Outsource Consultants' Blog

Look what’s cooking in the world of renewable energy - Phil McKenna (Ensia)

Look what’s cooking in the world of renewable energy - Phil McKenna (Ensia)

To read this article in its original publication, click here.


The solar and wind innovations that got us where we are today — and those waiting in the wings — point to a hopeful future.

Inside a sprawling single-story office building in Bedford, Mass., in a secret room known as the Growth Hall, the future of solar power is cooking at more than 2,500 °F. Behind closed doors and downturned blinds, custom-built ovens with ambitious names like “Fearless” and “Intrepid” are helping to perfect a new technique of making silicon wafers, the workhorse of today’s solar panels. If all goes well, the new method could cut the cost of solar power by more than 20 percent in the next few years.

“This humble wafer will allow solar to be as cheap as coal and will drastically change the way we consume energy,” says Frank van Mierlo, CEO of 1366 Technologies, the company behind the new method of wafer fabrication.

Secret rooms or not, these are exciting times in the world of renewable energy. Thanks to technological advances and a ramp-up in production over the decade, grid parity — the point at which sources of renewable energy such as solar and wind cost the same as electricity derived from burning fossil fuels — is quickly approaching. In some cases it has already been achieved, and additional innovations waiting in the wings hold huge promise for driving costs even lower, ushering in an entirely new era for renewables.

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Profile in Excellence: Outsource Consultants - Darren Prine

Corey Kotlarz, President of Outsource Consultants, was recently interviewed by Darren Prine, VP of Sales at Connect First, Inc. and cloud contact center technology advisor. The following is the article that features this interview. If you'd like to see the article in its original format, click here.


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Before & Now: 5 Ways to Improve Success Measurement in the Call Center

Kunnect recently posted an article about the fast-changing benchmarks in the call center industry as well as in customer service. In the summary below, you’ll read about how to keep your call center and customer service tactics current to ensure continued employee and customer satisfaction.

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Prepare Your Call Center for Multichannel Customer Service

Before diving into multichannel strategies, get your house in order – according the article written by Lauren Horwitz from SearchCRM. A summary of that article is below:

Companies that don't develop processes and internal structures for handling their multichannel strategy can fall short on serving customers through multiple communication channels. Businesses are rushing headlong into multichannel customer service because their customers are rushing there even faster, experts say. 

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What Senior Managers Need to Know About Contact Centers

If you’re like many across the contact center profession, you’re about to enter the budgeting cycle for 2015. So what better time to take stock of the understanding your organization’s senior level leadership team has of your contact center’s environment, value, and direction? There’s no way around it: To succeed, your contact center needs commitment and involvement from the top. ICMI has gathered the “must knows” to boost your leadership team’s awareness and understanding in the article summary below:


1. Contact Centers are becoming more complex.

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The Importance of Culture: Learning from Comcast

By now you may have heard the story of Ryan Block and his humorous/tragic attempt to have his Comcast internet service discontinued. Geoff Schaadt, a management consultant, elaborated in a recent article posted on LinkedIn. The summary of that article can be found below:

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Cloud Better Than Your Contact Solution?

Cloud better than your contact solution? With more and more call centers making the switch to the cloud, those using an on-premise solution are left asking, “why?” Whether you’re starting your first call center or are considering the switch to a cloud solution, you’ll find that there are numerous advantages to leaving on-premise technology behind. In this article by Avoxi, we’ll talk about areas where a cloud-based call center will improve your business.

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Live Chat is Still on Top

Coming on the heels of a November 2013 customer service benchmark report, eDigitalResearch has released a follow-up study reaffirming its core finding: Live chat is the most satisfying modality for customer engagement. Smart Customer Service posted an article on eDigitalResearch’s findings in the summary below:

The study polled 2,000 nationally representative U.K. customers about their preferences and experiences when dealing with brands over live chat, email, social media, apps, traditional mail, phone, and short message service (SMS). For those that had used live chat to contact a company in the last year (26 percent), 73 percent reported that they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the experience they had. This is more or less on par with the numbers eDigitalResearch saw in November. Usage, however, is up slightly, from around 24 percent to 26 percent.

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Improve Call Center Services with Social Media

How do you deliver exceptional customer care? Do you ensure that no customer waits on hold longer than five minutes? Do you allow your agents to adjust the script so as to better address customer issues? Do you enforce a “customer first” policy that puts their priorities above all others? For a number of call center services, it’s these things and more that lead to the optimal experience. inContact recently wrote an article on how social media can improve your call center. A summary of that article is below:

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What's the Point of the Call Center?

Knowledge of how businesses are constructing their call center infrastructure provides a degree of context for understanding operational limitations. Knowledge of where businesses offer service provides a degree of context for understanding customer experience limitations. But in order to appreciate the magnitude of those limitations, one needs to understand the fundamental objectives of todays call centers. One also requires knowledge of the extent to which businesses are committed to fulfilling those objectives. The Call Center Corporation recently posted an article describing the focus of call centers; the point. A summary of that article is below:

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