Volume 6



Volume 7, Issue 9 - October 5, 2012        VPI_VirtualSource_Ad_NACC_3

Our Contact Info:

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



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"When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things - not the great occasions - that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness."

- Bob Hope

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.

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

What's New in In Queue

Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, Paul.Stockford@nationalcallcenters.org

New Research Kick-Off.  Now that football season is in full swing, it’s time we kick off our annual survey of end-users that provides the foundation for much of the research we’ll conduct during 2013.  As always, survey results will be published throughout the year in this newsletter so you can benchmark your attitudes, intentions, opinions, etc. against those of your peers.  That’s why it’s so important that we have your participation once again.  As long as you work in a contact center, you’re welcomed and encouraged to participate.  It will only take a few minutes of your time and in return you’ll have a year’s worth of results to look forward to.  Please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2012NACCsurvey to participate.
In the meantime, we’re still looking for volunteer members who would like to trade 30 minutes of their time during the course of a year for an annual NACC membership at no cost.  NACC membership gives you access to reports, our Job Board, business opportunities as they come to us, and the opportunity to tap into the membership network for inquiries, advice and review.  We promise to ask for no more than 30 minutes of your time in total to participate in our brief surveys during the course of the year.  It’s a great deal.  If you’d like to join us, send me an e-mail with the word “Volunteer” in the subject line and I’ll set up your membership.  If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact me.
Real-Time Performance Management.  I have just finished writing an extensive research paper on real-time performance management.  Much of the paper focuses on the results of the performance management survey we conducted with our members a couple of months ago.  If you participated in the survey and would like to read an analysis of the results, or if you’re interested in contact center performance management solutions, you’re invited to download the paper at no charge.  The paper can be downloaded at http://www.VPI-corp.com/Real-Time.

Free E-Learning Content.  For the second year in a row e-learning has been one of the top 5 technology solutions in demand by participants of the NACC annual survey of end-users.  While e-learning is in high demand, we often hear NACC readers and members lamenting the lack of available learning content.  We have a solution you might be interested in; especially considering the fact that this content is available at no charge.  Although the content is offered by Plantronics the word “headset” is not mentioned even once in the training video.  This is simply a goodwill effort on the part of Plantronics so if you’re interested in this e-learning data go to www.plantronics.com/agenttrainingvideos.  You’ve got nothing to lose and some worthwhile e-learning material to gain.
Reporting Basics and Analytics.  This month’s guest author is Brian Hinton of Strategic Contact.  His article, found below, provides a comprehensive overview of the various types of contact center reports at the disposal of most contact centers and the role of analytics in getting the most out of those reports.  Brian can be reached at brian@strategiccontact.com.

Social Media Management.  Don’t miss my article about NACC member and social media management expert Kymberlaine Banks of Telvista.  If you’re wondering how to tackle social media in your contact center, you need to read this article and if you’re an NACC member and would like to contact Kym yourself, send me an e-mail.

Back to Reporting Basics: The Gateway To Analytics

Brian Hinton, Principal Consultant, Strategic Contact

These days, everyone focuses on analytics – data, speech, text, desktop, performance, enterprise (CRM), etc. Vendors push technology that delivers it. Analysts say you have to have it. Management wants to see the “so what” of it. Many contact centers are in hot pursuit. However, as with any contact center technology, you need to assess your current state, identify the gaps, and define the appropriate plan. As part of your assessment, consider the following areas:
  • ACD Reporting
  • Multimedia Routing and Reporting
  • Workforce Optimization (WFO) Components
  • Location and use of Customer and Contact Center data
  • Scorecards and Dashboards
  • Available enterprise analytics

ACD Reporting

Before you consider more complex analytics, you need to get your basic reporting house in order. For many centers, that means learning more about the vendor provided ACD reporting to break the cycle of exporting their ACD data to a central database and using Excel as a report generator.  The more reliable, trusted, and scalable approach is to use the ACD’s flexible reporting interface to create and schedule reports, tapping the data when each report is generated. Take the time to learn the tools. You can create custom reports and the associated calculations where necessary.

Multimedia Routing and Reporting

One of the most common contact center reporting problems is the lack of consistency across media. Most centers take ACD call statistics seriously, but have little visibility into metrics such as response times and handle times for other media (e.g., email, chat, etc.). You need consistent routing and reporting across all media in order to feed analysis of all work performed in the contact center. Success with multimedia reporting starts with robust, and ideally integrated, routing for all media.

Workforce Optimization (WFO) Components

Many of our clients have Quality Monitoring (QM), Voice of the Customer (VoC) Surveys, and Workforce Management (WFM). Many use the QM application to record calls but score the calls manually using Excel. Manual scoring loses the impact of QM reporting which links QM scores to specific transactions, consolidates individual and team scores, supports trending and calibration. VoC scores, much like QM, can link to specific transactions and inform deeper analytics. Similarly, WFM system data on metrics such as adherence and occupancy for individuals and teams should be part of your analytics strategy. To benefit from WFO and ultimately analytics, you must collect, integrate, and report on data from each of these solutions.

Location and Use of Customer and Contact Center Data

Customer data are a primary component of a thorough analytics strategy. Most companies capture customer data through a CRM application and contact center data through the tools mentioned earlier. However, homegrown CRM or no CRM can mean inadequate customer data collection and reporting, and too often the CRM and contact center data are not integrated.
Analytics requires consolidating all of the data into a single location, or integrating the analytics application with the individual data sources. Before moving into analytics, ensure you understand the location of all customer and contact center data and how each data source will be accessed to support analytics. This effort includes identifying which data fields in each application will be used in analytics.

Scorecards and Dashboards

An effective first step into analytics is to tap the centralized data discussed above. Agent, team, and center scorecards typically consolidate data from multiple applications and report on that data in a desktop view. Agents can see their performance compared to the team across all key performance indicators.
To move toward analytics, go beyond the Scorecard view and add an understanding of the relationships among the data to drive the “so what” of the consolidated data view.

Available Enterprise Analytics

The final step as you move from getting your reporting house in order to deeper analytics is to explore available tools and data integration before implementing a contact center specific analytics solution. If you already have an enterprise analytics solution and/or data already consolidated in a central data warehouse, see if you can leverage these tools. If you have or will seek tools targeted for the center, define how those will integrate with your enterprise solutions.
Take the time to assess your starting point and gaps, and develop a plan to move forward. Getting your data and reporting house in order first will ensure a smoother path to delivering on the promise of analytics.

NACC Member Leads Industry In Managing Social Media In The Contact Center

Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, Paul.Stockford@nationalcallcenters.org

Social media in the contact center has stalled.  According to the results of the most recent NACC surveys of contact center professionals, only about 18 percent of respondents are using social media applications as customer communications channels in their contact centers.  This result hasn’t changed in the past two years.  We believe this holding pattern is a result of too many management unknowns when it comes to investing in the time and technology necessary to effectively manage social media applications in the contact center.
While the majority of the contact center industry sits on the sidelines waiting to see what happens with the early adopters, there are those who are enthusiastically jumping into the social media game.  Among the leaders of these early adopters of contact center social media is NACC member Kymberlaine (Kym) Banks, Social Media Manager at Telvista in Dallas, TX.  I had the opportunity to meet Kym a few months ago at Driving Innovations™, the Verint® Systems global customer conference.  She led a conference session on social media, which is where I learned what a wealth of information she holds.
There are nuances to social media management in the contact center that can only be learned by experience.  For example, how does one decide which posts to respond to in the first place?  How do you go about indentifying a valid customer post versus the rant of a 15 year old kid who hates his cell phone?  Kym Banks has it figured out.
Kym and her team employ a variety of software solutions that allow them to monitor the entire social sphere in order to find the right conversations regardless of where they are.  The team identifies which conversations to engage based upon content and works to bring the conversations to a satisfactory solution.  While many companies address negative or problem postings by simply removing them, Kym believes that’s a mistake.  Kym’s management style requires a different approach to social media customer engagement versus telephone or e-mail customer engagement but they respond to all posts, good and bad.
Kym and her team set social media engagement expectations on their client company’s social media page – words to the effect of, we welcome customer feedback and ask that the customer respects the rules.  One of those rules is that profanity and disrespect won’t be tolerated.  Profanity-laced postings don’t get the attention of the Telvista social media customer care team.
The social media strategy employed by Kym and her team is the most comprehensive we’ve come across during our four years of studying social media in the customer service environment.  If you’re an NACC member and would like to hear more about this strategy, drop
me a note and I’ll put you in touch with Kym.

Call Center Comics!

October 2012

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.

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Copyright 2012 National Association of Call Centers