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Agent Apathy: Your Company’s Achilles Heel?

By Liz Osborn

Companies with a reputation for excellent customer service become the gold standard that everyone measures themselves against, for example, Amazon.com and Virgin America. Their excellent service and the low effort required for customers to get answers sets them apart from their competitors and builds raving fans out of their customer base. Yet the needs of contact center agents in any industry — the very people responsible for nurturing the customer experience — are often overlooked. Continue reading

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Customer Loyalty in the Age of Social Media

Guest Post by Joanna Jones of Impact Learning Systems

Over the years exasperated customers have aired their frustrating interactions with contact center agents on social media. Some of these have gone viral creating public relation nightmares for the companies involved and giving other frustrated consumers a platform to pile on. Often when a company finds itself facing one of these viral campaigns it issues a public mea culpa and quickly makes an honest effort to revamp its policies so as to avoid such misfortune again. Your company doesn’t need to be holding the short-end of a public shaming stick Continue reading

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What the Solar Industry Can Teach You About Social Selling

This article was originally published on SocialTimes.

Marketers have heard the gospel and slurped the Kool-Aid when it comes to the virtues of word-of-mouth marketing. It’s become a well-established fact that consumers believe and trust recommendations from their friends and family over other forms of advertising, and that people are more likely to buy when referred by a friend.

But while many businesses struggle to turn recommendations into sales, the solar industry seems to have mastered the art of word-of-mouth marketing.

Demand for residential solar systems is skyrocketing, with 2014 marking the first year that more capacity was installed by homeowners than by non-residential customers.

Continue reading

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Seven Trends Shaping the Future of The Contact Center [WEBINAR]

There is no doubt that we’re in the midst of a huge sea change when it comes to consumer behavior. New technologies have completely transformed consumer expectations and buying behavior.

Contact centers are at the forefront of the shifting battleground when it comes to competitive differentiation; the Deloitte 2013 survey of contact centers found that 62% of organizations view customer experience provided through contact centers as a competitive differentiator. This has put a lot of pressure on contact centers around the world, as they struggle to adapt to the rapidly changing technology landscape and consumer expectations.

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Addressing Contact Center Surges Starts By Preparing in Advance

This article was originally published by ICMI, here.

By Liz Osborn

Imagine the chaos during peak times for customer service: florists on Valentine’s Day, retailers during the holidays, tax planners around April 15th and the application period for online schooling. One of the biggest challenges contact centers face is being able to quickly address staffing surges and peaks in activities in a short amount of time. Today, cloud technology and at-home agents are helping mitigate some of that chaos. Continue reading

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7 Proven Strategies to Acquire More Residential & Commercial Solar Customers

As demand for solar systems increases, solar manufacturers and installers are competing aggressively to acquire and convert new residential and commercial prospects. To find and covert the ideal solar customer — one based in the right state with the right credit, roof, rate plan and electricity expenses — providers are pursuing a variety of new and innovative customer acquisition techniques including digital marketing, retail partnerships, door-to-door sales, telemarketing and direct response campaigns.

These techniques attempt to maximize conversion rates while controlling costs. GTM Research estimates that residential solar customer acquisition cost installers Continue reading

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Contact Center Technology and the Millennial Employee

Guest Post by Joanna Jones of Impact Learning Systems

As more and more Baby Boomers retire, the Millennials are quickly filling their places. There has been a lot written about the generational conflicts and opportunities within the workplace, and contact centers are among those industries affected. The Millennial generation, also known as Gen-Y, has by-and-large been given a bad rap. Some of it is deserved, but drill down and you find that many of the conflicts that plague the workplace have to do with rigid corporate cultures that cater to Gen-X and Baby Boomers and haven’t yet adapted to the ethos and working style of Gen-Y. Continue reading

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Solar Sales: Phone Calls Ring In Lower Customer Acquisition Costs

It’s increasingly costly and complicated to win a new solar customer in the U.S.

Source: Vivint Solar Q4, 2014 Earning Presentation
Source: Vivint Solar Q4, 2014 Earning Presentation

According to GTM research, it costs 49 cents per watt to acquire a customer in the U.S. or about $3,000 for the typical 6-kilowatt residential rooftop. Meanwhile, a report by Lawrence Berkeley Labs estimated a cost of less than 7 cents per watt in Germany. Marketing, advertising and sales made up the majority of the cost (41 cents) while system design accounted for 8 cents per watt.

Although GTM research predicts that acquisition costs will decline as installers embrace lower-cost lead generation strategies and more efficient technology platforms, near term competition may be causing costs to increase. Continue reading

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The Evolution of the Contact Center: Part 5 of 5 [SLIDESHARE]

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Enterprise Connect, an event that gathers the most qualified technology professionals and business decision-makers in one place focused specifically on contact center and general customer service tools. In honor of this milestone, Five9 has pulled together 25 key stages in the evolution of contact center technology, and what we expect the next significant advancements to be.

Part Five: The Next Generation Continue reading

The Evolution of the Contact Center

The Evolution of the Contact Center: Part 4 of 5 [SLIDESHARE]

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Enterprise Connect, an event that gathers the most qualified technology professionals and business decision-makers in one place focused specifically on contact center and general customer service tools. In honor of this milestone, Five9 has pulled together 25 key stages in the evolution of contact center technology, and what we expect the next significant advancements to be.

Part Four: Contact Centers 2.0 Continue reading