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 ReadNorth American 911 Contact Centers Face New Opportunities and Urgent IssuesPublic contact centers or public safety answering points (PSAPs) are moving from basic 911 and enhanced or E911, noted for caller location tracking and number reporting, to Next Generation 911 (NG911). NG911 is a standards-based, IP emergency communications infrastructure that supports integrated voice, text, data (including Internet of Things [IoT] and telemetry), photos, and video. NG911 relies on Emergency Services IP Networks (ESInets), which are privately-provided specialized managed IP networks that transport incidents from contacting parties to PSAPs. But these new NG911 technologies must be tightly integrated with existing technologies, most notably computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems for end-to-end incident response from callers to first responders. There also are changes in the nature of incidents that PSAP agents (known as call takers), are responding to. Yet the ability of PSAPs to invest in the people, process, and technologies to handle an array of challenges and opportunities depends on the public’s willingness to fund them.
Published: Jun 20 2016 Market InsightsGrowing Economy, Changes in Demographics and Technology Impacting HR/HCM StrategiesNorth America’s employers are facing a double-edged sword. The strengthening economy is generating new business that is prompting many of them to hire more workers. But as the economy and businesses grow, so too may labor costs as a result of stiffer competition for quality staff. And what of productivity? Consequently, employers are looking to refine their human resources (HR)/human capital management (HCM) strategies and are looking for the best solutions. Published: Jun 02 2016 Market InsightsMeeting Customers’ Needs, Mobility, Integrating People, Process, Technologies KeyToday’s customers are not just going online or into stores to shop. They are going omnichannel: ordering online and picking up in-store, as well as having items delivered to their stores. They also are “showrooming” and “webrooming” on their mobile devices. While the retail industry has talked about providing excellent omnichannel customer experiences few retailers have executed well, with many others still on that journey. Published: Jun 01 2016 Market InsightsAgility, Features, OPEX Pricing Model Propel Demand for Cloud ERP SystemsCloud ERP has emerged as an agile, dynamic, flexible, cost effective, and swift-to-implement alternative to traditional legacy on-premise ERP software. Cloud ERP systems are still maturing, however, and as a result they have not been fully embraced by the market. But the signs clearly point to more cloud ERP development, adoption, and growth going forward. Published: Mar 11 2016 Market InsightsSharp Mobile-Friendly Design, Content, Data Analysis, Testing Key to Successful Web ExperiencesMost customer relationships now begin on the web. Many of these engagements are for increasingly complex sales, service, and support opportunities and issues. Many of these interactions occur over customers’ mobile devices. Web experience personalization, bolstered by web site testing, increases sales, raises order values, and generates greater customer satisfaction and loyalty. But web personalization is not a simple or inexpensive strategy to execute. In order to be successful, there are institutional as well as technology hurdles to overcome. Published: Feb 05 2016 Market InsightsPersonalization, Monetization, Responsiveness, and Channel Integration KeyCompanies are turning to social media marketing in order to identify, segment, promote to, and engage customers and prospects. This includes integrating with other channels in order to obtain and share 360 degree customer views. In essence, social media marketing is virtualized word-of-mouth, and as such has the power to influence customer lifetime value (CLV). But increased customer social savvy, a rapid pace of change, and stiff competition are forcing companies to further innovate the social space. Published: Feb 03 2016 Market InsightsPowerful Email Platforms Help SMBs Become more CompetitiveEmail continues to be one of the most widely used marketing channels. It affordably and immediately delivers attractive, rich, targeted, and multichannel content and calls to actions. It is simultaneously dynamic, with customer able to act on it immediately, and passive, where they can set it aside to review at their own convenience. Small-midsized businesses (SMBs) have embraced email marketing. But there are new as well as ongoing issues they must address in order for them to maximize the benefits from this tool. Published: Aug 12 2015 Market InsightsSmart CRM Strategies, Tactics, and Solutions for SMB GrowthSmall midsized businesses (SMBs) become successful by addressing customers’ needs. Customer relationship management (CRM) software has become critical to SMBs by automating their ability to identify profitable sales opportunities and to develop customer loyalty and lifetime value, including social media referrals. But there are business, economic, and vendor technology challenges in turning realization into reality. How SMBs respond when implementing CRM and deciding on the right applications could well decide their future. Published: Aug 12 2015 Market InsightsCustomer Expectations for Excellent Mobile and Omnichannel Service are Shaping eCommerceeCommerce has become the primary customer engagement channel. Customers now invariably investigate sellers and products online before buying by visiting their web sites and checking out other customers’ experiences on social media. eCommerce has also become a popular customer sales channel. It dominates the market for buying “soft” virtualized products and services, or “X anything as service” that are deliverable online. All companies are faced with adapting to eCommerce and keeping up with rapidly changing developments. But small midsized businesses (SMBs) are particularly challenged what with their limited resources. Published: Aug 11 2015 Market InsightsAll of us are customers. Whenever we engage with companies we expect them to deliver a consistently high quality experience, regardless of whether we call or Tweet them, or visit their online or bricks-and-mortar stores. In short: omni-channel customer service. Smart businesses of all sizes understand that the key to growth, competitiveness, and p... 04 May 2015 Blog postEconomists point out that “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAAFL). That goods are scarce; as more of them are consumed there will be less available. And that prices rise when supply shrinks. But the logic of TANSTAAFL, and supply and demand, are mistakenly not being applied to life-sustaining environmental goods: air, water, open sp... 24 Apr 2015 Blog postAs pointed out by Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Nancy Jamison in her blog, support interaction optimization (SIO) is a new and powerful tool that helps companies improve their customer experience, lower costs, and measure the results. Case in point is Mural, a Portland, Oregon-based professional services company that specializes in cloud IT sa... 23 Apr 2015 Blog postAlmost every day, it seems, there is another report on why enabling an excellent Customer Experience is vital for companies. Here are just a few examples of these albeit motherhood points they make: --Customers choosing to do business with businesses based on how they are treated. For example, the 2015 inContact Consumer Research Study revealed th... 14 Apr 2015 Blog postPositive Customer Experience with IoT Depends on Successful Service and SupportRecent Frost & Sullivan research identifies the Internet of Things (IoT) as one of the most important Mega Trends for today’s organizations to consider. IoT-enabled devices are programmed to alert the users to anomalies which could indicate problems that require immediate attention. Users reach into data repositories to uncover causes and obtain insights and opportunities, track trends, predict, respond to likely outcomes, and test “what if” scenarios. IoT continues to expand as businesses see more relevant use cases. That growth poses opportunities, but also challenges, for customer service organizations; how well they respond will help determine the ultimate success of IoT. Published: Apr 09 2015 Market InsightsA 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 post