Blogs

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Being a consumer yourself doesn’t necessarily make you an expert in customer experience, because great CX starts by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. @April Eastburn , Customer Experience Manager at sports team management app TeamSnap , learned this lesson early thanks to an unexpected start in the collections business. In this interview, April tells Execs In the Know about her sneakers-on-the-ground approach to CX, the perils and perks of managing a remote team, and the time she got to thank her bank for the “we’re sorry” cookies. Execs In The Know: How did you get started in CX? April Eastburn: I started in college working for Capital ...
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The Acquisition Gig

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This week Sun Basket took it's third step into utilizing the knowledge, passion, and expertise of our customers. As some of you are aware, nearly 2 years ago we started putting our toe in the water with Customer' Helping Customers in customer support.   We now have approximately 10% of our weekly volume handled through this channel and are continuing to expand towards a target of 15-20% We have been able to open a 24x7 channel for direct support while only "staffing" M-F 8am -5pm. Earlier this year our Development team started utilizing our customers as "in production" quality assurance for our online product, testing features and functionality of ...
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Over the past couple of weeks, while I have been conducting the Gig interviews, there have been some very interesting articles in the news and research papers about the future of work. While I included the   announcement of Uber Works   in my blog on Postmates , as it was directly relevant, I have been storing up these articles that I am sharing this week. Some of this is very relevant to   @Brandon Linton 's question about remote worker programs . I would strongly suggest you invest 30 mins in these articles even if you are not considering gig workers yet, but just want to learn some insights on how to better manage your existing workforce. First:   ...
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After every Execs In The Know Customer Response Summit we hear from our attendees that they wish there were a way to keep the conversation going. That's why we created Know It All (KIA) , our private online community for senior customer experience executives at top consumer brands. No fees or membership dues required - just valuable peer-to-peer discussion in a collaborative, non-competitive environment. Here are five reasons why our members - more than 50% VP-level or higher - are making time for this new professional network. Are you a CX Leader? We hope you'll join us. 1. Break out of the silo. Many CX Leaders bump up against organizational ...
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If you attended the New Orleans CRS in March you would have seen Unbabel on the main stage with Microsoft, LinkedIn, Home Depot and Logitech. If you were at Denver CRS you may have attended Unbabel's Moments of Brilliance session with Edmund Ovington and @Sue Morris of Microsoft. If you weren't at either; and are not aware of who Unbabel are or what they do; they are changing the game in language support. Using a real-time adaptive machine translation layer to allow any Customer Service or Support agent anywhere in the world to handle questions from any customer, anywhere in the world, in any language through nonvoice channels. You may be thinking great ...
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In a follow-up to the #Outsourcing  Briefing held this past June in Richmond, VA, @LeAnne Crocker and I moderated Monday's Outsourcing interest group session at Customer Response Summit – Denver. Armed with key questions distilled from the Richmond event, we asked attendees to gather together in small groups to discuss a wide variety of topics from the changing role of the BPO to the impact of #GigEconomy on talent sourcing. Agent Engagement By far the hottest topic proved to be agent engagement at partner sites, with key challenges and opportunities dominating the bulk of discussion. When asked, “How do we collectively ensure that agents excel ...
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Yesterday @Allen Lee , @Mike Gathright , and I hosted the #ArtificialIntelligence Interest Group session at Customer Response Summit, which yielded some surprising insights into how brands and business partners are leveraging AI to smooth the customer experience – often by focusing on the human agents who support them. A quick show of hands revealed that the vast majority of represented companies are somewhere in the middle of their AI journey. About 10% consider themselves early adopters and 5% are still thinking about dipping their toe in the water – meaning 85% are either in the process of AI implementation or are already building on the learnings of ...
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At the Customer Response Summit’s #WomeninLeadership interest group session yesterday we discussed what it means to be a great leader – man or woman. We agreed that it’s not about running a business. It’s about developing people. Here’s the list of leadership qualities and ideas that we believe are essential to creating a work environment that is productive, collaborative, compassionate, and fair to all. Advocacy Communication Competence Confidence Decisiveness Discipline Experience “Finding the Good” Gratitude Humility Inspiration Listening Keeping an “Open Door” Knowledge-sharing Leading by Example Mentoring/Development ...
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Happy Monday all, to both those here in Denver for #CRSDenver and those elsewhere. I just had the pleasure of co-hosting the #GigEconomy  Group meeting with @Sue Morris of Microsoft, and @Lisa Oswald from Travel Zoo. We had a packed room representing many brands and industries, as well as some providers; believe me the discussions were lively and covered topics from building acceptance of “letting go” of controls of brand voice and building a business case to pilot, through what types of transactions suite Gig work,  to recruiting and training, to data integration and performance management.   #GettingStartedwithGig , #GigSourcing #MeasuringGigPerformance ...
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One of the concerns many of us have around relying on gig workers is ensuring that you will have enough of the right people available when our customers need them. I expect this to be one of the topics discussed at the #GigEconomy roundtable at the upcoming Customer Response Summit Denver . This week I found this article in the New York Times on how New York and Bay Area restaurants are utilizing Gig workers to fill shifts , both regular and when large events demanding a surge in staff needs occur. How would this work with CS employees? See you in Denver, Brett ​​​ #CustomerService #Brett'sBl
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This past week we had our first QBR with our Gig partner. As I have mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, at Sun Basket we started our first pilot of gig work about 18 months ago, and after spits and spurts of tweaking the approach, began in earnest in January of this year. In many respects this first QBR was overdue, partially stemmed by a reality of the Gig space that managing the work of gig is both similar and different to managing regular inhouse or outsource staff. There are certain KPIs that align and let us compare in as close of an apples to apples environment, and other KPIs that make little sense to measure in Gig that are a steadfast of regular ...
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Gigging on Vacation

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As leaders and implementers of edge pushing technology, we often do small tests of how that works, like submitting a few chatbot cases, or making mystery shopping calls, even taking new hire training and answering a few cases ourselves. However, with all the other pressures we have in our day to day jobs, I assume most of us rarely get the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time testing out our programs from the “agent end”. Or maybe it has just been me. When we first launched out Gig economy platform with our partner I was a key part of testing, and every now and then have looked at the questions to make sure new pushes were running well, but not ...
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So the short answer is yes, this time. CCW Vegas was big, loud, busy, and a great networking opportunity, it was great to see @Ima Somers and @Lisa O'Brien in the demo haul. About 60% of the sessions I attended were good value (slightly higher than my expectation, however at only one session was gig mentioned. That was the 7:45 am “thoughts and feedback” session on the last day (when most attendees were nursing the activities of the late night before) when the question of “what didn’t we discuss this year that we might think about for next CCW” came up. Talking with Mario Matulich, Executive Director of Customer Management Practice, (who run CCW) afterwards, ...
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I usually try to stay away from the zoo that is CCW Vegas, however this year one of our partners kindly covered all expenses, so it is hard to say no 😊 As I have been signing up for the breakout sessions while there are a myriad of sessions around Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Assistance, Chat Bots, the unicorn of OmniChannel, and managing the culture of your internal customer service staff it seems that CCW has placed a snub on the growing opportunity of augmenting and enhancing customer service with gig engagements. I may be surprised when I get there that the topic is hidden within some other fancy session title. I hope that I am wrong, and able ...
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Over her nearly 35 years at FedEx, community member Ginna Sauerwein worked her way up from Package Handler and Ramp Agent to Managing Director of Customer Experience - and her last day on the job was May 31. Now ready to tackle new challenges, Ginna has been reflecting on her tenure at FedEx and what’s next for the CX industry. We asked Ginna about the company culture, its commitment to customer service, and the significance of the “golden package.” ____ Execs In The Know: You worked for FedEx for almost 35 years, but only half of that was spent in customer experience. How did you transition to a CX role and what had you been doing before? Ginna ...
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In late March I caught up with fellow community member Claudia Cristiani, Emerging Sourcing Strategy Leader at Microsoft, to ask her how the global software giant has been tapping into the Gig Economy. Claudia and I were once peers in the Microsoft global customer service organization when she led LATAM and I led APAC. Here's what she had to say about leveraging gig workers to enrich customer service and support talent pool. _____ Brett Frazer: When did Microsoft first start thinking about the gig economy as a talent sourcing strategy and why? Claudia Cristiani: We believed using gig was going to give us access to very qualified talent with great ...
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I have been a bit quiet on the blog front for the past few weeks as we have had a lot going on at Sun Basket, including expanding both the volume we are pushing into our current CS “gig” pool, as well as developing some new opportunities to utilize the expertise of our customers in some new areas. This includes acquisition support, and crowd testing updates to our web and mobile functionality. Truly some exciting and interesting times. As we build out these new opportunities, I have been ensuring that we do so in a way that continues to be good for our customers, our experts and our organization (following a similar CEO model we use internally with our ...
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So far my blog posts have been focused on industry analyst articles and insights and experiences of utilizing gig workers from the business’s perspective. This week I spent time connecting with three of our Sun Basket Experts to bring their perspective of being a gig worker for Sun Basket to light. Before sharing their answers to my questions about their time helping other Sun Basket customers I want to start with a little demographic overview. All three are women over 35, supporting the debunked myth from the article two weeks ago that gig work only appeals to millennials. They all have full time jobs and do the gig work for Sun Basket more because ...
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What’s your gig? We hear a lot of talk about gig these days, especially here as that is what our topic is about, yet the word itself has had many meanings across the years. Historically a gig was a small 2 wheel, horse-drawn carriage, although I doubt any of us have ever thought of it in that context outside of visiting a Museum. For many of us over 25 the first time we would have been exposed to or used gig would have been in reference to going to see a local band at a pub or night club. As the tech economy grew, it wasn’t the workforce phenomenon but data memory/storage that expanded gig throughout our lexicon. This brings us to the gig ...
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I have just wrapped up three days at an industry conference and am reminded of the value of spending time listening to, talking amongst and sharing with our colleagues across this fun industry. It was great to run into some EITK contacts old and new. In addition to catching up with @Daniel Mendez Costabel from Microsoft, it was great to connect with @Lisa O'Brien from US Bank. Sunday and Monday were great learnings and focus on technology, and on a number of occasions utilizing the gig economy popped up, including helping translation accuracy for utilizing English agents to assist foreign language customers and visa versa. At cocktails Monday evening ...
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