Other Magazine Columns
Call Center Magazine - Paul Stockford - February 2007
In the contact center industry, it is not uncommon for an idea or concept to quickly capture the collective imagination of the industry and take on a life of its own. Case in point: the computer-telephony integration (CTI) industry of the mid-1990s. Remember when everything had to have that all-important CTI component? Remember all those exciting CTI applications and demonstrations that never worked but looked really cool? Remember all those CTI companies and the hundreds of people that crowded around their demonstrations at trade shows? I wonder whatever happened to those companies. If you find out, call my Wildfire.
Call Center Magazine - Paul Stockford - August 24, 2007
As I like to tell my teenage children, things were simpler back in the old days. Back when emails on your work computer were an annoyance that inhibited more than enhanced productivity, back when long-distance phone calls were expensive and gasoline was cheap, back when the Internet was just a twinkle in Al Gore’s eye, things were simpler. Even in the call center things were simpler. Take quality monitoring, or quality assurance, for example.
Contact Center 2007 - Paul Stockford - Call Center Magazine - January 2007
As each new year rolls around, I wonder if or how the coming year will be any different than the previous year in the contact center industry. History has shown us that without a doubt, this industry doesn't change at nearly the rate that the industry pundits would have us believe. Who remembers the forecast published at the beginning of this decade that predicted that by 2005 over 85% of customer contacts would be accomplished via email? How many of you started making plans to scale back on your telephony infrastructure in preparation for this monstrous communications shift? How many of you devoutly ignore these ridiculous forecasts?
CRM Magazine - Paul Stockford - April 2005
On March 11, 2003, President George W. Bush signed the Do Not Call Implementation Act, also known as the Do Not Call (DNC) Act, authorizing the Federal Trade Commission to collect fees for the implementation and enforcement of the National Do Not Call Registry. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was charged with creating the rules that protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls.
CRM Magazine - Paul Stockford - February 2005
Ever since the first call was taken in the first call center there has been a need for agent training. Ongoing training coupled with time and experience is the best way to ensure excellence in customer service. Traditional training usually took place in the classroom, and required the agent to leave his or her desk, usually in teams, for a specified period of time to complete the training. During these training periods, customer service generally suffered as undermanned phones meant long queues and abbreviated service. This presented a bit of a conundrum for call center managers who were required to provide training while maintaining high levels of customer service.
CRM Magazine - Paul Stockford - December 2004
Just so there's no misunderstanding, let me be clear that I am not in favor of sending American contact center jobs to offshore outsourcers. As a consumer I am more than frustrated dealing with agents who don't understand what I'm asking for, and whom I don't understand when they answer. Customer service for American customers is too important a task to be sent to India or elsewhere.
There are times, in fact, when U.S.--based organizations should consider local alternatives to outsourcing. For example, outsourcing contact center work to Native Americans living within the Navajo Nation makes perfect sense.