SOCAP International

SOCAP Blog

  • November SOCAP Scoop

    Posted on: 11/17/2017

    November Scoop

                                                             Double Deal

    Renew Your SOCAP Membership Today to Take Advantage of the Double Deal!

    If you haven't already, renew your SOCAP membership now to get the best savings for 2018! Register for both of SOCAP's 2018 national events by December 31, 2017 at the Double Deal rate of just $2,900 ($1,450 per conference). That's a savings of over 15% so don't miss out!

    This offer is only available for a limited time to current 2018 SOCAP members. Click here to take advantage of this special offer.


    Share Your Knowledge and Insights at SOCAP's 2018 Professional Development Forum (formerly the Symposium), April 22-25 in Baltimore, MD

    Now Accepting Workshop Proposals

    SOCAP's Education Committee is now accepting workshop proposals through Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

    Our 2018 Professional Development Forum will offer deep-dive workshops on a range of relevant topics designed to increase and advance the professional knowledge for customer care leaders at all levels.


    SOCAP's Online Course: Social Media Monitoring and Community Management - December 5 & 12 (2-3pm ET)

    Social NetworksRegister now for this two-part SOCAP Online Course on:

    • Part 1: Tuesday, December 5 (2-3pm ET)
    • Part 2: Tuesday, December 12 (2-3pm ET)

    In this two-part series, PepsiCo and The Hershey Company will help customer care professionals:

    • Learn the fundamentals of social media monitoring and explore appropriate tools and strategies needed for effective social listening and measurement.
    • Learn the importance of building relationships with your consumers and growing brand love.

    Registration Rates:

    • SOCAP Member: $170
    • Non-Member: $240

    register

    Your Professional Development

    SOCAP's 2018 Professional Development Forum

    SOCAP's 2018 Professional Development Forum

    SOCAP’s new 2018 Professional Development Forum (formerly the Symposium) has been designed to enhance the skill sets of customer care professionals at different levels. The Forum is structured to provide interactive learning experiences that will immerse attendees in specialized content with a focus on continuous improvement. Workshop tracks at the Forum are organized by years of experience in customer care:

    • Track I: Entry Level (5 years or less)
    • Track II: Mid-Level (5-10 years)
    • Track III: Senior-Level (10+ years)

    Learn More


    Submit a Webinar Proposal for SOCAP's 2018 Webinar Series

    Webinar Proposal

    Are you passionate about a trending customer care topic that you want to share with your peers and community?

    SOCAP is currently seeking submissions for our 2018 Webinar Series. We invite you to share your knowledge and expertise on emerging trends, key practices and up-and-coming technology.

    Our webinars are designed to offer members additional education and learning opportunities impacting customer care professionals featuring brand presenters.

    Click here to submit a webinar proposal for 2018.

     Your Community

    Winner of $100 Amazon Gift Card!

    To those who submitted feedback, thank you for rating your experience at our Moving at the Speed of Innovation: SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference! We greatly appreciate the comments received to help us identify ways to improve on future events.

    Deb Riley of McComick & Company is the winner of our drawing for a $100 Amazon Gift Card for completing the evaluation survey. Thank you, Deb! 


    How SOCAP Changed Me

    Check out this blog post from one of our Annual Conference keynote speakers, Johnny Russo of Mark's Corporation, on "How SOCAP Changed Me."

    How SOCAP Changed Me
    ...click here to read more.

    Welcome New Members

    • John West, Jr., Tyson Foods, Inc. - Chicago Chapter
    • Paul Matson, McDonald's Corp. - Chicago Chapter
    • Diane Staub, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. - New York Metro Chapter
    • Doug Frey, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada - Canada Community
    • Sophie Jason-Holt, Tomboy.Strategic - Northwest Regional Chapter
    • Sandra Lund, Elevated Foresight - Southwest Regional Chapter
    • Guyanne Sauve, Maple Leaf Foods - Canada Community
  • October SOCAP Scoop

    Posted on: 10/31/2017

    October Scoop
                                                 Hotel Del Coronado

    Did you miss our Moving at the Speed of Innovation: SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference?

    Check out the Twitter takeaways from our Moving at the Speed of Innovation: SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference to catch a glimpse of what you missed out on.


    Fall 2017 CRM CoverYour Fall 2017 Digital Issue of CRM Magazine

    Read the latest issue of CRM Magazine.

    In this issue focused on Moving at the Speed of Innovation you will find...

    • Conscious Capitalism: When Company Culture Drives Innovation
    • Commercial Innovation--What It Means for You and Your Company
    • 5 Ways to Dial Up Your Innovation
    • PLUS BONUS CONTENT exclusively in the online edition including podcasts, extra articles and more!

    Click here to read your Fall 2017 issue of CRM Magazine now!


    White Papers and Resources on Innovation

    White Papers

    Partnering with some of our Moving at the Speed of Innovation: SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference business partner sponsors and exhibitors, SOCAP is pleased to provide new white papers and resources to our members:

    • A Headset is No Longer Just a Headset!
    • A Quick Guide to Modernizing Customer Service
    • Achieving Digital Maturity
    • Are You Invisible?
    • Building an Innovation Process
    • Agents & Chatbots: Better Together!
    • 15 Ways to Ensure Your Brand is Ready to Engage the Mobile Consumer
    • Combining the Best of Human and Machine Intelligence
    • Consumer Engagement Trends: 4 Emerging Channels to Watch
    • Glossary of AI Terms
    • There's a Bot For That: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence on the Internet

    24-7 Intouch

    Your Professional Development

    Online Course - Email Writing Masterclass

    email writing masterclassNovember 7 & 14 (2-3pm ET)

    Register now for this two-part SOCAP Online Course on:

    • Part 1: Tuesday, November 7 (2-3pm ET)
    • Part 2: Tuesday, November 14 (2-3pm ET)

    This two-part series will help customer care professionals improve their own email writing skills, so they achieve results when writing to colleagues and decision-makers in their organizations.

    In this workshop, you will develop your own writing skills; it’s not about developing front-line agents’ skills in writing emails to customers.

    • Part 1 of this online course includes hands-on writing activities, so you can learn how to write the subject line and first paragraph as well as how to write mobile-friendly email.
    • Part 2 of this workshop will teach you how to control your tone and build rapport as well as how to write templates to reuse in business email.

    Please note: In order to receive a certificate of completion, you must attend all live sessions, complete a course evaluation and pass a short assessment.

    register


    Webinar - Implementing an Effective Quality Management Process

    Implementing an Effective Quality Management ProcessNovember 9, 2017 (2-3pm ET)

    Curious about how Quality Management can have a positive impact on your business? Learn from UW Valley Medical Center in this case study webinar on Implementing an Effective Quality Management Process.

    Learn from their success as we discuss:

    • Basic building blocks of the quality management process and why they are important
    • Capabilities required to support an effective quality management process
    • Background on Valley Medical and why they decided to invest in quality management
    • What their next steps are as their quality management process matures

    Strong quality assurance is essential for any contact center that values high customer satisfaction. Find out how to implement a successful program within your own organization.

    register Your Community

    Member Magnet Program Winners!

    TeamOur Member Magnet program was a huge success this year! We'd like to congratulate our 2017 Member Magnet winners:

    • Michael Wheaton, Alliant Credit Union - Suite upgrade
    • Darren Prine, Bright Pattern - $100 Amazon gift card
    • Skip Harris, Phone Ware Inc. - $25 Visa gift card
    • Patrick Nicholson, Alta Resources - $25 Visa gift card
    • Karen Vaughn, Nike Inc.  - $25 Visa gift card 
    • Tim Ross, Genesys - $25 Visa gift card 
    • Lynn Diegel, The Clorox Company - $25 Visa gift card

    Welcome New Members

    • Nick Jiwa, CustomerServ - Houston Chapter
    • Laurie Miller, Cask - Southwest Regional Chapter
    • J. Scharisse Mejia, Robert Bosch Tool Corporation - Chicago Chapter
    • Aleks Bogdanovski, Acquire BPO - Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter
    • MaryClare Deane, Extern Ireland
  • Yes, Boomers Do Want to Text Your Company for Customer Service

    Posted on: 10/05/2017

    BoomersIf your company is gearing up to offer customer service via text, that’s great! Your customers are going to love the convenience. Texting is their go-to channel for personal communication, and they’re eager use it to contact companies when they have questions or need help.

    But as you plan your roll out of texting for customer service, beware of a common trap: Don’t anticipate that your younger customers will love texting you and your older customers won’t. While texting behaviors do differ slightly by the age of the person holding the smartphone, customers of all ages will use text for customer service if you make the channel easy to use. If you assume your older customers aren’t into texting, you’re mistaken.

    Like Everyone Else, Boomers Use Smartphones for Texting

    Younger people in the workplace sometimes assume that older people don’t text very much, but there’s an avalanche of research that proves this isn’t true. If we just focus on recent research findings, there’s plenty of evidence that older people do text … a lot!

    In 2015, Pew Research Center reported that 92% of smartphone owners age 50+ used text messaging at least once during the survey period. By comparison, 98% of smartphone owners age 30 – 49 used text messaging, and 100% of smartphone owners age 18 – 29 used it. So yes, younger people are more avid, but these figures show why we shouldn’t exaggerate how much age affects a person’s texting habits.

    Just like their younger counterparts, older people are texting more and using other communication channels less. AARP research shows that among people 50 to 59, text messaging has overtaken email as the tool most used to stay connected.

    Experian research also shows that when it comes to texting, the generations are a bit different, but not strikingly different. By age, there was almost no meaningful difference in the percentage of smartphone owners who texted during a typical week: 91% of Millennials, 92% of Generation X, 92% of Boomers, and 94% of the Silent Generation. The study did show that the generations differ far more on how much time they spent with social networking: 74% of Millennials spent time this way compared to only 58% of the Silent Generation.

    The Culture of Texting Is Different for Older Customers and Younger Customers

    TextingIt’s true that younger people use their smartphones more, and for more purposes, than older users. It’s also true that there are striking cultural differences between the generations, and some of these differences show up in how people text. Younger people are more likely to start, and end, romantic relationships via text. They may receive a job offer via text, and they may consider, for just a moment, turning it down via text (bad idea). A younger person, who’s downstairs, may be more likely to text her spouse, who’s upstairs, to ask what he wants for dinner. For younger people, texting could be called a lifestyle. For older people, it may just be one way to use a communication device.

    But when it comes to using text for customer service, these cultural differences between younger and older people do not matter much. If it boils down to younger people being “very likely” to use text and older people being merely “quite likely,” companies should be encouraged. If you build it, they will come. If you do provide customer service via text, most of your customers, including the older ones, will gladly use it.

    Make the Experience of Texting for Customer Service Great for All Your Customers

    Rather than dismissing your older customers as uninterested in texting you—or hyperfocusing on your younger customers as only interested in texting you—invest your effort in giving all your customers a great experience when they text you for service.

    • Be like ESPN and allow your customers to contact you via mobile app when they are experiencing issues or have questions about their account: “Hi – I have a question about creating a Fantasy League, can you help?” “Of course! What is your question?”
    • Texting for customer serviceBe like Lyft, a ride sharing service, and allow your customers to text you post-ride with questions and issues: “Hey, I was overcharged for my ride twenty minutes ago from SoHo to Madison Square Park. Can you help?” “Hi Jessica! Sure, no problem. Let me take a look at your ride history.”
    • Be like Verizon, and use two-way text messaging to notify your existing customers that it is time to renew a plan or purchase an accessory for their phone and allow them to respond: “Hi Jessica, you are eligible for an upgrade! Would you like to purchase the iPhone 7?” “Wow that went by quickly! How much does the 7 cost?”
    • Be like Winc, an online wine creator and curator, and allow your customers to text in questions directly from your Instagram page: “Hey…I’m on your Insta and was wondering how sweet the bottle of Chardonnay that you just posted is?” “Hello there! Thanks for visiting our Instagram page! Our latest post is a sweeter Chardonnay with pear and apple flavors.”
    • Be like PupJoy, a dog-subscription box service, and have new customers text in promo codes: “PupJoy” “Enter code “HappyTails” at checkout for $15 off any PupJoy subscription box plan at www.pupjoy.com”

    Using text to connect with older customers is just good common sense. While it’s true that we each know that one older neighbor, friend, or relative who doesn’t use text at all or very well, we know many more older people who text all the time. While they may not live in their smartphones the way younger people do, your boomer customers want to text you, and you should start making that happen right away.


    O'Flahavan_LeslieLeslie O'Flahavan is an author, an online writing expert, and a sought-after speaker. She helps customer service organizations improve the quality of the email, chat, and social media messages their frontline staff write to customers.
  • September SOCAP Scoop

    Posted on: 09/28/2017

    September SOCAP Scoop

    PodcastListen to the latest podcast on Conscious Capitalism: When Company Culture Drives Innovation

    Check out the latest SOCAP Podcast with Nathan Bobay of Delta Faucet on what traits in a company's culture allow innovation to thrive.

    Tune in to this podcast and learn more from Nathan at Moving at the Speed of Innovation: SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference, October 22-25 in San Diego.

    register


    Buzzwords articleSneak Peek: Fall 2017 Issue of CRM Magazine

    Get a sneak peek of the Fall 2017 Issue of CRM Magazine with this article on Beyond the Buzzwords: How to Use Tomorrow's Tech Today.

    Innovation doesn't have to take the forum of paradigm-shifting quantum leaps. Instead, follow these three steps.

    Read Full Article


    lightbulbHave a White Paper You Want to Share on Innovation?

    In support of Moving at the Speed of Innovation: SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conferenceyou are invited to submit an existing or newly created white paper that addresses Innovation.

    Benefits of sharing a white paper:

    • Your company will receive full attribution and great visibility with all SOCAP members.
    • The white paper will be share with attendees prior to the conference and with the full SOCAP membership after the conference via email, social media and eNewsletter.
    • Your white paper resource will also be posted on the SOCAP website.

    Please submit your white paper to socap@socap.org.


    video contest winnerWhat does innovation mean to you? [Video Contest Winner: John Stieger, Wilke Global]

    Congratulations to John Stieger of Wilke Global! You are the video contest winner and will receive a free hotel suite upgrade at the Hotel del Coronado for the Annual Conference.

    Join hundreds of the brightest minds in customer care for Moving at the Speed of Innovation, SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference, October 22-25 in San Diego, California.

    Hotel Reservation Deadline: October 5, 2017 - Click here to book your hotel room now!

    Your Professional Development

    Online Course - Email Writing Masterclass

    email writing masterclassNovember 7 & 14 (2-3pm ET)

    Register now for this two-part SOCAP Online Course on:

    • Part 1: Tuesday, November 7 (2-3pm ET)
    • Part 2: Tuesday, November 14 (2-3pm ET)

    This two-part series will help customer care professionals improve their own email writing skills, so they achieve results when writing to colleagues and decision-makers in their organizations.

    In this workshop, you will develop your own writing skills; it’s not about developing front-line agents’ skills in writing emails to customers.

    • Part 1 of this online course includes hands-on writing activities, so you can learn how to write the subject line and first paragraph as well as how to write mobile-friendly email.
    • Part 2 of this workshop will teach you how to control your tone and build rapport as well as how to write templates to reuse in business email.

    Please note: In order to receive a certificate of completion, you must attend all live sessions, complete a course evaluation and pass a short assessment.

    register


    Webinar - Implementing an Effective Quality Management Process

    November 9, 2017 (2-3pm ET)

    November WebinarValley Medical Center is a textbook example of how a new quality management process can be introduced with immediate tangible results yet without creating significant additional overhead. To help achieve their strategic vision of improving the patient experience, Valley Medical made the watershed decision to implement quality management across its most important contact centers.

    Learn from their success as we discuss:

    • Basic building blocks of the quality management process and why they are important
    • Capabilities required to support an effective quality management process
    • Background on Valley Medical and why they decided to invest in quality management
    • What their next steps are as their quality management process matures

    Strong quality assurance is essential for any contact center that values high customer satisfaction. Find out how to implement a successful program within your own organization.

    Click here to save your seat now!
    register 

    Bots VideoWhy 2017 Is the Year of Bots [Video]

    1. Natural language understanding has progressed.
    2. Customer service expectations have changed.
    3. Chatbots can make your job easier.
    4. Chatbots can use data you already have to personalize your marketing.
    5. Chatbots are easier than ever to create and deploy.

    Click here to read more and watch the video.

    Your Community

    Member Magnet Double Points Palooza! - Your Last Chance!

    TeamThrough September 30, you will receive DOUBLE POINTS for every new member you refer. The member with the most points wins the grad prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card!

    Help SOCAP identify other passionate customer care professionals to grow our community! Learn how you can become a Member Magnet to earn points and win some great prizes.

    SOCAP Member Magnets in the lead:

    • Pat Nicholson, Alta Resources: 15 points
    • Lynn Diegel, The Clorox Company: 15 points
    • Tim Ross, Genesys: 15 points
    • Chip Rohde, Wilke Global: 15 points
    • Karen Vaughn, Nike: 15 points
    • Darren Prine, Bright Pattern: 15 points

    Learn More


    CPG meetingCPG Community Meeting

    Wednesday, October 25 | 9:00am - 1:00pm

    Whether you’re looking for innovative strategies to improve your customer care department or just wanting to stay abreast of relevant issues specific to the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for at the CPG Community Meeting during SOCAP’s Annual Conference!

    This year's program will be comprised of three sessions covering relevant and timely industry topics including:

    • Digitally Transforming Consumer Experiences to Thrive
    • Roundtable Discussion: Customizing Your Consumer Care
    • *Back By Popular Demand! - CPG Benchmarking Survey Findings and Discussion

    Register Button


    door prizeDonate a Door Prize - Gain Visibility!

    Showcase your company at Moving at the Speed of Innovation: SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference by donating a door prize. Door prizes should have a minimum retail value of $100. No coupons please.

    Click here to fill out the door prize form and email to socap@socap.org. Door prizes should be brought to the Annual Conference and dropped off at the registration desk.

    Welcome New Members

    • Maria Rintz, S.C. Johnson & Sons - Wisconsin Chapter
    • Danielle Ringwelski, North Highland - Georgia Chapter
    • Camille Judge, Cincinnati Bell - Ohio Chapter
    • William Gardinier, Seneca Foods Corporation - New York Metro Chapter
    • Titus Capilnean, DigitalGenius - Northwest Regional Chapter
    • Brian Smith, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy - Chicago Chapter
    • George Hillier, Account Acumen - Chicago Chapter
    • Anita Kowalski, Actuant Electrical - Wisconsin Chapter
    • Ticia Rowser, Browning/Winchester - Southwest Regional Chapter
    • Kenna Hess, Bush Brothers & Company
    • Laury Janus, Collection Experts, Inc. - Chicago Chapter
    • Barbara Vass, Dole Packaged Foods, LLC - Southwest Regional Chapter
    • Patricia Taylor, E.D. Smith & Sons - Canada Community Chapter
    • Jose Bracero, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC - New York Metro Chapter
    • Marion Wozniak, McDonald’s Corporation - Chicago Chapter
    • Kathleen Andersen, McDonald’s Corporation - Chicago Chapter
    • Brad Anderson, Performant - Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter
    • Vanessa Van Overmeer, RapportBoost.AI - Southwest Regional Chapter
    • Jeff Ostapa, ICall Services - Heartland Chapter
    • Wayne Ramprashad, Voci Technologies, Inc. - New York Metro Chapter
    • Candice Nooy, Lamb Weston - Northwest Regional Chapter
    • Gareth Green, Constellation Brands, Inc. - Southwest Regional Chapter
    • Robert Nielsen, University of Alabama
    • Blaithin Underhill, ServiceNow - Southwest Regional Chapter
  • Intelligent Agents (The Human Side)

    Posted on: 09/05/2017

    Conversations abound with talk of the BOT (a web robot that automates tasks) takeover in our customer care practices, but how will the human element evolve? If in just 3 short years 85% of interactions will be handled by BOTs, where does that leave the other 15%? This article focuses on the 15% and its importance within our customer care ecosystem, and how you can ready yourself for the impact this will have on your organization.

    artificial intelligenceNo doubt that through automation, many of the mundane tasks, questions and answers that are already housed in databases (account balances, order status, locations, appointment reminders, and so on) will be handled by some form of self-service. These will take place through Mobile, Web, and Voice- IVR channels that have been automated to mimic human characteristics during their conversations. Some will be fully assisted, while others will need human intervention.

    The 15% of those that need human intervention are going to require movement between systems, authorization, and a higher cognition than a BOT today can provide. Readying your organization for this transition will be key. Talk times will be higher to help these customers; therefore, the same number of talk minutes will more than likely occur. In other words, you will have the same staff (in numbers) as you do today, but you will require talent with the capability to perform within these types of complex situations. The bottom line is that customers expect more from agent interactions.

    What will you need to succeed?

    1. Understand your customers and their expectations. 

    expectationsOf course, you can do journey mapping exercises or focus groups to gain insight, but more than anything, you should really put yourself in your customers’ shoes. They want you to know who they are, what they are doing, and why they are doing it. If you can recognize and fix it for them ahead of time—all the better.  That is part of the 85%, not the 15%.

    Be well connected (technically) and anticipate their issues.  There are a variety of options available to enable agents with tracing information on mobile and web devices.

    2. Create automated applications and coax your customers into using these new technologies instead of calling for routine issues.

    Market the new technologies to show their value—lead your customers to them, and incentivize these customers to use the new technologies. Minimize the frustration of using the other options (it may be time to retool). Accessibility, convenience, and ease of use are key attributes. Conversely, you could hide or remove the “voice” option or add cost to speak to an agent.

    3. Begin to recruit, hire, and train differently than today.

    Think of your organization as the most important part of the company. A transformation may need to occur within some companies to allow the center to be a place to “grow into” rather than “grow out of.” Many times today, the center is the first stop on the employee’s career path. Perhaps it should be stop 2 or 3 instead.

    4. Hire great leaders

    Hire people to lead the organization through this massive transformation, which includes the co-existence of “man” and “machine.” Manage the expectations appropriately, gather necessary input, and continue to evolve. Remember the adage: “Companies rarely die from moving too fast, and frequently die from moving too slowly.”

    LeaderSkill sets can include strong problem-solving skills, multi-disciplinary knowledge, technical savviness, on-going training, and the assurance of employee and job satisfaction.

    Measure differently. Think about the contribution of the resolution of a call, CSAT, NPS, customer churn rates, and cost or revenue per call instead of AHT, number of calls, abandon rates, etc.

    As we move through this incredible transformation, contact centers will increasingly use technologies that mimic human interactions. Some customers will be served exclusively by these ChatBots. Customers who cannot be satisfied through artificial intelligence and machine learning will still require human intervention.

    Today’s representatives will require more complex skills than entry-level positions provide. The new skill sets will be more technical, with deeper product understanding, and higher problem-solving abilities. As customers increasingly need these representatives’ assistance, they will have lower tolerance levels for a long time to resolution. More than ever, agents will be influencing CSAT, NPS, and Customer Loyalty scores. It is important to begin planning so that our companies are not left behind. In a land of BOTs, an understanding of humanity remains essential: Keep customers feeling happy and valued, or they will look for greener pastures (or, at the very least, a more convincing simulation of greener pastures).


    Kathy SobusKathy Sobus, SPS Director, Customer Experience Practice

    As Director of Customer Experience for SPS, Kathy Sobus drives strategic alliances and partnerships with various vendors and providers. Under her leadership, SPS’s customer experience experts consult with clients to identify areas of growth. Prior to joining SPS, she spent more than 16 years at Avaya, holding roles that included Global Contact Center Lead and Contact Center Strategist. She has been credited as an inventor on 11 patents, including “System and Method for Managing Agent Schedules in a Contact Center,” which was awarded earlier this year. She was named to CRN’s 2017 Women of the Channel list.