Matthew Storm

Matthew Storm
With an explosive start in the customer service industry, Matthew has an eye on tech and a heart for the customer. Matthew is the Director of Product Marketing on the OpenText CEM team and enjoys speaking to customers, debating with journalists, and traveling the world.

OpenText WFO Video Series: How can the Contact Center Align with the top Priorities of Executive Leadership?

Contact Center WFO Asurion

Competing in any market based on delivering an outstanding customer experience is ranked by many CEO’s as a top priority in the coming years. Yet, as indicated by KPMG  in the 2016 report Now Or Never: CEOs Mobilize For The Fourth Industrial Revolution, “customer loyalty is a concern for 90 percent of CEOs [and just] over half believe they are not keeping pace with customer expectations.” This reality represents an important opportunity for every contact center because customer service agents work in the front lines where customer expectations either fall short, are met, or are exceeded. Recognizing this opportunity and actually seizing it, however, are two very different things. But there’s good news: Our 2017 Video Series – Driving Contact Center Awareness Within Your Organization offers advice from industry analysts and experts about how the contact center can align with the top priorities of executive leadership – in relation not only to customer experience but to other critical KPIs as well. One of our favorite customers, Kate Drea from Asurion, participated in this year’s interview series. We love working with Kate because when it comes to partnership she walks the talk. Kate is both demanding and understanding. She knows her business and relies on close collaboration with her team and ours to keep up to speed on the latest technology. Kate listens intently and speaks with authority. You should listen to what Kate has to say about the importance of partnership at every level within her organization – all the way up to the executive suite. In the World According to Kate, partnership is the “secret sauce.” We certainly agree. This partnership with the C-suite and aligning contact center goals with those of the broader business is a really important part of being a leader, so you should take a moment to hear how the other Video Series speakers approach this topic. In all, our speakers answer eight important questions about driving awareness of the contact center within your organization and explain why this should be of interest to every contact center agent, supervisor, manager and executive: What defines a positive customer experience? Why should customer experience be a top enterprise goal? How can the contact center be positioned as a leader in customer experience? How can the contact center align with the top priorities of executive leadership? What’s the best way to coordinate contact center goals with other business units? What performance goals resonate most with executive leadership? What other tools demonstrate contact center impact to the executive team? What are some lessons learned about reporting to the executive team? And continue the conversation by using the “Get in Touch with a WFO Expert” form on the Video Series pages, or by commenting on our Video Series blog posts: We have already posted blogs related to Question 1 (authored by Steve Graff), Question 2 (from Alan Porter) and Question 3 (by Roger Lee, aka Dr. WFO). We’re excited to get all these great ideas out there in front of you. Take a moment when you can to let us know how it’s going.

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WFO Video Series: Driving Contact Center Awareness

WFO video series

I have had the pleasure of speaking with Donna Fluss, President of DMG Consulting, on numerous occasions, and she often ends her sessions with a very compelling illustration – a boardroom table with one empty seat. She then asks the audience, “How do you earn your seat at the table?” Then, with the right amount of poise and firmness, she challenges the audience to align their day-to-day lives with the quarter-by-quarter business objectives of their organization. “It is up to you,” she says, “to establish the importance of the contact center in helping the enterprise achieve its strategic goals.” In much the same way, I often see the normal cast of characters:  CEO, CFO, CMO, COO, CIO, CTO…involved in strategy, but painfully unaware of the role that their contact center plays in driving corporate customer experience goals. So to help you drive contact center awareness, OpenText WFO Software is launching a new video series with your journey in mind. Our 2017 video series is now online and features a great line-up of industry veterans and analysts. We asked each speaker their view on questions such as: What defines a positive customer experience with your company? How do you align your contact center with top priorities of your executive leadership? How do you align your goals with these other business units? And the list goes on! Visit the Video Series where you can easily navigate from question to question and  from speaker to speaker, then listen to video commentaries from each panelist. We encourage you to share the insights. Each video clip is very short, and as they are published over the coming weeks you can share a specific video with your colleagues or via social media by clicking on the blue “share” box under each video. Use the hashtag #CCTRImpact. Finally, I want to extend my sincere thanks to Donna, Jason, Keith, Kate and Roger for their time in helping us to bring this series to you. Their individual expertise is highly respected in our industry, and we all hope the advice they have offered in each video will help you get closer to having your place at the table.

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“One Step” to Make Agent Guidance Easier

Agent Guidance

Have you looked at the desktop of the average customer service employee lately?  Even with unified communications and the consolidation of systems such as CRM and ERP, most desktops look more like a NASA command center than a helpful application to deliver a great customer experience. I have good news…and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news – your IT department has a long uphill journey to merge systems, unify the tools in use and reduce the chaos of customer data. The good news is that there are ways to provide agent guidance and overcome desktop application challenges that don’t include a forklift upgrade to a single desktop application. But don’t look for an easy trail to follow with the typical solutions on the market. Tools for guidance and automation are quite common from vendors the likes of OpenSpan (now Pega) and Cicero, but we find that today’s contact centers struggle to prioritize these efforts for several valid reasons — deployment and product complexity. In fact, in the report, “These Overlooked Assistance Tools for Your Customer Service Agents Can Boost Productivity,” Brian Manusama and Jim Davies of Gartner evaluated the complexity, deployment, vendor and ROI level for such tools. Here’s is one of the tables in the report: Table 2. Technology Category Overview In layman’s terms, I believe these tools are hard to configure, hard to use and hard to deploy. But why?  First, most of these tools are designed to be professional-service-revenue-generators and not happy-customers-that-use-it-generators. Second, your IT department doesn’t want to deal with yet ANOTHER thing on the desktop to configure or install. This is exactly why the OpenText™ Qfiniti team has made Qfiniti Optimize, our agent desktop automation and analytics solution, native to the OpenText Qfiniti platform. If you’re using another call recording and quality management solution, then let us show you our integrated WFO suite. If you’re already using Qfiniti today, then most likely you have everything you need to push guidance and automation previously installed and ready to test. To show you exactly what this means, we’re inviting you to see how easy it really is. We call it the Qfiniti Optimize One-Step. One Step. Give us one broken application workflow and let us show you how to message, guide, automate and monitor the agents to better AHT, compliance and accuracy. One Team. Give us one team of agents and let us enable Qfiniti Optimize in a manner of minutes, to try the “One Process” steps to improve their efficiency. One Month. Allow that team to use the automation and guidance during a one month trial. Nothing to install, configured by you, and monitored by us. We think that you’ll like what you see, and the agents in your “One Team” beta group will like it too.  I’ve thrown dozens of pizza parties in my time for call center agents, but perhaps your beta team will throw you and IT a pizza party for a change.

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Check Your Coaching Program Expiration Date

coaching

One night while visiting family in Tulsa, I developed one of the worst headaches I’ve had in years.  The Advil container in my travel bag was empty, and I set out across my in-law’s house to find a solution to my pounding forehead. I faintly remember seeing some medicine in the laundry room on a previous visit and so I walked quietly, head in hand, through the dark house. My father-in-law is a veterinarian, so my first pass through unusual bottles in the cabinet allowed me to quickly rule out rabies, ringworm and even equine diabetes. Finally! The “human” shelf.  Advil, and not the horse version of ibuprofen, but the people stuff. I don’t care if you read this as 2007 or 2001, neither date pattern is good. And just as I was about to throw that bottle in the trash, standing in the light of the medicine cabinet, I weighed the good and bad and decided it just wasn’t worth it. To make matters worse, I finally remembered seeing a single-use packet in my computer bag, and so I just put the bottle back on the shelf and made a mental note to say something to my family in the morning. Expiration Dates Defined But did you know that these expiration dates really do stand for something?  They don’t go bad, but according to a Harvard Medical School article, expiration dates are the date at which the manufacturer can “still guarantee the full potency and safety.”  My expired Advil might make my headache go away, but after that date they can’t guarantee results. Don’t do it! So don’t risk it. I challenge you today to ask yourself this question – have you checked the expiration date of your coaching and quality monitoring program lately? Have you turned over and looked at the label on your old NICE, Verint or Calabrio system?  Do you feel like you’re either not at full potential (think targeted coaching) or fully safe (think masking and muting credit card data for PCI compliance). If you are tired of the same frustrating results or aren’t sure you’re safe anymore, it’s time for a refresh. At OpenText WFO we know that throwing the old bottle away is hard. In fact, we even know that the upgrade path alone for many of these old coaching applications is brutal. But consider the effects on your staff — supervisors that don’t coach, employees that rarely get feedback or executives that don’t see results. If this describes the expiration date on your program, I invite you to check out the infographic with ICMI. This infographic explores the challenges of using outdated coaching techniques, shares industry research that shows the root causes and potential damage of bad coaching, and makes recommendations on technologies that enable better coaching conversations in today’s dynamic contact center environment. Don’t put it back!   Don’t just put that bottle back on the shelf. Throw it away and keep it fresh in 2017. Download the infographic below today for more information.

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