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5 Reasons Not to Overlook Your Back Office

The back office is just as integral to your business as your customer service agents – and yet, this area of contact center business doesn’t receive nearly as much investment

While the back office has undergone a lot of changes in recent years, many back offices still handle many tasks manually, and they may use a lot of paper. Using workforce management software to improve processes and automate tasks are great ways to update your back office.

Here are five reasons not to overlook your back office.

1) Efficiency

A more efficient back office means a more efficient business as a whole. The back office can be made more efficient by going paperless or updating the way paper records are stored. When paper records are stored electronically, they’re faster to find and can be accessed at the click of a mouse.

And once documents are scanned and properly stored electronically, they can be shredded – which frees up space, too.

2) Productivity

New computers are a great way to increase productivity, ensuring your back office staff have the necessary and most up-to-date software to do their jobs properly.

Software is continually being updated, and it works best with the most current operating system. The most current operating system works the best when it’s coupled with the latest hardware. It can really eat into your back office staff’s productivity if they have to wait for a slow and outdated machine every time they wanted to do something. That’s just frustrating for everyone involved.

3) Quality Control

Establishing systems in the back office will help managers optimize tasks so they are done in the most efficient way possible with minimal mistakes. Systems also ensure quality control by providing documentation as to how a task is to be completed, ensuring each employee knows and follows the required steps.

4) Predictability

Predictive analytics can boost your contact center’s success in three main ways: better customer retention, improved follow up contact, and increased quality and efficiency. Back office efficiency programs like Workforce Optimization and Management Software can help lower contact center and back office costs by reducing overstaffing, overtime, and shrinkage. By tracking back office data, managers are able to understand how employee resources are used and can better predict needs for future projects.

5) Preparedness

Disaster recovery is a key process that takes place […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

December 12th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

Tapping Into the Voice of the Customer (VoC)

Tim Whiting of Opinionlab recently wrote a great article about tapping into the Voice of the Customer (VoC) when delivering an optimal website redesign.

While the article is specific to website redesign, it applies to any area of your business where you’ll have customer contact. Customer relationships are the key to any successful business, but they’re the lifeblood of a call center. Because of this, it makes sense to listen to the VoC as much as possible.

With a dozen or so major website redesigns under his belt, Tim knows that the VoC comes from many sources. As he writes, customer feedback can be direct, indirect, or inferred. Direct feedback is the most obvious and it can be obtained from a number of sources. The most effective direct feedback is that which is initiated by your customers.

When visitors to your site comment on site errors, you’re able to fix them much faster than you can if people aren’t commenting. It will likely also take you longer to discover the error if your customers aren’t providing feedback on the error. When you hear what issues customers are experiencing, you have the opportunity to replicate them, diagnose them, and fix them.

Indirect feedback about your website comes from non-website sources such as social media. When customers aren’t completely satisfied with something they will talk about it, especially on social media. Inferred feedback comes from observing the behavior of visitors on your site.

Below are three ways you can tap into the VoC at your contact center.

Surveys

If you’re not sure how your customers feel about a particular aspect of your website or processes, just ask them.

You can use Customer Experience Survey Software to create surveys that begin after an interaction with a call center agent, asking your customers how the agent performed. You can also email surveys to customers after their session has ended. Surveys are an important part of your call center customer feedback process.

Social Media

Make sure you have a process for monitoring social media for comments about your service.

Listen to the VoC by engaging with customers on social media. Pay attention to what people are posting about other companies in your industry as well, especially if you see any negative images or posts.

If you see anything negative about your business, […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

December 7th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

How Big Data is Powering Smart Cities Across the Country

With the advent of big data and the internet of things, new realms of possibility have opened for truly “smart” cities – cities with digitally interconnected and technologically managed infrastructures, operations, and citizen interface.

The most-used definition of big data goes something like this: huge data sets that can be analyzed in order to show patterns and trends.

Gil Press, Forbes technology contributor, proposes two additional definitions that are instructive in the context of smart cities:

“The belief that the more data you have the more insights and answers will rise automatically from the pool of ones and zeros.”
“A new attitude by businesses, non-profits, government agencies, and individuals that combining data from multiple sources could lead to better decisions.”

This revolution in analysis, along with the technological advances of the Internet of Things (IoT) has greatly increased a city’s ability to digitally measure and manage what matters most. That could be infrastructure integration, asset, fleet, and workforce management, public safety, crowd control, meter monitoring, parking enforcement, resource optimization, and so on.

Cities support these kinds of mission objectives through a variety of data sources. As cited in a report by Deloitte, these sources include “video from CCTV cameras, voice, social media, streaming data, sensor logs, supervisory control systems and data acquisition.”

As of 2017, examples of smart solutions in cities include:

Los Angeles: By swapping out 4,500 miles of streetlights with smart LEDs that feed into big data systems and inform the the city of each bulb’s status (working properly, malfunctioning, or dead), technicians can respond almost immediately to repair or replace the bulb. Should a city wish to implement it, the technology currently exists to install smart bulbs capable of changing colors or blinking to announce changing road conditions or to warn drivers of lane closures, accidents, or other hazards.

Shanghai: The spiral architecture of the new Natural History Museum was inspired by a seashell – however, it was the big-data derived insight into crowd control that allowed the museum’s shape to be capitalized on accordingly in managing the flow of thousands upon thousands of visitors.

Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has announced the undertaking of a $500 billion smart city project that is intended to spur urban development, increase citizen satisfaction, and allow the Kingdom […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

December 5th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

How the Right Workforce Management Software Can Increase Employee Engagement

Employees are the heart of your contact center, yet too often, they’re disengaged and dissatisfied.

When this happens, performance drops – and in turn, so does customer service and your bottom line. One way to help keep employees on task and at the top of their game is to implement workforce optimization and management software.

Workforce optimization and management software helps keep employees feeling valued, even if they work remotely. Motivation increases, because employees are held more accountable.

By implementing the right solution for your contact center, not only will your employees be more engaged, but your business will also rise above the competition. Here’s how the right workforce management software can increase employee engagement and increase your contact center’s success.

Better Time Management

There’s a fine balance to managing workloads. When there’s no system in place for time management, there’s a tendency for employees to abuse break times by taking longer or more frequent breaks. On the flip side, some employees may take on too much work and struggle to complete their tasks in the designated time. A time tracking and workload management tool can help you and your employees be more efficient and happier in their roles. Employees will no longer lack work and get bored, or have too much to do and burn out.

More Fun

Over half the U.S. population regularly plays some form of online game. Increase employee engagement by using a gamified rewards program that’s tied to your time management and productivity software.

The inclusion of leaderboards, graphic trophies, or ranking statuses in your workforce management software will keep your employees checking in to your website to update their productivity.

Rewards are also a great way to show your employees they are valued. When rewards are tangible and considered desirable by your employees, it increases their engagement and loyalty as they strive to earn that vacation they’ve always wanted, or extra time off to spend with their favorite people.

Positive Recognition

A key factor in employee motivation is praise. Employees who receive praise and encouragement on a regular basis are more likely to be engaged in their work. It can be especially important to keep employee morale high during busy times. When work is extra busy, there is a greater chance that employees will be stressed and not functioning at […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

December 1st, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

3 Often-Overlooked Benefits of a Physical Security Management System

A physical security management system has the ability to enhance security effectiveness while minimizing costs. The system allows multiple users to view events from multiple sites simultaneously so they have more information and are more prepared to deal with a security breach.

A physical security management system like KOVA Corp’s Nextiva Physical Security Information Management can help organizations address and identify upcoming security needs, reduce costs, improve security operations, and enforce standard policies and procedures.

Physical security management systems work with your existing IT infrastructure to create a fully integrated and responsive system. In addition, here are 3 often-overlooked benefits of a physical security management system.

1. Better Preparedness

When there is more than one security breach going on at a time, things can be extremely stressful for security personnel, who may not have the experience to know which event to attend to first.

A physical security management system takes the guesswork out of priority management. The system receives a steady flow of data from all security systems then analyzes and prioritizes the data so the more important alarm is placed above the others. This allows staff to get a more fully developed picture of the situation and they can attend to it better equipped.

If you want to improve emergency situational awareness in your organization, you need to get a physical security management system.

2. Better Organization

With a traditional security system, after an event has occurred, it is up to staff to piece together information to try and figure out what happened. This can be very time consuming as it often involves hunting through video footage for dates and times. The organization is also relying on employees coming forward to share what they know in a timely manner.

When a physical security management system is in place, videos are automatically catalogued by date, time, and GPS location so the system automatically recognizes it as being part of the security breach. Through a physical security management system app, employees can take pictures of events as they are happening and these will be automatically catalogued as well.

3. Automation

Protocols within a physical security management system can be automated so exactly the same thing will happen in response to an event no matter who is attending to the event. Data is easily shared and communicated between […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

November 29th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

The Latest Developments in Public Safety Technology

Public safety is going increasingly high tech. Though officers in the field are an indispensable and irreplaceable necessity, “manpower” is now being supplemented and augmented by “tech power.” From video analytics to license plate recognition to wearables and embedded sensors to drone-collected aerial imagery to digital fingerprint scanning to 3-D scanners to data-capturing apps, the future of public safety is digital.

Video Analytics

Though closed-camera TV footage (CCTV) has been in use for decades (the city of Chicago alone has over 24,000 recording devices in use), research indicates that 98% of video footage is not seen by anyone. After only 20 minutes of viewing, human attention is so limited that over 95% of incidents as broadcast into the command and control center are missed by personnel.

The use of video analytics overcomes these problems by rapidly analyzing, alerting, and reporting on CCTV footage without the loss of attention or errors intrinsic to human monitoring.

While CCTV alone is insufficient to deter or to deal with crime because the volume of output is beyond the human capacity to effectively analyze and respond to, video analytics can sift through tens of thousands of hours of footage with unprecedented speed, accurately identifying incidents that warrant further human investigation, freeing up the public safety workforce to concentrate on more important and pressing tasks.

Wearables and Embedded Sensors

Connected to bluetooth beacons and fueled by the power of GPS, wearables allow first responders to pinpoint the precise location of their team during fieldwork and high-stakes scenarios when coordination is at a premium and real-time response is critical.

Wearable technology harnesses WiFi mesh networks, beacons and powerful communication applications to enhance public safety and streamline tasks. This allows responders to move more quickly to the areas where aid is needed.

Motion sensors and tracking also allow wearables to monitor the responders themselves.

In the city of San Francisco, for example, a 35% reduction in firearms violence has occurred since the deployment of sensors in streetlights. The sensors detect and identify the location of gunfire, broadcasting alerts to dispatch centers and patrol cars so that they can investigate.

Drones and aerial imagery

For first responders, surveillance teams, and investigators, high quality aerial imagery and data is critical to collecting the real-time intelligence that’s needed to assess and act on an unfolding situation.

Search […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

October 31st, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

5 Steps to Making the Transition to a Fully-Digital Contact Center – Part 2

This is Part 2 of our post on transitioning to a fully-digital contact center. Read Part 1 here.

Create an e-care contact strategy map. Develop a detailed map that illustrates which customer requests can be addressed at which touchpoints to see where digital functionality should be developed. It’s critical to keep in mind that not every touchpoint is best served by e-care. Certain kinds of service requests are prime opportunities for cross-selling or upselling, and blindly assuming that these can be optimally serviced by digital can pose significant and potentially costly dangers. Careful consideration must be given to the degree of digitization that makes sense: e-care can be fully self-serve or involve a mix of live customer-service agents; not all options need to be available on every digital platform. 
Build a dashboard to track your metrics. Management thinker Peter Drucker is famous for his adage, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure” and this is especially true in the transition from traditional customer care channels to fully optimized e-care. Unless you can measure customers’ experience by channel and the movement between channels you won’t be able to ensure quality control, make adaptive changes, or implement ongoing improvements.Tracking cross-channel activity can help management zero in on different kinds of service requests and how well or how poorly particular channels serve to resolve them. For example, one contact center found that 37% of customers who initiated a product return via online channels subsequently contacted the call center within a day, thereby increasing expense to the business and complicating service resolution. 
Deploy a mix of “pull” and “push” strategies to make digital service solutions more enticing. To expedite the use of e-care services, customers must be “pulled” online with the belief that it will be easier and more convenient to receive assistance, purchase a product, or accomplish other tasks. For instance, one company educated customers at the point of sale when they bought a new product and publicized its digital services through call-center recordings and agents. Another company constantly communicated the convenience of digital touchpoints through “send to a friend” social campaigns that derived credibility from satisfied digital-care users. To complement pull efforts, companies can “push” customers to approach them through in new ways. A push migration plan […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

October 26th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

5 Steps to Making the Transition to a Fully-Digital Contact Center – Part 1

In the recent past, digital was seen as an optional part of “business as usual.”

Currently, however, digital has become so integral to the way people work, communicate, and interact, that it’s no longer an optional part of “business as usual,” but rather its defining feature.

As Lindsey Anderson and Irving Wladawsky-Berger argue in their Harvard Business Review article, The 4 Things It Takes to Succeed in a Digital Economy, “The tail has become the dog. Digital is not just part of the economy — it is the economy.”

The in digital customer care — also known as e-care — is being driven by customers who are already using digital platforms to research and review products and, depending on their experience with these products, to publicly praise or criticize them via social media.

E-care involves the transition from service models based almost entirely on manned service counters and traditionally run call centers with live representatives, to digital services via web-based user accounts, social networks, mobile phone, the Internet, and increasingly automated contact centers.

At KOVA, we’ve got extensive experience in guiding businesses in the transition to fully operational digital contact centers. The advantages of adopting e-care are worth the effort, and practically every consumer-facing industry that requires extensive customer-relationship management — from financial services to consumer electronics to healthcare and utilities — can benefit.

Digital customer service also provides superior customer satisfaction.

Research from Deloitte found that “76% of telecommunications customers are satisfied with a customer service journey that is fully digital, compared with 57% satisfaction for interactions through traditional channels. When you consider that migration to e-care can, in our experience, reduce call volumes and operating expenses by 25 to 30 percent, its benefits seem obvious.”

But, Deloitte cautions, “These statistics mask the fact that few purchase journeys or service interactions are handled entirely digitally: while 41% of service interactions with telecommunications companies begin on an e-care platform, just 15% are digital from start to finish.”

These statistics alone demonstrate that a truly digital contact center isn’t just a matter of stacking digital options on top of a non-digital foundation of service offerings or product choices. Just as a major product launch or strategic initiative must be executed only with intensive planning and cross-organizational coordination and support, so too must the transition from traditional […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

October 24th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

Integrating Social Media Into Your Contact Center’s Customer Service Offerings

Customer service has changed drastically from the days of telephone-only call centers. From automated systems to chatbots to 24/7 online service, there are certainly a lot of new ways for your contact center agents to provide your customers with excellent service.

But what about social media? Are sites like Twitter and Facebook perhaps the real future of customer service? And if that’s the case, how can your agents make sure that they’re providing the best possible service over social media? Over the past several years, social media has grown to become almost as important an element of the customer service field as those other innovations, and it’s crucial for your center to provide the best possible service through these new avenues.

Here are some tips on how to do so.

First, determine which platforms fit your needs

The first thing a contact center has to do is figure out what social media outlets to use. Which one of the many different platforms are your customers using most?

Whichever they may be, those are the ones where you need to make the most resources and agents available. While Facebook and Twitter might be the most obvious choices simply because of their overall popularity in the general population, don’t forget that there might also be concentrations of your customers on sites like Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest and Google+, as well.

Make use of monitoring tools

There are plenty of tools out there that allow companies to keep track of their social media mentions. This capability is often built in to customer feedback software, like KOVA’s Enterprise Customer Feedback Management Software. Listening is, after all, one of the most important factors in providing excellent customer service, and there have been consumer studies done that indicate that consumers expect business to monitor their social media outlets for both positive and negative comments.

What are the issues that seem to keep coming up with the product or client your contact center is providing service for? Knowing the answer to that might help your agents provide customers with faster solutions to their problems.

Make timely responses a priority

Speed is important in every aspect of customer service, but social media is an arena where a contact center’s response has to be even faster than normal, simply because of the consumer’s expectations. […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

October 10th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments

3 Ways Predictive Analytics Can Boost Your Contact Center’s Success

There’s a new idea that’s fast gaining speed in many areas of business, and it’s called predictive analytics. It’s a complex process with a relatively simple definition. Predictive analytics is a branch of advanced analytics that is used to create predictions about what might occur in the future.

By combining processes and methods including data mining, statistics, and artificial intelligence, predictive analytics programs are able to analyze huge amounts of data – both structured and unstructured – from the past to develop predictive intelligence.

Here are just a few ways that predictive analytics can help your contact center perform its tasks more efficiently.

Customer retention

Customer retention is one of the most important ways that predictive analytics can help contact centers improve their outcomes.

The traditional thinking is that it costs more money to seek out new customers than to keep the ones that already exist. In fact, some statistics suggest that it can cost almost 10  times as much to gain a new customer as it can to hold onto an existing one.

Predictive analytics can help a call center maintain and improve their customer retention rate through the use of applications like speech analytics.

By analyzing a company’s speech analytics data, and combining that with analysis of other data sets, predictive analytics programs can identify the customers who have the highest probability of ending their relationship with the company.

These customers can be flagged, which allows agents to be more focused on those specific customers and on trying to repair the relationship.

Predicting the success of follow-up contacts

When it comes to collections and sales, the rate of success on a first call can be relatively low, and it’s often necessary for a second or even a third call for your efforts to bear fruit.

Figuring out which customers actually warrant a callback isn’t always an easy process. In sales and collection situations, customers’ responses may not clear the first time around, leaving it up to the agent to figure out whether or not a follow-up call is worthwhile. This is a spotty method at best.

But using predictive analytics can make that process much more precise.

Using data like the number of times they’ve contacted or been contacted, phrases they’ve uttered, their buying history, and plenty more, a predictive analytics program can predict the likelihood […]

All content provided on this blog are mostly opinions of the author and is only intended for informational purposes. KOVA Corporation makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog may contain external links to other sites. KOVA Corporation does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information of other websites, blogs, or these other links. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended, and do not necessarily imply an endorsement or recommendation of any views expressed, products or services offered within them.

October 5th, 2017|Workforce Management|0 Comments
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