Volume 10, Issue 11 - November 11, 2015      

Our Contact Info:

Paul Stockford
Research Director
National Association of Call Centers
100 South 22nd Avenue
Hattiesburg MS 39401
Tel: 480.922.5949



In Queue circulation 15,209

Advertise with Us

Click on the image below to view the NACC Advertising Page where you can view our channels and prices.


To advertise with the NACC, please contact the NACC at:
Tel: 601.447.8300
Fax: 601.266.5087


All leading call center companies and suppliers should examine the NACC Underwriting opportunity in 2015 as evidence of their dedication to the growth of the call center industry. See the NACC Advertising Page for more information.

Share the Knowledge

Send this newsletter to colleagues by clicking "Forward this message to a friend".


"If I had my life to live over, I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary troubles."  
                                       ~ Don Herold

Reports from the NACC

The NACC has been burning the midnight oil and typing until our fingers are sore to bring out reports to our members. Each is listed below. If you are interested to see what we are writing about, click on the links below and download the executive summary of each. If you like what you see, join the NACC so that you can view these reports and others that will be coming out soon on our website.  These reports will ensure that you know the latest trends in the industry.

Nexidia Joins Cicero To Create The Contact Center Compliance & Customer Experience Dream Team:  August 2015
Verint Extends Customer Engagement Optimization Portfolio To Include Communities With Acquisition Of Telligent:  August 2015
HireIQ Candidate Optimizer Disrupts The Status Quo, Powers Revolution In Customer Service Human Capital Management: May 2015
Verint Jumps Into The Gamification Game:  April 2015
Research Update - Strong 4th Quarter Tops Year of Growth for the 2014 U.S. Contact Center Industry Employment
Geo-Fencing: Expanding The Contact Center Boundaries?:  November 2014
Neural Phonetic Speech Analytics: The Brains behind Nexidia Interactions Analytics 11.0:  July 2014
Nexidia Pushes Speech Analytics Envelope with Nexidia Interaction Analytics 11.0:  July 2014
The Time is Now:  Workforce Optimization Becomes Reality for the Small-to-Medium-Sized Contact Center: July 2013
Finding the Silver Lining in the Contact Center Cloud: May 2013
The At-Home Agent Movement - A Benchmark Quantitative Analysis: January 2013
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 2nd Quarter 2012 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 1st Quarter 2012 Data
Contact Center Mobility Study:  May 2012
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 4th Quarter 2011 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 3rd Quarter 2011 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 2nd Quarter 2011 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 1st Quarter 2011 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 4th Quarter 2010 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 3rd Quarter 2010 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 2nd Quarter 2010 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 1st Quarter 2010 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 4th Quarter 2009 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 3rd Quarter 2009 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 2nd Quarter 2009 Data
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 1st Quarter 2009 Data
North American Contact Center Industry 2008-2009: The Year in Review and a Look Ahead
State of the Call Center Industry Report: 4th Quarter 2008 Data
60 Ideas in 60 Minutes: 2008 Session
60 Ideas in 60 Minutes: 2007 Session
In This Issue 3

Meet The Members: Stories From Real Life
Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, Paul.Stockford@nationalcallcenters.org

JimLaveryRemember Jim Lavery?  Jim is the Vice President of Contact Center Operations as Desert Schools Federal Credit Union in Phoenix, AZ.  He is also an NACC volunteer member and was the subject of our “Meet the Members” feature in January of 2014.  If you’d like to know more about Jim and his association with the NACC you can find the January 2014 issue of this newsletter in the archives on our website.  This link will take you directly to Jim’s feature: http://www.nationalcallcenters.org/images/stories/htmlnewsletters/vol9no1.html.
Since Jim works in Phoenix and I work in Scottsdale, which is right next to Phoenix, I contacted Jim a few years ago and suggested we meet for lunch and to talk shop.  That first lunch meeting a few years ago has now become a regular occasion for Jim and me.  We usually meet over cheeseburgers at a midpoint between our offices and talk about what’s going on in the industry.  Last month the topic of discussion was the potential impact of the new EMV credit cards on contact center operations.  That discussion led to a broader discussion of how the contact center can help customers through periods of change, regardless of industry.
One thing led to another and the result of our lunchtime discussion is a webinar that Jim and I will be doing on November 19th.   Sponsored by Calabrio, the webinar is scheduled for Thursday, November 19th at 10 a.m. Pacific Time / 1 p.m. Eastern Time.  Details of the webinar are in the following article but if you’ve already decided to attend and support the home team, here’s the link to sign up: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/5131/180253.
The truth is, we know you get invited to a dozen or more of these webinars every month, but none of them until now have featured one of your fellow NACC members.  Please mark your calendars and join Jim and me on the 19th.  We’d appreciate your support.

Leveraging The Contact Center To Help Customers Embrace Change

Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, Paul.Stockford@nationalcallcenters.org
In case you’re still not convinced after reading the article above, here is the complete description of the webinar that NACC member Jim Lavery and I will be participating in on November 19th.  Please join us and listen in.  Here’s the link to sign up:  https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/5131/180253
And here’s the Webinar description:
Leveraging The Contact Center To Help Customers Embrace Change
How new contact center technologies can help you reduce confusion and create positive customer experiences

Whether your company is changing prices, processes, inventory, or redesigning a store or website, change can be confusing and scary for even the most loyal customers. Every day, your contact center has hundreds, if not thousands, of conversations with your customers. Making sense of these conversations can help your organization better understand what your customers are saying about the changes your organization is making. In this webinar, learn how new contact center technologies like analytics can support customer-facing changes to your business by allowing you to pinpoint your customers’ reaction to those changes.
Hear from Jim Lavery, vice president of contact center operations at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, on the challenges he has experienced with changes in the call center environment in the ever evolving banking landscape. Jim will also discuss what he has done to ensure that his organization and contact center were ready for the recent transition to EMV payment cards.
Join Calabrio, Saddletree Research, and Desert Schools Federal Credit Union in this free web event to learn:
  • How to create your own customer experience project to gauge your customers’ reaction to new policies, products or processes
  • How to leverage your newly acquired insights to drive action across the enterprise to educate customers, adjust plans, and make the transition as easy as possible for your customers
  • How the right analytics solution can liberate voice-of-the-customer insights from your contact center interactions 
Sign up now before you get pulled away by work and this gets lost in the shuffle: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/5131/180253.  I know how it is.  Thanks in advance for your support.  See you there!

Happy Veterans Day!  NACC Member Veterans In Customer Service
Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, Paul.Stockford@nationalcallcenters.org

Each November since 2011, in honor of Veterans Day, I’ve written about veteran’s affairs and how they relate to the contact center and customer service profession in my monthly column in Contact Center Pipeline magazine.  This year is no different, but I’m pleased and proud to be able to feature NACC members who are military veterans in this year’s column.

This year’s column also features an NACC member military veteran who did not serve in the U.S. armed forces.  To find out how this came about you’re going to have to read my column, which can be found on my Saddletree Research website at http://www.saddletreeresearch.com/contact-center-pipeline-column/the-value-of-veterans-going-dutch-in-the-contact-center.html

In the meantime, the following paragraphs excerpted from the November column feature NACC members Cher Rathmell and Herb Humphrey.

“Cher Rathmell is a customer service product specialist at Springs Window Fashions in Montgomery, PA.  She started as an agent on the phone and worked her way up to her current leadership position.  Cher was also in the Military Police, serving in the Army Reserves for five years and acquiring the skills she would need for her career in customer service.  I asked her if or how her military experience made a difference in her customer service career.

“My job today requires me to stand up and deliver training to large groups of people,” Rathmell remarked.  “I never thought I’d be able to do that, but before the Army I didn’t know that I could throw a hand grenade or drive a Humvee in the dark with no lights!  The Army taught me to stay calm in any situation and to always give one hundred percent.  I learned to make the most of the time I was given to complete a task and to always support my co-workers.  They’re the people who will get you from where you are to where you are going to where you will be.”

Cher’s daughter is now on active duty in the U.S. Air Force.  I hope someone in the customer service profession will be smart enough to hire her should she choose to return to civilian life in the future.

Herbert Humphrey is proud to be a call center agent at Mississippi Industries for the Blind.  Herb lost most of his vision due to service-related injury during his service in the first Gulf War, but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing a fulfilling career in customer service.  His U.S. Army service also took him to assignments in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps where he worked as a paralegal and legal administrator.  As Herb’s vision continued to deteriorate following his Gulf War service, he transitioned to rehabilitation through the Veterans Administration Blind Rehabilitation Center.

Close to completing the rehab process, Herb learned of the contact center positions at Mississippi Industries for the Blind, applied for one of the open positions, and got it.  “The organizational skills I learned in the JAG Corps and the ability to communicate with others as a result of my military service has been invaluable as I transitioned to the customer service role,” Herb said.  “Customer service is one of most fulfilling jobs I’ve had over the years,” he continued.  “I work with seniors navigating Medicare open enrollment each year and provide counseling and emotional support throughout the process.  I find myself talking to a lot of other vets on the phone, and I think they relate better to people who have gone through what they have gone through.”

Herb also uses his position as president of the Mississippi Blinded Veterans Association to keep track of other disabled veterans and, whenever possible, guiding them toward a career in customer service.”

To read the entire column, please visit http://www.saddletreeresearch.com/contact-center-pipeline-column/the-value-of-veterans-going-dutch-in-the-contact-center.html

This year the editors of Contact Center Pipeline have made all of my Veterans Day columns available in a free download at one location.  To access all of these columns please visit http://bit.ly/1OjoS19

To all of my fellow military veterans, Thank You for your service and Happy Veterans Day!

Insomniac Theater:  What's Keeping You Up At Night
Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, Paul.Stockford@nationalcallcenters.org

Last month we ran a very brief survey of customer service professionals as we close out 2015 and look forward to 2016.  The purpose of the survey was to update the attitudes and intentions of all of you in order to better understand how these attitudes and intentions may have changed over the course of the year.
The survey was conducted among our NACC volunteer members who are, in our opinion, among the best and brightest in the customer service industry.  We looked at issues such as cloud contact centers, social media, and technology upgrade/replacement concerns relative to how these intentions may have changed given the realities of 2015 in the customer service profession.
One of the questions we asked concerned the respondents’ top priorities for 2016.  In essence, we wanted to know what issues were keeping contact center executives up at night.  We asked respondents to choose all the issues that applied to them so the total will be more than 100 percent.  The chart below illustrates the top five responses in our survey.
Source:  NACC/Saddletree Research
There is a clear concern in the industry for the evolution of customer service to customer optimization in terms of the customer experience.  Customer experience optimization includes such factors as understanding the customer’s journey to the point of the latest contact, which would encompass omni-channel integration in order to better understand previous customer contacts, and agent desktop/CTI capabilities among other competencies.
Also included in creating a customer optimization strategy is the evolution of key performance indicators (KPIs) away from traditional metrics such as average handle time (AHT) and toward metrics such as first call resolution (FCR), net promoter score (NPS) and customer effort score (CES).  Customer experience concerns seem to be leaning toward ensuring customer satisfaction at the first point of contact rather than rewarding agent performance based upon the number of customer calls addressed in a given period of time.
The most surprising response in our opinion was the desire to increase the home agent population of contact center workers.  The infrastructure required to support a home agent workforce is now ubiquitous and customer service professionals clearly understand the benefits of remote workers in terms of eliminating the geographic limitations of acquiring a local workforce in favor of finding the best qualified agents for any given service objective.
Workforce turnover issues have existed for as long as the contact center industry has.  Long-term solutions seem to be out of reach for the industry despite the best efforts of specialized solutions providers.  Whether the resolution of this problem requires a general change in attitude toward technology solutions on the part of contact center executives or an overhaul of agent management techniques remains to be seen.
Finally, the concern for upgrading older technology is not a surprise.  At the NACC we often hear from members seeking advice for replacing or upgrading technology solutions that have been in place for a decade or more.  We are not sure whether the blame lies with solutions vendors that provide systems and software that never seems to break, or with finance managers who will not approve the replacement of solutions that are still functioning.  In any case, the evolution of customer experience optimization is sure to drive the replacement of older systems in 2016.
The NACC depends on the support, cooperation and input from our volunteer members to provide the type of data that resonates with our newsletter readers in terms of better understanding the concerns of your peers and colleagues in the customer service profession.  We encourage readers to join, at no cost other than 30 minutes of your time in any given year, our volunteer member corps.  For more details on a volunteer membership, please visit http://www.nationalcallcenters.org/index.php/home/membership or contact me directly.

Call Center Comics!


If you like this comic and would like to see more, write Ozzie at callcentercomics@yahoo.com and visit his website at http://callcentercomics.com/cartoon_categories.htm or just click on the comic to take you to his page. The NACC appreciates Ozzie letting us use some of his comics in our newsletter.

To view past issues of In Queue, please click here.

If you would like to contribute to In Queue, please reply to this email with "Contribute" in the subject line.

Copyright 2015 National Association of Call Centers