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In The News

June 19, 2018
Separating customer service chatbot hype from reality
By Don Fluckinger | TechTarget

Most of the call center leaders SearchCRM talked to at the ICMI Contact Center Expo agree; they won't trust the good ratings their humans earn every day to dumb bot-proxies. These pros generally admire customer service chatbot technology and speak of its potential to solve customer problems -- at other companies' call centers; not at their own.

June 1, 2018
Call center artificial intelligence trends drive chat, decision-making
By Don Fluckinger | TechTarget

Where AI will ultimately be used the most by call center agents, their supervisors and executive leadership using it is up for debate -- and it was debated fiercely in the halls and in sessions at this year's ICMI Contact Center Expo.

May 31, 2018
ICMI 2018 Contact Center Expo and Conference Summary
By Sheri Greenhaus | CRMXchange

ICMI Contact Center Expo continued its tradition of providing a multifaceted educational program as well as a diverse marketplace to review the latest products and services. The program included a variety of training and networking opportunities, case studies, and site tours of local contact centers, including such key operations as the Disney Business Behind the Magic Group, Jet Blue University, Entertainment Benefits Group, Vistana, and Heart of Florida United Way.

May 29, 2018
Call center chatbots draw skepticism from leaders
By Don Fluckinger | TechTarget

Artificial intelligence chatbots were the most-talked-about technology at the ICMI Contact Center Expo, with a mix of trepidation and interest.

May 28, 2018
Impressions from ICMI Contact Center Expo
By Engin Utkan | Engin Utkan Blog

The ICMI Contact Center Expo began with Justin Robbins' Keynote on Monday evening May 21st. The speech can be summed up in the following words: "Stay memorable".

May 24, 2018
8 Vital Lessons from an Award-winning Supervisor
By Jim Rembach | Call Center Coach

I had the delightful experience and honor to interview Adrianna shortly after the she received her recognition at the ICMI Global Contact Center Awards ceremony at the CCExpo in Orlando.

May 24, 2018
ICMI Contact Center Expo 2018: Your Agents’ Age Group Can Tell You a Lot
By Sam Del Rowe | CRM Magazine

Because contact center teams may consist of agents ranging from 18 to 80, “generational intelligence” is a critical part of maintaining an engaged workforce, said Fancy Mills, ICMI’s group training and content director, in her keynote at the group’s Contact Center Expo & Conference 2018 on Wednesday.

May 23, 2018
Ten tips for honing social media customer service skills
By Don Fluckinger | TechTarget

Call center leaders who attended her instructional session at the ICMI Call Center Expo also indicated social traffic was increasing at their organizations and were looking for advice to either develop or burnish their own social CRM strategies.

May 23, 2018
ICMI Contact Center Expo 2018: Customer Service Is the Key Differentiator
By Sam Del Rowe | CRM Magazine

In today’s business climate, customer service represents the best way to stand out from competitors, and that extends to contact centers, said Brad Cleveland, senior advisor and founding partner at ICMI, who delivered the morning keynote Tuesday at ICMI Contact Center Expo & Conference 2018.

May 18, 2018
No Jitter Roll: Five for Friday
By Michelle Burbick | No Jitter

Serenova will be showcasing this solution next week at Enterprise Connect's sister event, International Customer Management Institute's (ICMI) 2018 Contact Center Expo, taking place in Orlando, Fla., a sister event to Enterprise Connect.

May 17, 2018
Why Hiring, Training and Recruiting Is Still a Challenge for Contact Centers
By Erica Marois | Contact Center Pipeline

In late 2017, ICMI surveyed the contact center community to ask about their challenges for the year ahead. What came out on top? Hiring, training and retaining agents.

February 1, 2018
AI chatbots augment humans working in contact centers
By Christine Parizo | SearchCRM - TechTarget

Like other technologies, chatbots influence every aspect of delivering customer service, from the types of interactions to routing methodology, according to Brad Cleveland, senior adviser and former CEO of the International Customer Management Institute.

January 18, 2018
When silence is golden: Improving customer service with speech analytics
By Alexander Huls | TELUS International

The ultimate goal of speech analytics is to better serve the customer, but the initial step may not be focused on the customer at all. “The primary driver is mainly employee behavior,” says Brad Cleveland, senior adviser at the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI).

January 1, 2018
The Contact Center in 2018: Helping Customers Help Themselves
By Oren Smilansky | CRM Magazine

No matter which technologies shine forth throughout the year, though, one thing is certain: Change is definitely coming to the contact center in 2018. And as that happens, companies can expect to see benefits on three levels: improved efficiency, greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, and rising strategic value to the entire organization, according to Brad Cleveland, cofounder and senior advisor at the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI).

July 6, 2017
Voice4Net Debuts SMS Module for Contact Centers
By Tara Seals | Channel Vision

Studies show that many users are leaning away from chat and email in favor of text (SMS). For example, an ICMI survey found that 79 percent of companies believe customers want SMS/text support.

June 28, 2017
Myths of Customer Experience (And Why They're Wrong)
By Oren Smilansky | Destination CRM

Justin Robbins, content director at the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), set out to illustrate this, and at last year’s CRM Evolution conference in Washington, D.C., he presented research that pointed to the discrepancies between these two points of view.

June 27, 2017
Voice4Net Announces Text Message Customer Engagement Module
By Robbie Pleasamt | United Communications Strategies

Studies show that many users are leaning away from chat and email in favor of text (SMS). For example, an ICMI survey found that 79% of companies believe customers want SMS/text support.

June 13, 2017
Daily updates from ESX 2017
By Spencer Ives | Security Systems News

I spent the morning of ESX 2017’s third day attending the three-part leadership boot camp, presented by Justin Robbins, content director for HDI and ICMI.

June 1, 2017
Contact Centers Stuck with Outdated Workforce Management Solutions
By Pratibha Nanduri | HR Technologist

The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) has released the findings of a new report titled "The State of Workforce Management" which reveals that contact centers lack tools, automation and resources necessary to benefit from workforce management solutions. Workforce management is essential to the foundation of every contact center and can be crucial in determining the quality of service provided. In many cases workforce management can be a true indicator and defining factor in determining how a business will perform.

May 30, 2017
Clio Wins ICMI Global Contact Center Award for Best Culture
By Jeff Toister | Toister Solutions

The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) held it's annual Global Contact Center Awards ceremony on May 23 at ICMI's Contact Center Expo and Conference in Orlando, Florida.

May 26, 2017
This Week in Telecom: May 26th
By Ion Mae |

This Week in Telecom is a weekly news round-up on that aims to give our readers a fast and easy way to catch up on the latest news and top stories that are trending in the voice and telecommunications space. Check in each and every Friday to find out more about stories you may have missed in regards to new companies, mergers, trends, and other telecom advancements.

March 14, 2017
Artificial Intelligence is Slowly Transforming Contact Centers
By Ibrahim Malick |

Over the years, I have watched artificial intelligence swiftly move from a thing of the future to a practical element in the improvement of contact center operations. With the contact center remaining a vital component of customer acquisition and retention, it seems obvious that continual advancements are key in boosting the success of businesses worldwide. When it comes to improving the contact center experience for improved client acquisition and retention, intelligent network interfaces are beyond compare. Understanding just how artificial intelligence beneficially alters the contact center landscape has helped me see how this feature benefits business operations.

February 28, 2017
How to Get Better Customer Service, and Skip the Rage
By Christopher Mele | New York Times

You’ve bought a product or service, and now — ugh! — there’s a problem. Your blood pressure climbs as you face an obstacle course worthy of “American Ninja Warrior” to get help.

January 26, 2017
Insider Perspectives: ICMI’s Erica Marois on Contact Centers
By Jeff Toister | Customer Think

In any industry, there are a few people you absolutely need to know.

Erica Marois is one of those people for contact center professionals. She’s the Community Strategist for the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) and a terrific source of information on Twitter. Her role involves connecting people in the contact center community to give them the tools and resources they need to advance their careers.

October 18, 2016
By Manuela Schwab | Web in Travel

The two words “unexpected” and “helpful” sum up the opportunity for every brand that aspires to delight its customers with great service. Along with the advancement of communication technology, customers’ expectations are constantly changing. In this article, we identify some of the trends in customer service and how the travel industry can adopt them.

July 29, 2016
How to Combat the Frustration of Customer Service Phone Calls
By Olivia Sterns | NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt

Some companies make customer service difficult on purpose. Here's what you can do to finally end the runaround of bad service.

July 21, 2016
Is Tech Support getting worse on purpose?
By Tim Hattrick | The Kim Komando Show

ICMI's Justin Robbins

July 8, 2016
Trusource’s revenue target: $34M in year three
By Christopher Calnan | Austin Business Journal

ICMI's Justin Robbins

July 6, 2016
Bad Tech Support May Be Part of a Plan
By Dale Forbis | KTRH News Radio

Industry expert Justin Robbins with the International Customer Management Institute says the companies may be hoping you'll get frustrated and just buy a new one -- or maybe you'll pay extra for "super-special," expert help.

July 5, 2016
Daily Report: Don’t Feel Bad. Everyone Hates Calling for Tech Help.
By Jim Kerstetter | New York Times Daily Report

As Kate Murphy wrote in the Times, a survey conducted by the industry group International Customer Management Institute, or ICMI, found that “92 percent of customer service managers said their agents could be more effective and 74 percent said their company procedures prevented agents from providing satisfactory experiences.”

July 5, 2016
Art Feuds, Tech 'Support' and Airport Security
By Barry Ritholtz | Bloomberg

Why Tech Support Is (Purposely) Unbearable (New York Times)

July 3, 2016
Why Tech Support Is (Purposely) Unbearable
By Kate Murphy | NY Times

You may consider yourself even-keeled, the kind of person who is unflappable when those around you are losing their cool. But all that goes out the window when you call tech support. Then you fume. Your face turns red. You shout things into the phone that would appall your mother.

July 1, 2016
By Susan Hash | Contact Center Pipeline

More recently, it was recognized as a world-class
service provider by the International Customer
Management Institute (ICMI) with three 2016
Global Contact Center Awards in the Best
Small Contact Center, Best Chat Support and
Best Use of Technology categories.

June 15, 2016
Your Phone Agents’ Unexpected Self-Service Problem
By Jeff Toister | Customer Think

“The typical customer journey is taking them across multiple channels, and all too frequently captures information in multiple disparate systems. When these customers finally make their way to a phone rep, it’s often a fragmented, complicated mess.”

June 1, 2016
16 Top Customer Experience Takeaways from CRM Evolution
By Tricia Morris | Customer Think

While there were more than 100, perhaps more than 1000, top takeaways from the recent 2016 CRM Evolution conference chaired by Paul Greenberg (as well as the Customer Service Experience and SpeechTEK conferences running concurrently), here are 16 terrific takeaways from the event shared by key speakers and analysts including Esteban Kolsky of ThinkJar, Kate Leggett and Ian Jacobs of Forrester Research, Ray Wang of Constellation Research and more:

June 1, 2016
16 Top Customer Experience Takeaways from CRM Evolution
By Tricia Morris | Customer Think

12. “Don’t make assumptions about your customers’ preferences. Ask them; test and revise.” – Justin Robbins, ICMI

May 13, 2016
ICMI Research Finds Contact Centers Lack Language Skills
By Leonard Klie | Smart Customer Service

Research released today by the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) and Lionbridge Technologies found that most contact centers are not prepared to handle the increase in customer contacts in languages other than English.

May 12, 2016
At Contact Center Expo, Speakers Stress Standing Out
By Leonard Klie | Smart Customer Service

A recent Gallup poll found that when both their customers and employees are engaged, companies see a 240 percent increase in performance-related outcomes, which goes to show that customer service "really matters," said Brad Cleveland, cofounder and senior adviser of the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), during the opening keynote of the ICMI Contact Center Expo.

May 11, 2016
New Report: Few Contact Centers Adequately Address Omni-Lingual Support
By Paula Bernier | Smart Customer Service

Contact centers are ill prepared to meet the rising tide of non-primary language requirements, according to a new report by The International Customer Management Institute and Lionbridge Technologies (News - Alert) Inc.

March 15, 2016
3 Tips for Developing Effective Social Customer Support
By Maureen Szlemp | Smart Customer Service

Developing social customer support strategies isn't just a good idea in today's digital world; it's critical. Research shows 40 percent of consumers use social media for customer support, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, according to 61 percent and 58 percent of survey respondents, respectively.

March 11, 2016
Your Customer Experience Is Under Attack
By Justin Robbins | Smart Customer Service

Over the past two years, I've extensively researched the customer experience, contact center agent performance, and the various nuances of customer relationship management. During my search for the enablers and inhibiters of exceptional service, I consistently encountered one common denominator that is negatively affecting all of them with increasing frequency: agent-facing technology. In fact, 2015 research I conducted for ICMI found that 92 percent of contact center leaders believed their agent technology was unable to fully meet agents' needs.

November 16, 2015
ICMI Research: Contact Center Leaders Are Disconnected
By Jeff Toister | Customer Think

There are some big gaps between what contact center leaders believe and their customers actually perceive.

The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) and inContact asked contact center leaders to respond to the same set of survey questions that consumers were asked in an earlier study. The earlier, consumer study was conducted by Harris and inContact. The answers from the two groups were then compared.

October 23, 2015
ICMI Conference Highlight: ICMI Partners with Five9 on Guide to Contact Center Metrics
By Maria Minsker | Smart Customer Service

Metrics are the lifeblood of every contact center's performance, yet many of them aren't measuring the right performance indicators, the ICMI determined in a recent study. The findings, announced at the ICMI Contact Center Conference earlier this week, revealed that as contact centers evolve to be increasingly multichannel hubs, companies are struggling to maintain consistency across channels and customer touch points.

October 15, 2015
ICMI Vendor Spotlight: Directly Makes a Splash with On-Demand Customer Service App
By Maria Minsker | Smart Customer Service

At the upcoming ICMI Contact Center Demo and Conference in Las Vegas next week, companies are expected to demonstrate the latest technology in the customer service space. On-demand customer service provider Directly is making its first appearance at the ICMI conference, but the vendor is already drawing attendee attention with its expansion into the B2B arena. The budding company has a number of well-known B2C clients, including Pinterest, Airbnb, and Lyft, but will at the ICMI event introduce a solution for B2B customers as well.

August 11, 2015
Tito Colon Talks About Aetna Insurance’s ICMI Award Winning Multilingual Service
By Loren Moss | Customer Experience Report

Running contact centers is not easy. Add to the existing challenges the mission to support your clients in multiple languages, and in sometimes complex subject matter. Some companies have figured out the keys to success though. The insurance giant Aetna is one such example, having won this year’s 2015 “Best Multi-Lingual Support Center” award at the International Customer Management Institute’s Contact Center Expo and Conference.

July 30, 2015
Report says contact centres still dogged by negative perception
By Chris Ward | MyCustomer

The ICMI’s latest report, Collapse of the Cost Center: Driving Contact Center Profitability, was written in partnership with Zendesk and reveals that 62% of global contact centres are still “perceived as cost centres” within their organisations, and viewed internally as being inefficient.

July 8, 2015
Progressive Insurance Wins ICMI’s Global Contact Center Award: “Best Strategic Value To The Organization”
By Loren Moss | Customer Experience Report

Progressive Insurance has won this year’s Global Contact Center Award issued by the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), in the category of “Best Strategic Value to the Organization.” Progressive Insurance’s contact center operation won this because of their integral importance to every aspect of Progressive Insurance’s operations, and their success in driving Progressive’s consistent growth.

I have been attending these conferences over 8 years and each time they are more informative and enjoyable. I always bring action items back to the agency.

Esther Edmonds, Contact Center Manager, U.S. Government Printing Office

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   © 2018 UBM, All Rights Reserved.