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Friday Five Featured Reading: The Top 5 Articles of February 2019

There's never been a more exciting time to work in customer service but delivering exceptional customer experiences requires continual learning. At ICMI, we're committed to equipping you with the tools, resources, and knowledge you need to lead your team to success. In this monthly article roundup series, we'll highlight the five most-read articles of the month on icmi.com, and also share five articles from other sources that we think you'll enjoy. Reading these resources will help you keep your skills sharp and stay ahead of the trends.

Top Five ICMI.com Articles of February 2019:

1. Could Contact Center Agent Become the Dream Job of the Future? By Erica Marois

Did you grow up dreaming of becoming a doctor or teacher? Most of us didn't aspire to work in the contact center, but in truth, careers in the contact center are both rewarding and fulfilling. In this feel-good piece, community members Sean Hawkins and Sheri Kendall share why their children are following in their footsteps and what they're learning along the way.

2. Code Lavender: Ideas to Create a Culture of Sharing by Nate Brown

According to Q4 2018 ICMI research, culture and engagement is a top three challenge for members of this community. In this article, Nate Brown shares a few out-of-the-box ways to encourage better teamwork, camaraderie, and empathy. Find out how the code lavender concept-frequently used in healthcare-can help your contact center, too.

3. How to Deeply Understand Customer Pain by Mike Kendall

Want to design a seamless customer experience? First, you have to understand your customers-their motivations, preferences, and pain points. In this article, Mike Kendall shares four critical ways you and your team can deeply understand customer problems.

4. Who's Taking Your Customer Survey? Design with These Customers in Mind by Andrew Gilliam

Do you ever wish your survey response rates were higher than they are? Andrew Gilliam says there are four main types of customers who might take your survey, and to get their valuable insight, you must design with their motivations in mind. Keep reading for actionable insight on rethinking customer surveys.

5. How to Nail Complex Query Resolution with Internal Knowledge Bases by Kaye Chapman

As customer interactions increase in complexity, contact center leaders must find ways to better educate and prepare agents to respond. Kaye Chapman's advice? Don't underestimate the humble internal knowledge base. In this article, she shares how a well-designed KB can act as a tool to help employees work better and smarter, drive continuous improvement, improve quality, and increase collaboration.

Five More Articles We Think You'll Love

1. Report: Customer Satisfaction with Live Chat is on the Rise by Dan Gingiss

In a bit of encouraging customer service news, the latest Benchmark research results from Comm100 revealed that customer satisfaction with live chat interactions is up by 2.5% since 2017. What's driving this shift? This insightful article by Dan Gingiss offers analysis on the current state--and future--of live chat.

2. How to Empower Customer Service Employees by Jeff Toister

Empowerment is a term widely used in conversations about employee engagement. But what does it mean? In this helpful article, Jeff Toister breaks it all down and shares examples of the ways some of today's leading brands empower their customer service employees.

3. Contact Center CX: Next Issue Avoidance by Nate Brown

Metrics like CSAT, FCR, and NPS have long been commonplace in the contact center. But is NIA on your radar? In this post from CX Accelerator, Nate Brown curates insight from several thought leaders on the power of Next Issue Avoidance. Keep reading to learn how this metric might benefit your team and your customers.

4. Are You Able, Willing, and Ready for Digital Access? by Kathleen Peterson

Technology is a beautiful thing. When it's designed well. Bots, advanced self-service and other digital channels hold great promise for the contact center, but Kathleen Peterson cautions leaders to make sure they're prepared for the impacts to customers. Keep reading for practical advice that will help you strategize on ways to make the best use of emerging contact channels.

5. The Role Accents Play in Customer Service by Page Grossman

How does customer bias impact CSAT scores, particularly when it comes to contact center agent accents? According to Zendesk, quite a bit. In this fascinating article, Page Grossman shares why employees (and customers) are so often judged by accents. She also offers up some advice for overcoming bias.

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