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Are multi-channel and omni-channel contact centers the same?

Question: I used to hear about multi-channel contact centers, now it’s omni-channel. Are they the same thing? Answer: While there are some surface similarities – both terms refer to contact centers that support customer interactions in more than one voice and/or digital channel – the differences are significant. Multi-channel contact centers manage each channel (e.g., [...]
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How can we confirm IVAs will provide the same information as our contact center agents?

Question: We’re considering the addition of intelligent virtual agent capabilities to provide 24/7 customer service. How can we confirm they will provide the same information as our contact center agents? Answer: To ensure an intelligent virtual agent (IVA) delivers responses that are consistent with a human agent – and vice versa –requires a single source [...]
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Choosing an omni-channel cloud-based contact center infrastructure solution

Question: Should the business case to acquire an omni-channel cloud-based contact center infrastructure solution be multiple mini-business cases (by channel) or one overall? Answer: A business case, which DMG defines as “a document designed to convince a decision-maker of the need for and benefits (contribution to the bottom line) of an investment,” are not one-size-fits-all. [...]
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What’s the best way to use contact handle time as a key performance indicator?

Question: What’s the best way to use contact handle time as a key performance indicator? Answer: The amount of time agents spend handling interactions in each supported channel (e.g., inbound/outbound calls, chats, emails, short message service (SMS)/text, messaging, social media, etc.) is a critical key performance indicator (KPI) for contact centers, and has been one [...]
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Are calibration sessions necessary in an AQM environment?

Question: We’re implementing analytics-enabled quality management to perform automated evaluation of customer interactions. Do we still need to do calibration sessions? Answer: Analytics-enabled quality management (AQM), which leverages capabilities that include speech, text, and desktop analytics to automatically evaluate up to 100% of customer interactions, enhances, but does not completely eliminate, traditional quality management (QM) [...]
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Implementing a balanced scorecard to measure agent and contact center performance

Question: We’re implementing a balanced scorecard to measure agent and contact center performance. What categories should we evaluate? Answer: There are hundreds of key performance indicators (KPIs) available in most contact centers, as each operating system – automatic call distributor (ACD), dialer, interactive voice response (IVR), recording, workforce management, customer relationship management (CRM) and more [...]
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“Smart” contact center solutions that use artificial intelligence

Question: I keep hearing about "smart" contact center solutions that use artificial intelligence. How does this work? Answer: Answer: Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science focused on the development of computer programs and machines to solve complex problems by simulating behaviors associated with intelligent beings. Specific capabilities include learning, reasoning, problem-solving and [...]
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What additional information can we use to determine customer satisfaction?

Question: Our customer satisfaction survey response rates are declining. What additional information can we use to determine customer satisfaction? Answer: Contact centers have a wealth of data that provides insight into customer satisfaction and can be used to augment enterprise feedback management (EFM)/surveying results. Here are some suggestions: Speech/text analytics – use contact center analytics [...]
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What can we do to attract candidates for contact center agent job openings?

Question: What can we do to attract candidates for contact center agent job openings? Answer: With 2018 US unemployment rates hovering near 18-year lows, contact center leaders need to think outside the box when attempting to fill agent positions. Here are some options: Consider automation to reduce the need for “entry-level” agents – Contact center [...]
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How do omni-channel contact centers route interactions?

Question: How do omni-channel contact centers route interactions? Answer: In an omni-channel contact center, interaction routing is centralized and agents have a comprehensive view of what happens with customers across all channels. In these environments, companies have one unified system that receives, queues, and routes all types of interactions, and is smart enough to identify [...]
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What’s the difference between attended and unattended robotic process automation (RPA)?

Question: What’s the difference between attended and unattended robotic process automation (RPA)? Answer: Robotic process automation’s two primary categories, attended and unattended, both perform automated processes by emulating human workers. Unattended automation is used to fully automate high-volume transaction-based activities and processes. Unattended automations are generally leveraged in task-heavy back-office environments; however. some repetitive end-to-end [...]
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We use a content management system for our internal documentation. Is that the same as knowledge management?

Question: We use a content management system for our internal documentation. Is that the same as knowledge management? Answer: Although similar in some respects, content management and knowledge management (KM) systems are different. Content management is used to create and organize enterprise information. Knowledge management is intended to facilitate the creation, organization, and use of [...]
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What are some best practices for at-home agents?

Question: What are some best practices for at-home agents? Answer: Here is a list of several best practices for contact center operations that include home-based agents: Invest time in hiring qualified agents. Use a competency-based assessment tool as part of the hiring process to ensure candidates have the necessary skills and are highly motivated self-starters. [...]
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Challenges with scheduling for digital channels in WFM

Question: We’re trying to schedule the right number of agents for our new digital channels through our current workforce management (WFM) application, but the forecasts and schedules are not very accurate. We’ve had our WFM solution about 10 years and it’s provided good results in the past. What’s the issue? Answer: Historically, WFM solutions were [...]
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Our contact center only has 25 agents, what workforce optimization applications should we use?

Question: Our contact center only has 25 agents, what workforce optimization applications should we use? Answer: Contact centers of all sizes, including those with 10 – 250 seats, need management tools and analytics that provide transparency into the performance of their department, insights into the voice of the customer, and help to enhance employee engagement. [...]
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How can we improve our contact center coaching?

Question: How can we improve our contact center coaching? Answer: In recent years, coaching has evolved from a monthly one-on-one session between a supervisor and an agent/representative into an ongoing dialog and two-way exchange of data. Coaching can include a wide range of functions facilitated by numerous contact center and workforce optimization (WFO) applications. Coaching [...]
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Improving agent engagement with gamification

Question: We don’t have a budget for gamification or other monetary incentives, but we’d like to improve agent engagement with the hope of reducing our agent attrition rates. Can you share some ideas to help us get started? Answer: Too many companies concentrate on decreasing agent attrition instead of improving retention. If you want to [...]
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Should agents upsell and cross-sell?

Question: Our contact center agents in customer service and technical support are being asked to up-sell and cross-sell. How do we help them become comfortable with this change and be effective? Answer: Agents in traditionally “non-sales” contact center roles are frequently asked to sell, due to evolving customer experience standards. Although a business may consist [...]
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Are voice recognition and voice biometrics the same thing?

Question: Are voice recognition and voice biometrics the same thing? Answer: Simply put, voice recognition identifies what words are being spoken by an individual, while voice biometrics identifies the person saying those words. Voice recognition, also known as speech recognition or speech-to-text technology, identifies spoken words and phrases and converts them into text-based content that [...]
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What does digital transformation mean for contact centers?

Question: What does digital transformation mean for contact centers? Answer: Digital transformation, the integration of digital technology into all aspects of business and society, and the operational and cultural changes associated with its use, is being seen in contact centers across industries and verticals. Digital transformation of contact centers has quickly become an expectation for [...]
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Our contact center supervisors spend most of their time taking escalations and answering agent questions, rather than working with their teams. Could adding team leaders help?

Question: Our contact center supervisors spend most of their time taking escalations and answering agent questions, rather than working with their teams. Could adding team leaders help? Answer: Team leaders (or team leads, senior agents, lead representatives, etc.) play a very important role in contact centers by providing much-needed back-up for supervisors and handling several [...]
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What is robotic process automation?

Question: What is robotic process automation? Answer: DMG defines robotic process automation (RPA) as “the use of computer software (also known as server-based ‘robots’), to process transactions, manipulate data, trigger responses, initiate new actions and communicate with other digital systems to automate the completion of high-volume, repetitive and non-cognitive tasks.” RPA applications automate activities based [...]
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