September 27, 2013

OMG Text To Collect LOL!!!

Mobile is seen as a big challenge by most of the contact center industry - - and rightly so. However, it also offers some wonderful opportunities, one of which is aimed squarely at your collections function. 

Traditionally, a right party connect has required debtors to be sitting near landlines at their homes or in their offices. Bazillions of outbound dials are made annually to phones that don’t pick up, because the debtors are out of the house.
Mobile device strategies allow you to reach the debtors where they are at the moment, and to reach them via text, which many people (particularly younger ones) greatly prefer. Research indicates that virtually all text messages are opened, with four out of five being opened within minutes of being received. You can send a message to the debtors and provide them with an opportunity to pay all or a portion of their debt by return text. You offer them the possibility of using their usual source of payment (bank account or card) for an automated payment, or allow them to indicate that they wish to provide a different source of cash. In the latter case, you can also switch them over to an alternate channel, e.g. a live agent or Web, to get the details on the additional source of payment. Customizing your processes, including training your agents to provide seamless service in these situations, are initiatives that will be well rewarded.

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September 26, 2013

The Northern Virginia Community College Call Center Achieves Its Third Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

The Northern Virginia Community College Call Center has been certified as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal, a leading contact center research and consulting organization. “Only the top 10 percent of those benchmarked annually achieve this distinction,” said BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “Achieving Center of Excellence certification is an acknowledgement of strong management and leadership in the call center industry. Contact centers that achieve certification are remarkable in their ability to balance a commitment to service excellence with cost effective service strategies.”   

Linda Barthelus, director of the College Call Center, said achieving the designation of Center of Excellence for the third time was both rewarding and a motivator for her staff. “Most gratifying was the acknowledgement that 91 percent of our customers indicated that they were very satisfied or satisfied with the services they had received from the Call Center.”

“The ability to operate effectively is crucial for all businesses, especially in today’s economy and the College Call Center is proud that it continues to achieve that goal,” Barthelus added.

To achieve certification as a Center of Excellence, a company must undergo a rigorous benchmarking process, which compares the organization’s operational metrics to those of its peers, using the world's largest database of contact center metrics. During this process, BenchmarkPortal experts audit and verify key data from the contact center applying for certification.

Read the entire press release here:

September 19, 2013

Voice of the Customer

Steve Ellis will share five key steps to designing an effective Voice of the Customer program that focuses on the customer experience and drives continuous improvement throughout the organization.

Steve Ellis is Sr Director of Customer Care for EyeMed Vision Care.  He has over 2 decades of leadership with a proven track record to deliver outstanding results at Sprint, Florida Power & Light, Comcast Cable and EyeMed.  Steve has experience in marketing, sales, customer service, call center, strategic planning and general management leadership.  Steve is a graduate from OH University and lives with his family in Cincinnati, OH.

Click here to listen to this show on-demand:

September 18, 2013

Call Center Campus Early Bird Prices & Room Block Ends Soon

Register Before October 11th and Save! Lodging Included Ends October 11th!
  • Room block cut-off date is October 11, 2013, or until the room block sells out. We encourage you to register early to ensure you get a room at the conference rate. Rooms are included in the registration price. Attendees are responsible for booking their own lodging at the going rate with the hotel after October 11th.
Early Bird Discounts End October 11th!
  • $200 Off Certification Workshops. Promo Code: CCC2013
    10% Off Symposium. Promo Code: SYMP2013

Preview of Our 2-Day Symposium Agenda
The Call Center Campus Symposium offers sessions that provide a hands-on learning environment. Attendees can obtain new skills, reflect critically on their work and learn from other individuals and organizations confronting dilemmas similar to their own. At the same time, call center leaders can learn how to raise their best practice skills to new levels, while sharing their best practices with peers.

September 12, 2013

EyeMed Vision Care Contact Center Achieves Its Fourth Certification as a BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence

The EyeMed Vision Care customer contact center has been certified as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal, a leading contact center research and consulting organization. “Only the top 10 percent of those benchmarked annually achieve this distinction,” said BenchmarkPortal CEO Bruce Belfiore. “This certification attests to the fact that call center leaders have successfully balanced efficiency and effectiveness in their operations. By optimizing their cost components and their ability to satisfy customers, they exemplify best practices in a very important consumer products sector.”  

September 11, 2013

Survey Underway on Call Center Employee Retention Rates and Strategies

BenchmarkPortal in partnership with Talent Chaser, the award-winning Software-as-a-Service provider, has developed this quick survey to measure Contact Center Employee Retention Rates.

Call centers have the opportunity to participate in a study about Call Center Employee Retention Rates and Strategies.

Participants will receive the summary results of this survey, and will also be invited to a webinar with in-depth research results on how to improve contact center employee retention, at no cost.

Employee retention is one of the main challenges of contact centers. BenchmarkPortal and Talent Chaser are looking at the factors that affect the industry and will analyze the results to establish industry benchmarks and develop call center employee retention best practices. Talent Chaser has a proven track record for improving employee retention and will utilize this data to offer Solutions to Staff Retention Issues.

Please complete this survey to find out how your center measures up in comparison to the industry and how to improve your contact center’s employee retention.

Online surveys conducted by BenchmarkPortal begin on September 11 and are available for anyone to complete at

"Please complete the survey and forward the survey link to other appropriate contact centers. Participation in the survey will take no more than 5 minutes and is confidential,” said Crystal Robertson, BenchmarkPortal's marketing director. “Participants will receive the results of this survey via e-mail, at no cost, within 10 business days of the survey’s close and an invitation to the webinar explaining the results."

Click the following link to access the Survey.

September 9, 2013

Quality Assurance Agents Love - CallTalk™ Caramels: Sweet Snippets from BenchmarkPortal’s Best CallTalk Episodes

CallTalk Caramels
Quality Monitoring, traditionally seen by agents as the dreaded ‘Big Brother’ operation of a company, can be transformed into a process appreciated by agents, as well as helping achieve customer service objectives. Key points include:
  • Work to get everyone to accept that quality monitoring is an essential aspect of call center management and must be done well for everyone’s good;
  • During feedback sessions, avoid criticizing agents frontally where possible. Ask questions to get them to critique themselves, then offer ways to improve;
  • In grading, expectations must be clearly defined to agents before they start their jobs – not after they are graded;
  • Have a clear understanding of company objectives and strategies and match QA objectives to meet those needs;
  • Hire people who can work within the strategies of the company (i.e. don’t hire a ‘Techie’ for a sales job, or a customer service type for a sales position, etc.);
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September 5, 2013

Provide strategic organizational value by transitioning your center from a service to a sales culture

Click here to listen to this episode of CallTalk:

Discussion points:
1.  Developing a strategic road-map
2.  Key strategies to excite your organization for change and growth
3.  Importance of measuring results for success

Russell Rossi is the Corporate Vice President of Customer Experience and Strategic Planning for New York Life Tampa Operations.  Russell’s responsibilities include all customer touch points and technology of the Customer Experience Program comprising the internal Quality Teams, Learning and Development Team, After Call Survey, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, and Voice of the Agent programs.  Additional responsibilities include oversight for all Strategic Planning and Project Management for key Member Services technologies, initiatives, and enhancements.