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A Message from Anirudh Kulkarni

Anirudh KulkarniManaging Principal, Customer Value Partners

Welcome to Customer Value Partners’ The Voice, a blog to keep you up-to-speed on customer management trends, best practices, and insights from a field of experts that include our clients from Fortune 500 organizations, analysts, and other emerging leaders. Read about the latest technologies and trends, including analysis of contact center issues, digital media updates, and links to cutting edge commentary from renowned sources. I hope that you find the information enlightening. I encourage your active feedback, creating an open exchange with others in your area of expertise, so you can be privy to what they are thinking and experiencing. Enjoy!

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Analysis BEFORE Technology: Improving the Contact Center

Len GoldmanLen Goldman, Sr. Manager, Customer Value Partners

Contact centers – handling phone calls, e-mails, faxes, written correspondence, and web chat – face major hurdles associated with managing key performance indicators. I’ve worked with many organizations that thought upgrading their technologies would be a quick fix, only to find that their service levels had not improved. So what were they missing?
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When PMOs Don’t Work

Anirudh KulkarniAnirudh Kulkarni, Managing Principal/CEO, Customer Value Partners
I was with a client at a large Federal agency a few days ago. She’s a program manager responsible for a wide range of important veteran support initiatives. She seemed harried. She has a lot of balls in the air – data calls, meetings, storyboarding for the modifications to the case management system, meetings with inter-agency working groups addressing similar veteran’s issues, contract reviews, meetings with community organizations, etc., etc.

The discussion naturally moved to organizational management capacity, and I asked her whether there was a PMO – a Program Management Office – that she was channeling to organize all these activities and ensure that they were aligned. The answer was immediate – “Yes, but it’s very IT-focused.” She had a wry smile on her face as she spoke. It was clear that the PMO added limited value to her.
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The Sexy Side of Quality

Marquis Payne Marquis Payne, Manager, Customer Value Partners

In today’s fast-paced contact center environments, a quality monitoring program alone is only half of the Quality Assurance puzzle. How do you analyze, then transform, those hours of listening, scoring, documenting and coaching into useful data? And how do you, then, take that data to the next level and make it actionable?

The answer is simple: through Business Analytics and Intelligence.
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We’re Not Responsible! Are We?

Eric TompkinsThird-Party Information Risk is Your Risk
Eric Tompkins, Sr. Manager, Customer Value Partners

The Challenge
Government agencies, commercial enterprises, or not-for-profit companies, are responsible for managing the risks to their stakeholders and customers. It doesn’t matter if the risks are incurred from COTS software, vendor-provided services, or out-sourced business processes. From the standpoint of the stakeholders and regulators, the principal organization owns the responsibility. Given the potential cost of doing nothing, how does a principal organization answer the following questions?
• What is the sensitivity / criticality of the information accessed, processed, stored, transmitted, or otherwise “touched” by our vendors and partners?
• Exactly where is the information and what is each vendor doing to it?
• What are the impacts to our stakeholders if the confidentiality, integrity, availability, or accountability of the information is compromised?
• We’ve got hundreds of vendors – how can we establish risk assurance?

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Retail-related Apps Still Coming

Neal ThurmanNeil Thurman, Principal, Customer Value Partners

A Vision of Our Shopping Future | Fast Company

I can’t claim to be an expert in the field of catalog marketing so I’ll keep my comments on the first half of the article brief.  Catalog Spree honestly sounds a lot like SkyMall in app form.  Vaguely interesting I suppose but the idea of aggregating product lines into a single catalog doesn’t seem to be something that will fundamentally change my shopping experience.  Unless there are a lot of features – alerts and the like – that allow me to spend less time browsing through massive product compendiums and get straight to the sort of things the system knows I like, I can get this sort of experience at Overstock or Amazon, etc.  The notion of the app being superior to just using the iPad’s native web browser to shop across manufacturers and retailers seems like a high bar.

The much more interesting app here is Scan It! app.  Click here to learn more.

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Security in the Cloud

Eric TompkinsEric Tompkins, Sr. Manager, Customer Value Partners

How do you reduce the risks of having servers in closets, under desks, and other insecure facilities?   What cost savings will you gain by virtualization of data centers?  There are lots of misconceptions out there about the Cloud, and finding the best way to approach it while keeping your critical data secure can be daunting.  You’ll need insights on how to set up the proper PMO for your Cloud project, evaluate potential vendors, and address the requirement for migrating critical applications to the Cloud detailed in the USCIO/OMB’s “25 Point Plan.”  Here are some first steps on how you can consolidate, virtualize, and improve data accessibility in an even more secure environment than you are in now.    Read the rest of this entry »

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Multi-Channel Strategy Design, Development and Deployment

Georgianna CrosbyGeorgianna Crosby, Principal, Customer Value Partners

Offering multiple channels within your customer service operation is not the same thing as having a fully integrated Multi-Channel Strategy.  According to CFI Group, “a customer-focused Multi-Channel Strategy shifts thinking and actions away from the unitary channel and towards the holistic customer experience.”  We also believe that a comprehensive multi-channel strategy should reflect what the market will bear in addition to what the organization is prepared to support.  While this approach may lead to an initially less comprehensive model, it is then very important to provide a robust experience that becomes better over time than a multi-faceted but poor experience.
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Mixed Messages on User-Generated Content

Neal ThurmanNeal Thurman, Principal, Customer Value Partners

Current TV Pledges to Break Ground Online with Keith Olbermann | paidContent

In the same week, we have had major and mixed messages about the value (and the future) of user generated content.  On upside, there is the annual Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest that invites anyone who cares to enter to submit an advertisement for Doritos.  Doritos broke ground with this concept a number of years ago and has stuck with it.  They received an incredible amount of publicity for the campaign in the first year but it seems that the hype around the user-generated aspect of the advertisement erodes more and more each year.  That said, it is still probably the biggest and most public re-affirmation over the course of the year that user-generated can still be a productive tool.  Doritos is a huge brand and their loyalty to this tactic surely can sway others that there is something to the concept.

On the downside, we see the linked announcement above about Keith Olbermann joining Current TV as not only a major personality but as an equity partner.  Click here to learn more.

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Calibration: The Missing Link to Quality

Georgianna CrosbyPosted by Georgianna Crosby, Principal, Customer Value Partners

For most call centers, monitoring telephone calls is a standard procedure. The question is, what is done with the data that is gathered during the monitoring process? What are the modifications that need to be made and how are they best executed? What are the metrics? As we roll into a new era of communication, call centers must prepare to handle numerous contact channels (to include Twitter and Facebook) while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction. Based upon current benchmarks, many are failing to attain even their minimum goals. What is the missing link? Read the rest of this entry »

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Coverage of Warrior Gateway and our Speech at the MarkLogic Conference

Neal ThurmanNeal Thurman, Principal, Customer Value Partners

Warrior Gateway uses crowdsourcing to help veterans get necessary information — Federal Computer Week

Devin Holmes, Executive Director of the Warrior Gateway, and Black Turtle’s* own Rob Stoltz presented the Warrior Gateway to the MarkLogic conference earlier this week.  The presentation covered how the infrastructure we helped design and build is being used to create an exceptional web presence as well as a platform for other sites targeted at Veterans integrate Warrior Gateway functionality so that they don’t have to spend precious time and money recreating what the Gateway has already done very well.   Click here to learn more.

* Black Turtle Media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Customer Value Partners

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