Brendan Read - Analyst Profile
20+ years of experience in research, reporting, and analyzing developments in customer service, support, sales, services, technology, legislation/regulations, site selection, trade, and business continuity. Particular expertise in:
- CRM and Social CRM
- Onshore, nearshore/offshore, and foreign market site selection, and home-based agents
Experience base covering broad range of sectors, leveraging long-standing working relationships with leading industry vendors, adjunct suppliers e.g. site selection, and with end-user organizations.
- Cloud/hosted contact centers
- Contact routing (including chat), outbound dialing, proactive customer contact, IVR, speech, and mobile
- CRM, social media, analytics, Big Data, CTI, customer collaboration, and video
- Staffing, training, communications including electronic displays and collaboration, and endpoints
What I bring to the Team
- 15+ years contact center industry experience including 3+ years marketing support for a teleservices firm
- A diverse background spanning multiple fields and industry-using verticals
- Global perspective through covering developments in various countries. Reside/resided in Canada, U.K., U.S
- In-depth writing, editing, and communications skills, including public speaking and media
Extensive expertise in research, reporting, analysis, editing and writing for a wide range of customer contact and direct marketing media/publications and sites, plus for magazines covering construction, energy, metals, transportation, and wholesaling. Direct experience with business continuity and teleservices.
Author, Designing the Best Call Center for Your Business and Home Workplace and co-author, with Joseph Fleischer, The Complete Guide to Customer Support
B.A. major in Political Science from the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
- Areas of expertise
- CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT
- MARKET RESEARCH
- COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE
Recent items from Brendan ReadA new, disquieting, but refreshingly honest, and yet unsurprising International Customer Management Institute (ICMI)/ LiveOps report calls into question the underlying value of having contact centers to support the Customer Experience. The report, “Own the Moments! Understanding the Customer Journey”, drawn from a survey of over 400 industry profe...
26 Mar 2015 Blog postVideo in the contact center has long been a “tomorrow technology”. It is an amazing and a cool tool, but its practical and financially justifiable applications somehow never seem to appear or catch on. Here’s why: there is no real value in looking at someone else’s face in most video business engagements, especially with contact center agents. Sor... 24 Mar 2015 Blog postI recently came across a thought-provoking article in AdAge that suggests replacing return on investment (ROI) with a new metric, ROE2 (return on experience x engagement) for measuring marketing results. The author, Andy Frawley, CEO of Epsilon, a global marketing company believes that the digital revolution has rendered ROI irrelevant because it h... 12 Mar 2015 Blog postI had an interesting conversation the other day with John Huehn, founder and CEO of In the Chat, a customer contact solutions company based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada’s tech hub. John’s company’s flagship product is ITC Enterprise, which has two very innovative solutions that meet key customer contact needs: ITC Enterprise Social Media. This... 02 Mar 2015 Blog postFrost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Nancy Jamison made a powerful case for Support Interaction Optimization (SIO) in her recent blog, which references a white paper published on this topic. The blog and white paper discuss how SIO allows companies to resolve complex issues in less time and at less cost by providing agents with step-by-step guidance.... 25 Feb 2015 Blog postBelmar, New Jersey was hit hard by Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy in October, 2012. I live in Belmar and recounted the terrifying experience in one of my blogs. Last year Frost & Sullivan published a Market Insight report on how Belmar effectively used social media to inform residents before, during, and after the horrible event. Belmar was one of the... 03 Feb 2015 Blog postCommunicable deadly and debilitating diseases like the measles cause immense havoc, not only to individuals and their families, but to the economy and society as a whole. The resulting costs: in suffering but also in healthcare expenses, and in lost productivity from stricken employees and their family members are immense. Vaccinations are a long-... 03 Feb 2015 Blog postThe Whys (and Caveats) of Contact Center Outsourcers Leveraging Operations and Technologies as ServicesOutsourcing of any kind is a notoriously highly competitive thin-margin business. Not surprisingly, outsourcers are constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to grow their volumes, expand margins, and increase client loyalty. So it is not surprising that outsourcers are being urged to leverage contact center technologies with their clients t... 30 Jan 2015 Blog postSafety and security have always been the afterthoughts of almost every technology innovation and deployment. As a result, innocent, and sometimes not-so innocent people, become injured or killed while operations are crippled when the “bad things” inevitably happen. Sadly, managements too often respond with denials, excuses, coverups, blamesmanship... 22 Jan 2015 Blog post‘Tis the season of many “happy” returns, of gifts that turn out to be less desirable, useful, and, or flawed. These gifts are then exchanged for more desirable items or for cold hard cash. It’s also the season of new calendar year budgets which contain items that fall into the same category; two of the biggest are offices and travel. Companies sho... 08 Jan 2015 Blog postCustomers want immediate, thorough, and successful omni-channel customer care, and for a growing range of products and services. So why not make it your 2015 resolution to provide this excellent Customer Experience? Chances are you’ll be rewarded with greater customer loyalty, social media referrals, lowered costs, and greater profits. Customers t... 24 Dec 2014 Blog postWeb Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is the realizable future of contact center voice and video by allowing customers and agents to interact with each other through Web browsers: without specialized downloads. With WebRTC conversations are seamless, faster, and productive. Neither customers nor agents have to use separate phones for voice conversat... 19 Dec 2014 Blog postThere is no better term than cruelty to explain how airlines have been treating its economy customers and favoring their first class patrons, in order to reduce costs and increase profits. Much like how the old steamship lines herded the “hoi polloi” into steerage, while lavishing comforts on the occupants of the sumptuous cabins. How else besides... 18 Dec 2014 Blog postCustomers are taking control of their relationships with companies, and that is having a profound impact on the Customer Experience. Customers want immediate, thorough, and successful omni-channel customer care. They use Web self-service, mobile apps, and social media before contacting customer service. When customers do reach out to companies, the... 01 Dec 2014 Blog postEach day more products and services are becoming connected to each other, to customers, and to employees. Appliances, equipment, furnaces, dimmers, thermostats, machinery, medical devices, earbuds, watches, and vehicles, to name just a few, transmit and receive important information and instructions in real-time over the Internet. Frost & Sullivan... 24 Nov 2014 Blog postInnovative solutions integrators (SIs) key to cloud, omnichannel, and IT management strategiesCustomer contact systems integrators and value-added resellers or “solutions integrators” (SIs) are the linchpins in the contact center supply chain. Companies call on SIs to map out solution strategies and recommend and implement new and upgraded hardware and software and services. In turn, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and hosting providers depend on SIs as channel partners to sell, support, install and connect technologies to customer companies. But SIs are vulnerable to the stresses of anticipating and responding to the demands of OEMs, hosting providers, and other companies. Published: Sep 12 2014 Market InsightsFocusing on the “Customer Experience” has become an “interesting” buzz phrase for several reasons: 1. Isn’t it obvious that companies should satisfy customers in order to retain them and to generate repeat sales? Doesn’t it cost much more to keep existing buyers than to continually acquire new ones? Particularly in this slow-growth economy where... 29 Aug 2014 Blog postNew Methods and Tools Help Companies Cope With Changing Workforces, Work Environments, and RegulationsHuman capital management (HCM), encompassing human resources (HR), is evolving. Companies are hiring more workers than they shed as the economy emerges from the downturn. There are changes in demographics, in employee expectations, in how and where work is conducted, and in laws and regulations that impact employee benefits, management, and recruitment. Fortunately, technologies and methods have been evolving that can help companies meet their HCM needs. Published: Jul 25 2014 Market InsightsEvolving IT Support—From the Service and Help Desk to Broader IT ManagementAs more employees work outside of the office, working arrangements are becoming more fluid with improved company IT environments, including IT support (ITS) help desk and service desk sectors. Cloud computing, bring your own technology (BYOT), bring your own application (BYOA), and bring your own device (BYOD), are all joining and replacing on-premises and employer-supplied hardware and software. Furthermore, connected devices, or the “Internet of Things” (IoT), is creating a new set of users in the form of remotely monitored and managed equipment, machinery, devices, systems, and vehicles. This insight discusses how companies’ ITS department can cope with evolving IT environments while also facing demanding users and tight budgets. Published: Jul 14 2014 Market Insights Published: Jun 24 2014 Best PracticesBelmar, New Jersey’s Experiences during Hurricane Sandy Offers a Successful ExampleUsers have recognized the value of social media as a vital, reliable, and trustworthy business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) channel. Social media is thus becoming a “must have” in a smart organization’s emergency communications toolbox. Case in point: Belmar, New Jersey, a small, popular seaside community on the Atlantic Ocean, located approximately 60 miles south of New York City. Published: May 08 2014 Market InsightsSocial Media Marketing is Evolving to Become a Unique and an Essential Mainstream Marketing MethodCompanies have been expanding their marketing strategies from mass marketing to targeted marketing in order to increase response rates and sales. But with customers now in control of their corporate relationships, companies realize that they also have to engage with their clients on a customized basis—and forward-thinking organizations are doing this by taking full advantage of social media. Social media has emerged as an ideal marketing channel, and it is beginning to help businesses transform their unidirectional marketing approach to a bidirectional customer engagement model. Published: Mar 17 2014 Market Insights Published: Feb 07 2014 Best Practices Published: Jan 09 2014 Best PracticesAutomated Interactive Customer Contact Solutions have a Strong Future if they are Deployed WiselyAutomated interactive self-service solutions have evolved from interactive voice response (IVR) to include automated chat, SMS/text, and virtual agents (VA). Frost & Sullivan categorizes them as "automated interactive customer contact" (AICC) solutions. But AICC solutions will demonstrate returns on investment to companies only if consumers can easily interact with companies through these applications. The key question facing companies is not whether to deploy AICC solutions, but how best to implement them. Published: Jan 08 2014 Market InsightsCompanies are Moving to Serve Customers Anytime, Anywhere Including Inside StoresToday’s customers expect companies to provide a consistent and high quality Customer Experience, regardless of channel, including walk-in retail. “Omni-channel” strategies that integrate the Web, contact center, and retail channels (and subject matter experts), are becoming increasingly prominent in pursuit of a quality Customer Experience. The dividends are greater wallet share from enthusiastic customers who become brand advocates on social media, attracting new clientele. Published: Dec 03 2013 Market Insights