Consumer Usage of Customer Service Channels

Email is still one of the most popular ways consumers choose to reach out to companies for their customer service needs.  With the continued use of mobile phones and tablets, it’s easier than ever for customers to use email as one of their customer support channels.  According to the 2015 Customer Benchmark Study, some consumers stated that if they receive poor email service from a company, they will no longer do business with them.  They also felt that too often, a standardized text was used to address their issue, treating them like a number rather than an individual.

According to the study, email (85%) and phone (82%) are the most used customer service channels by consumers.

consumer-usage-table

 

In spite of the popularity of using email for customer service, participants were frustrated by the length of time they had to wait for a response.  Consumers expect a quick response when contacting a company. One third (39%) of consumers said that they were not prepared to wait more than 6 hours for a response.

consumer-usage-2

With 81% of customers expecting a response within 24 hours or less and the high usage of this channel, it’s essential to have a system in place for adequate response time or to partner with a contact center management company that can meet the level of customer service demands.

Contact Stratus Contact Solutions to learn more about our multi-channel contact center management capabilities.

Dennis has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since May 1997 and as a director since the Company began operations in 1996. Dennis has been involved with 18 successful acquisitions and integrations of various communications companies during his tenure with the Company. Prior to joining the Company, Dennis was President of the Communications Group of Intellicall, held various positions on both the audit and the consulting staffs with Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) and concluded his tenure with Ernst & Whinney as Senior Consultant.

 

Live Chat Has Highest Customer Satisfaction Rating

When considering what channels are important to include in your customer service offering, live chat should be on the list.  It continues to be a top choice by consumers for resolving customer service issues.

The 2015 Customer Service Benchmark Report shows live chat has the highest satisfaction rating of all customer service channels. Almost a third (31%) of consumers have used live chat to contact a company in the last year – 73% of whom said that they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the experience they received. The below graph indicates consumer’s satisfaction by phone, social media, email and live chat.

stratusblog1

In addition, customers participating in the survey identified the following items as important for companies to include when offering live chat.

  • Clear messages detailing if there is an agent available to talk, and if not, how long they are likely to wait.
  • Messages to signal when an adviser has read a live chat message and when they are typing to respond.
  • Have a dedicated adviser dealing with just their issue and not speaking to more than one customer at a time.
  • Give plenty of time for customer response before ending the chat session.

Another interesting result from the 2015 Customer Service Benchmark Report is 65% of customers expect to wait 1 minute or less to speak to an agent when they are using live chat.   See the below graph for expected live chat response time.

With these types of consumer satisfaction ratings, it is clear that live chat should be considered as a part of any customer service strategy.Customer Satisifaction By Channel

Contact Stratus Contact Solutions to learn more about our mutli-channel contact center services.

Dennis has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since May 1997 and as a director since the Company began operations in 1996. Dennis has been involved with 18 successful acquisitions and integrations of various communications companies during his tenure with the Company. Prior to joining the Company, Dennis was President of the Communications Group of Intellicall, held various positions on both the audit and the consulting staffs with Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) and concluded his tenure with Ernst & Whinney as Senior Consultant.

 

Contact Center Agents Do’s & Don’ts

It’s impossible to deliver exceptional customer service without providing equally exceptional training for your agents. Difficult situations are inevitable in the customer service industry, but proper training ensures that your agents will transform these potentially negative interactions into valuable opportunities to build customer loyalty.

Here are a few of our most valuable “DO’s” when it comes to customer service agent training:

  • Be Informed – If your customer service agents aren’t fully informed of the intricacies of your product offerings, then it will be impossible for them to deal with the full range of customer issues. The foundation of any contact center is your agents’ knowledge.
  • Embrace Active Listening – Once your customer service agents have a baseline of knowledge about your brand’s products, they should put it to work by actively engaging with customers. To achieve this, they must focus on using active listening to get at the root of their issues, which will encourage a swift resolution that benefits all parties.
  • Learn From Mentors – Organized training sessions can be valuable, but there is not a more effective way to learn how to deliver exceptional customer service than to directly engage with the people who know the field best. To achieve this outcome, pair new agents with high-performing employees who have proven their value to your organization.contact-center-supervisor

And here are some important “DON’Ts”:

  • Don’t overuse the script – Scripts can be great for giving customer service agents a baseline of how to handle common issues, but it’s important not to over rely on them, as this results in customer service interactions that feel inauthentic. Instead, use scripts as guidelines but allow agents to push conversations in the directions they feel will be most productive.
  • Don’t forget about timing – While it’s important to resolve customer issues, it’s equally important to do so in a timely manner. In fact, the benefits of helping a customer resolve an issue will be negated if that process takes an inordinate amount of time.
  • Don’t abdicate responsibility – Some customer service interactions require agents to escalate calls to a supervisor, but this should be avoided if at all possible. Not only does this encourage agents to be proactive in resolving customer complaints in a timely manner, but it also simplifies the process for customers, thereby improving customer loyalty.

 

Your customer service agents will only be effective as the techniques they employ, and these training Do’s and Don’ts will provide them with the best practices they need to deliver exceptional customer service. What’s more, this will give your business a tactical advantage when your services are compared against those of your competitors.

Looking for customer service experts? Contact Stratus Contact Solutions today!

In his position as COO, Bryan is responsible for  the day-to-day operations of the company’s contact centers, customer relations and client acquisitions. Gross has 30 years of extensive customer contact center industry experience, on both the client and agency sides of the business.  Prior to joining Stratus, he served as Chief Operating Officer for Global Interactive Services, LLC, where he was responsible for operating the company and it’s strategic direction.  He has a proven track record for building successful operations at such companies as TCIM Services, ACS (XEROX), Center Partners, Teletech, Sprint and MCI.

The Value of Speech Analytics in Contact Centers

The use of speech analytics can transform the way that call centers operate. In spite of the increase in the use of digital channels, phone calls still have the highest usage by consumers to resolve customer service issues.  Using advanced technologies such as speech analytics in the call center has the potential to provide valuable real-time data that can give your company a competitive edge with customers.  Speech analytics can be used to reach a wide range of strategic objectives, like improving the quality of your service agents, gaining insight into customer sentiment, and generating additional revenue by improving sales tactics.

call-center3Speech analytics can be applied in a broad range of contexts. For one, it can be used to analyze the audio of your customer service representatives to highlight effective techniques that should be promoted, and ineffective techniques that can be improved through training.

Speech analytics can also be used to analyze the content of your customers’ calls. This gives your organization direct insight into your customers, akin to that which can be achieved through online analytics. This valuable customer data can be leveraged to reach a range of goals.

Here are a few key benefits that can be gained through speech analytics in the contact center:

  • Improved Operational Efficiency – Speech analytics allows a customer care provider to gain insight into existing processes and make them more efficient. This will have the effect of decreasing overall call-time, boosting first-call resolution, and highlighting areas that need greater attention.
  • Increased Revenue – Through speech analytics, customer care providers can identify top performing agents and their techniques in increasing sales opportunities. In a similar way, these tools can also be used to identify low performing agents. This will provide opportunities to coach agents in areas where they need improvement and refine existing processes.
  • Boosted Customer Sentiment – Analyzing customer audio will grant unparalleled insight into their behavioral patterns. This can be used to identify problem areas with your business’ products, identify new opportunities for revenue generation, and monitor long-term customer sentiment. This data can then be used to improve customer sentiment overall.
  • More Effective Best Practices – With this wide range of data, a customer service provider can improve existing best practices across the entire organization. This can be applied to the relationship between the front and back-offices, the techniques employed by individual service agents, meeting compliance requirements, and even marketing initiatives.

Many contact centers are using additional analytics technology to expand the capabilities of speech analytics, such as those listed below.

  • Emotion detection – By monitoring variances in pitch, tone and volume of the audio, an elevated emotional state can be detected and flagged either for immediate investigation or as part of a post call assessment/callback process.
  • Talk track analysis – By separating the two talk streams (customer and agent), a detailed assessment of the dialogue can be completed. Long pauses in the conversation and over-talking can highlight potential issues with the interaction.
  • Real-time analysis – When an analysis is done in real-time, important actions can be taken during the call and not just afterward. Some actions include flagging a call for a supervisor to silently listen in on and interject if needed based on the dialogue, or screen popping the agent with relevant information to help them better serve the customer.

Utilizing speech analytics in the contact center provides insight into both customers and service agents and unearth a wealth of actionable data that would’ve sat dormant otherwise. Ultimately, this data can be used to improve existing customer service processes, gain insight into your customer base, and boost bottom-line revenue.

Contact Stratus Contact Solutions to learn more about our analytics capabilities.

Source: Gartner

Dennis has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since May 1997 and as a director since the Company began operations in 1996. Dennis has been involved with 18 successful acquisitions and integrations of various communications companies during his tenure with the Company. Prior to joining the Company, Dennis was President of the Communications Group of Intellicall, held various positions on both the audit and the consulting staffs with Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) and concluded his tenure with Ernst & Whinney as Senior Consultant.

Popularity of Customer Service Channel By Age

We all know consumers use multiple channels to contact customer service for help or complaints.  Making sure you are using the customer service channels your customers prefer is an important factor in providing the best support possible. A new study tells us what customer service channels are most popular with consumers, based on their age.

The data shows that for customers aged 55 and older, the telephone is the predominant channel of choice for upwards of 87%. However, that number falls quite dramatically to just 51.7%
for customers aged 35–54 years. Then drops to 18.4% for ages 25-34 and to 11.5% to consumers under the age of 25.  Confirming consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with digital channels as their primary source for customer service support.

Mobile applications and email are one of the top-three choices for everyone under 55.  Social media is first choice for customers under 25.

graph

This data shows the importance of a multi-channel contact center solution and provides an excellent guide to building your multi-channel contact center strategy.  It emphasizes the importance of using digital channels as primary support for your customers.

The primary benefit of using digital channels to provide customer service is a quicker and more effective response rate. Providing customer care through social media improves the customer experience as well.

 

Source: Dimension Data 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report

In his position as COO, Bryan is responsible for  the day-to-day operations of the company’s contact centers, customer relations and client acquisitions. Gross has 30 years of extensive customer contact center industry experience, on both the client and agency sides of the business.  Prior to joining Stratus, he served as Chief Operating Officer for Global Interactive Services, LLC, where he was responsible for operating the company and it’s strategic direction.  He has a proven track record for building successful operations at such companies as TCIM Services, ACS (XEROX), Center Partners, Teletech, Sprint and MCI.

Best Practices for Getting the Most Out of Twitter Customer Service

In the last few years, Twitter has emerged as one of the leading social media platforms for providing customer care. In order to provide high-quality customer support through Twitter, it’s important to employ best practices for engaging with consumers and resolving issues, thereby transforming standard support requests into value-adding propositions for your brand.

Here are a few best practices for employing Twitter as customer support platform:

  • Respond Rapidly – The Social Habit reports that 42% of consumers expect responses to social media service requests within 1 hour. Getting in contact quickly can make a huge impact, even if the issue itself takes longer to resolve.
  • Be Proactive – Many brands wait for consumers to contact them before engaging in customer care on Twitter. Listening to conversations about your brand and products can help you identify consumers’ issues before they become a serious customer service issues. This is a great way of showing consumers a high level of personalized care.
  • Use Direct Messages – Twitter has recently overhauled its direct messaging system, allowing brands and users to open up their inboxes to anyone on the network. In addition, customer service agents can embed prompts for direct messages in tweets to consumers. This greatly streamlines the customer service process and allows you to handle complex customer issues, even those that involve sensitive information, without leaving the platform.
  • Gather Data – While gathering data is an important aspect of customer service regardless of platform, Twitter provides an exceptional opportunity to gain insight into consumers. By closely monitoring and analyzing any customer service interaction that takes place on the platform, you will be able to identify widespread issues and other opportunities you might be overlooking.
  • Simplify Processes – The key benefit of Twitter-based customer service is its ease of use for consumers, so it’s crucial to make the process as accessible as possible. For instance, consumers report a strong sense of dissatisfaction when forced to contact a brand on multiple channels to resolve an issue. While there are certain instances where this is not possible, it’s best to resolve the issue on Twitter if the customers first contacted you through that medium.

Twitter reports that brands that engage in customer care on their platform see an 18.8 percent increase in year-over-year revenue per contact, which shows that that platform has true bottom line value. In addition, it can have an immense effect on customer sentiment, making them more likely to mention your brand in a positive light to peers.

By employing these best practices for Twitter-based customer care, your organization will leverage social media to position your brand in a positive light, improve customer sentiment, and transform customer issues into value-adding propositions.

To learn more about Stratus Contact Solutions social customer support capabilities, contact us for a free proposal.

Dennis has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since May 1997 and as a director since the Company began operations in 1996. Dennis has been involved with 18 successful acquisitions and integrations of various communications companies during his tenure with the Company. Prior to joining the Company, Dennis was President of the Communications Group of Intellicall, held various positions on both the audit and the consulting staffs with Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) and concluded his tenure with Ernst & Whinney as Senior Consultant.

What do Consumers Expect From Different Customer Service Channels?

With Internet technology changing the face of customer service, many brands are left questioning which channels provide the most tangible benefits for customers. Of course, the most effective customer service strategy requires a truly multi-channel approach, leveraging both online and traditional channels, but the question remains–what are consumers’ preferences and expectations from different customer service channels?

How Consumers View Major Customer Service Channels

The results might surprise you. Here’s a breakdown of recent research regarding consumers’ preferred channels for customer service:

What do Consumers Expect From Different Customer Service Channels?

  • Live Chat – Live chat consistently rates as the most preferred and effective customer service channel across a wide range of studies. eDigitalResearch Customer Service Benchmark research study reports that 73% of consumers report satisfaction from live chat interactions — a higher rate than any other customer service channel — while Microsoft’s 2016 U.S. State of Multichannel Customer Service Report finds that 64% use live chat service for customer support on a regular basis.
  • Phone – Phone-based customer support still rates high among consumers as a customer service channel, with 81% reporting using telephone customer support on a regular basis, according to Microsoft. According to eDigitalResearch, customers particularly prefer phone service when financial information is involved, revealing concerns about online data security. That being said, phone-based customer service is declining year-over-year in terms of consumer preference.
  • Email – Although consumers typically favor customer service channels with a rapid rate of response, email ranks surprisingly high in terms of satisfaction, with 25% preferring it over all other customer service platforms, according to Microsoft.
  • Social Media – Although social media customer service has become increasingly prominent over the past decade, consumers report mixed feelings, with only 53% reporting satisfactory interactions, according to eDigitalResearch. However, Microsoft reports that consumers see rate of response as the key aspect of social media customer care, which implies that brands will be able to improve consumer satisfaction by taking a renewed approach to the platform.

As you can see, consumer preference varies a great deal. This drives home the point that a truly successful customer service strategy requires a multi-channel approach — one that places value on serving consumers across a range of mediums.

Insight Into Consumers’ Service Channel Preferences

But what can we learn from consumer’s customer service preferences? Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Consumers want their issues resolved in a timely manner – Microsoft reports that 34% of consumers see rapid issue resolution as the most important issue when approaching customer care, which explains the preference for live chat and phone service.
  • Consumers don’t see compensation as the most important issue – Despite common belief, consumers simply want to have their issues recognized and resolved, rather than receive financial compensation. According to eDigitalResearch, only 20% seek financial compensation, while 50% desire immediate resolution.
  • Quality customer care defines the way consumers perceive your brand – According to Microsoft, 68% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to poor customer service. On the positive end, Twitter reports that consumers spend more on brands that provide an exceptional online customer service experience.

Because consumers have varied preferences when it comes to customer service, it’s important to implement a multi-channel customer service strategy that brings focus to each of these platforms. What’s more, with technology continuing to change the way that consumers perceive customer service, it is crucial to have a partner who can deliver exemplary customer care in a forward-thinking and data-driven manner.

To learn more about Stratus Contact Solutions multi-channel contact center services, contact us for a free proposal.

In his position as COO, Bryan is responsible for  the day-to-day operations of the company’s contact centers, customer relations and client acquisitions. Gross has 30 years of extensive customer contact center industry experience, on both the client and agency sides of the business.  Prior to joining Stratus, he served as Chief Operating Officer for Global Interactive Services, LLC, where he was responsible for operating the company and it’s strategic direction.  He has a proven track record for building successful operations at such companies as TCIM Services, ACS (XEROX), Center Partners, Teletech, Sprint and MCI.

How to Make Call Center Team Leaders More Successful

The profitability of your call center lies heavily in the hands of your team leaders and their ability to develop top performing agents. Because of this, it is vital to set them up for success in every way possible. Below are a few suggestions of how to do this:

  1. Set Clear Expectations

Take time to define what you want the call center team leader’s role to be. By identifying their primary call center responsibilities, the team leader has a better chance of impacting their team’s performance. It allows you to keep them focused on what’s most important and to delegate unnecessary tasks to other employees.

  1. How to Make Call Center Team Leaders More SuccessfulDetermine what team leader is best for what client

Get to know your team leaders by spending time with them each week in a one-on-one meeting. This will allow you to get to know their personality, capabilities, strengths and weakness. Getting to know them will allow you to put them in charge of the client that complements their abilities.

  1. Encourage them to empower their agents

Team leaders will have the most success when they are coaching and pushing their team to develop to their full potential. Encourage them to allow their agents to take on responsibilities and to recognize them when they’ve performed well.

  1. Have your team leaders focus one day a week interacting with their team

Require your team leaders to spend one day out of the week interacting with each team member; this will allow them to focus on the performance of individual employees.

  1. Encourage your team leaders to walk around

A call center team’s success doesn’t happen in the team leader’s office. It happens on the call center floor. Provide your team leaders with wireless headsets. This will allow them to monitor their teams and still be available for any escalated issues.

  1. Encourage team building and incentives

It’s a great idea to allow team leaders to do activities with their call center teams. Build this aspect into your budget, so they know what they have to work with. To help team leaders be successful, they need to be able to offer incentives to their teams for motivation and to reward top agents. It’s important to make sure team leaders can be rewarded with incentives as well.

Helping your call center team leaders be successful will provide the best customer service for your clients and ultimately more profitability for your call center. The time you spend mentoring and encouraging them will be well worth it.

Let Stratus Contact Solutions help you with your contact center needs.

In his position as COO, Bryan is responsible for  the day-to-day operations of the company’s contact centers, customer relations and client acquisitions. Gross has 30 years of extensive customer contact center industry experience, on both the client and agency sides of the business.  Prior to joining Stratus, he served as Chief Operating Officer for Global Interactive Services, LLC, where he was responsible for operating the company and it’s strategic direction.  He has a proven track record for building successful operations at such companies as TCIM Services, ACS (XEROX), Center Partners, Teletech, Sprint and MCI.

 

5 Ways to Improve Call Resolution Rates

What is resolution? Webster Dictionary defines it in two categories:

  • A firm decision to do or not to do something.
  • The action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.

In relation to call center production, resolution is a key component in solving a customer’s issue as quickly as possible. This should be done without incident or repeat call backs for the same issue. When completed successfully, this is referred to as a “One Call Resolution.” Though each approach from an agent is unique based on their call taking style, it is crucial that agents are advocates of the base call taking process as it relates to improving their resolutions per customer. Here are a few ways that an agent can improve on their resolution rates without increasing talk time and still achieving customer satisfaction.customer service resolution

Tip # 1- Be Receptive to Customer Venting/ Feedback

When I train agents on call flow, I always advise them to let the customer vent to get rid of any frustration they may have related to previous issues. Think of the moment as it’s happening and realize that they have conversed with you before. Agents are taught that if customers are calling in with a complaint, it’s not something that the agent in particular has done wrong. Within each customer service interaction, the agent should be able to gather each piece of the issue to assist the customer.

Tip #2- Take Ownership

Because we are consumers of various products in our own lives, the last thing that we want to here when calling a service provider is “It’s not my fault” or, “It must have been the other representative that did that”. I advise agents to understand that the customers are not looking at the individual of the call. Instead, the company as a whole is being represented on each call. After the agent allows the customer to vent their frustrations, they should possess a sense of ownership. This makes way for cementing the agents personal stake on what him or her can do to assist the customer. Key phrases such as “I definitely understand” and “I would feel the same way, but here is what I can provide you with to make sure that the issue is resolved”. This kind of statement provides two things:

  1. It allows your to own up to any mistake that was previously made by the company.
  2. It expresses a sense of empathy for the customer’s issue, therefore easing tensions between the two parties.

Tips# 3 Avoid Phrases That Hinder The Resolution Process

“You need to” or “you should have” are just two examples of what not to say when resolving customer concern. Instead of treating each call as a moment to teach policy information, it’s important to understand that the true nature of a call is to provide assistance. Renee Evenson, author of Powerful Phrases for Effective Customer Service, explains that knowing what to say when handling different customer behaviors is not easy. However, the manner in which you address a person has a lot of bearing on how they perceive your organization. Statements that show enthusiasm and project a willingness to assist will allow resolutions to come more quickly and more effectively compared to those of cold nature.

Tip#4 Pcall center checklist ace Yourself 

Each call center has a set of metrics that are integral for their business. Talk time is one of the key metrics for every call center. One tip to avoid falling into a rushed call scenario is to prepare a small check list. The list should contain each area of what is needed within a call. The list can range from greetings, assisting the customer and closing statements. While this can vary from center to center, practicing this ensures that the call is completed in a timely manner and neither the customer nor the agent feels rushed.

Tip# 5 Know The Company As Well As You Know Yourself

This last tip may seem like a lot, but customers are more in favor of agents that are

  • Knowledgeable about the product or service
  • Able to respond quickly to issues without fail

This comes from an agents’ understanding of their company’s guidelines and procedures. It is here that they know how far they can truly go to tackle each inquiry. To play on the old adage of “knowledge is power” – the more you know, the quicker your answers, which lead to higher resolution rates.

Interested in agents with the skills above handling the customer service calls for your business? Contact Stratus Contact Solutions today for a free proposal!

Lu Gutierrez is the Director of Human Resources at Stratus Contact Solutions. She has been with the company since 1997 and has over 30 years of experience in the industry. Previously, Lu worked with a variety of telecom companies through mergers and acquisitions, including WorldCom, Metromedia, and LDS. Currently, her responsibilities include employee recruitment, payroll, benefits and employee relations for all of Stratus.

 

4 Contact Center Agent Must-Have Skills

A number of various skills are necessary to be successful in a contact center position. Beyond the obvious verbal communication skills, contact center employees have duties that will undoubtedly put other skills to the test. A good contact center agent should be flexible in responding to change or business needs, have the ability to accommodate non-traditional work schedules as well as have excellent attendance and punctuality. They must also be efficient and able to follow direction. However, in order to maximize their customer service capabilities and individual success, every agent should demonstrate skills such as patience, communication, listening and computer skills.

Patience

Often, calls that come in to contact centers have frustrated people on the other end of the line. A contact center agent must exercise patience in dealing with frustrated callers. The agent must be able to remain calm, help the caller outline their problem and/or concern, and assist them with resolving the issue or pointing them to a more appropriate resource.

Communication

Good communication skills are essential to handling calls effectively and ensuring that the appropriate information is exchanged in a way that both the agent and the caller understand. This means having an Contact Center Agent Must Have Skills 1even, easily understood speaking voice and the ability to hear and understand why the customer is calling.  Every agent should have the ability to communicate with customers and clients pleasantly, in a clear, direct and professional manner.

Listening

Good listening skills are as important as good speaking skills. Callers usually want to vent or discuss an important issue, meaning that a successful exchange will involve the agent listening to the caller, asking pertinent questions and reiterating the facts back to the caller. The ability to understand exactly why the caller is asking is a crucial skill for a contact center agent.

Computer Skills

Contact center agents should be familiar with basic programs (Windows, Excel, Word, etc.) and be able Contact Center Agent Must Have Skillsto enter data quickly. Such skills as accurate typing, use of proper grammar and accurate spelling are also important.  Agents should be good at multitasking, since the time they spend talking to customers may be limited and the ability to type and listen or talk at the same time will help the agent become more productive.

The qualities of a good contact center customer service agent include paying attention to detail, using active listening skills, and being a problem-solver. Having people with these qualities in your contact center will positively impact every aspect of your business, and most importantly, will help you keep your existing customers, while gaining new ones!

Interested in agents with the skills above handling the customer service calls for your business? Contact Stratus Contact Solutions today for a free proposal!

Lu Gutierrez is the Director of Human Resources at Stratus Contact Solutions. She has been with the company since 1997 and has over 30 years of experience in the industry. Previously, Lu worked with a variety of telecom companies through mergers and acquisitions, including WorldCom, Metromedia, and LDS. Currently, her responsibilities include employee recruitment, payroll, benefits and employee relations for all of Stratus.