2017 ATSI Annual Conference: Education, Networking, Fellowship

The Association of TeleServices International (ATSI) will host the 2017 annual conference, “Education, Networking, and Fellowship,” June 27-29, 2017 at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. The conference will bring together industry leaders who will share and discuss important topics in the contact center and telephone answering service industry such as:

  • Hiring talent and training
  • Revenue enhancement techniques
  • Sales and marketing tactics

Additional sessions will explore topics such as, HIPAA agent training, business operations, and planning and financial management. This annual event also examines upcoming changes in legislation, telco competition, new technology, and equipment. The trade show and exposition, an integral part of the convention, provides an opportunity to view the latest in contact center equipment and technology.

ATSI’s mission is to promote and provide research into the development of the telephone answering and call center industries. Stakeholders can take advantage of becoming ATSI members and access a wealth of knowledge. ATSI members can:

  • Boost their TAS and contact center’s profits.
  • Participate in the Award of Excellence program, allowing businesses to be tested and recognized for quality standards.
  • Access ATSI University, offering a myriad of educational tools.
  • Use the ATSI listserv, providing access to colleagues and industry subject matter experts.
  • Forge ahead with industry trends and developments with the idea sharing member forum.

Registrations in early 2017 at www.atsi.org.

ICMI Releases Program for 2016 Contact Center Demo & Conference

Keynotes, workshops, tours, sessions, and networking to help customer service professionals succeed

ICMI, an industry resource for more than thirty years, announces the return of Contact Center Demo & Conference in Dallas. Focused on helping professionals improve customer and employee engagement, elevate satisfaction, and deliver results – the conference will empower attendees through a range of rich educational content.

The 2016 Contact Center Demo & Conference will take place October 25-27 at the Intercontinental Dallas in Addison, TX. Spanning three days, the 2016 Conference will explore the top trends of the contact center industry – including managing people, process, and technology. The combination of inspirational keynotes, in-depth educational sessions, hands-on workshops, tours of local contact centers, powerful networking opportunities, and a robust exhibit hall will heighten the knowledge and skill level of contact center professionals. More than 75 speakers across 50 sessions and 80 exhibitors will join forces to bring attendees an unforgettable week in Dallas.

“As customer service excellence becomes increasingly important, there’s more opportunity than ever for the contact center to contribute to its organization’s mission and bottom line. It’s critical for today’s customer management professionals to expand their skill sets by learning new techniques and processes,” said Patty Caron, ICMI Event Director. “Our event keeps professionals up to date on new practices, trending topics and technologies – all while expanding their network of industry connections.”

For more information and to save $200 on a conference pass by September 9, please visit: www.icmi.com/Contact-Center-Demo-Conference. Two and three-day passes are available. Register with code CM-PR and save $200 off current pricing.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

16th Annual Call Center Week Conference & Expo

The 16th Annual Call Center Week kicked off its main conference June 17th at The Mirage in Las Vegas. The conference addressed such topics as meeting the demands of customers, understanding the importance of data, retaining talent, leveraging the cloud, WebRTC, and meeting extreme pressures to prove ROI.

At Call Center Week, a variety of interviews were conducted with experts from organizations that included AT&T, Cigna, Zions Bancorporation, Fonolo, and Five 9 (all of which are featured in the 2015 post show report available at www.callcenterweek.com). Top themes from the interviews included creating a winning culture; customer-centricity and experience; training, empowering, and engaging employees; and personalization.

The roster of speakers included Nell Williams, SVP Global Sales & Customer Care of Marriott International; Leo Minervini, CIO of Carlo’s Bakery (home of TLC’s hit show Cake Boss); Teresa Chipps, VP of Marketing of Western Union; Chris Vennard, Global Product Lead of Google; and Julie Bergsteadt, VP Claims Support Operations Service of Nationwide Insurance.

“We are thrilled to be back in Las Vegas kicking off the 16th Annual Call Center Week with record breaking attendance once again,” said Lisa Schulman, executive producer of IQPC’s Call Center Week. “It’s incredible to see customer care professionals from all around the world come together under one roof to discuss and debate what the future of customer service holds.”

Winners of the Call Center Week Excellence Awards across thirteen categories were announced during an evening gala June 16th. Sponsored by Salesforce and Kronos, winners were recognized for their superior thinking, creativity, and execution across the full spectrum of contact center functions. Here is the list of winners:

  • Best in Class Call Center (Over 200 Seats): Winner: UPMC Health Plan; runner-up: NYC311; honorable mention: Dish Network
  • Best in Class Call Center (100-199 Seats): Winner: ACCO Brands; runner-up: ISN; honorable mention: Benefitfocus
  • Best Marketing Team that Supports CS: Winner: Discover Financial Services; runner-up: UPMC Health Plan; honorable mention: Blinds.com
  • Best New Technology: Winner: Convergent; runner-up: Kodak Alaris; honorable mention: Support.com
  • Call Center Leader of the Year: Winner: Mary Beth Jenkins, UPMC Health Plan; runner-up: George Larribas, WellsFargo; honorable mention: Gratia Carver, Allegion
  • Best Contact Center Culture: Winner: PGi; runner-up: UPMC Health Plan; honorable mention: Crisis Response Network
  • Best Use of Voice of the Customer: Winner: Starwood Hotels; runner-up: Discover Financial Services; honorable mention: Guidewell Connect
  • Best in Class Call Center (Under 99 Seats): Winner: Crisis Response Network; runner-up: Allegion; honorable mention: Hootsuite
  • Best Outsourced Provider: Winner: Knoah Solutions, Inc.; runner-up: Convergys; honorable mention: TeleTech
  • Best Technology Solution Provider: Winner: Fonolo; runner-up: [24]7 IntelliResponse; honorable mention: CallMiner
  • Best Training and Development Program: Winner: Discover Financial Services; runner-up: MTM; honorable mention: ISN
  • Best Supervisor of the Year: Winner: Amanda Brown, Genesco; runner-up: Rhonda Grant, TG
  • Best IT Team: Winner: Center Point Energy; runner-up: Discover Financial Services; honorable mention: Discover Bank

Save the date for the 17th Annual Call Center Week Conference & Expo, June 27–July 1, 2016, at The Mirage in Las Vegas. For more information visit www.callcenterweek.com, call 800-882-8684 or email enquiry@iqpc.com.

[From Connection Magazine Sep/Oct 2015]

Don’t Miss the 16th Annual Call Center Week

The 2015 Call Center Week Conference and Expo will be held June 15–19, 2015, at The Mirage in Las Vegas. Consider these key reasons to attend, the stellar speaker lineup of leading customer care professionals, and the special discount to readers of Connections Magazine.

Ten Reasons You Should Attend Call Center Week

  1. The number one customer care conference and expo
  2. Broad professional participation with more than 2,000 attendees
  3. New industry material and trending topics covered in 100 percent new case studies
  4. One-stop-shop featuring 200 top solution providers
  5. Input from leading organizations such as Marriott, Google, Toys“R”Us, eBay, Cigna, and more
  6. Network through Call Center IQ, an online community of more than 75,000 customer care professionals
  7. Call Center Week Excellence Awards Evening Gala on Tuesday, June 16, featuring famed mentalist and magician Oz Pearlman
  8. Over ninety hours of training and development in just one week
  9. Hands-on and interactive learning through roundtable discussions, workshops, case studies, and contact center site tours
  10. Five tracks, proving the value of five conferences in one

Inspirational Storytellers at CCW

  • Leo Minervini, chief informational officer, Carlo’s Bakery (home of TLC’s Cake Boss)
  • Jennifer Ramirez, VP global customer experience, Western Union
  • Terry Cain, VP global customer engagement, Avnet, Inc.
  • Chris Gillen, VP asset protection and customer service, Toys“R”Us
  • Kellie Adolf, VP service operations, Cigna
  • Matt Alfred, SVP, Citi Group
  • Roger Keeler, VP global vendor leader, Sprint
  • Nell Williams, SVP, global sales and customer care, Marriott International
  • Guhfren Ahmed, head of customer experience technology, eBay Inc.
  • Jim Nagle, VP card services, Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc.
  • Chris Vennard, global expert, Google, Inc.
  • Sue Peyer, director national sales quality and process, Cox Communications
  • Julie Bergstedt, VP claims support operations service, Nationwide Insurance
  • Eric Newton, service guru, CareerBuilder

For more information on speakers and session details, please visit www.callcenterweek.com to download the agenda.

CONNECTIONS MAGAZINE SUBSCRIBERS SAVE!

Mention the code 16CCW_CONNECTIONS and save 20% off your registration package. Three easy ways to register:

Email enquiry@iqpc.com

[From Connection Magazine – May/June 2015]

USA’s Leading Call Center Event is Going to Africa

TARP Worldwide research shows that across most markets, two-thirds of customers make their decisions based on convenience and service, as well as the price. Call Centre Week in America has addressed the importance of customer satisfaction for the past sixteen years, and now it has become a worldwide series for call center professionals everywhere.

IQPC announced its conference has crossed the ocean and is about to have its second annual appearance in South Africa as the Call Centre Excellent Summit, this November 18-20 at the Empire Executive Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa. Craig Steward, managing director for IQPC South Africa, is “excited to get the chance again to bring the insight and professionalism of the conference to the region for a second year.”

Call Centre Excellence 2014 will offer an opportunity for call center professionals to address challenges faced in the call center industry, such as operational cost containment, employee attraction and retention, and improving customer experience. The event will bring together call center experts from various industries to cover real-life case studies on these and more topics.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

ResortCom President Keynotes Call Center Week

Alex Marxer, president of ResortCom International, serving the timeshare industry, spoke at the 15th Annual Call Center Week. His topic, “The Quest for the Modern Contact Center,” addressed the cultural transformation ResortCom made in the past year.

According to Marxer, “Zappos inspired us to undergo a cultural transformation that became the centerpiece of our call center success. We make fantastic customer service a profit center. Our philosophy combines the spirit of innovation and partnership. We keep our clients’ portfolios healthy and cash flow strong while ensuring a positive experience for owners and members through online self-service and a customer service staff with a concierge-like attitude.”

With high-level technology and a culture combining professionalism and fun, ResortCom is able to continue to listen and be flexible. With fifty agents and 125 employees in its Las Vegas call center, they combine the operations of four company departments to handle inbound and outbound calls.

Call Center Week is the largest gathering for buyers and sellers in the contact center industry. This year’s event, themed “Competing on Service: Seize the Opportunity,” immersed the 1500 attendees in skill-based workshops, master classes, networking opportunities, and call center tours.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]

Preview of the Fifteenth Annual Call Center Week

Call Center Week is the largest and most comprehensive event for the customer service industry. This year’s event is taking place June 9–13, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. With an expected 1,500 attendees, 120 speakers, 70 sessions, and 110 sponsors and exhibitors, no other event comes close in size, scope, breadth, and depth. This year’s theme is “Competing on Service: Seize the Opportunity.”

Attendees Speak Out:

“My team gains a huge amount of information and networking opportunities. This event also serves as an opportunity to pull my team from all operation locations and enjoy some team-building activities.” -Greg Barrows, vice president/director, customer service operations, Wells Fargo

“When I walked into the room, the energy blew me away. It’s rare to see this type of energy in such a large-scale event.” -Maxine Clark, chief executive bear, Build-a-Bear Workshop (2013 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Call Center Week Excellence Awards)

“Excellent! The show has grown wonderfully. There’s very good attendance. I have attended many of the sessions, and there are lots of good speakers and a lot of good ideas that could be brought home and utilized.” -Bruce Belfiore, CEO, Benchmark Portal

“I’ve done a lot of trade shows, and I think one of the things that has happened quite well at this show is the social interaction. The organizers have done a lot to get us connected with each other, and so we’ve made some great relationships just in the last couple of days.” -Ron Burr, chief revenue officer, Callfire

Keynote Speakers and Corporate Chiefs:

  • Keith Ferrazzi, founder and CEO, Ferrazzi Greenlight, Greenlight Research Institute, author of number one New York Times Best Seller Never Eat Alone
  • Jenn Lim, CEO and chief happiness officer, Delivering Happiness and Zappos Culture Book creator
  • Jerry Nadal, SVP Resident Shows Division, Cirque du Soleil
  • Jasmine Green, chief Customer Advocate, Nationwide Insurance
  • Dr. James L. Merlino, chief experience officer, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • Ashley Kohlrus, chief experience officer, Allegacy Federal Credit Union
  • Tony Gaines, chief Customer Officer, LOGIC Electronic Cigarettes
  • Amy Latzer, chief operating officer, 211 LA County
  • Steve Riddell, chief sales officer, Blinds.com
  • Mary Beth Jenkins, chief operating officer, UPMC Health Plan

Connections Magazine Subscribers Save! Mention the promo code 15CCW_CONNECTIONSMAG and save 15%. Three easy ways to register:

  1. Register online: callcenterweek.com
  2. Call: 800-882-8684
  3. Email: enquiry@iqpc.com

Connections Magazine is a proud media partner of Call Center Week, brought to you by IQPC.

[From Connection Magazine May/Jun 2014]

Highlights of the Future Call Center Summit

By Brian Cantor and Shawn Siegel

The more than 400 executives who attended the Future Call Center Summit were treated to the biggest and best event in the Summit’s nine-year history. This year’s new futuristic theme and 95 percent-new speaking faculty ensured that the discussions were forward-looking and at a higher level than ever before.

Over the course of the four-day event at Disney’s Contemporary Convention Center in Orlando, a few major themes jumped out at us. Here are some insights learned about two of these important themes:

Performance Management: Performance management was paramount at this year’s Summit. The idea that businesses need to improve their strategies for driving performance garnered universal support. If the call center truly deserves the label of “profit center” rather than “cost center,” then performance management will help justify the new label.

In the early portion of his workshop presentation, “Driving Contact Center Performance,” Uptivity’s Ryan Prestel revealed the five steps to managing call center performance. Those five steps form an endless cycle. Performance can always get better, which means improvement must be continuous:

  1. Set goals: Before focusing on specific performance measurements, businesses and call center leaders need to come to an aligned understanding of their fundamental objectives.
  2. Define indicators: After developing clarity on the objectives, leaders must establish a handful of integral performance indicators from which to gauge success.
  3. Measure results: Once confident they have selected performance indicators that speak to the business’ fundamental objectives, leaders can rely on those metrics to provide a relevant, accurate snapshot of performance.
  4. Identify opportunities: No business performs perfectly; the measurement process will reveal areas needing improvement. Whether it depicts crippling points of weakness or strengths that can become stronger, effective measurement will uncover opportunities for improvement.
  5. Enable action: Knowing how to improve a call center function is worthless if that knowledge does not drive change. Businesses must ensure that the relevant internal and external resources are positioned to seize opportunities for improvement.

Nuanced Metrics: While macro concepts like improving customer satisfaction, building loyalty, and increasing revenue are fundamental goals for all businesses, they lack the nuance needed to drive day-to-day strategy.

Certain classifications, however, can more precisely capture the nuance of business motivation than stratospheric objectives like revenue and customer satisfaction. They can identify more intermediate goals to achieve when launching new products, investing in new technologies, or adopting different customer service strategies.

In their joint presentation at the Future Call Center Summit, MicroAutomation and Nowanalytics identified three such classifications: product leadership, customer intimacy, and operational excellence. These classifications describe the means of achieving big picture objectives, such as raising customer satisfaction. Distinct in their conceptions of the customer experience, the three classifications naturally require distinct sets of performance metrics:

  • Product Leadership: creating differentiation based on the quality or uniqueness of a product. Businesses demonstrate successful product leadership by creating an appealing product that garners sizable market penetration and favorable reviews from customers. Essential metrics are customer satisfaction score, conversion rate on marketing and sales efforts, adoption rate, and retention rate.
  • Customer Intimacy: creating differentiation based on the level of engagement with the customer. Businesses demonstrate successful customer intimacy by creating valuable experiences throughout the lifecycle. Essential metrics are first call resolution, customer effort score, and service level.
  • Operational Excellence: creating differentiation based on the efficiency of the customer engagement process. Businesses demonstrate operational excellence by delivering expedient, low-cost customer service experiences. Essential metrics are cost per call, average handle time, and self-service completion rate.

Performance management and nuance metrics were the two of the biggest topics discussed by customer champions at the Future Call Center Summit. These topics will be explored in more depth at our flagship event, Call Center Week, taking place this June in Las Vegas.

The fifteenth annual Call Center Week (www.callcenterweek.com) will be held June 9–13, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay Casino & Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over 1,500 customer-centric professionals will gather together at Call Center Week, the industry’s number-one event that’s unrivaled in size, scope, breadth, and depth.

Connections Magazine subscribers can save 15 percent when they register with code 15CCW_CONNECTIONSMAG. Email enquiry@iqpc.com or call 800-882-8684 for more information.

[From Connection Magazine Mar/Apr 2014]

The Future Call Center Summit

Call Center Summit is celebrating its ninth year with a newly branded and improved summit: The Future Call Center Summit. This event challenges the status quo and explores remarkable service every time, everywhere.

The future is here. Technology is moving into the cloud, and customers are contacting you via their mobile devices. Social media and mobile technology have created an “always on” society where the conversation never stops, changing the face of customer service as we know it.

The Future Call Center Summit is where customer care professionals, experienced visionaries, and technology experts convene under one roof to discuss how to leverage service as a pinnacle business driver. The event focuses on the opportunities and obstacles service career professionals must be aware of to keep on top of trends and remain ahead of the curve.

Featured industry speakers include:

  • Lisa Oswald, SVP Global Customer Service, Travelzoo
  • Bob Simmonds, VP Domestic Travel Operations, Disney Destinations
  • Jim Cavale, COO, Iron Tribe Fitness
  • Colleen Abdoulah, CEO/chairwoman of the board, WOW! Internet Cable Phone
  • Ashutosh Anil, Business strategy specialist, customer experience, Best Buy Canada, Inc.
  • Eric McKirdy, Worldwide customer care and technical support, Ask.com
  • Chuck Sliker, VP operations integration and measurement, Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc.
  • Richard H. Goldberg, VP corporate quality, Cisco Systems, Inc.

The Future Call Center Summit will take place January 21–24, 2014, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida. For more information, call 800-882-8684 or email enquiry@iqpc.com.

[From Connection Magazine December 2013]

Contact Center Trends to be Shared at Summit

Customer Management IQ earlier introduced the agenda for The Future Call Center Summit, supported by leading customer-centric organizations. Executives from these organizations will discuss the future of contact centers in Orlando from January 21-24, 2014.

Early confirmed sponsors included Interactive Intelligence, Uptivity, Levementum, MicroAutomation, IQ Services, Harte-Hanks, NCR Corporatio, SenCommunications, and Nobelbiz. Newly confirmed sponsors include Five9, Plantronics, inContact, Fonolo, Genesys, BenchmarkPortal, Twilio, TrustID, Oracle, Addasound, DSR Partners, Jabra, StellarBPO, Kaplan, and SAP.

In addition to an exhibit hall with the latest contact center technologies, part of the exhibit hall is reserved for the Innovation Theater, with presentations delivered by select sponsors to create an intimate environment for innovative discussions.

To register or inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.thefuturecallcentersummit.com or call 1-800-882-8684.

[Posted by Peter DeHaan for Connections Magazine, a contact center publication from Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.]