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First Contact: Stories of the Call Center

Technology Podcasts

Because no one pictures themselves working at a call center, First Contact: Stories of the Call Center is a monthly podcast about how tech leaders and entrepreneurs found their way into the contact center industry.


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Because no one pictures themselves working at a call center, First Contact: Stories of the Call Center is a monthly podcast about how tech leaders and entrepreneurs found their way into the contact center industry.





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Transformative Leadership: Harnessing AI and EQ for Better Customer Interactions: Thomas Paley

In this episode of "First Contact: Stories of the Call Center," Christian Montes interviews Thomas Paley, Director of Corporate Telecommunications and Contact Center Services at Hilton Grand Vacations. Thomas discusses his leadership philosophy, highlighting the importance of emotional intelligence, team empowerment, and soft skills. He also explores the future of AI in customer service and shares how his creative hobbies, like customizing motorcycles, help him stay balanced and inspired. Tune in for an engaging conversation filled with practical advice for anyone looking to excel in the contact center industry. ___________________________________________________ 🔗 Stay connected: _______________________________________________________________ NobelBiz Inc. is an industry-leading provider of contact center software solutions, from its patented carrier of carriers network to its new, innovative, and fully remote omnichannel contact center solution: their network guarantees crystal-clear voice quality and 100% uptime.


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BPO Excellence: Employee Retention, Engagement, and a People-First Mindset: John Coulter

In this podcast episode, we sit down with John Coulter, Vice President of Call Center Outsourcing Services at Five Star Call Centers. With over a decade of experience in the industry, John has been a trailblazer in transforming call centers into key drivers of business growth and customer loyalty. He shares his journey from starting on the phones to leading a team, emphasizing the importance of employee retention, engagement, and a people-first mindset. Join us as we delve into the innovations and strategies that make Five Star Call Centers stand out in the competitive BPO landscape. Grab your headphones, and let’s embark on this journey to discover the human stories behind the headsets.


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Speed of Business, The ROI of Empathy and Innovation in CX: Jay Baer

Join us for an enlightening discussion with Jay Baer, a pioneer in customer experience and digital marketing, now turned tequila influencer. This episode explores pivotal themes shaping the future of customer service and business strategy. Jay offers a wealth of knowledge and practical advice on accelerating business responsiveness, leveraging empathy for deeper customer connections, and the strategic integration of AI to enhance the customer journey. What You'll Discover in This Episode: 🕒 The Crucial Role of Speed: How rapid response times are redefining customer satisfaction. 🤝 Empathy as a Business Strategy: Learn from a real-world case study with Delta Airlines. 🤖 The AI Dilemma: Balancing technology and human touch in customer interactions. 🍹 From B2B to Tequila: Jay shares his unique journey into becoming a tequila influencer. Jay's extensive background in digital marketing and customer experience, combined with his unexpected turn into the world of agave spirits, makes this a must-watch for anyone interested in the evolving dynamics of customer relations.


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Feeling the Future: Emotion AI & Conversation in Call Centers: Josh Feast

Tune in as we sit down with Josh Feast, the innovative mind behind Cogito, to discuss the transformative impact of technology on human emotions and connections within the fast-paced world of call centers. Josh shares invaluable insights into the development and application of AI and real-time guidance systems, the essence of effective leadership in tech adoption, and the lessons learned from his entrepreneurial adventure. This episode offers a rare glimpse into the future of human-centric technology and its potential to enhance empathy and understanding in every interaction.


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Transforming Contact Centers through Servant Leadership and Innovation: Frank Mona III

This is episode 1, Season 5 of First Contact Podcast: Stories of the Call Center! We're thrilled to bring you an incredible journey into the heart of customer service, with our special guest, Francis, a visionary leader with over 30 years of groundbreaking experience in the contact center industry. Transforming Contact Centers through Servant Leadership and Innovation- get ready for an episode packed with enthusiasm, insights, and forward-thinking strategies. Whether you're a seasoned pro in customer service or just passionate about the power of technology and leadership, this episode promises a treasure trove of knowledge and inspiration. Tune in to discover how empathy, innovation, and visionary leadership are crafting the future of contact centers, building meaningful connections, and setting the stage for an exhilarating season ahead.


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Empathy-Driven Contact Centers: From Complaints to Connections: Dr. Natalie Petouhoff

Our last episode of Season 4 brings a refreshing perspective to the forefront of business transformation. Join us as we converse with Dr. Natalie Petouhoff, the visionary business consultant who has spearheaded transformative initiatives for giants like Salesforce, Hulu, General Motors, and Procter & Gamble. Together, we explore the core essence of empathy in redefining customer and employee experiences. In a world where business metrics often overshadow human connections, Dr. Natalie highlights the potent synergy of contact centers, technology, and the irreplaceable human touch. Discover the compelling narrative of 'Empathy in Action' and how it not only enriches interactions but also drives tangible business success. Dive in to gain invaluable insights that promise to reshape your understanding of empathy in the modern business landscape.


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The Role of Self-Service in Reducing Churn in Contact Centers: Chris Robinson

🎙️ Exciting News! Our latest podcast episode is now LIVE! Join us as we sit down with industry pioneer, Chris Robinson from Awaken, who has been at the forefront of customer communications for over 20 years. Dive deep into the evolution of self-service, the intricacies of onboarding in today's digital landscape, and the strategies to tackle churn effectively. Chris shares not only his vast expertise but also his passion for delivering exceptional experiences for clients, customers, and employees alike. Don't miss out on these invaluable insights that can transform the way you approach contact center challenges. Tune in, learn, and be inspired!


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From Nearshore to Global: Contact Center Outsourcing Excellence: Neal Topf

In this insightful episode, we sit down with the dynamic Neal Topf, co-founder of Callzilla, the powerhouse behind some of the most outstanding outsourced contact center and business process services globally. With its roots firmly planted in sunny Miramar, Florida, Callzilla has been a beacon of excellence, pushing the boundaries of customer care and acquisition services across various sectors. Neal shares his riveting journey, from the genesis of Callzilla to its evolution into a top-ranked outsourced contact center that has won admiration and awards in the industry.


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From Customer to Leader: Bridging Gaps in Contact Center Operations: Dr. Hui Wu-Curtis

Welcome to another exciting episode of our podcast! This week, we are thrilled to have Dr. Hui Wu-Curtis with us. A known disruptor, operations geek, advocate for DEI, and a Silver Globee award recipient for Executive Excellence, Dr. Hui is a force to be reckoned with in the contact center industry. n this episode, we delve into her vast experience of leading B2B and B2C contact centers across 65 countries, traversing multiple industries. We discuss her journey, from the consumer end to the provider end of the call center operations. She offers rich insights on managing global operations, the impact of emotional intelligence in the workplace, the importance of brand protection in BPO partnerships, and the inherent power of pursuing one's passion, despite adversities. Whether you're an entrepreneur, a call center professional, or someone interested in leadership and personal growth, this episode is sure to provide you with valuable insights and inspiration. Don't forget to Like, Share, and Subscribe for more thought-provoking conversations with industry leaders. #ContactCenter #Innovation #DEI #Leadership #Operations #Disruption


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Knowledge Management and AI Real-time Guidance for Contact Centers: Micah Peterson

In the rapidly evolving world of contact centers, the convergence of knowledge management and artificial intelligence stands at the forefront of transformation. This latest episode welcomes Micah Peterson, a seasoned professional with over 15 years in the knowledge management sector. As a Knowledge-Centered Services (KCS) certified expert, Peterson has not only revolutionized organizational knowledge strategies but has also crafted patented software to empower businesses globally. Tune in to garner insights from an industry trailblazer and discover how real-time guidance is reshaping the contact center landscape.


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Navigating Compliance Challenges in the Contact Center Industry: Dan Greenwell

Welcome to the newest episode of First Contact: Stories of the Call Center! In this episode, we're joined by none other than Dan Greenwell, the CEO of Customer Dynamics. With over three decades of business experience in executive roles, Dan has a wealth of insights and knowledge to share. His company, Customer Dynamics, is a leading force in creating innovative, cost-effective, and user-friendly contact center solutions.


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Master Call Center Customer Service in the Digital Age: Jim Iyoob

Get ready to dive into the newest episode of our podcast, where we had an engaging and insightful conversation with the brilliant Jim Iyoob, Chief Customer Officer at Etech Global Services. 🎙️ Jim is at the helm of a company that is known for its outstanding customer engagement solutions, including contact center services, customer support, sales, and technical support. With years of hands-on experience and strategic insights, he is a master navigator in the ever-evolving landscape of customer expectations and loyalty. In this exciting new episode, Jim breaks down the dramatic transformation of customer expectations over the years. 🚀 He gives us a peek into how generational differences impact customer loyalty and sheds light on how the rise of personalized experiences is shaping the industry. 💡 Do you think metrics matter? So does Jim! We delve into the importance of measuring key performance indicators in a contact center. He shares valuable insights into the analysis of data, including how to leverage it to enhance your business operations and customer satisfaction. Don't miss this enlightening discussion with Jim Iyoob! Join us as we explore the frontiers of customer service, delve into the intricacies of customer experience, and uncover how to keep up with ever-changing customer expectations. It's a podcast episode that's both informative and inspiring! Tune in now, and let's decode the future of customer service together! 🎧


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Contact Center Excellence, Brand Slaughtering and Remote Revolution: Eric Sims

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another exhilarating episode of our podcast! Today, we're diving deep into the world of contact centers, brand protection, and the remote revolution with a true industry expert. Get ready to be blown away by the insights and knowledge of Eric Sims, Cofounder & CEO of Leading Edge Connections, America's #1 fully remote outsourced contact center. Not only is Eric an outsourcing guru, but he's also the host of the groundbreaking podcast Preventing Brand$laughter, where he dishes out invaluable advice to businesses looking to protect their brand from self-inflicted sabotage. In this episode, we'll explore the challenges and triumphs of remote contact center operations, dig into the critical role of data security and compliance, and get a firsthand look at the strategies that drive success in this ever-evolving space. Prepare to be inspired and enlightened as we embark on this incredible journey with the one and only Eric Sims! So grab your headphones, sit back, and let's get started!


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Empowering Your Customers Strategies for Success in Contact Centers: Rob Bayer

Are you ready to learn the latest and greatest customer empowerment strategies from a seasoned industry expert? In this episode, we have a special guest who shares their secrets to success in contact center management and remote work optimization. Rob Bayer, president of Anomaly Squared is an executive with more than 25 years of contact center experience. He is responsible for the overall strategy and direction of Anomaly Squared, which provides call center services for 20+ mortgage groups with an emphasis on speed to lead and driving high contact rates. Get ready to dive deep into the world of omnichannel communication and learn how to anticipate your customer's every need. This is a must-listen episode for anyone looking to stay ahead of the game in the fast-paced world of customer service. Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to learn from one of the best!


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Beyond Transactional: Taking Customer Service to the Next Level: Brad Cleveland

Attention all podcast listeners! Get ready to step up your customer strategy game because we have a treat for you! Our guest today is none other than Brad Cleveland, the global authority on customer strategy and management. With over 45 states and 60 countries under his belt, Brad has worked with top service leaders such as Apple, American Express, and USAA, and has even advised governments worldwide. In this episode, Brad will take us on a journey to uncover the value opportunity of customer experience, and guide us through the new era of CX, personalization, and the most essential metrics. His mission is to help organizations thrive in the ever-evolving customer experience landscape, and he's here to share his expertise with us. So, prepare to be inspired and take notes as Brad Cleveland joins us on the show! Don't miss this exciting episode. Tune in now!


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Leading the Change for Women in Tech: Juanita Coley

Here we are, at the end of another fascinating season grounded in knowledge and inspiration. This is episode 10 of First Contact Podcast, where we’re diving deep into workforce management in contact centers with one of the most prolific women speakers of this type of enterprise solution, the Contact Center Whisperer and expert – Juanita Coley. Juanita is the CEO and founder of Solid Rock Consulting, a WFM consulting firm. When she’s not busy winning the 2022 “Most Influential Technology Advisors”, she’s constantly on a mission to normalize women in tech and leadership roles and make a positive, purposeful impact. Join us for a talk on the power of workforce management, the gap in technology, jargon in IT and much more!


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Building solutions to solve problems within the business ecosystem: Hemanth Gorur

Join us for a new episode with Hemanth Gorur, Vice President of Consulting Services at CGI - a company providing information technology and business process services. Hemanth started his career with CGI as a developer in India in 2001 and has worked in various roles within CGI focusing exclusively on the banking industry. It was great conversation around Hemanth’s story and the journey through CGI’s evolution, seeing that their core values have stayed the same: addressing the ‘so what’ factor and only building solutions to solve problems. Christian and Hemanth also talked about the ecosystem and holistic approach to realizing that the industry, the customer, or even a pandemic has forced change both into how you can do and scale things faster – from a compliance standpoint, all the way to the customer journey.


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Performance-driven contact centers and data modeling: Kevin Daly

In this episode, we're joined by the founder of Value Ad and the creator of Bestpair, Kevin Daly for a practical and earnest discussion on data-driven results and a magical mix of client, product, and agent. With a diverse and complex set of roles in his background, Kevin has combined his experience in sales management and insurance to create a data service that is benefiting the performance of companies all around. Join us and learn more about the goals and proper use of data modeling, how to leverage data and fight agent attrition in contact centers, Kevin's leadership advice, and much more!


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Reasons Why Telemarketing and Cold Calling are Still Worth it: Jeremy Chen

Welcome to a new episode, where we’ll dive deep into the world of B2B sales with sales expert Jeremy Chen, who helps B2B technology companies perfect their sales teams go-to-market strategy. In this episode, he is dropping some real knowledge on the intricates part of sales management, the structure of a perfect cold call and the mindset behind it, why telemarketing is still alive and the future of outbound calling.


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Embracing Mistakes and Putting People First, a CX Approach: Bob Furniss

Customer service is one of our favorite topics to tackle in this show, but having Bob Furniss over for this special episode was truly something. For almost 40 years in the industry, Bob Furniss is known as the renowned customer service and experience expert, and his mission will always be driving customer success by designing effective service and support strategies for his clients. This is episode 6, Season 3 from First Contact: Stories of the Call Center, join us on this journey of service mentality, AI, digital front doors and a lesson on living!