SOCAP International

SOCAP Blog

  • Piggly Wiggly to Chatbots in 100 years

    Posted on: 08/22/2017

    grocery shoppingChatbots are here to stay and are quickly becoming the sound of doing business at home, in the office and on the road.

    Self-Serve Innovation

    Who knew the chatbots self-serve pedigree could be traced back to a small grocery store in Memphis, Tennessee? It’s hard to image walking into today’s supermarket but in 1917 shopping for your daily bread required a store clerk who “picked” your shopping list from the shelves while you waited. In 1917, Clarence Saunders the founder of Piggly Wiggly grocery stores had a better idea. He replaced the store clerk with customer self-service and was rewarded with a U.S. patent and a personal fortune for his innovation. Ordering and fulfillment would never be the same again.

    Clarence’s aha moment permanently changed the buyer to seller relationship and created what we label today as the self-service economy – impossible to image that self-checkout  would someday have an estimated global value of $245B.  Driven by the rapid adoption of what has become inexpensive technology, AI / Bot self-service is part of the fabric of everyday life delivering more choice, convenience, personalization  and anywhere, anytime accessibility to an explosion of products and services. It’s a long way from Clarence’s SKU count of about 600 items and the store clerk’s paper pad and pencil.

    Dialing for Dollars

    Old phoneIn common with the grocery store of their day, our first telephone networks required the buyer (caller) to speak with a clerk (operator) who facilitated the service by patching the calling parties together with cables plugged into the operator’s panel. This was true until 1919, when the American Bell Telephone Company purchased the secondhand rotary telephone patent and stitched together the first national service for user controlled (self-service) rotary dial telephones – a system that would remain intact until the 1970’s when rotary was displaced with push button tone dialing foretelling the digital revolution to come. You remember Ma Bell don’t you?  In our time of 2.3B global self- serve smartphone users and the everyday practice of bouncing cell phone signals off of unseen orbiting communication satellites high above our heads, it’s hard to believe so much has come so fast from a humble home town innovation.

    Chocolate to Self-Serve Cash

    ATMCredit for the world’s first automated teller machine or ATM, goes to John Shepherd-Barron. It’s a fun moment of discovery. While soaking in a hot bath, John connected vending chocolate bars with dispensing cash from a self – serve money machine conveniently accessible to customers outside of banker’s hours. John’s aha moment in 1965 realized two years later with the first ATM installation by Barclays Bank in Enfield a London suburb.  To operate, the user inserted a paper bank check encoded with a unique 4 digit PIN followed by a matching keypad entry.

    Yes, this was the first use of personal identification numbers. Today, over 3 million machines are in use worldwide with functionality far beyond simply dispensing cash and a profit center for the issuing bank.

    What’s Next?

    Fast forward 100 years from the first self – serve market and we have successfully innovated our way to virtual service by way of smart devices stitched together by the IoT. We all enjoy the many benefits in price, choice, convenience, customization and anywhere, anytime accessibility. What I find exciting is the path ahead. Think about it. Chatbots speak your native language, remember you by name and voice, get smarter with every transaction, never forget what you last ordered and in some cases offer purchase predictions based on your behavior. Is this starting to sound familiar? Sounds to me like all they may need someday is an apron, pad and pencil.

    Learn more in-person about chatbots at Moving at the Speed of Innovation: SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference, October 22-25 in San Diego, CA!


    Pettinato_FrankFrank Pettinato is the senior vice president/general manager, multichannel customer engagement, C3i Solutions, which is a leading provider of contact center services for several of the world’s best-known brands, in particular, the food/beverage and retail industries. Pettinato oversees all aspects of the development and execution of the company’s strategic plan. Pettinato has held C-level positions in the consumer packaged goods, business services and technology industries. His areas of expertise include operations, technology, sales and marketing. He holds a Masters of Business Administration in international business from Saint Joseph’s University and a Bachelor of Science from Temple University.

  • August SOCAP Scoop

    Posted on: 08/15/2017

    Your August SOCAP Scoop
    Check out the white paper below on Building an Innovation Process.

    Building an Innovation Process


    KeynotesJUST ADDED! Fitbit to Keynote at Moving at the Speed of Innovatio: SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference

    Walk away with fresh ideas on innovation in customer care from our line-up of inspiring keynotes including Jay Kershner, Vice President of Customer Support at Fitbit.

    Learn more about Moving at the Speed of Innovation, register now for SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference at the early bird rate (available through September 15)!

    register


    Quick Poll: Do you share the voice of the consumer (VOC) by including voice clips of actual calls into your reports to other corporate stakeholders?

    Take this quick poll to see what innovative approaches companies are currently using for quality monitoring. Learn more about how your company measures up at SOCAP's Quality Monitoring Workshop, September 13 in Detroit, Michigan.

    Register now and book your hotel by August 22!

    register


    Employee Engagement Research Initiative

    researchSOCAP members are invited to participate in a Customer Care Employee Engagement research initiative from McKinsey to gain actionable insights on what drives employee engagement in call centers. The initiative will collect, analyze, and report out the levers that impact employee engagement and those that do not. Furthermore, it will work to understand which levers and tactics are being deployed in call centers today to address retention. Based on these results, management teams can determine which factors are worth investing in to improve the satisfaction of their workforce.

    McKinsey has built a survey that assesses derived agent satisfaction with a range of engagement factors. A survey link along with a suggested email message will be provided to you and the call center management teams you identify to distribute to your agents. The survey will take no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete and is, of course, 100% voluntary and completely confidential. The messaging explains that the purpose of the initiative is to better understand the factors that make a call center a great place to come to work each day. It will ask agents about their tenure, how satisfied they are overall, and how satisfied they are with specific operating practices (e.g., frequency of huddles).

    Once survey data has been collected from a sufficient sample of agents, McKinsey and SOCAP will share the findings. This will include:

    • Relative importance of various retention levers (e.g., supervisor effectiveness, socialization opportunities, management practices, facilities), to help you know where to focus
    • A fact base of the percentage of call centers per industry that employ specific practices, such as daily team huddles, pay-for-performance incentives, etc. This will help you know how your organization stacks up in driving retention.

    To learn more or to participate in this survey, please contact Whitney Gretz at whitney_gretz@mckinsey.com


    What does innovation mean to you? [Video Contest]

    InnovationSOCAP invites you to:

    • Submit a video (60 seconds or less)
    • Tell us what innovation in customer care means to you or your organization
    • Be creative and have fun with your responses!

    Enter for a chance to win 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.

    Deadline to submit a video: August 31, 2017 - See full video contest details here.

    Submit Video


    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 - Beyond CRM: Rethinking Customer Service in a Connected Digital Age

    digital ageSeptember 21, 2017 (2-3pm ET)

    For years, companies have used CRM as the software of choice to manage customer engagement and information, in an attempt to deliver a great customer experience. While managing the front end of the engagement process is important, delivering superior customer service requires more than that.

    Join us as we discuss on this webinar:

    • The need to shift customer service delivery strategies to go beyond engagement, by taking advantage of the collective wisdom in and around the enterprise
    • New technologies
    • Closed loop processes to resolve customer issues and to prevent calls before they happen
    • Essential capabilities for delivering proactive customer service

    Click here to save your seat now!

    register Your Community

    Member Magnet Double Points Palooza!

    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

    Learn More

    Welcome New Members

    • Uzziel Valencia, Agero - Southwest Regional Chapter
    • Mandy Mcgee, Bellisio Foods - Minnesota Chapter
    • Julie Kreger, EPI Marketing Services - Great Lakes Chapter
    • Jay Kershner, Fitbit - Northwest Regional Chapter
    • Sarah Dudley, Ocean Spray Cranberries - New England Chapter
    • Lizzie Resnick, SmartPak - New England Chapter
    • Tamera Connolly, Taconic - New York Metro Chapter
    • Stephanie Stevens, Teleperformance - Southwest Regional Chapter
    • Ann Debbie Young, Trinidad & Tobago National Petroleum Marketing
  • July SOCAP Scoop

    Posted on: 07/21/2017

    July Scoop
    Innovation MakeoverWatch the video message below from Moving at the Speed of Innovation Keynote Speaker: Tamara Kleinberg.

                                               


    space-shuttleLearn More from Tamara at SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference

    Read the latest blog post by Annual Conference Keynote Speaker, Tamara Kleinberg. Add that innovative spark to all of your biggest challenges and greatest opportunities.

    To learn more about Moving at the Speed of Innovation, register now for SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference at the early bird rate (available through September 15)!

    Read Full Post



    Gain Insights on Innovative Approaches to Monitoring: SOCAP's Quality Monitor Workshop

    Take this quick poll to see what innovative approaches companies are currently using for quality monitoring. Learn more at SOCAP's Quality Monitoring Workshop, September 13 in Detroit, Michigan.

    Registration Rates:

    • SOCAP Member: $425
    • Non-Member: $525

    register


    Summer 2017 CRM Magazine coverRead about up-and-coming innovative technology, tools and trends in the Summer 2017 Issue of CRM Magazine!

    Click here to start reading your Summer 2017 issue of CRM Magazine.

    In this issue focused on Technology, Tools and Trends you will find:

    Read CRM Magazine


    What does innovation mean to you? [Video Contest]

    InnovationSOCAP invites you to:

    • Submit a video (60 seconds or less)
    • Tell us what innovation in customer care means to you or your organization
    • Be creative and have fun with your responses!

    Enter for a chance to win 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.

    Deadline to submit a video: August 31, 2017 - See full video contest details here.

    Submit Video


    Your Professional Development

    Online Course - Stop the Bleeding: How to Turn Your Complaining Customer into a Loyal Customer

    online learningJuly 20, 27; August 3, 10 (2-3pm ET)

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

    • Part 1: Thursday, July 20 (2-3pm ET)
    • Part 2: Thursday, July 27 (2-3pm ET)
    • Part 3: Thursday, August 3 (2-3pm ET)
    • Part 4: Thursday, August 10 (2-3pm ET)

    In this course you will learn:

    • Three ways to communicate the good news and make the customer really glad to hear from you
    • Five ways to communicate the bad news without saying “That’s not our policy”
    • How to handle problem customers with empathy, agreement and solutions

    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 - Are You Even Listening? Avoiding Consumer Meltdowns Through Effective Engagement

    August 8, 2017 (2-3pm ET)

    Click here to save your seat now!

    register Your Community

    Let's Grow Our Community! Become a Member Magnet.

    TeamHelp 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

    Learn More


    Upcoming Events

    Don't forget to include SOCAP in your summer plans! Mark your calendar for these upcoming events.

    Upcoming Events

    Welcome New Members

    • Jeofrey Bean, Del Mar Research - Southwest Regional Chapter
    • Ursula Dunn, Diageo Global Supply - Chicago Chapter
    • Doug Fry, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada - Canada Community Chapter
    • Mathias Guttu - New York Metro Chapter
    • Mary Hall, V12 Data - Chicago Chapter
    • Guy King - Southwest Regional Chapter
    • Elizabeth Ramirez, Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Inc. - Northwest Regional Chapter
    • Krystal Sautter, Bay Valley Foods - Heartland Chapter
    • Ravi Singh, EGain Corporation - Northwest Regional Chapter
    • James Vecchio, EpiAnalytics, Inc. - Southwest Regional Chapter
  • Innovation, If You Don’t Someone Else Will

    Posted on: 07/12/2017
    changeChange is happening, and sometimes in surprising ways. Customer behaviors and expectations, marketplace variables, competitive landscape, advances in technology, how you do your job - the waves of change are constantly hitting us.

    In order to not just catch up with change, but to get ahead and harness change, innovation must be more than a point-in-time exercise or something siloed to the select few. Innovation must be a part of the fabric of your organization.

    And, as the accelerated rate of change isn’t enough, here are a few other key points that make the case for dialing up your culture of innovation.

    Success Yesterday Versus Today

    survival rateOut of the the 500 companies that made up the Fortune 500 in 1955, only 61 still existed in 2014 and it’s dropped from there. That’s only a 12.2% survival rate. What led to success yesterday is not what leads to success tomorrow. Even the most successful, those that were considered icons of industry are on that list. They had all the resources, people and knowledge to innovate, but instead, they rested on their success and the marketplace left them behind. You must continually apply innovation to your work to stay ahead of the curve. Blackberry helped create the computer in the palm of your hand category and sadly are nowhere to be found today.

    If You Don’t Someone Else Will

    Sears vs. Amazon. Blockbuster vs. Netflix. Crossfit vs. The Rest Of The Fitness World. The beauty of today’s world is that the playing field is more even than ever. That means anyone can start a business. That also means that the competition is fierce and continually nipping at your heels. All too often I’ve seen companies not even see their competition as a threat until it was too late and the competition had already taken big chunks of their market share. Our biggest competition are the ideas and competitors that you don’t even know about yet, but they are coming. Simply put, if you don’t innovate, someone else will.

     

    Marketplace Expects It

    marketplaceYour customers, whether that’s in a business-to-business or a business-to-consumer world, expect and value innovation. They want you to solve their biggest needs in new and innovative ways, and create products and services that rock their world. We are humans and it’s our nature to want to be associated with people and businesses on the leading edge, not the ones being left behind. The marketplace demands innovation and they’ll either open up their wallets to pay for it or go find someone else that will serve their needs.

    Armed with this understanding of the importance of innovation, here are 5 ways to dial up the innovation so you can add that innovative spark to all of your biggest challenges and greatest opportunities.

    Get Past Information

    There’s a big difference between information and insights. Information is the data, the research, the content. Insights are the patterns, trends and ideas that emerge from that information. The two are often confused because we are trapped in information overwhelm and never get to real insights. Many of our clients share with me how they are so inundated with daily tasks and overwhelmed with the flood of data they receive that they don’t have the time or the energy to innovate. We’ve got to find ways to get rid of unnecessary work on our desks and strip away the data that is just creating noise and get to the thinking and analyzing phase faster. The magic happens in uncovering those nuggets of insight that lead to smart decisions.

    Assumption Bust

    Every industry, business, and even department has them. They are the “rules” of the business, the assumed ways of doing things. Perhaps they are how it’s done in your industry or the way the business has always worked. Often times they are unstated rules that have been in place longer than most of us can remember.

    monkeyThere is a story about a research study that was done with monkeys. In this story, the monkeys are in a large cage. At the top of the cage the researchers put a banana. When the first group of monkeys try to go for the banana they squirt them with water, hence, punishing them for going for the banana. They learn to not go for the banana and to in fact pull each other down should another monkey try. Over time, new monkeys are added to the cage and when those monkeys go for the bananas the older monkeys pull them down so they can’t go for the banana. Over time, new monkeys are continually introduced until none of the original monkeys are in the cage. Yet, the learned behavior of not going for the banana remains and the monkeys continue to stop each other from going for the banana. Think of this research story in the context of your business. How many of your ways of doing business are rules that have been passed down from one person or team to the next, yet are of no value in today’s landscape?

    How many assumptions of how things have to be done are actually legacy thinking that is now hindering innovation and progress? To leverage innovation you’ve got to do some serious assumption and rule busting.

    I have found the easiest way to break away from those assumptions and rules is to ask what I call, Inciting Questions. These aren’t the usual questions or the questions you’ve always asked. No, these are the questions that stir and prompt totally new thinking. They challenge and break through those assumptions.

    In this video I explain how to use this easy innovation tool to challenge the assumptions holding you back.



    Remove “ER” From Your Vocabulary

    Simply put, better isn’t enough in today’s crazy competitive marketplace. To be successful today, you need to be different. When we settle for a customer experience, product or service that is bettER, fastER, smoothER, etc. all we are doing is adding to the noise in the eye’s of our customers. And, we are opening ourselves up to being out “ER”ed by our competition. It’s easy to be a little faster or a little nicer, but, it’s hard to compete with meaningful differentiation. Challenge yourself by exploring completely different solutions. Ask yourself, “if we couldn’t do this anymore what would we do?” or ideate with the premise that business as you do it today has completely gone away and you must come up with new paths and solutions.

    Capable & Responsible

    In my 20 plus years of work in the innovation field, I discovered that everyone is capable of and should be responsible for innovation. When innovation is siloed to a specific team or project, it tends to fail. Companies that harness innovation as their competitive advantage recognize that innovation comes from all rungs of the organizational ladder. Everyone from their customer representatives and administrative staff to r&d and the c-suite are accountable for bringing innovation to their work. In my definition of innovation - people each thinking differently about whats right in front of them to create differentiated value - everyone can and should participate.

     

    Avoid Launch & Abandon

    rocketThink of innovation like a rocket in space. If you fire up the engines to get the rocket off the ground to only turn them off or not engage new engines, that rocket is hurling back to earth for a fiery crash. This is the same in business and we see it all the time. In fact, it’s why we created our On Demand Innovation Platform so that our clients could have access to the tools they needed to continually keep the innovation fires burning strong. Otherwise, the Launch and Abandon strategy is actually making them work twice as hard in the long run and hindering their results. Avoid it at all costs.

    As I mentioned above, everyone is capable of and responsible for innovation. At my organization, LaunchStreet, we are dedicated to providing easy to implement innovation tools and resources that can be used to elevate a culture of innovation that leads to bottom line results. For specific tools and resources you can use with your teams, visit gotoLaunchStreet.com. And for those of you joining me at Moving at the Speed of Innovation: SOCAP's 2017 Annual Conference in October, we’ll cover a few of our top tools and more.



    Tamara KleinbergTamara Kleinberg
     is an innovation thought leader, seasoned entrepreneur and keynote speaker. She is the founder of LaunchStreet, an organization that provides innovation inspiration and tools and the creator of the Innovation Quotient Edge (IQE), the only assessment that helps you discover your unique Innovator Archetype so you can innovate on demand. Tamara is a CrossFit addict, Netflix binger and owns a 90-lb Mastiff named Zoey.

     
  • June SOCAP Scoop

    Posted on: 06/21/2017

    Your June SOCAP Scoop

                                             

    What does innovation mean to you? - Video Contest

    InnovationSOCAP invites you to:

    • Submit a video (60 seconds or less)
    • Tell us what innovation in customer care means to you or your organization
    • Be creative and have fun with your responses!

    Enter for a chance to win 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.

    Deadline to submit a video: July 31, 2017. See full video contest details here.

    Submit Video


    Quality Monitoring Workshop

    Save Your Seat Now!

    SOCAP's Quality Monitoring Workshop, September 13 in Detroit, Michigan, is:

    • An interactive one-day event focused on common quality issues within the contact center
    • Tailored to meet the needs of supervisors, managers and specialists responsible for quality and performance improvement from ALL industries

    SOCAP is currently seeking panelists and sponsors for this event. Contact Twanisha@socap.org for more information

    Registration Rates:

    • SOCAP Member: $425
    • Non-Member: $525

    register


    Let's Grow Our Community! Become a Member Magnet.

    TeamHelp 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

    Learn More

    Your Professional Development

    Online Course: Create a Customer-Centric Organization

    lightbulbsJune 27 & July 11, 2017 (2-3pm ET)

    Mark your calendar for this two-part SOCAP Online Course. In this course you will learn:

    • How you can inspire individuals, teams and the entire brand to become more focused on what it takes to win customers
    • Practical steps for ensuring the customer has a "seat at the table"
    • How to infuse customer-focused thinking as a natural and routine practice

    Please note: To receive a certificate of completion, you must attend both live sessions, complete a course evaluation and pass a short assessment.

    register


    Free Webinar for Members - ChatHelper: Using AI Technology to Enhance the Customer Experience

    artificial intelligenceJuly 18, 2017 (2-3pm ET)

    As companies explore the use of chatbots to offer effective forms of self-service for customers, there has been growing concern over the challenges associated with this approach and the lack of smooth transition from bot to human agent in instances in which a human might have to step in to meet the needs of a customer. Join this session to learn more about a different approach to chat bot technology where bot and agent work in unison and instead create a more effective customer experience that promotes efficiency, consistency and accuracy.

    register
    Your Community

    SOCAP's KPI Benchmark Results Executive Summary (Free Member Resource)

    Speaker

    Click here to access SOCAP's Benchmark Study on KPIs.

    SOCAP's Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Benchmark Survey was conducted this year to help customer care managers become more aware of the value of KPIs at their disposal.

    Indicators and scorecards are key tools used by customer contact managers to assess their performance. It validates productivity and quality of customer contacts. The major challenge faced by managers is the overwhelming amount of indicators available. The key of success is to choose KPIs on which managers can take immediate action to optimize customer contact center operations and customer experience.
     
    For a more in-depth look at the benchmark study results, check out the webinar recording in the SOCAP Learning Portal.

     


    And the Winner is.....

    Thank you to all those who completed the Member Engagement Survey to help improve your SOCAP membership experience!

    • Elizabeth Meunier, Beech-Nut - $75 Visa Gift Card
    • Nakeia Morris, Coty Inc. - $75 Visa Gift Card
    • Linda Perkins, Wiley Publishing - $75 Visa Gift Card
    • Lori Koors, Nature's One, Inc. - $75 Visa Gift Card
    • Paul Osborne, Levi Strauss & Co. - $75 Visa Gift Card
    • Sally Carlson, Roche Diabetes Care, Inc. – Complimentary registration to the 2017 Annual Conference

    Welcome New Members

    • Michael Davito, VDS - Great Lakes Chapter
    • Shannon Withem, Pegasystems, Inc. - Indiana Chapter
    • Ann Stott, Yokohama Tire Corporation - Southwest Regional Chapter
    • Giovanna Downey, Johson Health Tech - Wisconsin Chapter
    • Daniel Ductor - Southwest Regional Chapter