The Contact Center’s Role in Building Self-Service Channels

Many organizations are learning firsthand that contact centers can play a central role in encouraging and supporting low-cost access channels. For example, the contact center can provide a wealth of information on which contacts can be automated (or handled in customer communities), and what can be done to improve customer acceptance. Further — and paradoxically — providing agent assistance when …

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Common Causes of Turnover

Excessive turnover costs an organization in many ways: Higher recruiting and training costs; a lower average experience level leading to higher handling times, more transferred calls and lower service levels/response times; the need for more coaching and supervision; and the impact on everyone’s morale when key people leave. The best contact centers continually work on the root causes of turnover. …

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Strategy Drives Structure

Many contact centers have been through consolidations or restructurings that are really just cleanup efforts for lack of having or using an effective customer access strategy. For example, I recall helping an insurance company with agent group “consolidation.” Their sales team would sell an account to a major client and, if pressed by the prospect, would agree to provide a …

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Adherence to Schedule Tips

Adherence to schedule is an important performance objective for agents. It is within their control (when implemented appropriately) and measures if agents are available to handle contacts as scheduled. However, to ensure your approach is supporting the culture you want to establish, consider these suggestions for getting the best results: 1. Educate each person on how much impact he or …

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Agent Performance Standards: Keep It Simple

In recent years, I have seen a trend to streamline and simplify agent performance standards. In many cases, they had become too complex — weighted averages, percent time in this and that mode, formulas that would take a mathematician to figure out. Yes, if I’m one of your agents, give me some objectives on being in the right place at the …

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Transform Knowledge into Intelligence and Support

As a primary customer touchpoint, the contact center has enormous potential to provide other business units with valuable intelligence and support. This can include input on customers, products, services and processes — information that, when captured, identified, assimilated and turned into usable knowledge, can literally transform an organization’s ability to identify and meet customer expectations and demands. The benefits can …

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