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Welcome to the Carnival of Call Centres where I round up some of the more interesting and appealing news stories from the world of Call Centres, Cloud Computing and Hosted Contact Centres, sometimes adding a little commentary but always grouping the stories together in easy to digest snippets of information, knowledge, insight and ideas.

The Social Call Centre

Let's kick off with some social snippets. Social Media and Web2.0 integration to Call Centres is hot news at the moments as businesses aim to offer a true multichannel approach to their Call Centres.

Call centers get in to the social media web 2.0 arena.

Some top tips for internet chat in the call centre.

An interesting article here about how call centres are integrating themselves with an overall CRM strategy.

One interesting way for some call centres to save money and/or improve their service is by offering more Self Service interactions...but is this approach working? Big thanks to @PerceptaAus for bringing this to my attention.

Call Centres are coming home

There have been loads of articles in the mainstream news about call centres "coming home".

Is it just because of the cost? Or Service? Or other reasons?

Interesting article on Carbonite, a Boston-based company providing online data backup services bringing their centre back to the USA.

British call centre company bring their call centre back to the UK from India.

However, here's some research that says the outsource market will grow.

Ireland's aiming to be the leader of all things cloud.

Data and Information Management

Apparently the information that knowledge workers need is not readily available through technology and not all Call Centres are making use of the data they have (Sadly there is a registration wall to access the full article but the baseline metrics mentioned in the teaser sample are intriguing enough) Thanks to @TCELab for bringing this to my radar.

PCI, The Cloud, Compliance and Security

Interesting article summarising the newly published guidelines around PCI and Cloud Compliance

Skype is no longer a private haven - Microsoft have patented an Intercept Solution

PCI compliance in call centers - (sadly, there's an ad-wall before this article, after eventually skipping and/or closing a series of adverts you will reach the article.....I promise)

Customer Service is King

Guest blogger for NewVoiceMedia, Brian Galvin, on why customer service is all about creating value

Despite being in what you could call a techie job I have a deep fascination with Customer Service. My social science background has allowed me to see past the superficial "bad service" to the deeper rooted problems, usually associated with poor communication, de-motivated teams, team dynamics, company culture and basic time management problems.

I remember sitting a Customer Excellence course many years back which allowed me to place technical terms to all of the things I knew to be good customer service. It deepened my understanding of customer service but it also fueled my thirst for knowledge about customer excellent and customer service too. Sadly though, the more I read, the more I knew so little about the subject.

It's great that at NewVoiceMedia we are all taking a shared responsibility for Customer Excellence no matter what our role. Whether we are in a public facing role or not customer excellence and customer experience are right at the top of our thoughts. I digress, but I guess the point is that when Brian posted the above blog I was half way through the very excellent book "Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hsieh which outlines the success of Zappos; a company whose core ethos is excellent Customer Service. The book is making it round the NVM dev team here too.

Whilst I diverge on to books I'd also recommend giving "Drop the Pink Elephant" a read by Bill McFarlan which covers the topic of dropping the negative words from our language to help us communicate in a positive and non-confrontational way...the basics of good customer service. It actually ties in nicely with this guest post on Call Centre Helper from Carolyn Blunt from Real Results about training agents to be assertive but not aggressive when dealing with customers.

Sadly, there is always a report about bad service.

News here of Citi using Video Conferencing Customer Service and all things very snazzy. Just shows how tech is helping to lead the way in customer service.

Some good tips on how to improve your call centre, but two really jump out at me; Tip Number 8 - "Allow Flexibility" and Tip Number 9 "Consolidate Information Systems" - good post.

NewVoiceMedia

No Carnival of Call Centres would be complete without a roundup of NewVoiceMedia activity over the past few weeks.

We've got a superb video about our product Contact World.

Disruption. Jonathan Gale, CEO of NewVoiceMedia on why Disruption Conquers All.

Here come the Champs - NewVoiceMedia bring on board some champions of cloud.

Funding - We have more funding in place from our investors.

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About Rob Lambert

Rob has been with NewVoiceMedia since March 2010 and works as our Test Manager within Development. His blog will feature software testing with various posts about the hosted telephony market and changes to our domain. Outside of work he loves nothing more than spending time with his wife and three children. He also helps run an online testing community and is the editor of "The Testing Planet".

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