Contact Center Pipeline Column

Contact Center Pipeline Column

“Analytics has brought an unprecedented degree of intelligence—yes, I’ll say it—artificial intelligence (AI), to the call-routing process"

Tuesday, 10 September 2019 14:26


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“Sixty percent of consumers globally expect to be able to engage with an organization at any time and on any channel.”

“The practice of spoofing has gotten so inexpensive that it has grown exponentially, leading to the proliferation of these calls and the nearly nonstop ringing of the phone.”

Friday, 28 June 2019 12:29


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“Painfully slow, complex, tree-based IVR menus are about to go the way of the buffalo.”

“Initially, the big focus was on replacing resources but the real action will be in agent augmentation, where technology and humans work hand-in-hand to deliver better experiences.”

Friday, 03 May 2019 11:03


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“More than discovering what customers are talking about, sentiment analysis lets users know how the customer feels.”

“Consultants talk about the ideal while operations leaders deal with limited budgets and staff bandwidth.”

“Big Data relies on analytics to create value from data of all sorts, and analytics’ superpower is to detect patterns.”

Saturday, 02 February 2019 10:38


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“Analytics is at the core of everything a business needs to do to succeed in the customer experience economy today.”

Wednesday, 02 January 2019 07:50


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“We are also seeing clear indications that contact center buyers are starting to think along the lines of choosing the app/solution they want regardless of whether or not it is native to their platform.”

Friday, 07 December 2018 11:39


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“Generational norms and expectations will drive widespread adoption of omnichannel in the contact center whether the contact center likes it or not.”

“America’s veterans are a richly diverse group that possess leadership skills and a keen sense of personal accountability.”

Thursday, 04 October 2018 08:09

Like It or Not, Get Used to the Gig

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“The gig economy is beginning to become such an economic driving force that there are many who believe that having gig workers in the contact center—i.e., on-demand agents—is only a matter of time.”

Wednesday, 05 September 2018 16:00

The Customer Service-Support-Experience-Journey

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“This evolution will transform the contact center from delivering reactive care to ultimately predictive care—enabling contact centers to move from isolated customer experiences to cohesive journeys.”

Thursday, 16 August 2018 11:05

Phone Rage, Incivility And Why I Love Westerns

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“About 10 percent of our calls and emails today are so nasty or rude that they have made some of my reps cry.”

Thursday, 05 July 2018 00:00

The Year of The Agent

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“It’s clear that companies need a greater focus on people, alongside changes in technology.”

Thursday, 14 June 2018 15:41

Remembering Greg Sherry

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“Greg’s legacy at Verint will be one of leaning in, investing in others, lending a happy helping hand, keeping the customer at the heart of the business, and bringing out the best in one another.”

“What we believe is driving this renewed interest, or renaissance, if you will, in QM is an industry focus on employee engagement that is driving the majority of operational changes in the contact center.”

Friday, 09 March 2018 09:17

Babylon, Black Ink And Biometrics

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“In the contact center, authentication issues have become of paramount importance as such security techniques as passwords and ID numbers are increasingly proven to be ineffective in the fight against fraudsters.”

Monday, 05 February 2018 09:26

What Would Miss Manners Say?

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“Surprisingly, how to address a customer during an interaction is not part of agent training in the majority of contact centers.”

Monday, 08 January 2018 10:06

Contact Center 2018: A Fireside Chat

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“The contact center has become a focal point of business intelligence.”

Monday, 04 December 2017 11:42

2018: The Times They Are A-Changin’

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“Back in the dark days, contact center employees were considered to be disposable assets, easily replaced by a revolving door in the human resources department.”

“These are men and women who’ve sacrificed so much for our country, they deserve the dignity of work and financial stability for themselves and their families.”

“True cloud contact centers are built as cloud native platforms, not premises equipment that’s been moved to the cloud and offered at a monthly charge.”

“The most significant awards are those that not everyone wins. That means the company that won the award has truly differentiated itself and has earned external validation for its product or service.”

“While HAL was able to converse naturally with people on any imaginable topic, the conversational user experience with AI still isn’t there and probably won’t be anytime soon.”

“At some point in the not too-distant future, you’ll probably find yourself with contact center employees who function somewhere on the autism spectrum.”

Thursday, 01 June 2017 00:00

Homeward Bound

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“The at-home agent workforce is now mainstream in the global contact center industry and will likely dominate the industry before the end of this decade.”

Tuesday, 30 May 2017 18:34

Communing With Communities

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“Having a community in the contact center is an excellent way to help improve communications, deflect calls, locate expertise and resources, improve efficiencies and gain insights about those integrations.”

Saturday, 01 April 2017 13:17

Cool Hand Stew

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“Long-term relevance for Aspect was going to mean rethinking the product portfolio, rethinking how our enterprise customers are going to compete to maximize the value of their consumer relationships, and do it in an omnichannel, extreme self-service context.”

Tuesday, 07 March 2017 20:18

Let The Games Begin!

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“Gamification may be the solution much of the industry is looking for to smooth out some contact center wrinkles that have confounded it for decades.”

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 19:33

Power To The People

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“In 2017, workforce issues will need to be considered equally with customer service issues. It’s time to focus on optimizing both the agent experience and the customer experience.”

Monday, 02 January 2017 13:01

A Predilection For Predictive Predictions

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“Predictive analytics isn’t yet a mass-market solution, but it’s only a matter of time before the mass market realizes the power of predictive analytics and that changes.”

Thursday, 01 December 2016 13:26

Rocket Man

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“The numbers are extraordinary and Calabrio has become an industry force to be reckoned with under Goodmanson’s leadership.”

Monday, 07 November 2016 12:27

Your Best Bet? Hire A Vet!

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“Hiring a veteran is good business—whether you work in the contact center or as a supplier to the industry.”

Monday, 03 October 2016 15:14

I, Chatbot

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“Chatbots are impacting the customer service profession for the betterment of the worker and the customer.”

Thursday, 01 September 2016 00:00

Saddletree Research Kachina Awards

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“The Kachina Award will not be an easy award to win. It has to be earned, but those who do win will have the satisfaction of knowing that they have achieved something special.”

“The young people that I see getting ahead today are the ones whose attitude is, ‘Let me do whatever it takes for the business to be successful.’”  Verint’s Nancy Treaster shares insights on succeeding in today’s workforce.

“One thing we have in Africa now is bandwidth, and lots of it. The cloud will be the enabler of the contact center in Africa.”

An industry visionary who embodied cowboy ethics.

Blending disparate communications channels into a harmonious experience for customers and contact centers.

Digital marketing may be the buzz term du jour, but ROI and vendor relationships are the key factors in purchase decisions.

Monday, 25 April 2016 13:14

The Game Is Afoot!

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Contact center gamification in the post-Sherlockian era.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 11:08

Cinema Insomnia - What's Keeping You Up At Night?

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Findings from NACC survey reveal top contact center priorities for 2016.

Monday, 18 January 2016 14:37

Trading Places: Another Aspect Of Innovation

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Aspect is a company willing to take risks to ensure that it is ahead of the curve in developing new solutions. 

Monday, 04 January 2016 20:48

A Kodak Moment In The Contact Center

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Kodak Alaris’ AI foundry delivers artificial intelligence-based solutions for the contact center. 

Employers are finally discovering the unique strengths that military veterans bring to the center.

Sunday, 08 November 2015 20:26

The Endless Summer

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Innovative ideas, provocative products, and non-stop industry activity dominated summer 2015. 

Thursday, 24 September 2015 12:41

Roy, Gene, Dan, and Me

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The B-Western movie heroes' cowboy code emphasized principles that still have value today.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015 13:05

Dress For Success (No Speedos, Please)

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Appearance is important in business. It demonstrates respect for the events you attend, the hosts and the industry.

"The Jetsons" foreshadowed some of the most important innovations in the contact center industry today.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 11:24

You Can't CRM Your Problems Away

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Today's CRM is not a cure-all for productivity and customer service challenges.

Analytics is paving the way for cooperation among all aspects of the enterprise.

Cloud-based collaboration tools like Cisco's Project Squared (now Cisco Spark) can provide valuable expertise to frontline agents.  

Contact centers remain steadfast in their demand for learning, coaching and training solutions.

Monday, 16 March 2015 13:05

Flash Mob Bans And Other Acts Of Kindness

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It’s time for the contact center industry as a community to step up and help those in need.

Monday, 16 March 2015 12:48

What’s So Ominous About Omnichannel?

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Omnichannel customer service is about to revolutionize the industry’s understanding of first-call resolution.

As the cloud becomes a defining force for contact centers, it is important to keep data security worries in perspective.

Monday, 16 March 2015 12:20

Our Survey Says!

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2015 will be an important year for the deployment of customer survey software in the contact center.

Monday, 16 March 2015 12:10

It's A Wonderful Life

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A look at the past year, and a George Bailey-style revelation about life in the contact center industry.

Saturday, 14 March 2015 21:16

CEO Tweets And #Ladies-Unmentionables

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As digital marketing begins to push aside tried-and-true marketing strategies and social media channels morph into customer service channels, it becomes clear that we either have to jump on the bandwagon or get out of the way. 

Saturday, 06 December 2014 17:17

Navy 311: Contact Center Answers The Call Of Duty

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Military members and veterans turn to the veteran agents at Navy 311 for help and answers.  It's November once again, and, chances are, you are reading this column somewhere around Veteran's Day, which is the national holiday we celebrate on November 11th in honor of those who have served our country in the armed forces.  

Saturday, 06 December 2014 17:01

The Heroes Among Us

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Sometimes even the simplest of acts in the contact center creates an instant hero.  As we grow older, and more skeptical, finding heroes becomes a bit more difficult.  Despite Gene and Roy's sparkling white teeth, crisply fringed white shirts, and polished boots with fancy tops, I eventually learned that most cowboys aren't like Gene and Roy after all.


Saturday, 06 December 2014 15:22

Analytics Rule!

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Over a three year period, speech analytics has moved from last place to first in terms of buyer interest.  I'm not sure of the origin of the familiar phrase that claims something-or-another "rules."

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 23:49

Crossing The Contact Center Chasm

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A major separation exists between the customer service solutions that are available and those that are actually in use.  In 1991, author Geoffrey A. Moore published a book titled Crossing the Chasm.

IOE-enabled solutions allow centers to monitor connected devices and get agents involved when they can add value.  As I write this column, the newspapers and television are full of stories of the arrival of the Beatles in the U.S. 50 years ago. 

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 22:11

Take A Deep Breath - It's 2014

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Lower turnover, increasing headcount, new career tracks... it looks like things are on the upswing.  In my first column of 2013, I wrote about how little I linked the sound of 13 in the year.





Death, taxes and turnover are the three absolutes of life in the contact center.  The first two we can’t do much about, but the third absolute, personnel turnover, is a problem that is within our grasp to fix, yet the industry doesn’t seem have the wherewithal to do so.




Tuesday, 14 June 2011 10:13

Face vs. Facebook

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I admit I used to be a trade show junkie.  I loved seeing all the new contact center products in one place and meeting with company executives that I rarely got to see otherwise.  I met with customer service professionals from many different industries and never failed to learn something.  It was time well spent.




For the last two issues of this magazine I’ve harped on about Web 2.0, social media and social networking.  As much as I like that stuff, it’s time to shift gears and talk about an issue that is the polar opposite of a discussion regarding the latest trendy software.  In this issue I’m going to harp on about the contact center industry’s opportunity, and responsibility, to help our veterans get back to work.


Tuesday, 01 February 2011 15:20

Web 2.0: It's Not Just for Social Media Anymore...

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Contact Center Pipeline - The View from the Saddle - Paul Stockford - February 2011


The Web 2.0 desktop allows agents to personalize their desktop workspace with widgets and gadgets for increased productivity.


Monday, 03 January 2011 12:59

It Just Wouldn't Feel Right ...

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Contact Center Pipeline - The View from the Saddle - Paul Stockford - January 2011


It just wouldn't feel right if I didn't use the occasion of my first column in Pipeline to weigh in on the issues of social media in the contact center.