Customer success for agents at a contact center

Customer success for your agents

Customer success

for your agents

Customer success are here to help you and your agents succeed. We can only see our job as successful if you succeed. Every day we are working on creating products and services that can be of help you because of these objectives. This blog post is an introduction to what we at Customer Success are doing to help you use CEC better.

We constantly work on creating service packages that makes it easier for you to get started with CEC. Or to improve how you use of CEC. If you are a new customer then you will have a Customer Success Consultant on you startup project. You can also expect continued support from that consultant as well. Because we want to take the best possible care of our customers I also am the person you should contact if you have any questions connected to GDPR. Other than the mentioned there are two areas we work with that we especially want to introduce to you.

Workforce Management Package

We are Customer Success are very aware that one of the biggest problems customer services are facing is dealing with the workforce. Your one really big challenge. To find the equilibrium between cost efficiency and having enough agents on the floor to keep the queue times down. Because of that we created a report in Insight that visualises your agent’s occupancy during the time they are logged in to CEC. This will be a great tool for you to coach your agents. Another great coaching and feedback tools is Eviexa, the communication intelligence product. This is where you can gather feedback from customers and get more insight into how well your agents are doing.

The last part of this customer success package is something is under progress. Like I mentioned last week while discussion business analytics, I love analytics. This last report is a challenge but if we succeed then it will be a great support for your workforce planning. The report is for predictive analytics of call volumes. The plan is for it to give you an indication based on historical data how many agents you need. Truth is that projects that isn’t based on a specific customer will have a low priority. So if you find this interesting and would like to add this to your Insight then get in touch with me.

New Media Support For Customer Success

We believe training material should be easy to find and to go through. Because of that we have for a while now been working on making training material that is not text based. Today you can find our interactive manual which is picture based on this blog, under the page Manual. A lot of the basics are covered here just like in the videos that are coming up on our YouTube channel in the next couple weeks. As you already know, you have this blog with regular posts where I’m trying to provide insight every week. Soon as well, we are starting to do webinars. The first webinar will be under the theme of how you can help your agents do the best job possible.

So this was a short introduction to what we do on a daily basis and it’s just the beginning. We are here to help you succeed with our software so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need us.

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Multi-skilled agents

Multi-skilled agents

Have you called a customer service lately and been transferred between different departments? Even if you do your best to choose the right numerical option to get your problem solved. When it’s your turn the agent lets you know that you have reached the wrong department. But they can transfer you to the right one. If you are lucky the issue ends there, and you have reached the right person to help you. Or maybe not, and they will transfer you yet again. You feel how you are losing your patience. You just want to solve the problem and not spend hours on the phone! Wouldn’t it be nice if the first agent you reach actually was multi-skilled and could assist you?

There are trends going on in customer services that gives me the belief that maybe the industry has a bright future. Ticketing systems make customers feel like they are nothing more than numbers. Single-skilled agents alienate customers. This is the time for change.

Multi-skilled agents instead of single-skilled

Does it really engage your agents if they only handle the same questions, day in and day out? This is how bigger companies create an efficient customer service. They say that this is the way to go. For some customers this might help but you run the risk of alienating even more customers. It’s time to listen. It’s time to realise that a customer service only can be efficient if customers are satisfied. Anything else is a big failure.

I have mentioned in earlier blog posts that it’s the emotions that your customer will remember, not what was said. They will connect the emotions they are feeling while being on the phone with you with their perception of your company. So if you piss of your customer by sending them between departments you are quite likely to lose that customer.

So why should we put emphasis on multi-skilled agents? Would you like to do the same thing, day in and day out? Probably not. By training your agents to be able to solve multiple types of challenges they will be more engaged. They will not be as bored. An engaged agent will give off a different energy to you customer than a bored one.

You know those customers who are rude to your agents because of how frustrated they are with your company? By training your agents properly and give them the chance to actually solve customers’ problems that frustration will decrease. So trust your agents and train them properly. The better they are prepared the better your customer service will work. Contact us and together we can create a customer service where your agents are engaged and empowered to solve your customers’ challenges.

Read more about how you can help your agents herehere and here.

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Workforce Management customer service

Workforce Management

Workforce Management

Last week we looked at one of the area that is becoming crucial for any business and that is business analytics. One way data can be used is for workforce management. Which is what we are going to go into this week! We will start as usual with an introduction. Later this week I want to discuss KPI:s. How the use of them might not give you the full view. Especially not over how well your agents are doing. We fill finish this week with my introduction to the customer success package I’ve been working on for a long time now. Blood sweat and tears have gone into it. I’m very excited to tell you all about it!

In a customer service or call center a majority of the budget goes to having agents. Knowing that helps you to really understand what a shaky border you are trying to balance with analytics! If the data is wrong, or the analysis is wrong, everything becomes wrong. But we have discussed expectations in earlier blog posts and it’s equally crucial here.

In science you work with data models all the time, and models are a fundamental part of analytics. You can always expect a data model to be wrong in one way or another. To add to that we are also dealing with a very unpredictable environment. So all you can expect is a hint in the right direction.

Workforce Management – Occupancy

Another very interesting aspect to workforce management is occupancy. Every team leader of a customer service have calculated on their teams occupancy on some occasions. The interesting part is how hard team leaders are pushing their agents to get a high occupancy depending on where in the world they are. In the US you can expect to see occupancy numbers over 75%. Still you will see the Service Level on an acceptable level. But in Sweden, if you see occupancy levels that exceed 30 or 40%, then you can expect low Service Level numbers. How can cultural differences affect productivity this much?

Know there are cultural differences in customer service, and service in general, should affect how you interpret articles about customer service efficiency. Most of the articles you find online are American, where the pressure is expected to be higher. So when these articles say that your occupancy level should be towards 80% remember is might not work in your culture. Also remember that efficiency is not everything. What are your goals for your customer service? Focus on those and don’t compare your efforts to your competitor. Do what you do the best you can.

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Business Analytics Future

Business Analytics Future

Business Analytics Future

To finish up this week we will discuss business analytics future. I will talk about how it will disrupt industries and cause a lot of changes to the job market. But I don’t think it will change things to the worse. Just like during industrialisation everything changes but in the long run the population prosper.

Using data will change how we create products and for some companies data will be the very core of their products. We are living in a world where customer-centric companies prosper and data is something that can help us learn more about our actual customer. Just a few years ago we built customer personas based on e.g. demographic data, which creates stereotypical personas. But now we are moving towards customer personas that instead looks at behavior at its core. Business analytics future is looking bright and it will innovate business models and management approaches.

The problem with data is that can give use a false safety in our conclusions. We can miss important data because of how much we trust the data we already have. I mentioned a book in the blog post last week, about Superforcasters. It talks about how experts usually are not more than slightly better at making forecasts than novices who are guessing. It talks about the danger of the tip of your nose-forecasts and experts are not much better at it than rookies. But because of how much they believe that they know they come to conclusions quickly and are having problems letting go of them. So, remember how important it is to analys the data you gather with an open mind. Look at the data objectively.

Business Analytics Future – The Consequences

But the change towards a data obsessed society will also have its consequences. A lot of jobs will not be what they once were. The more an industry relies on information as its core product, the greater and more complete the change in it will be (source; research paper). Some jobs will disappear and some will change dramatically.

For customer service agents things will change but their job will never disappear. The need for human interaction will always be there. But there might not be as many agents as you can see at some companies today. A large portion of challenges that comes in to a customer service can be handled by a computer, AI or a chatbot. These will all be built on the thorough work done with different types business analytics. You use speech analytics and text analytics to gather what questions customer asks, and business analytics will analyse how customers interact with their customer service. The process in the customer service will have a foundation in business analytics. If we handle data right we can more objectively get to know our customers.

At some point in the future I will write about some of the different types of business analytics. Especially speech analytics is an area we at Connectel find really interesting. If you are interested in speech analytics then you definitely should contact us and we can tell you about our technology.

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The Value of Business Analytics

The Value of Business Analytics

IT systems value cannot be found in the technology alone. But the value of business analytics could be great if you do it right. It has the potential to change your company to the better. It’s first when you use it as a part of your process it becomes valuable. Business intelligence systems can play an important role in organisational knowing.

I think all managers and team leaders have at some point had a hunch of what they need. Imagine e.g. knowing deep down that you need more agents, but your boss won’t listen to you because he does not see what you see. This is where the value of business analytics shows because it helps the team leader with data selection and articulation (source; research paper). With the addition of data you are not only basing your arguments on intangible arguments but you have proof. You have the confidence to negotiate and the data that will visualize the need for your boss.

Research also shows that shareholders of a company will favor announcements that was backed by business analytics (source; research paper). Studies have shown that these reports have a positive effect on market return. There is value of business analytics both to small and large companies.

The Value of Business Analytics – The value of commitment

We also see a positive correlation between the commitment to an IT system and financial performance (source; research paper). There are four commitments we see in studies that especially affect the financial performance. First we have strategic choice making; which means having a standard process in how you make decisions, as automated as possible (source; research paper), and making sure the data will be shared with all the people who needs it. Second, having one digital platform which gather as many of the needs for decision making as possible. We also see that how you work with information is crucial, both working smart with it and making action-oriented assessments in connection to the data. Limit the number of metrics and link all actions to actual goals.

The Value of Business Analytics – Conclusion and tips

To sum it up, when you work with business analytics let it help you model most aspects of your organisation. But make sure to keep the ‘How’ (when you model the who, what, how) flexible (source; research paper). If you in a customer service force your agents to follow a script then that will obvious to you customer. The agent will be less engaged in the conversation and it will affect this opportunity to build a relationship with your customer. Another tip I have is to keep the use of business analytics engaging for your employees. Use gamification and visualisations whenever it’s possible. Implement mobile devices and dashboards, it will make it accessible to anyone who is interested.

As the blog post should show there are clear financial gains to a business analytics system. But the value of business analytics is connected to how you work with it. I talked about shaping your process around the system in this blog post, and that is crucial here as well. Read the blog post “The Future Customer Service” or contact me or my colleagues for a conversationabout how we can help you build a business analytics-based process for you customer service.

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Business intelligence & Analytics

Business intelligence & Analytics – Introduction and Development

Business intelligence & Analytics

Introduction and Development

We have all heard the quote “Knowledge is Power” and I believe it’s true. Maybe that’s why I’m slightly obsessed with Business Intelligence & Analytics. It’s takes an analytic mind to understand it and it’s almost an art. Maybe it’s the challenge and potential of it that excites me? During this week I will talk about Business Intelligence & Analytics (from now on I will call it BI&A). This is the introduction to it with a short overview of its development. On Wednesday I will talk about the business value of it connected to customer service. Friday is the last of the posts about the theme, and I will look at BI&A’s future.

What is Business Intelligence?

The term refers to technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information. The purpose of Business Intelligence is to support better business decision making. Essentially, Business Intelligence systems are data-driven Decision Support Systems (DSS). (According to

Usually business intelligence systems gather and displays historical data. In business intelligence the math is simple and you don’t always treat the data. The focus is instead on visualising the data with graphs.

What is Business Analytics?

Business analytics (BA) is the practice of iterative, methodical exploration of an organization’s data, with an emphasis on statistical analysis. Business analytics is used by companies that have committed to data-driven decision-making. (According to

There are key differences and things these areas have in common. Business analytics uses statistical analysis. Which business intelligence does not. That is why the math can get a lot more complicated in business analytics. The data in BI&A is turned into information and used for decision-making. That is what they have in common.

Business Intelligence & Analytics Development

I have chosen to base these blog posts on research articles from some of the biggest journals of Information Systems. In this blog post I will use a popular and often used article. It can easily be found on Google: “Business Intelligence & Analytics: From Big Data to Big Impact“. The authors have chosen to divide the fields development into tree stages:

  • BI&A 1.0 – Based on database management. The content is fairly straight forward and structured. Business intelligence fits perfectly in here.
  • BI&A 2.0 – This is where the world has been since the early 2000. Everything web based that we today take for granted. But cookies, social media and blogs have brought a lot of unstructured data with it. What we see here is the introduction to business analytics because of the need of e.g. web and text mining.
  • BI&A 3.0 – In October 2011 The Economist wrote an article that reported that mobile phones and tablets surpassed the number of laptops and PCs for the first time. We also see an increase in IoT which can create everything from smart homes to smart cities. So we have a lot of data from mobile devices and IoT sensors.

Based in Moore’s law we cannot imagine where BI&A will take us. Moore’s law talks about exponential development and it is often applied on technology in general. This would mean that everything you believe about the development in BI&A will be far less than what actually the development will show. The same goes for customer service technology. Before you blink everything will change. While big data might not be useful for most companies all companies will benefit from a simple BI&A system.

Customer Service

How is this relevant to a customer service you might wonder? Imagine the ability to predict if your customer needs your help. Imagine being able to step into a situation where you can turn a problem into a sale. Business Analytics will help you. Just the feeling of being a little bit more prepared through analytics will help your customer service. It could even help you in building a successful process for the team and agents. We will go into more details in the next blog post on Wednesday. So stay tuned to read more about how business intelligence & analytics plays an important role in customer service!

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The Future customer service

The Future Customer Service

In this blog post I will gather insights from earlier blog posts and describe how these affect the future customer service. To reconnect to the core of customer service we will remind ourselves what service is. After that we will look at creating a winning process, what challenges we can see and technology’s role in it.

What is service?

How does it affect the future customer service?

After a quick google search this is a good definition for the word service:

“A valuable action, deed, or effort performed to satisfy a need or to fulfil a demand



I choose to highlight the key things in the definition, which is valuable action and satisfy a need. This means that your customer will expect their needs to be fulfilled when they contact your customer service. You are also expected to deliver value with your actions. Dissecting the definition makes it clear that a lot of companies sadly are failing.

Bad customer service

We all have examples of companies whose customer service we think have failed us. My latest disappointment has forced me to educate myself on my legal rights. A train company is trying to force me to pay for a trip where I was stuck in the train for five hours. The heat was horrible, we weren’t given enough water, and the train felt very claustrophobic. The problems have just been building up after that trip. The train company’s customer service is almost impossible to contact, and they really don’t want to help.

Even if factors like long queue times and unhelpful agents affects our impression negatively, it will in the end be the intuitive emotional response that we will remember. Maybe these companies don’t really understand what service means? Maybe they don’t really care about delivering high standard service? Do they care about their customers? This has everything to do with the future customer service. While we see some companies are getting better at it, we also see a lot of companies who are failing. In an era of customer-centric business models, the companies who are doing a good job will use it to their advantage.

Good customer service

Problems are going to happen, but what matters is how companies deal with them. An example of a company that did a good job and left me with a good impression was an interior design store. Actually, I can think of multiple small interior stores that are doing a good job. These companies make it feel like they truly care about their customers. You are valued. It didn’t even take much for me to get that impression. They answered emails in a timely matter and they fixed the problem.

I will remember these companies as having great employees. Maybe the key takeaway is that big companies have something to learn from the small companies? But in future customer service, how can we insert the style of small business into large corporations? In future customer service can big companies just ignore the customer and still grow?

The Process is key to the future customer service

The key for a successful future customer service is to create a process that should have a good forecast of satisfied customers. Let’s think it through with the support of literature about forecasting and strategy. The problem we are facing is a highly unpredictable environment where communication problems and information asymmetry only amplifies the problem. You and your customer are expecting different things and because of communication problems the unpredictable only becomes harder to manage.

Strategic method

There are people out there who doesn’t believe in strategy. Saying that strategy is a waste of time. I think they have misunderstood what a strategy is. They mistake it for a plan. Below I have made a simple strategy for the future customer services in general. My recommendation is to read ‘Good Strategy/Bad Strategy’ by Richard Rumelt. By reading it you will once and for all understand the power of a simple but good strategy. The basic structure is like below.

The diagnosis (What obstacles are you facing?):

  • Unpredictable environment and information asymmetry.

The guiding policy (What key thing do you need to remember when plan your time?):

  • Technology and the right people. To choose an omni channel platform and use the expertise that the company behind the platform has. To use the technology to its fullest potential. Also make sure you have a good team of agents and team leaders who are fully engaged.

Basic but coherent actions (The strategy needs to be followed by actions that supports each other toward the policy) :

  • Define what a good customer service is for your company.
  • Work with consultants from the omni channel platform company to create a technology-based process. The process needs to be designed around the software not the other way around.
  • Hire and coach good agents.

Use forecasting to gather the right information

So clearly you need to gather some information before you can define what good customer service is for your company. One way to gather the information is by answering the questions below. I have formulated these through the different perspectives a forecaster use to make a sound analysis (read about forecasters in ‘Superforecasting; the Art and Science of Prediction’ by Philip Tetlock).

Outside view of the challenge

  • General market research; what does it say that people want from a customer service?
  • Your industry; what does it say that a customer service in your industry should be able to do?
  • What does general market research say about how your target group usually acts?

Inside view of the challenge

  • What do you know, based on experience or your own market research that your customer wants and needs?
  • Based on how many customers your company have, how many interactions do you think your customer service will have on a yearly, monthly and weekly basis?
  • Based on feedback from your customers what are there more complaints about?
  • What does your statistics say about your customer service? How are your chosen KPI:s doing?

Other perspectives of the challenge

Are there other perspectives that can give you insight into what your customer service needs? Could the software company give you some good insights? I am for example a Customer Success Manager at Connectel, and I’m here for your benefit. I’m not here to sell you yet another IT system. Rather I’m here to help you with the one thing I think about every day. Processes. I can be that other perspective your organisation needs to create a future customer service that is highly valued by your customers.



By now you should have all the information you need to create a choice architecture. The hope is that your created structure will overcome your problems with information asymmetry. Last thing to remember when you create the process; work to meet your customer’s expectations nothing more or less. There is no point in trying to exceed the expectations since your customer will probably not remember it.

The technology of future customer service

The harsh truth is that technology does not create success. There is a disconnect in what most people expect from technology and what it actually delivers. Technology is only the tool to create success, like a pen and piece of paper. First if companies understand what they can expect from technology is when we can start delivering value successfully.

Take advantage of expertise

Don’t miss the opportunity to work with the company that delivers your omni channel solution. While people have flawed expectations on technology they often think paying for the expertise of the software company will be a waste of money. You couldn’t be more wrong. These people, like me and my coworkers at Connectel, know what is possible and we know how to make your goals a reality. We keep up to date on the latest technologies and we try to come up with new creative solutions all the time. At least in my mind a well-built process is like art. It’s easy to say that we know the software better than anyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to discuss your process with us.

Contact us to learn more about our platform solution CEC (Customer Engagement Center). Together we can create a process that will be robust even in the future customer service.

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facebook messenger chatbots

Facebook messenger chatbots

Facebook Messenger chatbots

Are you curious about chatbots and would like to try one for your company’s customer service? Facebook Messenger chatbots makes it possible for any company, small or big. While if it has been poorly created it could be a waste of time, it still has the potential of lifting some of the weight of your agents. The technology is flexible and could improve your relationship with your customer. The key is to execute it well.

It’s perfect if you need to handle basic questions or booking of appointments. It’s all done with technology and not by your busy agents. You can also set the chatbot to send messages to your customers automatically. Some examples of what it can send out is reminders, updates and customer surveys. These mentioned examples are basic, and a creative mind can come up with way more examples. The possibilities are endless!

The trick though is to be clear on your objectives from the start. It’s easy to set up chatbots that are quite a waste of time and effort. If you focus on pain points, then maybe you can solve some of them. But remember not make it too complicated, keep it simple.

Facebook’s Changes in the Algorithm

Facebook Messenger chatbots are also a good idea because of the changes that have been done in the Facebook algorithm. Before you could reach your customer in their Facebook feed on a completely different level than today. Do you have an important message that you want to reach your customer with? Use Messenger instead of trying to reach them organically in their feed. Maybe a Messenger bot can do the job for you?

With all of Facebook’s changes this year it’s important for companies to update themselves on what is happening. It will affect you company if you are doing marketing on the platform. A big change is how real interactions and conversations will be prioritized over paid for content. With real engagement they hope they will be able to improve the platforms reputation after all the scandals.

I’m excited about chatbot, but I’m still not sure if it’s something that is going to last. As mentioned I think it depends a lot on the execution. Together with us on Connectel I am sure though that we can create a great chatbot and include the channel into your CEC solution. In the next blog post we will talk about including Facebook Messenger into your customer service process in the CEC solution.


This is the second blog post about Facebook Messenger. Read the first blog post here, an the third one here.

Read more about Chat Extensions for Messenger here.  

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facebook messenger process

Facebook messenger as a part of your process

Facebook messenger

as a part of your process

The number one reason companies use for why they cannot prioritise Facebook Messenger is that they do not have the time. This is where CEC comes in! When there is technology like this you really don’t have an excuse why you cannot use Facebook Messenger. The value of is exceeds the downsides. By incorporating it into CEC process you can create a process that makes an omni channel strategy possible without the extra work.

Maybe you want to use Facebook Messenger as the chat option on your website? Now you can do that, since Facebook created a Messenger plugin. This way you can use the chat function as your one and only on multiple places. This way it seems like you are available everywhere and you are still able to include it into your queueing system in CEC. It will also seem like you are very up to date on trends. Think what a great addition Facebook Messenger will be to your process. Best part of it is how you can create a processes that lets you skip the hassle of multiple tools and channels. That’s the charm with an omni channel platform (read more here and here).

CEC Process Thanks To API:s

Facebook Messenger is one of those social media platforms that has a very open API (Application Programming Interface). That means that the code behind Messenger allows other software to communicate and send data to Messenger. A social media platform which is on the other side of the spectrum is Instagram. That is why you can’t find a marketing platform that also includes Instagram. The developers for Instagram has obviously chosen to keep Instagram a bit more exclusive. If you want to post pictures you have to use the platform. Thanks to API:s, integrations and synchronisations has made it way easier to build a manageable process. This is how the CEC process becomes as flexible as it is.

Do you still not see why you should incorporate Facebook Messenger into your CEC process? Contact us and we probably can convince you! Do you have a question about Facebook Messenger or would like to discuss something with me? Then feel free to email at:

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Support your agent

Support your agent

We have in previous blog posts talked about how to cater for your customers’ needs. We have also mentioned that it’s important to take care of your agent. In this blog post we will look closer on how you can support your agent using the CEC solution.

First thing that might come to manger’s minds is the high costs of having agents. It’s pretty obvious that the biggest cost of a customer service or call center is the agents. Wouldn’t it then be a fantastic support to get at least a hint on how many agents you will need on the floor? One of our latest customer success packages is the workforce management package. Here you get historical reports and predictive reporting to give you an oversight of how your agents are performing and how you can improve your team. This will not only be good for you as a manager, but also for your agent. By making sure you have the right number of agents on the floor, you will create an environment that is not stressful but still keeps your agents engaged.

Help your agent prepare

In the past when I’ve worked as an agent in a customer service like environment the biggest problem have been the lack of preparation. I once worked (for a very short time I have to admit) as a telemarketer. The problem was that I had no idea what I actually was selling. I had no way of answering questions potential customers had for me. This means it only was embarrassing and it didn’t give me confidence in what I was doing. Do I even have to mention that I didn’t sell anything?

In CEC there are especially two great functionalities that will give your agent the preparation they need. First, we have an excellent scripting tool that is flexible and easy to use. This tool can automatically pop up when a new call is coming in and make sure that your agents asks the basic questions they always should ask. You can also set up scripts for different categories of situations that might come in. By having this set up you can make sure that every new agent asks the right questions without too much training. This will save both time and money for your organization.

Second function is if you choose to use CEC to a bigger extent. What I’m referring to is how CEC can be used as a lighter version of a CRM system. The foundation is the customer profile which can be created and managed in contact management. This together with the ‘interactions’ section (can be found in the different kind of interactions to the right) will give your agents a lot of information about a returning customer.

The agent’s process

If you think about it, any work you do to improve the process will help your agent. A big part to help with this in the CEC solution is the queueing system. That is why the omni solution is one of the best ways to support your agent. By adding all your communication channels to the platform, you will give your agent the chance to use their time effectively. They don’t need to seek out the customer because the customer will come to them as soon as they are set as ready.

In conclusion, the more you use the different features of CEC the better support you will be able to give your agents. So do yourself a favor, and your agents, and explore all of CEC:s possibilities. Remember that my colleagues and I are always there for you if you feel unsure of how to create the best possible process. Sometimes it’s a good thing to get other points of view on how to create the right process for your customer service. We know what is possible with the platform and you know what objectives your organisation has. Read more about the platform here.

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