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In Queue

               The fun, informative, and unique newsletter for the call center industry
Welcome to the June 2017 issue of the NACC In Queue newsletter!
NACC Member Barb Bleiler Reviews NICE Interactions
Barb Bleiler, Solution Deployment Leader, WPS Health Solutions, barb.bleiler@wpsic.com
Barb_Bleiler(The following review of NICE’s Interactions customer conference is provided by NACC member Barb Bleiler at the request of the NACC).

Hello from NICE Interactions 2017 Customer Conference.  The conference was held at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas on May 8th, 9th and 10th.  The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Re-Inventing Customer Service’.   

The conference kicked off with a day of pre-conference sessions that were focused around getting to know what the different applications can do within the suite of NICE and inContact applications.   There were 13 session tracks covering NICE Engage, WFM, inContact Cloud, Quality Optimization, Nexidia Interaction Analytics and Performance Management, to name just a few.  The full conference kicked off during the next two days with an abundance of 100 different breakout sessions.  The breakout sessions were aligned in 14 different verticals/tracks so that you could easily follow your main track of interest or bounce around.  Something that I feel is very successful is that if you are able to have a couple of people from your company attend, you can spread the attendance and track coverage.  I like to refer to it as the customized “Spread and knowledge-absorb attack.”
It was my pleasure to once again host the First-Timers reception event, which is held on Monday night just before the conference kickoff.  This is an invitation-only event where we welcome individuals new to the NICE membership group and provide them information on resources, chapters, and what to expect during conference.  The NICE User Group (NUG) Board actively participates in mingling with everyone as well as sharing recognition of the outstanding performance of our members.  This recognition featured the awarding of this year’s NUG Star winner, which was presented by last year’s NUG Star winner.  

The conference program provided color-coding of the difference conference tracks, which made it easy for delegates to stay in a specific vertical section, or to sample a variety of sessions from different verticals if that was preferable.  The session selections provided a lot of flexibility in terms of choosing conference sessions to attend.

I had several of my work colleagues attending the conference with me so we were able to “divide and conquer” in terms of session attendance.  We each took responsibility for attending different conference tracks, which allowed us to cover a lot of conference ground!  We found it very beneficial to meet and debrief after each day and after the conference was over so we could talk about lessons learned, work considerations, and what steps we should take in order to maximize the benefit of the information that we learned.  Here’s a suggestion for those of you who attend customer conferences by yourself – after the conference is over, write a report outlining your key learnings and takeaways to share with your colleagues when you’re back at work.

I was fortunate enough to present at two different conference sessions this year.  I truly enjoy sharing information with peers and find it particularly gratifying when we all put our heads together and share information with each other during conference sessions.  Personally, I left NICE Interactions 2017 with a lot of new friendships, some great ideas, and a commitment to put what I learned into practice.  NICE Interactions was a great opportunity to explore how we can “reinvent customer service.”  

Telemarketing Services Firm Honors Military Spouse
Darla Jorgenson, Accounting Manager, Quality Contact Solutions, darla@qualitycontactsolutions.com

(The following article was submitted by NACC member Quality Contact Solutions.  The NACC is always happy to receive newsletter contributions from members).

Quality Contact Solutions (QCS) announced the recognition of Karilee Joseph on May 17, 2017 in honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Kari is one of QCS’s most successful B2B telemarketing representatives. Kari is assigned to one of QCS’s healthcare client conducting outbound and inbound telemarketing services on a daily basis.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day was first observed on May 23, 1984. It was established as a one-off observance through a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan. The day was later made into an annual observance by Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger. In 1999, the U.S. Congress declared May as National Military Month to acknowledge the service of the men and women in the military.

Kari is a dedicated, hardworking B2B telemarketing representative with QCS’s virtual work-from-home team, QCS At Home. Kari has been employed with QCS since June 2012. Kari was interviewed to get her perspective on why the telemarketing work-from-home position works so well for her and her family.  

Darla:  Tell me a little about you and your family. 

Kari:  That’s hard. LOL. We have a 6 year old daughter as well as our son who just turned 18. My husband and I met in Alaska and have since lived in Virginia, North Carolina, and now Hawaii. We will likely be headed back to North Carolina next year. Our favorite thing to do as a family is to travel and we love exploring each new home we live in.

Darla:  What benefits do you feel QCS At Home offers to Military Spouses? 

Kari:  QCS benefits military spouses by allowing us the ability to telecommute and carry our job to each new home. This is invaluable as finding employment every couple years gets very difficult. Also, the company has always been incredible about understanding that our life is a little different and that, most times, I’m the only one that can take care of children’s appointments, etc. and allow me time to do that.

Darla:  How has working for QCS At Home impacted your lifestyle as a Military Spouse? 

Kari:  The impact my employment with QCS has had on our life is the financial stability of the ongoing second income, again because I don’t have to find new employment with each move.

What do you feel are the advantages of working for QCS At Home? 

Kari: The advantages are the flexibility, an amazing amount of support from the company, the financial stability of ongoing employment, the work schedule that allows me to work full time and still be off in time to be with my kids after school.

Darla:  Was it hard to adjust to working for a virtual company? 

Kari:  While I do enjoy working from home, I also occasionally miss the social aspect of going into an office with co-workers each day.

Darla:  What is your favorite part of working for QCS At Home? 

Kari:  My favorite part of working for QCS At Home is truly the people. It’s a really great company to work for. There is never any doubt that we are appreciated and valued and that’s a very good feeling.

Darla; Any additional thoughts or info you would like to say? 

Kari:  I would just like to say thank you to QCS for supporting the military community as a whole.

Nathan Teahon, Vice President of Quality Contact Solutions added, “We could not be more thrilled to have Kari as a member of our team. From the moment she came on board we knew that she was both a great person and someone that was going to excel. Not only has she excelled, but she has thrived, accepting and dominating every new challenge thrown her way. I also appreciate and respect the fact that Kari has been an advocate for other Military Spouses, and has referred several others to the company that have also been excellent additions to our team.”

Quality Contact Solutions has been partnered with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) since 2012 and 18% of the company’s front-line customer service representatives and telemarketing representatives are military spouses working on our outbound marketing and telemarketing services teams

Darla Jorgenson is Accounting Manager for Quality Contact Solutions, a leading B2B telemarketing organization. As an Accounting Manager, Darla is also responsible for ensuring all human resource functions are managed for the organization. Darla’s passion for her team is contagious. She comes to work every day with a goal of equipping the entire team with the tools needed for success. Darla can be reached at darla@qualitycontactsolutions.com or 516-656-5136.
Are Human Contact Centers Going The Way Of The Bots? 
Boris Chaplin, Product Manager, Calabrio, Boris.Chaplin@calabrio.com

Boris ChaplinIn today’s marketplace, we often expect our innovations to come from the technology sector. This means, when Facebook and Microsoft take a step to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) into human-reliant businesses—including contact centers—those of us in the industry can’t help but pay attention.

The artificial intelligence tools in question, commonly referred to as chat bots, have grown in popularity over the last year and it’s easy to see why. The chat solutions they provide are considerably more intelligent and interactive than previous models and an automated conversation can present a cost-effective solution. Chat bots seem poised to supersede apps as the customer service AI of choice, but once the bots have conquered this challenge, are we next?

Understanding the Value of Human Connection

While the growing presence of chat bots introduces a new player to the marketplace, the importance of human presence in the contact center is more important than ever. Email and social media channels already aid contact centers in filtering out the simple questions, but for customers who need support for a complex problem and for those who are dissatisfied with their current situation, there is no solution like a phone call. For contact centers, these are the calls that are simply too important to be left to an automated chat bot.

Where does the chat bot fit in? Is it destined to be just another option for skimming the simple questions? Hardly. Current artificial intelligence has the capability to support our goals more effectively than that. Plus, as the technology grows, so too will the capability. However, realizing the power of chat bots and other forms of artificial intelligence requires recognition of their real role—that of a partner to call center employees.

Getting the Chat Bots to Chatter for You

Companies across the globe are just starting to realize the wealth of analytical data their contact centers generate every single day. Proper use of artificial intelligence can be an essential strategy in harnessing the value of customer data. Because of machine learning, not only can chat bots answer simple questions from customers, but also catalog the data and add structure to the analytics received before analyzing it for context and patterns.

And this is just the baseline.

As artificial intelligence adapts, the right system will allow it to continually adjust its analysis parameters to harvest more, smarter data with each customer interaction. This makes the AI, your call center team and your company smarter. Now, that’s one innovation everyone can support.
The NACC Needs Your Help.  Got A Few Minutes? 
Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, Paul.Stockford@nationalcallcenters.org

It’s time once again for us to launch our annual survey.

Wait!  Before you skip this article, at least hear me out.

The National Association of Call Centers (NACC) was established as, and still operates as, a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit membership organization.  If we’re lucky, we generate enough revenue through advertisers to keep the lights on and pay our web/newsletter consultants.  We don’t do what we do to make money.

Most of you already know that NACC executive director, David Butler, PhD, earns his living as vice provost for research and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).  I make my living as chief analyst at Saddletree Research, a small research practice I founded 18 years ago.  We conduct research through the NACC because, well, it’s what we love to do.

The participation of customer service professionals such as you in our research is critical.  The survey we’ve just put together will provide us a foundation and launch pad for our continuing research for the rest of the year.  The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete, but it will mean so much to us if you’ll help us out.

Here’s the survey link:

Please take a few minutes now, click through to the survey and do your good deed for the day! We’d really appreciate it.

Call Center Comics
June 2017
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 or just click on the comic to tak you to his page. The NACC appreciates Ozzie letting us use some of his comics in our newsletter.   
In This Issue...
  • NICE Interactions 
  • Honoring Military Spouses 
  • Will Bots Replace Human Agents?
  • NACC Survey Launch
  • Call Center Comics!
Pearls Of Wisdom
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.."
~ Seneca


Reports From 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.
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 Growthj For The 2014 U.S. Contact Center Industry Employment:  March 2015  
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 
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Did You Know That NACC...
Offers several types of membership opportunities.  Click here to find out more...
Offers a job board where top employers & candidates go to find their next call center rock-star! Click here for more...
Offers classifieds for your contact center space, furniture, and just about anything else you can think of. Click here to sneak a peek...
Offers the ability to advertise with NACC. Click here to view the NACC Advertising Guide 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 | Email: Click Here

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  2016 National Association of Call Centers
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