Podcasts

Podcasts

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the hottest topics in the contact center industry today. News releases and product introductions with AI implications are now weekly, if not daily, events and buyers are paying close attention. There also exists a great deal of misinformation and confusion regarding true artificial intelligence and terms such as "machine learning" and "natural language understanding" are often included in AI announcements as if they are the same thing.

In this podcast, Paul has a frank discussion with Aspect's Tobias Goebel regarding the differences between AI and natural language understanding (NLU) and rules-based systems versus human-level performance. This podcast offers an honest look at the state of AI in the contact center industry today.
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 18:09

Millennial Workforce? Don't Panic!

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Members of the Millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000, now represent more than 50 percent of the workforce. In the contact center, the Millennial generation brings a different set of career requirements and expectations to their customer service career. This is the generation that has never had to live without technology, and they are more than comfortable multi-tasking while using the latest customer communications and social media channels. In this podcast, Paul is joined by Verint's Kelly Koellicker to discuss what to expect with this new generation of workers and what tools and strategies are available to effectively manage and optimize the unique capabilities of this new generation of contact center agents and managers.

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Changing demographics are bringing a new level of attention to not only the customer base, but to the workforce as well.  With agent turnover an ongoing issue, along with a growing awareness of the value that is found in the voice of the employee (VoE), customer service professionals are turning toward new strategies and solutions that address these evolving contact center workforce dynamics.  In this podcast, we are joined by Cisco's Tod Famous to talk about how Cisco Spark is being used in forward-thinking contact centers to enable such things as team communication, onboarding of new agents, sharing of experiences, and having a little fun along the way.  And the best part? Basic Cisco Spark is a free download! Details in this informative podcast.

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What does Mr. Spock have in common with customer service? More than you might suspect. In this podcast, Zack Taylor of Cisco joins Saddletree Research to discuss what Zack refers to as new customer engagement outcomes. Apparently, Mr. Spock was well ahead of his time when it comes to customer engagement and performance measurement! Also discussed in this podcast are emerging contact center metrics such as First Call Resolution (FCR), Customer Effort Score (CES) and Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Thursday, 03 September 2015 12:37

Tapping into Twitter for Customer Self-Service

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More than 50 percent of contact centers in the U.S. today support social media as a customer channel.  Of all social media channels available, Twitter is the fastest growing in terms of acceptance as a customer service channels, which leads us to ponder how else Twitter might be used in the contact center.  In this podcast, Tobias Goebel of Aspect joins us to share his thoughts on how Twitter might be used as a customer self-service tool and we explore how automation might play into this new customer communications strategy.  Interactive Twitter Response (ITR)?  Listen in and see if you agree.
Thursday, 28 May 2015 08:51

You Can’t CRM Your Problems Away

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Back in the day, customer relationship management (CRM) software was thought to be the cure for all that ailed the contact center. Today CRM has taken a more dignified position in the contact center and we know that there are many more productivity gaps that we just can't CRM away. In this podcast I'm joined by Mike Garner, Chief Customer Officer at Cicero, as we discuss the role of the agent desktop workstation in diagnosing and solving contact center productivity issues.

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Omni-channel is poised to be one of the fastest growing segments of the contact center industry over the next three years. In this podcast we are joined by Annette Miesbach of inContact to discuss, among other things, the difference between multi-channel and omni-channel customer communications, the role of omni-channel in today's contact center, the impact of this innovative customer care development and practical advice for deploying an omni-channel solution.
Thursday, 06 February 2014 13:09

Understanding the Contact Center in the Cloud

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There isn’t a hotter topic in the contact center industry today than what is happening as contact center solutions move from the premise to the Internet, or cloud. In this podcast Paul speaks with Ron Strandin of Envision about what is driving this move to the cloud and what those who are considering a move to the cloud should know.

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The proliferation of mobile devices is forcing contact centers to take a look at how service is provided to their mobile customers. Research undertaken in mid-2012 and again at the end of 2012 provides conclusive evidence that serving the mobile customer is entirely different from serving the traditional, stationary customer. As the results of the research are presented in this podcast, Paul is joined by Cisco’s John Hernandez to discuss practical solutions to the growing challenge of providing efficient service to the mobile customer.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 11:22

Applied Analytics at Time Warner Cable

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Analytics are hot! According to the results of the Saddletree Research/National Association of Call Centers (NACC) 2012 year-end survey of end-users, four of the top five technology solutions to be evaluated for purchase this year are analytics solutions. In this podcast, Paul is joined by John Bowden of Time Warner Cable (TWC) to discuss how analytics are being applied at TWC in order to optimize the customer experience and to ensure customer satisfaction with every TWC contact.

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Real-time analytics is one of the top 5 mega-trends that will impact the contact center industry in 2013. These trends, identified in a recently published Saddletree Research report, are determined by research conducted among a statistically significant population of contact center executives. We asked these respondents for their attitudes, opinions and intentions regarding various industry trends, issues, technologies, and opportunities in 2013. Real-time analytics is top-of-mind among customer service professionals.

In this podcast Paul is joined by Larry Skrowronek of Nexidia to discuss the factors that are driving the demand for real-time analytics solutions in the contact center. Specifically addressed are the way real-time analytics are impacting such industry segments as collections, communications and the management of at-home agents.
Monday, 03 December 2012 12:35

Simplexity: The Essence of the Contact Center

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The theory of simplexity proposes a relationship between complexity and simplicity. It addresses the question of why simple things become complex and how complex things become simple.

In this podcast I am joined by Calabrio’s Matt Matsui to discuss the notion of simplexity and its affect on things as diverse as television remote controls and mobile phones. We also talk about why simplexity has suddenly become such a hot topic and how it applies directly to today’s contact center. This podcast promises to get you up-to-speed on the theory of simplexity in less than 15 minutes!

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Saddletree Research recently undertook a research project with the objective of quantifying the success, or failure, of the current industry trend of having contact center agents work from their home. In this podcast, Paul is joined by Kevin Hegebarth of HireIQ in a discussion of the survey results and the implications the at-home agent movement have on staffing strategies.

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Performance management is not a new technology, but it is one that has been gaining momentum over the past several years. Not only does it consistently appear in the list of top five technology solutions in demand according to data gathered by Saddletree Research and the National Association of Call Centers (NACC), it is a solution that is currently in use by approximately 55 percent of contact centers in the U.S. In this podcast, Paul is joined by Patrick Botz of VPI to discuss the results of a recent benchmark research survey regarding the emergence of, and demand for, real-time performance management. Included in this podcast is a case study that reviews the results of real-time performance management implementation at 1-800-FLOWERS.com.

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Workforce management software is an established, proven contact center solution with a market penetration rate of nearly 50 percent. Rather than fading into a comfortable retirement after 31 years in the industry, workforce management software is suddenly experiencing resurgence in demand that is unexpected and unprecedented. Join Paul and Verint’s Bill Durr as they discuss the reasons behind this workforce management renaissance and the industry factors that are driving renewed demand for this stalwart industry solution.
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 11:46

The Practical Aspects of Speech Analytics

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2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of speech analytics to the contact center industry. Although speech analytics has been slow to find acceptance and growth in the contact center, that is about to change. In this podcast Paul speaks with Jane Hendircks of Aspect (www.aspect.com) about recent Saddletree Research/National Association of Call Centers end-user research that shows speech analytics poised for growth in 2012. Jane discusses some of the practical aspects of speech analytics that are driving the demand for this highly effective customer intelligence solution.

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Collaboration is a word that is becoming more commonly heard and used in the contact center industry, but rarely is it used in the context of contact center hiring. As labor markets constrict, as covered in this podcast, a more collaborative effort will be required to bring the best employees to the contact center. In this episode, Paul is joined once again by Kevin Hegebarth of Hire IQ (www.hireiqinc.com) to discuss the disconnects between recruiters trying to fill seats and tactical managers who are beginning to reject the notion that contact center hiring is just a numbers game.

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Paul is once again joined by Kristen Jacobsen of Calabrio, this time to discuss the characteristics of Generation Y workers – the next generation of contact center agents and managers. Included are relevant statistics from the latest Saddletree Research/National Association of Call Centers (NACC) survey of end users as well as a discussion of the unique expectations, motivators and attributes of the largest generation of workers to enter the contact center industry since the Baby Boomers.

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In this podcast Paul is joined by Kevin Hegebarth of HireIQ (www.hireiqinc.com) to talk about emerging strategies and recent innovations in the typically costly and labor-intensive contact center agent recruitment, selection and hiring process. Learn how proven technologies and processes are being leveraged in new and innovative ways, and offered as a web-based service to contact centers with an eye toward streamlining the hiring process and dramatically reducing the costs involved in bringing the best possible agent candidates to the contact center hiring manager.
Thursday, 30 June 2011 18:15

The Basics of Web 2.0 in the Contact Center

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In this podcast, Paul talks to Kristen Jacobsen of Calabrio about the Web 2.0 framework in the contact center. More than just social media applications, Web 2.0 will revolutionize contact center applications in the future. This podcast gets down to the bare bones benefits of Web 2.0 quickly, pushing aside the marketing fluff in exchange for a basic understanding of the essentials.
Thursday, 30 June 2011 09:01

Hope is Not a QA Strategy

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In this podcast Paul talks with Patrick Botz, VP of Workforce Optimization at VPI, about the changing role of quality assurance (QA) in the contact center and new strategies that allow contact centers to fine-tune the QA process in order to gain more value out of the quality monitoring process.
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