John Rake

John Rake has over 20 years of experience in the software industry with extensive background in contact center, multi-media communication and sales training software development. Prior to joining Envision, John was the co-founder of Four Creeks, a mobile marketing SaaS company that targeted the automotive industry. In this role, he co-designed Four Creek’s initial SaaS product offering and infrastructure, managed the daily development activities with an offshore development team, and oversaw the daily operations upon release. Less than one year after initial launch, Four Creeks was successfully sold to OneCommand, a multi-media marketing and communications company for the auto industry and community organizations where he was the senior product manager and interim VP of client services. As Envision’s Director of Product Management, John is responsible for developing and managing the company’s product roadmap, defining specific product requirements and ensuring that Envision’s strategy and solutions are delivered on time and within budget.

Recent Posts

How to Improve Your Customer Experience by Freshening Up Your CRM

Posted by John Rake
8/4/15 10:30 AM

Has your CRM seen better days? Though perhaps still fully functional, does its legacy architecture make it difficult to synchronize data? Are your employees using it for conversation tracking, agent performance monitoring, or any other essential features—or has it become simply an electronic rolodex?

An outdated CRM can undermine your business goals especially with regard to customer service. Companies run the risk of losing customers these days more from service process issues than product quality. A slipshod support experience can decidedly reduce the likelihood a customer will recommend a service or product or repurchase from that same company. Even if they don’t lead to customer churn, service issues can quickly eat away at company worth and profitability, as the cost to support a customer inquiry or complaint can be $2 to $11 per contact, according to aggregated industry reports.

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You’ve Collected Great Customer Data, Now What? - Part 1

Posted by John Rake
7/30/15 4:15 PM

If you’re reading this blog, then you likely understand the importance of collecting customer data in order to streamline organization-wide processes and operations, as well as to improve customer relations.

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Customer Service Best Practices: Are Your Customer Surveys Only Skin-deep?

Posted by John Rake
7/28/15 4:28 PM

Once upon a time, when a call center agent had resolved a customer’s issue, the caller was typically asked to answer a series of short questions about his or her experience on a 1 to5 ranking scale. Contact center managers could then manually compile those answers and try to evaluate agent performance and construct best practices using the responses as a road map. Still, without meaningful insight into what was behind those numerical rankings, improving customer satisfaction was a difficult chore.

Fortunately, contemporary contact centers have the opportunity to implement technology that facilitates more in-depth data collection and examination. Today’s best-in-class contact center software gathers information derived from phone, email, chat or any other channel available to the customer and helps break it into smaller chunks of actionable data. That information then becomes the foundation on which contact center managers build customer service best practices.

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10 Workforce Optimization Statistics You Need to Know

Posted by John Rake
7/23/15 1:22 PM

“Workforce optimization” (WFO) software—technology that facilitates agent coaching and training through such things as educational lessons and interactive exercises in order to strengthen personal development skills and customer interactions—should without question be part of contact center managers’ customer service strategies. After all, our research shows that 80 percent of companies believe they deliver superior customer service when only 8 percent of consumers agree. WFO software has emerged as a vital tool for bridging this gap within the contact center.

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Improving Customer Service: Examining the Cost of Customer Inconvenience

Posted by John Rake
7/20/15 9:00 AM

We’ve all experienced it, the dreaded runaround. It goes something like this: You call into a contact center, navigate through the IVR, repeat your contact information, reach a service representative who directs you to another agent, who then puts you on hold... the cycle continues. Unfortunately, this is an all too familiar and frustrating experience for consumers who’ve become accustomed to the expediency of online and mobile self-service.

As a contact center leader, you already know that inconveniencing customers can harm your company’s reputation. But did you know that it could also cost you money? According to the “Avaya Customer Effort Impact Study,” two-thirds of survey respondents said they would stop spending money with a company as a result of a “high effort” experience—or an interaction that requires considerable time and effort to complete. What’s more, survey respondents stated that the following activities contributed most to a poor experience:

  • Repeatedly contacting a company to resolve a problem
  • Failure to reach an actual agent to get an answer
  • Dealing with representatives who lack the proper knowledge
  • Lack of follow-up
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Agent Improvement: Making Agent Training Stick

Posted by John Rake
7/14/15 4:26 PM

When contact center agents are hired, they typically go through fairly comprehensive training before ever interacting with a live customer. Thinking on the fly, solving problems on the spot and dealing with customers of varying temperaments is not an easy task, so managers need to be sure customer service representatives are fully prepared before they send them into action.

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Top Four Ways to Improve the Customer Experience

Posted by John Rake
7/7/15 9:00 AM

Right now, business leaders everywhere are looking for ways to improve customer service without spending a lot of money or overhauling current infrastructure. Now, thanks to recent innovations in workforce optimization software, this is possible.

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Four Types of Data You Should Be Measuring in Your Contact Center

Posted by John Rake
6/25/15 4:36 PM

The majority of contact center advancements today are centered on the promise of big data and analytics. For example, digital customer service channels like live chat and videoconferencing invite (or even mandate) customers to enter data about themselves or their service inquiry prior to an interaction.

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Improving Contact Center Agent Effectiveness: Generating ROI With a 21st Century Contact Center

Posted by John Rake
6/23/15 6:30 AM

If you’re looking to improve your contact center operations, hiring qualified agents and deploying a top-of-the-line customer relationship management solution are certainly steps in the right direction. These measures, however, are not the only pieces to the contact center puzzle. If you want to truly maximum your contact center’s value by transforming it from just a service hub to an ROI generator, you are going to have to go a bit further:

Create New Opportunities Using Big Data

Every interaction your employees have with customers generates information, and this information, taken as a whole, is commonly referred to as big data. If you don’t have the ability to collect and analyze information efficiently in your contact center right now, you are missing out on a whole sea of readily available business intelligence that you could be using to improve processes across your entire company.

For instance, with contact center software that can identify trending words and topics from all conversations and display them on a screen in real time, a manager would be able to recognize immediately when many consumers are calling to ask about a specific product. That information could be shared with the marketing department, which could create a special promotion—such as a “2 for 1”—giving customers an opportunity to save money on a purchase and helping your company boost sales. In the past, marketing would have had to track sales numbers for days or weeks to come up with a special offer; with real-time analytics, it can be accomplished almost immediately.  

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Improving Customer Experience: Why Spending on a Contact Center Solution Is a Smart Investment

Posted by John Rake
6/15/15 4:21 PM

As an executive, nothing excites you more than signing up a new client. The satisfaction you get from knowing a customer is putting his or her trust in you is exhilarating, and the positive financial impact is always welcome.

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