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 ReadSharp 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 Growing Need to Improve the Customer Experience Prompts Companies to Step up Customer SupportCustomers are becoming more reliant on computer hardware, software, and services in their lives and work. And while customers have had to become more knowledgeable about the technologies they own, use, and access, there also have been critical changes to the customer support landscape. Meanwhile, today’s customers are more anxious and demanding companies when their applications, products, and tools do not work. Solving problems for customers is therefore central to successful CRM strategies and providing a quality customer experience. But effective customer support can be expensive. Companies have to find solutions that will help not only retain customers, but ideally turn them into “raving fans”, while also keeping costs down. Published: Apr 08 2015 Market InsightsWebRTC promises to enhance omni-channel voice, video, and mobile Customer ExperienceWeb Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) is a powerful and evolving open source standard that may be the answer to customers’ and companies’ communications needs. WebRTC allows customers and agents to make and receive voice and video calls and share files within their browsers’ windows But customer contact organizations face challenges in fully capitalizing on WebRTC. For example, not all browsers support it. How effectively organizations and vendors respond to these challenges will determine whether WebRTC will become a permanent part of the communications channel mix, and if so in what form. Published: Apr 01 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 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 InsightsNew 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 Insights