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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Don’t Forget the Oboes

A popular trend in process improvement is the effort to correlate specific contact center activities to overall customer satisfaction. For example, some consulting organizations have been convincing clients to lower service level objectives because their scatter diagrams demonstrate minimal correlation between overall service level and customer satisfaction results. The effort to understand how specific activities and measures influence overall results …

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Focus on What Really Matters

In recent years, there has been a lot of attention on contact center “optimization.” To many, optimization is synonymous with driving costs out of the business — moving contacts to lower-cost channels (self- service, etc.), reducing human contact with the customer, and driving down handling times. “This is all wrong,” says consultant Mary Murcott in her book, Driving Peak Sales …

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Perspective on First-Contact Resolution

First-contact resolution (FCR) is a popular performance measure in customer contact centers. And that’s a good thing: Unresolved contacts are a common source of customer dissatisfaction, and the organization tends to incur many additional expenses (repeat contacts, rework, etc.) when issues are not fully resolved. However, despite clear benefits, FCR must be implemented carefully. Some important lessons have emerged: Learn …

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Educate and Engage: Strong Relationships Matter

Gina Szabo once relayed this story to me and gave permission for it to be published in Call Center Management on Fast Forward. Although certainly not a recommendation, it is a good reminder that communication is a key first step to contact center success. As a new call centre manager many years ago, I recall the “pain” of having to …

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