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Agent Hiring, Training, Managing

Hark the Herald Agents Sing: It’s Holiday Season in the Contact Center!

Heading out of the office this holiday to grab some eggnog and enjoy the lights? While so many of us are off celebrating the festive season for days at a time, there are scores of people on the frontlines working to keep everything running smoothly in industries ranging from health care, to transportation, to broadcasting […]

Top 10 Kudos of 2019: Shining Examples of Customer Service at Its Best

As the holiday season unfolds, we wanted to share the amazing words of gratitude that flow every day from our clients’ customers to our agents.  Below you’ll find the best customer service kudos of 2019 (so far!) with quotes directly from the mouths of customers we interact with. MVP Agent. MVP Customer Kudos. This is […]

How to Engage Gen Z in the Contact Center

Quick, is Gen Z old enough to work yet? No checking Wikipedia… Answer: Yes. While there is a bit of a gray area between where exactly Millennials stop and Gen Z starts, demographers pretty much agree that the starting birth years for Gen Z are in the late 90s. So, with the oldest of the […]

Empowering Your Team to Deliver Kick-Ass Customer Experience

Quick, how many services or memberships do you subscribe to? One? Two? Twenty? You know your wallet is stuffed with membership cards (roadside assistance, your local gym, and Costco) and your front porch welcomes monthly subscription boxes (Blue Apron, Trunk Club, and Honest Essentials), while your go-to entertainment is no longer cable TV but subscription-based […]

Here’s an Idea: Put Millennials’ Needs First

The oldest Millennials are now hitting their late 30s (gulp… really?) They make up more than 30% of the workforce with a cohort that consists of 75 million people. What does that mean for outsourced contact center employers? In our opinion, it means we better be doing a good job setting up an employment experience […]

Contact Center Outsourcing

Seeking a True Strategic Partner: Green Flags in the Outsourced Customer Care RFP Process

It’s human nature to focus on the red flags that pop up when you’re deep into the customer support RFP process. But knowing what a green flag looks like is just as critical. Here are a few green flag markers that help indicate that you’ve found the best-fit outsourced customer care partner.   If you’ve […]

Why SaaS Leaders Should Outsource Their Customer Success Program

When we are talking to organizations in the sales cycle, we will often hear from SaaS companies that the customer success role is too complex, too critical, too deeply embedded in their internal operations to ever be outsourced. We are here today to say, with respect, they’re wrong. It’s kind of ironic because many (most?) […]

What’s the True Cost of Your In-House Contact Center? (And How Does It Compare to Outsourcing?)

It’s a question we get asked a lot, and it’s one of the hardest ones to answer because it’s rare and challenging to determine a true apples-to-apples comparison, especially when there are intangible impacts like damage to brand when things go sideways. That said, we know you’re trying to make a business case here, and […]

ESG and the RFP: How to Assess Your Outsourcer’s ESG Efforts

The first mainstream mention of ESG as a concept came from the United Nations in 2004 in their report titled “Who Cares Wins.” The report urged stakeholders to consider environmental, social, and governance factors in their financial processes and investments. Simultaneously, worldwide attention on issues of sustainability and diversity began to take off and haven’t […]

On-Site vs Virtual Procurement: The Best Way to Find Your Contact Center Outsourcer

It seems so long ago now that Lockdown Life has faded into some barely-remembered bad dream, but the global changes it triggered are still top of mind, especially the ongoing dialogue/debate about the relative merits of work-at-home versus work-in-office. In our world of outsourced customer care solutions, one of the big challenges we continue to […]

Contact Center RFP

Seeking a True Strategic Partner: Green Flags in the Outsourced Customer Care RFP Process

It’s human nature to focus on the red flags that pop up when you’re deep into the customer support RFP process. But knowing what a green flag looks like is just as critical. Here are a few green flag markers that help indicate that you’ve found the best-fit outsourced customer care partner.   If you’ve […]

70 Customer Care RFP Questions (An Updated List + RFP Template)

(This is updated version of our most popular blogs: 52 RFP Questions (2013), 51 RFP Questions (2016), 60 RFP Questions (2020)) Every few years we update our recommended list of contact center RFP Questions. With every evolution in technology, workforce trends, and consumer expectations, the questions shift—which is testament to why generic, boilerplate RFPs never […]

ESG and the RFP: How to Assess Your Outsourcer’s ESG Efforts

The first mainstream mention of ESG as a concept came from the United Nations in 2004 in their report titled “Who Cares Wins.” The report urged stakeholders to consider environmental, social, and governance factors in their financial processes and investments. Simultaneously, worldwide attention on issues of sustainability and diversity began to take off and haven’t […]

You’re Asking the Wrong Questions: A Better Way to RFP for Outsourced Customer Care [eBook]

The RFP is the slog you need that 3rd cup of coffee to get through—especially when it’s an RFP for outsourced customer care. After all, we’re talking about a complex, customer-facing solution that needs to align seamlessly with your brand. In our experience, technology, attrition, and business continuity are the hot three areas of any […]

5 Tough Customer Care RFP Questions in Today’s Hybrid World

We’ve said it before and we’re not afraid to repeat it until the cows come home: using a boilerplate RFP in the process to find a new customer care outsourcer is a quick road to failure. You’re looking for a strategic partner who will interface with your customers day in and day out. That requires […]

Contact Center Technology

Deep CX: A Very Special Podcast “Interview” with ChatGPT

What if you could learn about a new technology just by directly asking it questions? That’s not always an option, but in the case of ChatGPT, the AI chatbot taking the world by storm, it made all the sense in the world. So with this concept in mind, we decided to approximate a podcast interview […]

5 Evolving Contact Center Technologies and Where the Next Year Will Take Them

  For all the grief, losses, and setbacks the pandemic unleashed, there is a general consensus that it also sparked a revolution on the technical front. The adoption rate of new and evolving technologies accelerated at unseen speeds—resulting in 10 years’ worth of change within a mere 10 months. Contact center technologies are certainly in […]

RFP Questions to Ask About AI in the Contact Center

You’ve got your game face on. You’re prepared for the future of customer service. And you’re ready for your outsourced customer service RFP to hit the road and bring you some stellar options for a new contact center partner. But are you asking the right questions about artificial intelligence? While AI capabilities in the contact […]

Are You Ready for the Future of Customer Service?

Did you know that 32% of customers worldwide will quit doing business with a brand – even if they love it – because of just one bad experience? This statistic from a PwC survey is an eye-opener for any organization that interfaces with customers on a regular basis. But what constitutes a bad experience? Although […]

Ready or Not: AI Customer Service Will Change Your Business and Brand

Say hello to the future: the robots are right here. Artificial intelligence is flipping all kinds of traditional business models on their heads. In the customer support space, AI is changing the customer experience for better or for worse depending on the elegance of your deployment. And the new world of AI is creating out-of-this-world […]

Customer Experience

This Call May Be Recorded: How Conversation Intelligence Is Transforming the Contact Center Industry

Customer care QA processes are moving from limited sampling to real-time, holistic analysis thanks to emerging conversation intelligence technologies that impact every corner of the contact center for the better.   At a recent industry conference, the session on quality assurance began with the keynote speaker taking the mic, and boldly announcing: “when it comes […]

Total Experience Strategy: Everything in the Contact Center Altogether, All At Once

The fact that silos are the enemy of business success is nothing new. That they happen anyway is one of the biggest business challenges a leader must navigate. At Blue Ocean, we have long held the position that the customer experience and the employee experience are inextricably linked. We’ve said it so often it’s become […]

Bilingual Customer Support: Where Live Agents and AI Coincide

When one in five of your customers speak something other than English as their first language, providing bilingual customer support is critical. Without it, you risk taking a hit to your CSat scores, your brand loyalty, and your bottom line. But what mix of live agents versus AI is best for your business? And how […]

Deep CX: My Interview with Sean Hammerle, Chief Operating Officer of ONQ

We had another member of the wonderful ONQ family on the podcast: Sean Hammerle, who is the company’s Chief Operating Officer and an award-winning motivational leader and speaker. I first met Sean back in June of 2022 when he was awarded the title of Best Contact Center Executive at The Contact Center World Awards in […]

What’s On the Minds of Today’s Top CX Experts?

  Are you ready for the customer of the future? Today’s 6th graders—who are playing video games on a TV while their laptop shows someone else playing video games on YouTube all while talking with friends through a PlayStation headset—are tomorrow’s customers. And it’ll happen faster than you could ever expect. That’s just one bite […]

Contact Center Metrics and Reporting

Call Volume Forecasting: Predicting the Future from an Unusual Past

  Call volume forecasts are inarguably an essential tool in the successful delivery of customer care excellence. Your program’s forecast is the map that tells you where to go based on where you’ve been. Without it, you’re lost at sea. With it, you’re one significant step closer to delivering an exceptional customer experience. But customer […]

Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on Customer Behavior

  What do mattress sales, wildlife populations, and peak customer service times all have in common? These seemingly random data points have all been impacted by COVID-19. Mattress sales have skyrocketed thanks to people spending more time at home—and discovering new sleep challenges as a result of the pandemic. Meanwhile, wild animals are appearing during […]

Validating Your Outsourced Customer Care Partnership: Is Your Incumbent “Still the One”?

  We believe that every outsourcer should earn your business by delivering value day in and day out whether your relationship with them is in its first year or its 20th year. After all, continual improvement and striving to evolve are the hallmarks of long-term success. Great companies are regularly assessing the ongoing value of […]

New Year, New Contact Center RFP? 10 Mistakes to Avoid

If enhancing your customer experience is a strategic priority over the next 12 months, you might be looking at putting out a contact center RFP or RFI early in the new year. Because the partnership you have with a contact center is core to your customers’ journey with you, it’s a relationship that matters more […]

How to Get Actionable Insight from your Contact Center Reporting

A GPS unit that provides a general sense of direction based on landmarks (“turn left at the train station, head South after the statue of the town mascot”) could feasibly get you from point A to point B. But if you want to cut the confusion, speed up your journey and create an overall less […]