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Article : Navigating Generational Differences in the Contact Center Workforce

#contactcenterworld, @BlueOceanTweets

Patricia Isnor, Senior Vice President of Corporate Services for Blue Ocean Contact Centers defines the common differences in the generational gaps working within contact centers. She also explains some of the different training methods that can be used to help get the most out of Baby Boomers, Gen X'ers and Millenials.

What makes a great contact center agent isn’t as easy to define as you might expect. Yes, they need to be great communicators and they need to have the chops to navigate call center systems and software in their sleep, but the best skills and personality traits differ from agent to agent, depending on the brand, the type of customer service, and the specific support channel. There’s another layer to be considered as well: generational differences in the contact center workforce.

A Baby Boomer agent may share some skills and traits with a Millennial agent, but their perspectives and cultural experiences often result in some foundational differences that can help or hinder their experience in the call center. We’re not just talking about contact center agents - coaches, supervisors, managers, and even your executive team are all part of this conversation. The way each role interacts with the other – whether directly or indirectly – is frequently impacted by perceptions that stem from generational differences. There are two key areas in which this is most apparent. The first is training; the second is management.

Training a Multigenerational Agent Workforce

When it comes to training, one size rarely fits all. Every individual possesses their individual profile of neurolinguistics traits that dictates how they work, engage, and learn. But generational differences add an extra layer of complexity.

You can probably guess that Millennials lean towards digital-based training methods. After all these are our true "digital natives" – people who grew up with computers in their homes and classrooms from their earliest days. They tend to be tech savvy and self-directed, hands-on learners, and they appreciate the benefits of on-demand training at any time, in any location. Plus, most online learning programs can be customized to the individual, depending upon their learning style and in what areas they require the most improvement.

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Millennials are typically not raving fans of "old school" (literally!) classroom-style lecture where the expectation is that they will sit and listen quietly while someone talks at them. On the other hand, that is the exact classroom model that most Baby Boomers are perfectly comfortable and familiar with – someone speaks and you take notes. Many Baby Boomers appreciate a subject matter expert teaching them and they value the opportunities to ask questions and get immediate answers rather than hunt for the solution through a self-directed model.

In the middle of this spectrum is Generation X – a cohort that can be challenging to engage. They bring a healthy cynicism to the workplace and are generally proud of it. This is the generation that had to take care of themselves from an early age (the original "latchkey kids") and who have had to fight their whole adult lives for their place in a labor market overcrowded with Boomers. This cohort is looking for a clearly articulated return on their investment in the training and employment process – a "what’s in it for me" kind of approach. You need a strong evidence-based approach to engage the typical Gen X and you need to be prepared to be questioned. What matters most to this group is how they will apply the training in a way that is meaningful to them and to their goals. For example, on-the-job shadowing, giving them the opportunity to learn independently from real world examples, highlighting the direct benefits for them.

If your contact center workforce is generationally diverse, creating a successful agent training program that incorporates these alternatives in an engaging balance is a real challenge. In our call center, we balance different adult learning styles – auditory, kinesthetic, visual – with the generational make-up of the class. Trainers are expected to understand that a Baby Boomer who is a visual learner is not the same student as the Millennial visual learner, for example. How do you create a program that engages every learning style across generations? How do you avoid isolating certain groups of people? What balance will achieve the highest level of contact center performance across this generational divide? It’s a complex equation and one that requires continual development. If you’re seeking a call center partner, ask questions about how often their training programs are audited. And ask questions about how training results are measured, how trends are reported on, and how those results inform process change or content changes in how training is delivered. Our approach to training has been audited by JD Power and given their highest rating, but that doesn’t mean we’re done. It means we have to adhere to our proven process and keep an eye on continual improvement as training technologies and theories continual to evolve.

Managing a Multi-Generational Contact Center

Millennials are entitled. Generation Xers are apathetic and self-absorbed. And Baby Boomers are set in their ways. Right? Well, if you’re anything like us, those stereotypes make you feel just a little (or a lot) defensive and uncomfortable. But the hard truth is that generational biases seep into the workforce almost undetected and have a significant impact on the way agents and managers interact with each other.

You’ll probably notice this disconnect first and foremost in communication breakdown. With more channels of communication available than ever before, there are generational preferences that can quickly lead to conflict if not controlled. For example, Millennials will quickly turn to instant messaging and texting, whereas Gen Xers often stick to email, and Baby Boomers will pick up the phone. These choices may reflect different messages to different generations, causing misunderstandings in expectations and feedback, as well as tension in coworker or manager relationships.

We believe that overcoming the multigenerational challenge begins with awareness of our own habits and preferences and then creating an awareness that "different just means different not worse." We have a vice president who frequently reminds her team that a disconnect in communication "is never malicious." It’s great advice. If you’re a Boomer manager, reminding yourself that your Millennial direct report who sends a curt "yup" via chat instead of sending a response formed in full sentences and delivered via email doesn’t communicate like that to intentionally annoy you. They do it because that is where they live – that is the style and channel preference that has been embedded in their brain since they were in junior high making plans with their pals via MSN Messenger. That is worth remembering. And on the other hand, it is worth letting the Millennial know how you prefer to receive communication so that they can help themselves grow by adapting their style to their audience in order to get their message heard clearly and quickly. It is unreasonable to expect people to adapt if they don’t know what the barriers are or what the triggers are for a communication disconnect.

Finally, a significant benefit to the multi-generational contact center is the opportunity for mentorship. Individuals with richer work experience can guide employees who are newer to the workforce, providing valuable feedback and fostering employee appreciation on all sides. After all, no matter what generation they identify with, every employee simply wants to know they’re a valued member of the team. Some of our most successful and exciting moments of development have resulted from cross-generational mentorship. Young Millennials thrive on sharing knowledge and helping others grow and GenX and Boomer managers can learn as much from the digital native with a passion for creative problem solving as the Millennial can learn from the experience of the Boomer or Gen X.

Navigating Generational Differences in the Contact Center

There have always been a number of generations working side-by-side in the workforce, but today’s world has made those differences all the more apparent. With Baby Boomers retiring later than the norm and the Millennial generation entering the workforce en masse, keeping everyone on the same page is a fresh challenge.

For a multigenerational contact center to thrive, we recognize the need to build a meaningful, empowering workplace where people connect and grow and succeed. If you’re looking for a contact center solution that aligns with your brand and values, let us know. We’d love to get to know you.

#contactcenterworld, @BlueOceanTweets

About Patricia Isnor:
Patty Isnor is never satisfied with status quo. Her primary focus over the course of more than 30 years with our organization is on ensuring that our company is in a constant state of striving. As Senior Vice President, Corporate Services,she leads initiatives in human resources, facilities design and management, and employer branding. She has been the driving force behind many of Blue Ocean’s (and CCL Group) innovations in administrative, financial, legal and human resources systems and processes. Her leadership in this space has earned Blue Ocean national and international recognition for ou

About Blue Ocean Contact Centers:
Company LogoWe thrive on delivering critical customer service solutions that go beyond transactional interactions. As such, our goal is to enhance lifetime customer value, providing support that is a reflection of your brand promise, even in high-pressure, complex customer service scenarios.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Keep Cost In Perspective

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, April 7, 2017

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2022 Buyers Guide Analytics

Page: 12

CardBoard: Real-time data, shows the most important KPI’s in your Contact Center.
Built for data | Designed for business | Empowers teams

Acqueon Technologies Inc.

Acqueon's AI-driven conversational engagement software enables sales, marketing and service organizations to engage in emotionally connected dialogs with customers via their channel of choice for significantly improved results. The Acqueon suite adds multichannel campaign management, contact center analytics, desktop, and CRM connectors for your contact center software of choice, including Amazon Connect, Cisco, Nice inContact, and Twilio. Acqueon conversational engagement software leverages the Acqueon IQ platform to aggregate data from the various applications, assemble rich customer contexts, and drive next-best-action using powerful statistical and predictive models.


Noble IQ
Turn business insights into actionable intelligence. Noble’s IQsolutions provide you with rich and robust customer data that can transform your business. Automate decision making and campaign management and refine the quality of interactions with precision and efficiency. We have developed proprietary and patented tools to help you make sense of data on your current operations and then help you make strategic decisions to improve performance and efficiency. Identify who your best customers and prospects are and the ideal methods to reach them. Understand what types of campaigns work best for your business and how to optimize underperforming campaigns. And nake real-time decisions rather than looking back to see what went wrong.

BPA Quality

Call Center Quality Monitoring
Outsourced call center quality solutions including Multi-lingual, Multi-Channel Quality Monitoring, Call Center Consulting, Psychometrics & Analysis of Customer-Agent Interactions, Cloud-based Quality Analysis Software configured by Needs, Virtual & In-person Training, Speech Analytics & Speech Analytics Management.

Call Tracking Metrics

Automate insights from all your customer communications

There's no better way to get to know your customer than through their own communications with your brand. Gain a strategic advantage and a thorough understanding of your customer's full journey with a complete suite of conversation intelligence tools and features. Measure customer sentiment, automatically identify and score qualified conversations, and give strategists everything they need to knock their campaigns out of the park.

Use conversation analytics to:

• Build your ideal customer profile
• Optimize your sales and customer service processes
• Maximize your resources to focus on quality conversations
• Identify trends and customer sentiment in real-time


CallFinder speech analytics
CallFinder® is a leading provider of cloud-based SaaS speech analytics, automated call scoring, and speech-to-text transcription technology with sentiment analysis. Our easy-to-use solution is designed to help businesses and contact centers automate quality monitoring to improve agent performance and provide a superior customer experience.

With CallFinder, you get…

100% visibility into agent-customer interactions
100% monitoring of interactions, up from only 5-10%
Scalability of QA reviews with the same size QA team
CallFinder isn’t just your average speech analytics provider. When you work with us, you get unparalleled, continuous support through our MyAnalyst managed client servic...
(read more)

ComSys S.A.

CCube for Business Intelligence
CCube by Comsys is a business intelligence application, developed for enterprise contact centers. It delivers powerful, and dynamic reporting that enable managers to gain insight into their business. CCube is natively compatible with Aspect Unified IP and Cisco Unified Contact Center (UCCE/UCCX) platforms
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect...
(read more)

Consilium Software

Consilium UniInsight™
The days of ‘business as usual’ are a distant memory for most of the world. And when it comes to contact centers, balancing between contact channels, deciding which agent locations or teams are doing well, working out how your customer satisfaction is being impacted by the less-than-perfect work environments of ‘lockdown’ agents…leaders are often at a loss when trying to get such insights from their contact center data. As the technology and business landscape changes, so too must the contact center reporting and analytics solutions that power decision making and performance management. With the new release of Consilium UniInsight™, we have tried to deliver contact center reporting and op...
(read more)


CROSSCRM.CX - CRM Dataviz Module
CROSS-CRM manages daily interconnection with your CRM tools to centralize data and analyse CX on all channels, and is able to provide deep analytics insights.

All the Kpi’S are here for precise control of your Customer Relationship : Interactions - Quality - Satisfaction - Campains forecast MyClient

Filters, Data Extraction, Custom Views, dates sheets, email subscriptions, xls Extracts, images, pdf

PLUS ! Automated extracts
for integration to third party applications.


Daisee builds technology that empowers people to solve problems by making interactions simple and smart so they can have a more significant impact, be more productive and be better at what they do. We believe incremental improvements carry huge potency and provide exponentially greater change for the better.

Genesys customers can now automate risk and quality management using Daisee’s speech and sentiment analytics and remediation workflow software. Daisee helps improve customer experience, ensure regulatory compliance, identify missed commercial opportunities & training requirements as well as provide valuable insights back to the business directly from the frontline – the true voice-of-...
(read more)


Powered by AI, DialogTech’s DialogAnalytics analyzes conversations to provide marketing and sales teams a wealth of insights for smarter optimizations. With the power of conversation intelligence, you can learn which channels, ads, keywords, and webpages drive the best sales calls, if the caller converted, and more.

AI analyzes how calls are handled at locations and call centers to detect issues that negatively impact ROI. See what percentage of calls go unanswered and who is best (and worst) at converting callers to appointments and customers. Get email alerts when phone leads are mishandled at locations so those leads can be called back right away.

With DialogAnalytics, you can get a...
(read more)

eGain Corporation

eGain Analytics
eGain Analytics makes it easy to measure, analyze and refine your contact center operations, knowledge and web customer experience. Create informative reports, charts and dashboards effortlessly. Slice-&-dice the data in any number of ways and use it to manage the business effectively.

1. Operational Analytics™ empowers the business to measure and manage the call center directly and without IT involvement.
2. Knowledge Analytics™ provides insight for eGain’s knowledge and AI applications.
3. Digital Analytics™ measures contact center performance within eGain’s digital channel applications.
4. Journey Analytics™ captures customer behavior on the website—identify the churn points and cre...
(read more)

eGain Corporation

eGain Analytics
eGain Analytics makes it easy to measure, analyze and refine your contact center operations, knowledge and web customer experience. Create informative reports, charts and dashboards effortlessly. Slice-&-dice the data in any number of ways and use it to manage the business effectively.

ethosIQ, LLC

ethosAnalytics leverages data to provide business intelligence to enhance the customer experience and beyond. The analytics dashboards are customized based on client needs. ethosAnalytics enables data-driven decisions in seconds or minutes - not days or weeks.

Lieber & Associates

Contact center Analytics and Metrics
Lieber & Associates provides services to develop, interpret, and improve contact center metrics and analytics. The firm's experience spans forecasting, customer service, order-taking, lead-qualification, sales, segmentation, media-source-tracking, and testing design. L&A's president pioneered segmentation for telephone scripts and the tri-level service level metric. He brings broad analytics experience to contact centers.

MiaRec, Inc.

MiaRec Voice Analytics
A powerful new addition to our Customer Engagement Suite, MiaRec Voice Analytics provides a complete quality management solution that records, monitors, organizes, and scores your customer interactions. MiaRec Voice Analytics humanizes your data, empowering you to make real decisions about your customer service operation. Unlock the needs, wants, and concerns of your customer base while upskilling your staff, identifying service gaps, and tackling compliance.

Our Voice Analytics solution produces a detailed picture of your call center, highlights the topics you want to see, and helps you get ahead of disputes, reverse churn, and seize emerging business opportunities. With a fast and low l...
(read more)


CSAT.AI measures if the customer’s questions were answered, how empathetic was your agent and the customer’s sentiment to predict a CSAT score without pesky surveys, all in real time. QA is modernized and the CX game is improved - no matter if your agents are at their home or your office.

CSAT.AI automates QA, analyzing 100% of text, email and chat interactions. Without spreadsheets or manual entry, managers have comprehensive data to guide decisions - no need to even be in the same location!

CSAT.AI helps you protect your company and your people. Did a customer just threaten to sue you or abuse your agent? Now you know with real time push notifications.

CSAT.AI provides granular details by issue (delivery delay etc) or agent score.

OpsTel Services

With OpsTel VIEW™, you are able to monitor and immediately audit your agent profile data for accuracy and compliance across the entire contact center solution stack.


*OpsTel VIEW™ tracks down unused stale profile licenses and provides clients with detailed audits explaining their location, current and historical status
*Comprehensive audit across the enterprise, it only takes 10 minute
*Provides a view in to the data accuracy of agent profiles across multiple applications
*Drastically speeds up audit and validation processes
*Validates actions to implement for profile data integrity issues across multiple applications
*Can also assist in ensuring access level compliance...
(read more)


CXi - Customer Experience Insights
Pointel CXi, the IVR analytics platform, maps the entire customer journey and analyzes calls end-to-end to turn data into actionable insights. Centralized reporting is essential for seamless customer journeys, as it is critical to know where calls are transferred or abandoned.

CXi generates multiple reports on IVR performance, the Customer-IVR interactions, and sticking points in the IVR that cause customers to struggle. CXi’s IVR Analytics platform provides a comprehensive understanding of customer engagement.

Pointel Customer Experience Insights (CXi) delivers actionable information that enables businesses to reduce customer effort, operational costs and increase contact center effi...
(read more)


SIP-Trunk Demarc Monitor
Analyzes SIP signalling and RTP audio stream of every call passing through the network demarcation point. Provide a real time 24/7/365 network baseline database that contains the IP bandwidth, call traffic of up to 128 voice groups, Call Detail Record (CDR), call blockage and MOS voice quality. All information are displayed in SIP-Trunk dashboards and are used in many applications, such as Telco collaboration, UC/CC analytics, Work Force Optimization (WFO) and caller identification.
Page: 12

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