Putting Abandonment in Perspective

In many contact centers, abandonment rate is viewed as a key measure of how adequately the center is staffed. I often get questions like, what is an acceptable rate of abandonment? What is abandonment in such and such an industry? Are there any studies on how long customers will wait? What should our service level be to keep abandonment under …

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Documenting Your Customer Access Strategy

Customer access strategies are like business plans in that some are well documented and others exist only in pieces and in the heads of various managers. Too often, the latter is the case. But there are standout examples of plans that are effective and up to date. A wireless carrier that I have worked with has a well-organized customer access …

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Cell Phone Inventor Predicts the Next Big Thing

According to Marty Cooper, 87 years old and a pioneerin wireless communication, cell phones have a big flaw: you constantly have to charge them. And that’s true for all connected wearables (e.g., watches, glasses, health devices). The next big thing, says Cooper, is technology that keeps devices charged without our involvement. One idea is to charge phones using radio frequencies, …

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The Best Managed Contact Centers: #12 – They See the Possibilities

The contact center profession has come a long way in recent years. Customer expectations are high, and for good reason. For the most part, contact centers have learned how to deliver. Collectively, they have invested billions in equipment, networks and software. They have spent untold hours training and equipping people. They have learned the nuances of forecasting, staffing and the …

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Focus on the Next Three Hours

Recently, I was invited to participate in Jim Rembach’s FastLeader Show Podcast. It was a great experience and gave me the opportunity to reflect on what has mattered most over the years. One bit of advice that has made an impact on my career is to focus on the next three hours. Move something that matters forward right now. You can …

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The Best Managed Contact Centers: #11 – They Are Willing to Experiment

The most successful contact center teams continually review and reassess how they do things and the results they are achieving. What can be improved? What should be scrapped? What assumptions no longer make sense? What can be done differently? They would agree with the advice of management consultant Dr. Ichak Adizes, who reminds us, “You don’t know what you don’t …

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The Essential Role of Today’s Front Line Managers

Rewind the clock about ten years, and you’d find top level managers in many organizations, along with most industry pundits, predicting that front line managers (a.k.a. supervisors) would become less important in contact centers, and that their numbers would begin to dwindle. The usual rationale, couched in discussions of flattened hierarchies and team-oriented structures, was that because agents and teams …

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