Your Contact Center Summer of 2020 Reading List

If ever there was a summer to catch up on your reading, it’s the Summer of 2020. Maybe you’re working a bit more than usual or watching more TV than you had planned. Maybe you’ve even finished Netflix. So, now’s a great time to hop into that backyard hammock and sink into a book to learn some new ways to work smarter — not harder — in the contact center.

We’ve pulled together a few must-reads on how to improve customer experience, give employees the working environment they crave, fearlessly tackle automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in the contact center, and more.

Great Customer Experience Is Always in Style
Innovative businesses are agile; they pivot quickly in response to market changes, customer preferences and competitive pressures. And through its website and eCommerce platform, Genesys customer TechStyle sets new trends for great customer experience. In his book, “Enable Better Service: A Customer Service Contact Story of Breaking Away from the Norm Through Creativity, Technology and Innovation,” Aarde Cossbum of TechStyle explains how to transform your contact center to deliver exceptional customer experience. Learn technology strategies, ways to engage with partners and tactics for retaining top-notch customer service talent in your organization.

Make Empathy Your New Benchmark
There’s a sea change on the horizon for gauging contact center employee performance. Traditional KPIs like Net Promoter Score and customer satisfaction surveys won’t cut it for understanding how your employees are doing — and if they’re actually providing exception experiences. Teaching and ensuring that your employees personalize customer interactions and offer empathy should be new benchmarks. Alex Allwood’s book “Customer Empathy: A Radical Intervention in Customer Experience Management and Design” outlines some methods contact center managers can use to empower employees to show empathy — and ways to measure those efforts effectively.

Brand Loyalty That Drives Revenue
While satisfied customers generate more revenue for your business, so can unsatisfied customers — if you properly manage and turn around those experiences. In “Ignore Your Customers: A Simple Playbook for Delivering the Ultimate Customer Service Experience,” author Micah Solomon shares stories from several top brands like Zappos, Virgin and Drybar on how they assess and improve customer experience, drive customer engagement and build lifelong brand loyalty.

AI Levels the Playing Field
Collecting data is nothing new. Your business has been doing it for years. But now, the use of AI turns all that data into valuable growth opportunities. “Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World,” by Marco Iansiti and Karim R. Lakhani explores how using data, analytics and AI in your business allows you to rethink — and reshape — your operating models to better compete in the market. The authors share examples from global AI-driven companies as well as research across various sectors on how best to operate in the era of AI.

People-Focused Leadership
You’re only as strong as your weakest link. The book “The Power of People: How Successful Organizations Use Workforce Analytics to Improve Business Performance” explores ways to use analytics to unlock the potential of one of your most valuable assets – your employees. In this book, three experts outline where to start and how to get stakeholder buy-in. They also highlight a few quick wins you’ll see in building a workforce analytics project. This book is a valuable read for any business or HR executive who wants to not only see their employees succeed but also gain more value from them in the process.

When Good AI Goes Bad
Good AI is great; bad AI is… hilarious. In “You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It’s Making the World a Weirder Place,” scientist and author Janelle Shane dives head-first into the (sometimes humorous) world of AI to show how we use the technology to solve problems, understand humanity and even control self-driving cars. While this introduction to AI technology won’t necessarily help you improve your contact center’s employee or customer experiences, it will give you a good laugh. And during this summer, sometimes that’s all you really need.