newNACCLogo2 National Association of Call Centers
In Queue

               The fun, informative, and unique newsletter for the call center industry
Welcome to the August 2017 issue of the NACC In Queue newsletter!
It's A Bot Time - And Money
Zack Taylor, Director, Global Contact Center GTM, Cisco, zactaylo@cisco.com
Zack Taylor
Walk into a party early and suddenly realize that it’s only you and Bill Gates in the room. Congratulations – on average, you are a billionaire!
This logical twist underscores how averages can be misleading indicators – how using averages can lead to some poor conclusions. 
However, Bill Gates and you do have the same amount of one thing: Time. You’re both constrained by 24 hour days, 7 day weeks, and 365 day years. With all his wealth, Bill still hasn’t found a way to bend the space-time continuum. (Although he has made some great charitable contributions.)
Time is the most critical considerations in any undertaking. A process may produce wonderful results – but if it takes too long to get there – people may never exhibit the patience to take the journey.
Similarly, time is the most critical element in any customer care scenario. Almost every innovation in contact centers technology in the last 40 years was designed to attack the issue of time savings. Computer-Telephony Integration, Interactive Voice Response, advanced routing – you name it.  Time and its cousin cost – were the two primary motivating factors.
The next wave of innovations is well underway. This time, the means to the end is an exciting newbot 2 array of capabilities lumped into a category called “bots, AI, and machine learning.” These are critical set of enablers that deliver a true “next generation” customer experience. 
Here’s how they fit in the customer-care equation:
  • Bots: A broad set of capabilities that automate and assist with routine tasks for search, discovery, and interaction. They save time for customers and lower costs of operations.
  • AI: A set of capabilities that emulates cognitive functions in humans. AI will be embedded into bots to make interactions natural.
  • Machine Learning: The ability for software to adapt without outside programming. This will speed improvements in customer-facing applications.
Earlier this month, Cisco announced its intent to acquire AI startup MindMeld, which “helps businesses to build conversational interfaces with cloud-based service.”  
The most powerful question a person can ask another is “How may I help you?” It’s a “bot” time customer care started by asking that question also! (Stay tuned.).
How To Have Fun In Inbound & Outbound Customer Care & Telemarketing
Shannon Svasek, Operations Manager, Quality Contact Solutions, shannon.svasek@qualitycontactsolutions.com​

Shannon Svasek
Let’s face it, telemarketing isn’t always “fun”. As an operations manager in an outsourced telemarketing agency with agents in a brick and mortar setting as well as in an at home setting, I know first-hand what it takes to make the job fun for the agents. But before I tell you my secrets, let me take you through the job. It’s not easy work. It takes dedication, self-motivation and the drive to want to succeed. Think about these items when creating incentives:
Ask Yourself the Right Questions
Making calls for eight hours a day, speaking to hundreds of potential customers each week, attempting to generate excitement and interest in a product on every call starting from scratch with each customer takes passionate persistence. Not to mention the stress of refusals, how to overcome them, how to achieve success, all to achieve that big goal set before you, can be overwhelming. If you are thinking that would be tough to do day after day and not loads of fun, you are not alone. Sales can have its ups and downs so how do we keep those “downs” from dragging us down? That takes some creative thinking for sure, it also takes input from your agents! What motivates them? What makes them feel fresh, not worn down and stay dedicated to do their very best on every call? What makes them hungry for success? For some it’s simple, they are just competitive by nature, have that drive to succeed and be number one. They are motivated by goals and numbers. Some need constant motivation, pats on the back and words of encouragement. They are motivated by positive reinforcement.
Be Creative
But what makes the job fun for all types of personalities? I’ve had tons of success with games and incentives. But the trick is to keep it fresh. You have to switch it up and switch it up often. Play different kinds of games. Some that have lots of involvement and moving parts like Bingo where each square is a different milestone. Some games should require less effort on the agent’s behalf to play such as tracking individual progress. But even those need multiple moving parts to keep it fun, not just one milestone, but multiple milestones so there is a possibility of multiple winners. Having multiple winners is actually very important because everyone wants to think they have a shot at the prize. Colors are very motivating and trigger emotions, so make sure you make it colorful. If your games are on a marker board, chalk board, or if they are on a drab spread sheet for your agents, they will be less likely to be intrigued, curious or drawn in to want to participate. Bring out your creative side!
Selling the Incentive
Don’t forget, you have to sell your game to your sales agents! Your games and incentives need to have multiple attractive features that draw them in, many benefits that make it worth their while to participate and they must be attractive visually to catch their attention initially. Some challenging but yet rewarding games to play with your agents that yield results are
Russian Roulette
Egg Hunts
Candy Land
Chutes and Ladders
These games can all be played without the agents running around off the phones whether you are in a virtual setting or traditional brick and mortar facility. Remember you only get out of it what you put into it, so get creative and let the fun begin. What incentive will you run next? How will you make it attractive to every personality type? What kind of creativity can you draw out of yourself? And how will you sell it to your agents?
Having fun in telemarketing can be tough and extremely time consuming to come up with new ideas. But the end results pay off. The time and effort you put into incentives and fun activities pays off. Quality Contact Solutions has evaluated 100s of call centers across the U.S. and we pride ourselves in the ability to strategically match our clients with a vendor that not only match their culture but are flexible, easy to work with and get results.
Knowledge Management For The Masses
Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, Paul.Stockford@nationalcallcenters.org

On July 19, 2017, Verint introduced Knowledge Management Professional, which we have dubbed “Knowledge management for the masses.”  Verint’s other knowledge management solution, Knowledge Management Enterprise, is a richly-featured, highly-functional solution that is referred to by some as the Ferrari of knowledge management in the contact center industry.

While I imagine we would all aspire to owning a Ferrari at some point, there are financial and other constraints that make Ferrari ownership just a pipe dream for most of us.  In my case, for example, whatever I drive has to be able to haul a loaded three-horse trailer or I can’t use it.  That pretty much leaves a Ferrari out of the picture for me.

Verint Knowledge Management Professional has been designed for those in the industry who don’t really need a knowledge management Ferrari, or are limited by financial constraints.  Based upon Knowledge Management Enterprise, Verint’s Knowledge Management Professional is still highly featured, but it is easier to use and carries a lower price.  The Saddletree Research analysis of this new product can be found here, or downloaded from the website at www.nationalcallcenters.org.

Our current Saddletree Research/NACC survey of end-users reveals a great deal of interest in knowledge management in the industry.  We asked survey respondents if they were currently users of knowledge management software and, of not, did they plan to implement knowledge management in the future.  The results are below:


Knowledge Management promises to continue to occupy a position of importance in the contact center through the remainder of the decade.  As a result, we believe Verint’s Knowledge Management Professional offering will be of interest to those in the market who have not yet committed to a knowledge management solution, and to those currently using knowledge management who have interest in upgrading their solution. 

Call Center Comics
August 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...
  • It's A Bot Time - And Money 
  • How To Have Fun In Inbound & Outbound Customer Care & Telemarketing
  • Knowledge Management For The Masses
  • Call Center Comics!
Pearls Of Wisdom
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them."
~ John F. Kennedy


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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  2017 National Association of Call Centers
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