The Nature of Contact Center Work

People who are new to contact centers are often surprised at how different they are compared to other work environments. The workload is so variable and timing is so critical. This is all true, so it can be helpful to better understand the nature of contact center work. In a recent LinkedIn Learning Course that I recorded for contact center …

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12 Principles for Building Profitable Customer Relationships

Over the past decade, ICMI has studied, codified and periodically published a summary of the most important principles behind building strong, profitable customer relationships. Lately, I’ve been asked, are these principles less important? Have evolving customer expectations, social communities, new channels and other developments changed the fundamentals? Not at all! These 12 principles are as important as ever, in large …

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Reinforce the “Power of One”

Here are some of the steps organizations are taking to reinforce the power of one. Think through how you could approach them with your customer service team. Educate each person on how much impact he or she has on the queue—incorporate these or similar scenarios into training. Develop reasonable expectations for adherence to schedules. Customer service is as much when …

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Forecasting the Customer Contact Workload

Everything to do with getting resources right in a contact center begins with predicting what the workload will be. Workload is what leads to how many agents are hired, what your schedule should look like, the number of work stations you need, even how many snacks are in the cafeteria. Do you understand the three components of workload and what …

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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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10 Things Senior Leaders Should Know About Contact Centers

A prerequisite to getting good support from senior management is that they have at least a basic understanding of what contact centers do. To fulfill their potential, customer contact centers need commitment and involvement from the top. And a prerequisite to getting necessary support is that senior level managers understand the unique contact center environment – what they do and …

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Essential Metrics for the Service Operation

There are many variables in customer service and there are almost always different perspectives of what’s important. What should you focus on? Explore answers to that question in my Lynda.com video “Essential Metrics for the Service Operation” from my recent course “Service Metrics for Customer Service“. It defines seven key aspects of service that should always be reflected in metrics. …

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How Management and Agent Roles Are Changing

Recently, I was reminded of an article that I wrote for ICMI “How Management and Agent Roles Are Changing.” The article discusses the relationship between specialization and generalization. Often, the end of the summer gives us a chance to reflect on the current state of things before a busy fall. Perhaps this will provide you with some food for thought …

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