Tom Davis

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

With the all-important fourth quarter holiday shopping season quickly approaching, a panel of retail experts doled out some pointers last week to help cross-channel merchants capitalize on the busy months ahead.

By Sharon R. Cole Live chat rooms aren't just for Internet happy friends who tap and click their way through conversations. It seems some telemarketers also are wiring into this popular resource as a way to communicate with customers wanting quick, real-time responses to basic inquiries. At least this is the case for USA-800, Kansas City, MO. With new tech-savvy tools such as live chat, e-mail, instant Web-page pushing and click-to-call options, the primarily inbound contact center is able to service customers using a keyboard and a mouse. "Our conversion from a call center to a contact center is defined by flat growth

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