert) servicing and standard public Wi-Fi… even at 150 feet away.

CItyBridge, a New York-based technology company, is comprised of technology experts, media professionals and communication groups, who are focusing on connectivity and the user experience. The companies forging together under this entity are Intersection, QUALCOMM and Civiq Smartscapes. The company is led by a parent company, Titan Outdoor. With this powerhouse behind them, Links are now considered “for New Yorkers, by New Yorkers.”

With the growing concern for security and privacy, CityBridge only collects data related to logins and passwords that access their system. And while they do collect complex analytics to better improve and maximize their servicing, data remains anonymous to the user so that nothing will become identifiable to any particular user within the system. Better yet, this information will not be sold.

According to ZDNet, The City of New York will be simultaneously be implementing free broadband service to households all over the city. From now through 2019, a proposed minimum of 100mbps will be delivered through each network and will keep the city connected to the rest of the world.  While directly unaffiliated with Links, power to Link towers will be made possible. The move to implement citywide broadband servicing will cost the city $500M, matched by $500M from a private source. It seems that after Links have been positioned, broadband servicing will pay for it. Now, that’s smart. 

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AT&T & VoLTE Pairs Clearer Calls with Simultaneous Web Browsing

Telecom Signaling, Diameter Signaling, LTE Diameter Signaling, Diameter Signaling Router, Telco Signaling, signaling transfer point (STP), signaling gateway, (SGW), Telecom Signalling, EAGLE Signaling Platform, Signaling System #7, SS#7, SIP, 3G LTE, 4G LTE, 4G LTE-A, VoLTE, VoIP

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S TELECOM SIGNALING RESOURCE CENTER

Combining our favorite features from Facebook, Google Hangouts, Skype and iPhone systems, AT&T has been rolling out its new VoLTE service, which currently reaches more than 27 million subscribers in the United States. Allowing us to engage in improved calling quality, we are now able to utilize our LTE networks while in HD.   

AT&T has been busy bringing simultaneous delivery of LTE connections to our communications needs. Broadening the range of frequency for voice, clearer conversations are now made possible.  This means that you are less likely to hear someone ask you to repeat what you just said. Customers will also be able to switch back and forth between voice and video calling without losing their connection.

While it hasn’t reached all markets yet, AT&T is working diligently to unleash VoLTE “market-by-market,” testing each market before launch and maximizing the user experience before it is widely adopted.

In addition to an improved voice experience, AT&T is implementing three more features to their VoLTE service. One of these include Wi-Fi Calling, as AT&T jumps on the bandwagon with Verizon, who has also recently adopted this form of Wi-Fi communication, as an alternative to users experiencing service outages and interference with servicing in their area. Sprint has already been offering this service for a few years now.

Advanced messaging will also allow users to tell when and if their messages have been delivered across networks, providing more accountability to the system and verifying receipt of important texts that can often get lost in the mix.

Finally, AT&T implements NumberSync into their VoLTE system. Working very much like SimulRing on Vonage and Google Voice through Hangouts, NumberSync will allow users to link compatible devices to a primary mobile number. Not only can calls be routed to several devices, but calls can be made from several devices and appear to be coming from the same mobile number. Text messages are no exception.

Phones that are dead, broken and powered off will continue to ring and ensure that no calls are missed and no texts are delayed. 

While none of these technologies are necessary new, AT&T has combined our most beloved features into a central system for improved calling experiences. With faster speeds being accessible on our devices while on a call and frequencies expanding for clearer calling capabilities, AT&T has a good shot at being one of the most in-demand phone carriers in 2016. Additional mobility will be given to conference calling and business interactions

Unfortunately, while AT&T has already rolled out HD calling to most of the United States, there are many subscribers, who will go without the ability to engage in HD clarity, because they have a device that is incompatible with the feature. It is likely that upgrades will take place in the next few months with subscribers interested in adopting this new service. But, it is not likely to actually happen right away, as much of our population tends to be late adopters, as opposed to early ones.

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How and why Shorty Produkshins is shifting gears in 2016

Shorty Produksins is Internet Marketing Orlando. Brand Social.

As many of you must know, the face of SEO and Internet Marketing is rapidly changing. It’s been almost ten years since we completely evolved into a marketing company. True, we still made music clean up into 2010, but this was done through subsidiary, Shorty’s Playground, after splitting into two separate entities in 2007.

Shorty Produkshins has prided itself on keeping ahead of the competition by being early adopters and evolving our services to meet the needs of our growing audiences. We started as that tiny little studio, consisting of a computer and a closet, and delivered many phases to our most avid supporters. Many of you remember our plaza location and our studio suites. As time evolved and industries became saturated, we evolved. Shorty Produkshins has always given the audiences a “new era in royalty” through this constant growth.

In 2013, we celebrated 10 official years. Innovation and specialization came from the demand of our most prestigious clientele — those allowed to be named and those under NDA. We focused more on our abilities on “streaming,” graphic design, social branding, public relations and event marketing. We also continued to be one of the first to deliver mobile technologies to smaller brands — something we had been doing since around 2010.

Then, rules of event marketing changed.

We once packed audiences to the point they wrapped around blocks to get into our venues. We packed venues so full, people would leave just because there were too many people there. Mixtape release parties often found they didn’t have enough products to hand out to their audiences. We even contributed to many of our larger clientele in having the largest audiences they ever had in their annual events.

Soon, everyone started to adopt the same marketing plan. And, those rules really apply any more. And, let’s face it, if the client has a smaller budget, there is a limit to what can be done in competing against venues with holographs, strippers and free drinks all night long. More focus went on Public Relations, Streaming Shows and Social Branding. Shorty Produkshins soared throughout the latter half of 2014 and on through 2015 by directing attention to where it was most effective!

Focused on the media, owner, Jessica N. Abraham began growing closer ties with many of the media platforms she worked for over the years. She began to realize that these media ties were great in supporting her public relations clientele. With over 16 years of expertise in social branding, this service was only going to be enhanced by combining services with those of the public relations sector. And, then… Shorty Produkshins would change forever!

While we have been engaging in content marketing since around 2001, many companies have realized how effective it actually is. They are beginning to realize the importance of owning a blog and regularly adding content to their websites. They are learning how impactful social shares can be. And, even Google has changed their algorithms to reflect this ideal. Because so many black hat operations have ruined innocent SEO initiative, Google’s new algorithms began focusing more on social impact and content than on anything else.

At Shorty Produkshins, we have already “been there, done that.” We have already done the “expert guest” thing, too. But, what of all of it coming full circle? As a content powerhouse, we are scaling our methods for our clientele in delivering Online and Offline promotions where they matter the most, making them an expert in their field and allowing them to monetize all platforms.

As IT companies are shifting towards all-in-one integrations that promote “productivity, collaboration and communication,” we are enhancing our internal productions, partnering more frequently and communicating to our audiences more. We are making them part of our endeavors. We aren’t just making them part of the conversation, we are making them the conversation. While we will still cater to clientele directly, we are shifting our focus to the community.

We have always dedicated ourselves to the underdog. We made it our mission to serve independent artists, brands and causes. We made it our mission to give audiences something to consume. But, everyone is doing that now. Why be like everyone else?

We have built clout (and Klout) over the years. You have been faithful to us, and we are grateful for that. We have come with a new plan of action in serving you… the everyday person.  In 2016, we shift gears to the community. We shift gears to return the support. In order to continue creating opportunities for you, we must keep evolving us!

In the past, you may have noticed long periods of time that our websites weren’t even finished. This is because we focused on our client’s work, pushing our own work to the back burner. Over the last 13 years, we have been a mostly referral-based company. Our clients speak on our behalf, as they return for more. Our clients have even given us permanent positions within their own companies.

In supporting our past, our existing and our future clientele… in supporting our followers, our lurkers, our true fans… in supporting the customers of our clientele… and in supporting the community, it is time to focus on us… Our true mission.

If you ask Mrs. Abraham-Hogan what makes her continue to do what she does with Shorty Produkshins, she will tell you that it is all the support and loyalty she has gained over the years. It is her hope to create a balance between genuine customer service, the people and humanity.

As society corrupts, she feels a duty in giving the people hope for change. As innovation explodes, she loves being the first to tell you (it’s probably the little kid in her)… As misinformation is spread, she wants to be sure people are educated. She wants to help a young generation succeed and small businesses stay open. She wants to see people reach their full potential and to be a helping hand.

With 2016, it’s not just a new beginning, it’s a chance for transformation… metamorphosis in branding social… And, we just want you to pay attention as we begin to unveil our plan of action over these next few months…. You will NOT be disappointed. Because, you are the reason for it all!

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Business VoIP Enhances the Customer Experience

business voip, fax to email, online faxing, services, free trial, fax, internet, virtual, online, vfax, nextiva, computer, iphone, cell phone, blackberry, mobile

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S BUSINESS VOIP

Cutting costs for businesses, while allowing flexibility to the professional world, cloud contact centers have been becoming increasingly beneficial to enterprises all over the planet.  Not only has cloud collaboration pushed regional boundaries, but it has also cut expenses for travel that otherwise would have meant lost time of department heads and leaders, who are instrumental in leading various teams around the country.

Cloud contact centers allow innovative moves towards conference calling and unified communications directly from the cloud. Business VoIP is made possible through these systems, often saving call centers and business operations up to 60% in costs of traditional phone systems. Additionally, calls can be recorded and save within the system, voicemail accessible directly through a centralized e-mail platform.

Because of cloud efficiency, it has been predicted that 25% of most IT budgets will be set aside for cloud-based systems. Growing from a storage-based technology, professionals have been learning to increase productivity by working within the cloud directly. Because these systems can be accessed across a variety of devices, many professionals are opting to work “on the go,” utilizing tools and communications platforms within the cloud system, where they are also able to store confidential documents and proprietary information.

Quickly connecting consumers with answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, cloud centers are saving the business valuable time, which also translates to money. This also leads to greater profits, as brand trust is adopted with loyalty and tenure.

As time passes, the business model is transformed and continuously upgraded. Business VoIP and IT systems integrating into these cloud-based models are finding that depreciation is almost nonexistent. While integrations will continue to improve systems, outdated equipment is no longer an issue.

With the ability to disseminate valuable information throughout the system at once and because most interactions can now be accessed on demand, there is less of a need to hire multiple trainers to bring employees up-to-speed on new programs and procedures. Increased controls ensure efficiency through shareable content on internal servers.

Again, with a centralized system, valuable information, knowledge bases and case studies can be accessed while communicating with clients, partners and customers, improving the overall experience and quality of interaction.

While more than 13% of all major corporations are still skittish when it comes to trusting the security of cloud-based systems, security is actually increased and customer data is more protected than ever. Not only is it safe from corruption during migrations and depreciating databases, data can be wiped from the devices of employees, who are no longer with the company. 

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The Difference Between Enterprise and Mid-Size Customer Service Solutions and Why Aspect is a Big Deal

Omni-Channel Customer Engagement, Omni-Channel, omnichannel, omni channel, customer engagement, self service, multichannel, mobile customer care

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S OMNI-CHANNEL CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT

As decent-sized business, expanding services to overseas clientele, you might wonder how you fit into “the mix.” Is your company considered a mid-sized business? Or, is it an enterprise? Both come with distinctive needs, and yet it always comes down to whatever it is that the business is looking to achieve.

When understanding which grade of solutions your business requires, take a step back and analyze your business. Identify your direct needs – and what solutions would best help your business to excel. The same is no different from customer service solutions.

What you will find out is quite surprising, really. In a time of productivity and meeting clients where they “hang out” the most, enterprise customer service centers are still primarily phone-based, with agents numbering in the thousands.

While services are scalable, they are usually meant to serve agent populations of over 10K or more. Because many of these call centers are specialized in their line of expertise, they are often preferred in providing vertical customer service solutions.

Enterprise vendors are, slowly but surely, moving away from on-premise solutions and are starting to adopt cloud-based systems. In a way, they seem old-fashioned compared to the mid-sized services that tend to appeal to the more millennial generation. They do provide a plethora of services, including CTI (NewsAlert) integrations, allowing client computers and telephones to interconnect, and agent guidance through the system.

Enterprise customer service solutions also include reporting and analytics, data management and additional case management. Businesses that have been grandfathered into existence or have carved a major chunk out of the marketplace may deem this type of customer service more efficient and cost-effective for their brand. They may feel no need to connect via online platforms with Marketing already controlling a persona amongst audiences online.

While enterprise solutions tend to be more affordable, because they are based on prepackaged pricing, they cost more upfront, as mid-size solutions cost more on the backend. Mid-sized businesses work off of a time-to-value model. Solutions are enabled based on budget, quote or need. Businesses will pay for servicing based on time period for servicing, an outline of scope, a price quote for resources used, upkeep and maintenance, storage and even how large internal teams would become.

Mid-sized customer service solutions, however, tend to get the biggest bang for the buck, serving multiple customers simultaneously in a cloud contact center or work-at-home environment. Dedicated agents number only in the 100s and are available to service customers around the clock and via multiple service platforms, such as social media, mobile delivery and e-mail correspondence, in addition to traditional call center options.

Mid-sized vendors tend to target specific divisions within the organization. Dedicated teams will engage in specific tasks, while much of the solution-based servicing is self-initiated. Cloud solutions allow for internal help desks to access knowledge bases, omni-channel usability and integrated controls. Mid-sized solutions tend to involve more platforms and more automation than enterprise customer service solutions.

Why have all the bells and whistles but no clue how to use them?

Will learning these tools save time and investment in the long run? Or, will they be unnecessary to your organization even if learned? Will it cost a pretty penny to train internal teams to use these tools, or would the company excel having someone else handle your customer service externally? These are the differences between enterprise and mid-sized solutions.

Whether an enterprise customer service experience is taking place or a mid-sized solution, Aspect (NewsAlert) Software has been recently making a name for itself as a business that does more than monitor call center activity.

Aspect combines solutions from both types of servicing to connect agents to solutions, immediately, and better serve customers on the first call. With enhanced customer service features, this suite of enterprise solutions supports high interactivity, automated controls, video and audio integrations, while promoting productivity.

Aspect allows key relationships to be documented and maintained, ensuring each customer receives personalize treatment, where they feel appreciated for their continued business. While enterprise solutions normally aren’t focused on contact center options, the integration will allow for future utilization, as call centers are becoming more focused on how to best serve our millennial generation, who now comprises over $2.45 trillion of our annual marketplace.

Enterprise customer service solutions may find that keeping their current model is not enough, and Aspect helps them stay with the times in caring for audiences of all shapes and sizes. Like mid-sized solutions, enterprise service solutions will need dedication teams for both social and digital customer service needs through larger, more focused contact center systems. 

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Resolve to Keep Your Customers Happy in 2016

Omni-Channel Customer Engagement, Omni-Channel, omnichannel, omni channel, customer engagement, self service, multichannel, mobile customer care

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S OMNI-CHANNEL CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT

As productivity literally falls into our hands, and technologies allow for better integration of our most precious business tools, cloud contact centers are working hard to plan their roadmap for 2016. While some of us have been working diligently through the holiday season, many of are returning to the control boards for the first time since last year!

As we enter 2016, many of us are ambitious and excited about what is rumored to come. We have set goals through resolutions of things we are inspired to achieve – and we will. Aspect (NewsAlert), a developer of omni-channel customer engagement solutions, did their homework. And, they offer us a list of 6 common denominators for contact center resolutions in the New Year:

Reinvent “Cool.” + Become More Available = Enhance the Customer Experience.

These three resolutions play a major part in the potential of one another. In fact, becoming more available on mobile and through social media, the customer experience will be enhanced, improved and more gratifying to the brand enthusiasts.

We are living amongst millennials – those young professionals who never sleep and hate living within the confines of tradition and “normalcy.” For them, it is normal to pick up a phone at 3 a.m. and call customer service. But, customer service isn’t usually available past 8 p.m. on a regular business day. Allowing customers to connect to work-at-home individuals at these hours, however, is not just cool – But, man, is it convenient!

Cloud contact centers are resolving to become part of the conversation. They are building their “cred” in social media, while adjusting to the needs of their most valued customers – even acquiring a few strays in the process. In 2016, if you aren’t listening to your customers, you’re already #failing!

Instill Confidence.

Build brand advocates. Brands that include do-it-yourself tutorials, troubleshooting tips, videos, easy-to-read user manuals and customer portals for live group discussion will notice an uptick in the way their brands are consumed by those who matter most.

Take Apple (NewsAlert) for example. Each new MacBook Pro comes with paperwork that the average customer would never read. This material breaks down care and handling of the new device. It also includes installations with picture and diagram, highlight with easy-to-read directions.

Users can find their way to a support page and be addressed by a customer service agent directly, or can find additional help by brand enthusiasts sharing similar experiences of the past. Thanks to search engines, these tips can be “Google’ (NewsAlert)d” and brand loyalty continues.

Apple finds that many loyalists have created their own help forums in dedication to the brand, often selling Apple products, as a third-party carrier. On the other hand, for a subscription fee or onetime payment in store, customers can be serviced over the phone or at a live store.

Apple has instilled the “do-it-yourself” mentality by allowing consumers to learn their products inside out and provide tips to better maintenance and repair of their complex machinery.

Because consumers feel they know their product, they are most likely to accessorize, tell a friend how “easy” a product is to use and how they should be using that brand, while upgrading their products and purchasing surplus repair parts – directly from the brand. Customers will also be able to better voice concern with a product, knowing exactly what is wrong with their item – and feeling more confident that their issue will be handled immediately.

Retain More Customers. Bring the Old Ones Back!

Probably one of the more difficult of industries, the Tech World finds innovation, trends and the evolution of technology can sometimes shift response by consumers in support of your brand. So, how do you keep those consumers? It’s simple!

Be their lifeline. Advocate on their behalf. Listen.

When it comes to customer service and often experienced when work is outsourced to individuals with frequent turnover ratios, customers aren’t being heard and call center agents are often treating customers as if they know not what they are talking about. This is a huge problem, especially if a customer knows exactly what they are talking about and where the root of the problem occurs. Not only does this lead to escalations after almost an hour into the call, but it leads customers to lose patience and trust in a brand. They go elsewhere…

Believe it or not, there are many loyalists that love a brand so much, that they stick around based on the customer experience and familiarity with the product. There are others, who simply are content with the product at hand and do not have the time to switch platforms or learn a new one. But if they are experiencing horrible customer service, they are also the first to “jump ship” and leave your brand in the dust!

Cloud contact centers are resolving to integrate features more often, saving time and complexity of resolving the customer’s needs – allowing for more time to be spent on listening to the customer, engaging in short, memorable chit chat and improving customer service. They retain their current customer base, while bringing back former clientele thanks to viral experiences that are shared over and over again.

Eliminate Escalations. Improve Service.

We really should consider our customers as people and stop playing “hot potato” with their issues. Making them call back over and over, dropping their calls, not solving their issues on the first point of contact is only pushing them away – and millennials, as social as they are, will let it be known!

Improving serving impacts the bottom line. Period! Aspect points out – and it’s no laughing matter – that “a third of consumers would rather clean a toilet, than talk to customer service.” Now, isn’t that just crappy? Seriously, though, how can we expect customers to trust our brand when they can’t even trust us to help them in a time of crisis? Furthermore, if they have issues with our products and services, do you think they will return for more – and at such a high cost to their pockets?

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How Millennials are Shifting the Cloud Contact Center in 2016

Cloud Contact Center | TMC Net

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S CLOUD CONTACT CENTER

According to Datamark, there are six contact center trends to watch this year. In case you didn’t get the memo, 2016 is already here; and the future of our cloud contact centers will to be reshaped by our millennial generation.  These young, social savvy professionals are hungry for innovation, full of passion and really hate to be tied down. They were born with a silver keyboard glued at the fingertips and are now powering a $2.45 trillion marketplace.

Everything powers on. Everything is connected.

One thing that often goes unsaid about millennials is that they are truly workaholics. Many of them are content with working around the clock and have leveraged this quality to quickly build and accelerate their careers. But, millennials are also full of adventure. They prefer to be “out and about” while doing business than cooped up inside staring at wall in between business transactions.

For this reason, companies are okay with investing into necessary resources to keep Millennials focused, happy and working around the clock. Because other millennials are also connected around the clock, they seem to find their way to one another on social media at all hours of the night. Businesses are learning that social media growth is definitely a resource they want to shift into the New Year.

The goal with social media is efficiency. Many of our millennials grew up with platforms like Yahoo! Answers and Cha-Cha in which answers are provided to them immediately with little effort on their behalf. These same millennials are now returning the favor and providing their on consumer base with the same efficiency they once craved. Doing this on an enterprise level is one thing, personalizing the experience is another?

Businesses are listening to their consumers now more than ever. Much of this is happening via social media and proving extremely beneficial in acquiring new customers and combatting negative feedback before it goes viral.

One Harvard Business Review shows that from 2013 to 2014, customer service has grown by 70 percent on just Twitter (News – Alert) alone. Couple this with the fact that Pinterest is named the most effective network for converting customers during marketing campaigns and that YouTube (News – Alert) has now become our largest search engine provider and the possibilities have become endless.

External devices that stick out of our computers and memory cards larger than a pinky nail have become irritating to us. We don’t like lugging them around – potentially losing them with valuable data in tote. Shoot, we don’t even want to bring the laptop with us any more.

We want to leave our table at Starbucks without worry of someone taking off with our previous devices. The set up and tear down even becomes a nuisance for a split-second purchase or at a time we just want to empty our bladders. For this, we have adopted the cloud and have made it the new norm.

We now have ability to connect to extensive storage systems access programs at a distance and we can even connect directly to another human, as we collaborate to launch our new product line – from the middle of the Grand Canyon. 

Life has become more flexible, and we owe it to cloud. And, while 13 percent of our workforce still refuses to adopt this technology based on security paranoia—a majority of our corporate world rather not have it any other way!

For the most part, the millennial generation is constantly found texting. If they had to thumb wrestle for their next dinner, they would be the new gladiators. By 2017, Millennials are expected to surpass the baby boomers; who are now retiring and stepping down to less demanding positions.

Millennials hate sitting through telephone prompts. Why take a survey via inaccurate touch-tone keypads when we can reply to a text message? Without major providers raping us for short codes like they use to, consumers find it easier to interact with their favorite brands via text. In fact, they prefer it … especially if the conversation circumvents a discount or exclusive offer!

These same brands can choose to upsell products and services to their consumers thanks to the level of customer satisfaction that they have already cultivated. In fact, it is this same customer satisfaction that is leading companies to throw old mentalities completely out of the window.

 When measuring call quality, they are learning that volumes and call times aren’t always the best indicator of good quality service. Very often, good quality service comes from an agent taking the time – no matter how long it takes – to understand their audiences needs and handle issues right then and there. In fact, the more time spent listening to the customer, the better the agent can paint a picture of the crisis.

The loyalty that is gained from a customer who feels important and has just found a solution to their problem is priceless.  Rushing customers off the phone will only make them irate and teach them to distrust a brand that has them forking over hundreds of hard earned dollars every month.

A positive response rate and an amazing customer experience will lead to work of mouth opportunities that the brand can cash in at a later date.

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What the Vidyo VP9 Release Means for WebRTC

Video Conferencing, Google Hangouts, Vidyo, WebRTC, Unified Communciations, Google

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S WEBRTC SOLUTIONS

With over 37 bugfixes and new added features, Chrome48 is now being enhanced with scalable WebRTC and VP9 updates. As Chrome collaborates with Vidyo to release the new VP9 codec, cross-platform delivery will now allow video calls to take place through the same high quality it always has but with a 40 percent lower bitrate than the previous VP8 codec. This leads to improved HD-calling at the previous bitrate through the WebRTC open source project. The downfall is that it will take up an additional 15 percent of CPU.

While the stream may not freeze and lag as much, systems may. Portable devices may also see a decrease in battery life when the app is powered on. There are many cases where previous versions of Hangouts have completely killed batteries for tablets using this app, requiring additional charge time.

The plus side to this new release, however, is that it is scalable. All things considered, battery life may not be a problem after all. This will encourage an increase in video calling for both business and pleasure.

Because Chrome will utilize the previous VP8 codec by default, VP9 will have to be applied directly to each application. New AppRTC enhancements will allow the VP9 codecs to become the preferred codec by default.  WebRTC and Chrome are headed in a direction that will allow better delivery of video, utilizing less power to do so. It will also mean greater multipoint potential for video conferencing. Through the new scalability, less delay and lag time will take place – significantly less.

Joining forces and bringing Vidyo to Google Hangouts, developers can now begin to add the added experience that users are searching for – adding further collaboration to their own projects. APIs are currently underway to support the WebRTC layer and will be available in future versions of Chrome.  In fact, Vidyo has already utilized scalable coding in building new server architectures for large-scale communications. These improvements will impact high definition video delivery on just about any device.

For years, the two companies have been working together to improve Hangouts; but with increasing trends in video conferencing and cloud integrations, this release couldn’t happen at a better time. With Google’s proprietary suit of cloud and productivity tools and the ability to innovate platforms through layering, we sit back in anticipation of what is next to come.

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