Michele Masterson

Michele Masterson

Michele Masterson is the deputy editor of Information Today's smartcustomerservice.com and senior editor of speechtechmag.com.

Articles by Michele Masterson

While customers are increasingly contacting customer service in multiple channels, many companies remain unsure of implementation, especially when it comes to the social media channel.
Posted June 25, 2015

How can you drive customer engagement? Take a page from Marriott's playbook and recognize that human capital may be your best resource.
Posted June 18, 2015

The conference's keynote speaker says that creativity, risk-taking, and emotional engagement can be as powerful as analytics.
Posted June 11, 2015

New suite enables broadcasters to comply with FCC regulations at scale.
Posted June 04, 2015

Using speech analytics to create personality models, agents are better matched with callers, yielding stronger engagements.
Posted June 02, 2015

A new report finds that there are wide margins between what companies think their customers want when it comes to support, and what their customers really want.
Posted May 26, 2015

Does the customer always come first, or does agent happiness? Five9's Freedom aims to make both sides happy by providing streamlined technology that promises to boost the customer experience.
Posted May 21, 2015

Video capabilities not only provide protection from compliance violations, but can further customer relationships.
Posted May 12, 2015

In the age of hyper-connectedness, appliances and smart systems will be able to send auto notifications to representatives. Brace yourselves, the IoT is coming to a contact center near you.
Posted May 06, 2015

Agents who have mentally checked out of their jobs means dissatisfying customer experiences. But why are they detached? Hint: Look up the corporate ladder.
Posted April 30, 2015

In a multichannel-obsessed world, it's not all about the latest and greatest technology. Does your company need to go back to basics?
Posted April 23, 2015

While WFM sales are gaining, veteran vendors are slow to refresh their systems, leaving room for more nimble vendors to capture the market, says Donna Fluss.
Posted April 16, 2015

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ICMI analyst Justin Robbins offers tips to keep you up to speed with the changing face of customer care.
Posted April 08, 2015

A revamped WFO suite prioritizes customer engagement and employee optimization with an assist from analytics and voice biometrics.
Posted April 01, 2015

How can you provide stellar customer care if you knowingly hinder the progress of your front line? Put your money where your mouth is—up-to-date technology and respect means engaged employees and happier customers.
Posted March 25, 2015

Think your organization offers a great multichannel experience? Unless you're connecting the dots between channels, your customer service is less than optimal.
Posted March 18, 2015

Data science fuels better workflows and business processes.
Posted March 11, 2015

A CFI Group study suggests agents and their call performance can influence purchasing. Read our exclusive interview with CEO Sheri Petras.
Posted March 04, 2015

The multichannel solution keeps customer interactions fluid and enables public negative conversations to go private.
Posted February 26, 2015

Being able to find the right agent at the right time means a better customer experience.
Posted February 19, 2015

The add-on solution provides browser-enabled customers quicker service from WebRTC-equipped agents.
Posted February 12, 2015

Don't want to deal with incompetent, rude agents? Go straight to the top.
Posted February 10, 2015

Other updates include Web browsing history, improved skills-based routing, and policy automation.
Posted February 05, 2015

You may be laser-focused on the front line when it comes to improving customer service, but often problems originate in the back office. Are you seeing the forest for the trees?
Posted January 29, 2015

The best customer service is an effortless experience. Live chat can deliver on that promise and save you money too.
Posted January 21, 2015

If monitoring your Twitter feed is such an effective customer service strategy, why are nearly 80 percent of top companies not responding to customers?
Posted January 14, 2015

Technology incorporates real-time streaming, voice biometrics, and analytics to thwart fraudsters.
Posted January 08, 2015

As businesses head into the new year, more emphasis is being placed on security. Here are some measures companies can take to mitigate risks in the contact center.
Posted December 18, 2014

The SIO market includes traditional and developing technologies to support an increasingly connected world.
Posted December 10, 2014

Vasili Triant says, keep it simple and stop overthinking customer service.
Posted December 04, 2014

Aspect sees WebRTC hurdling from hype to must-have technology.
Posted November 24, 2014

Whether offering greater multichannel insights, motivating agents, or fostering employee collaboration, Kana's latest enterprise platform blends customer engagement with context.
Posted November 10, 2014

Intelligent virtual assistance gives [24]7 self-service capabilities.
Posted November 10, 2014

Big Blue steps away from its hardware cocoon and incorporates social into its strategies.
Posted November 06, 2014

WebRTC and gamification are among the solutions poised to gain increased visibility and traction in the contact center market in 2015. Here's what Aberdeen Research director Omer Minkara says should be on your radar.
Posted October 30, 2014

After offending customers, the nation's largest retailer fails to issue a direct apology and scrubs its social media sites of negative feedback.
Posted October 27, 2014

Attrition is the bane of contact centers. If you want to hold on to your best agents, engage them the way you would your customers.
Posted October 23, 2014

Cold software combined with warm bodies equals happy customer care.
Posted October 14, 2014

Separately, Five9 releases a standalone TCPA solution to comply with FCC regulations.
Posted October 09, 2014

The convergence of technology shifts means looking at users based on their digital proficiency.
Posted October 02, 2014

Speakers highlight the problem of service gaps between channels; Verint Engagement Analytics is announced.
Posted September 23, 2014

Miscommunication and division between lines of business can spell a customer exodus.
Posted September 18, 2014

It may take a village to keep your customers happy and improve your bottom line, but you need patience.
Posted September 11, 2014

Companies that ignore this generation can kiss their brands good-bye.
Posted September 04, 2014

You say tomato, I say tomahto—let's just call it customer service.
Posted August 21, 2014

Mobile devices are changing the paradigm of how to think about the customer experience.
Posted August 20, 2014

Want to really please your customers? Step away from technology for a minute and go old school.
Posted August 19, 2014

Even if you don't have a social media presence, your customers do. Meet them at least halfway.
Posted August 14, 2014

Once an arid market, outbound solution sales are climbing thanks to new government regulations, improved technology, and the cloud.
Posted August 07, 2014

Satisfying today's customers is easier with real-time analytics.
Posted July 31, 2014

After throwing its rep under the bus, will Comcast learn how to improve customer service?
Posted July 23, 2014

Do you hate wasting time on bad customer service when you're on the clock? So will your company, which stands to lose $900 per employee in lost productivity.
Posted July 17, 2014

Red Hat migrates legacy structure to Genesys Customer Experience Platform.
Posted June 25, 2014

If your customer service model emphasizes wowing customers over offering efficiency, you may be going about it all wrong.
Posted June 18, 2014

Features include visual IVR, an enhanced business rules tool, and a multichannel agent desktop solution.
Posted June 12, 2014

These days, the keyboard is mightier than the sword. If you're not responding to complaints on social media as quickly as your current customers expect, you're not only alienating them, but potential customers as well.
Posted June 05, 2014

Additional service modules include unified communications, social customer service, and corporate directory.
Posted June 03, 2014

There's gold in every nugget of information generated by your customers. So why aren't you taking advantage of big data?
Posted May 29, 2014

When it comes to call center agent interactions, sounding like a real person instead of a robot is a sure win with customers.
Posted May 22, 2014

Contact centers are hot to try new technologies, but can they get C-level executives to bite?
Posted May 14, 2014

The 'build it and they will come' rule has been thrown out of the playbook. Follow your customers and find your fit in the multichannel world.
Posted May 08, 2014

Biometrics solution authenticates callers through a multilayered process.
Posted May 02, 2014

Are you wearing blinders when it comes to your company's contact center? These call center mistakes can dent your bottom line but the right adjustments, agents, managers and technology can contribute to a happy return.
Posted April 30, 2014

While demand for workforce management systems continues to increase, its growth is solid but not spectacular. Can cloud and mobile solutions save the day?
Posted April 23, 2014

Features include deeper integration with Saleforce.com, white labeling, and custom integration of APIs.
Posted April 15, 2014

Do you think your contact center is safe from lawsuits? Think again. The rise in mobile channels is increasing legal woes for the contact center.
Posted April 09, 2014

Do you have a strategy to handle your mobile customers—or are you thinking about implementing one? Here are some tips to point you in the right direction.
Posted April 02, 2014

Artificial intelligence fuels a sophisticated omnichannel platform.
Posted March 25, 2014

While management focuses on satisfying customers, it starts with your front line. Are you making it easy for your agents to wow your customers?
Posted March 18, 2014

The move is the latest in a flurry of acquisitions to boost Mitel's contact center presence by adding voice recording.
Posted March 07, 2014

In a Q&A, IDC analyst Melissa O'Brien talks about the adoption surge in the cloud contact center services market.
Posted March 03, 2014

Virtual assistant technology brings Salesforce technology to consumers' level.
Posted February 25, 2014

From contact center solutions to social media to building communities, here are some actionable steps to take to instill confidence in your company.
Posted February 20, 2014

When it comes to contact center failures, technology may be the least of your problems.
Posted February 12, 2014

Good customer service means going beyond gathering consumer information. What you do with that information can impact your bottom line.
Posted February 05, 2014

Smaller Avaya clients can now access features such as inbound and outbound multichannel customer interactions.
Posted January 28, 2014

Does loyalty still exist? Do customers care more about the experience they receive rather than the product? Here are some thoughts about winning karmic service points.
Posted January 21, 2014

Solution offers smoother customer service for citizen and government interactions.
Posted January 16, 2014

Jetstar launches virtual assistant using Nuance's Nina customer service platform.
Posted December 19, 2013

The solutions include technologies from Angel, Utopy, and Soundbite Communications, such as call recording, screen capture, and analytics.
Posted November 19, 2013

Increased migration from premises-based solutions to the cloud represents a huge opportunity for vendors, but are they getting it right?
Posted November 13, 2013

Every company dreads the angry customer. Here are some ways to alleviate their pain—and yours.
Posted November 05, 2013

When one channel fails, the onus of delivering a good customer experience can fall on call centers, but can they deliver?
Posted October 29, 2013

Once you've gotten reluctant customers to call into the contact center, how do you convince them to stay with the company?
Posted October 22, 2013

The acquisition of the outbound solution provider gives Nuance a leg up in the inbound/outbound call center solutions arena.
Posted October 11, 2013

Using both traditional and new methods of collecting customer feedback, the newly combined company aims to take a large stake in the multibillion-dollar customer experience management and voice of the customer markets.
Posted October 08, 2013

Social media is here to stay. Here's one way to leverage it to your advantage and turn customers into brand advocates and positive reviews into sales.
Posted October 01, 2013

Frustrated with trying to understand a customer rep in a foreign country? Overloaded with seasonal demand? Companies like XACT Telesolutions are helping to solve these problems and others.
Posted September 24, 2013

Technology is a must for any business, but don't lose sight of the human element, namely your customers. At this year's KANA Connect user conference, Jim McCann spoke about the importance of engaging customers by listening to what they are thinking and reaching them where they are.
Posted September 18, 2013

By matching accountability with feedback, companies can now proactively engage customers and circumvent negative experiences.
Posted September 11, 2013

Q&A with Omer Minkara, Aberdeen Group: More and more companies are realizing that customers are in the driver's seat when it comes to shaping a company's reputation.
Posted September 03, 2013

Verint bets that by engaging your front-line employees, you'll also engage your customers, create better care, improve satisfaction and loyalty, and realize higher profits.
Posted August 27, 2013

When it comes to social media, some companies "get it" and have grabbed opportunities to be early adopters and have a presence on the front lines. However, many businesses have yet to get on board and be a part of customer conversations. If your company is the latter, it's time to have a conversation with your CEO.
Posted August 22, 2013

Social customer care is no longer controlled by brands, but by customers who are increasingly vocal about their experiences in the social media. If you haven't implemented social care, now is the time to do so. That was the message from Patricia Graca, director of support, social media, at Hewlett-Packard, who kicked off the second day of the Customer Service Experience conference.
Posted August 21, 2013

Good or bad, some experiences stay in consumers' minds for years. The difference between the two lies in the hands of your employees.
Posted August 20, 2013

Voxeo, now an Aspect company, has signed an agreement with managed networked IT services provider BT. Using Voxeo solutions, BT will provide low-cost, low-risk, cloud IVR, and automated self-service solutions to its customers.
Posted August 13, 2013

Global customer service technology provider Jacada has released Visual IVR Plus, a solution aimed at reducing caller frustration and in-bound call time by offering users a menu-driven interface across mobile and Web channels.
Posted August 06, 2013

Q&A: Scott Buchanan, head of solutions marketing at NICE, knows companies are investing a lot of money and energy into performance management solutions. However, he maintains that they may be forgetting about one of their most valuable assets: employees on the front line.
Posted July 30, 2013

A new virtual agent provides real-time voice of the customer data analysis gathered from omnichannel environments. The solution also automatically structures information and allows organizational departments to identify and compare customer trends.
Posted July 23, 2013

Aspect Software has bought Voxeo for $150 million in a deal that is expected to enhance Aspect's cloud, hybrid, and premises-based deployments while adding interactive voice response and multichannel self-service capabilities to the company's solution portfolio. The move could also propel Aspect to to go up against the lmuch larger competitors like Genesys, Cisco Systems, and Avaya.
Posted July 11, 2013

Clarabridge has integrated Brandwatch into its Clarabridge Social platform providing access to social data. For clients, this means a single hub to listen, understand and act on all customer feedback across social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Posted July 09, 2013

Kana's updated solution offers midmarket companies the same cloud-based customer services solutions as their enterprise counterparts. Some of the solution's features include a specially designed user interface, advanced analytics and 30 languages.
Posted July 01, 2013

Calabrio Desktop Analytics captures screen strokes and windows activity allowing companies to know exactly what's happening at the agent's desktop. The module also complements speech analytics on company's workforce optimization suite.
Posted June 25, 2013

The new solution helps companies who may be challenged with detecting and analyzing customer complaints and compliance violations. When not addressed, these can result in costly, large-scale remediation and significant regulatory fines.
Posted June 17, 2013

Gamification technology is a new concept in workforce optimization (WFO), but more and more companies are taking notice. By rewarding performance through gamification, companies can help employees sharpen their skills and provide better customer service.
Posted June 10, 2013

Descriptions of CCOs can be murky, and companies may not realize their potential value in their organizations. The founder of The Chief Customer Council explains what a CCO is and why your business should have one.
Posted June 07, 2013

A recent Forrester survey found that decision makers are targeting analytics and multichannel delivery as top priorities in spending over the next 24 months. Data from the report also shows that traditional and mobile Web concerns are prioritized more often than mobile applications.
Posted May 30, 2013

Jeanne Bliss, author of the best-selling book, I Love You More Than My Dog: Five Decisions That Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad, will be the keynote speaker at the 2013 Customer Service Experience conference (August 19-21, 2013) at the New York Marriott Marquis. She spoke with Michele Masterson, staff writer at Speech Technology magazine, to shed some light on how the vendor-customer relationship has changed and what organizations can do to prepare for this shift.
Posted May 23, 2013

Large enterprises are poised to increase spending on customer experience solutions such as text analytics. Expenditures are also expected to rise for CEM initiatives for Web and mobile offerings.
Posted May 07, 2013

Big Blue sees opportunities in the growing field of customer experience. The company has dedicated a team of researchers to meet challenges faced by clients to implement new solutions such as smarter commerce, big data, analytics, and mobile products.
Posted April 30, 2013

Although the contact center has changed over the years, the quest remains the same: satisfying customer needs as expeditiously as possible while keeping costs down. Here are some developments in the area that can help reduce call center imperatives such as reducing average handle times and boosting first call resolution.
Posted April 30, 2013

Customer service has evolved from the days of customers simply calling into a customer service or contact center to speak to a live agent. For starters, the phone is no longer the only customer service domain. New customer service technologies include chatbots, click to call (CTC) social media, and mobile devices, and savvy organizations are leveraging these technologies for better customer service experiences.
Posted April 30, 2013

Created in 2003 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), The National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry lists millions of phone numbers from consumers who do not want to be contacted by telemarketers or companies. The registry is part of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) which curtails the use of prerecorded voice messages, aka robocalls, automatic dialing systems, fax machines and SMS messages. Fines for breaking the TCPA can be hefty: in 2012, Jiffy Lube agreed to settle a class action lawsuit for $47 million after sending unsolicited promotional text messages to consumers.
Posted April 22, 2013

Businesses have been increasingly employing self-service customer experiences, a win-win for both companies and customers: customers can access information anytime, anywhere through multiple channels while contact centers can keep their costs down. The concept has proved popular. According to a 2012 Aberdeen Research report, self-service has been deployed by 51 percent of contact centers that were surveyed. Additionally, Aberdeen found that self-service users are more than twice (34 percent versus 14 percent) as likely to improve the average cost per customer interaction year-over-year, compared to non-users.
Posted April 15, 2013

Knowledge management is basically the collaboration between all divisions of an organization, and can be thought of in terms of the adage, created once, used by many. One of the most frequently cited explanations comes from research firm Gartner Group which defines knowledge management as, "A discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise's information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously uncaptured expertise and experience in individual workers."
Posted April 08, 2013

The majority of consumers surveyed say service agents' perceived happiness has a direct impact on their customer experience with the brand.
Posted April 02, 2013

Interpersonal skills of employees can make or break the customer experience. The emotional aspect of customer service is critical, as one in three global respondents surveyed preferred being treated well over having their issues immediately resolved, according to a recent study.
Posted April 01, 2013

An average of only 30 percent of customers globally report having positive customer experiences with their insurers. As a result, insurers look to mobile and social media to strengthen customer experiences.
Posted March 18, 2013