Service Level: Realistic Targets, Taken Seriously

If your operation is chronically missing your service level target, it may be an indication of a fundamental misconception about the importance of service level. You’ll need to focus on a service level objective that your center can realistically achieve. Once you know your center’s true capabilities, you must be able to back up your objectives with the right amount …

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The Power of One: Every Agent Matters

The power of one is among the most important principles for any agent to understand. This video shows the impact each person makes on service level, occupancy and average speed of answer. Using actual data, the video makes it clear that every agent matters to both customers and their co-workers. This video is from the course Customer Service: Working in …

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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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Cultivating Effective Communication, Part 2

This discussion of communication continues with four more principles common to successful contact centers. You can read the first part of this discussion here. Develop Formal and Informal Channels of Communication. Effective leaders cultivate both formal and informal channels of communication. But the mission and values being communicated remain consistent. The communication formats can include newsletters, meetings, visual displays, email, voicemail, posters, …

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Cultivating Effective Communication, Part 1

Communication creates meaning and direction for people. When good communication is lacking, the symptoms are predictable: conflicting objectives, unclear values, misunderstandings, lack of coordination, confusion, low morale and people doing the bare minimum required. Although cultures and communication styles vary, there are predictable and notable commonalities among successful contact centers. Among the most important are: Commit to Keeping People in …

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Maximize Contact Center Impact and Value

Successful contact centers have transitioned from a rote focus on handling contacts to becoming powerful engines of customer loyalty and strategic value. Find out more about the three levels on which contact centers can create value in a recent Lynda.com course video that I recorded. The video is from the course Managing a Customer Contact Center. I hope you find …

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You’re Lookin’ (Too?) Good…

Reporting the contact center in the best possible light can undermine success. There are a lot of ways to produce reports so that the center looks as productive as possible to senior management. However, if you mask serious resource deficiencies or process problems, the center is less likely to get the resources and support it needs. That, in turn, will …

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Tighten Up Your AHT Projections

Average handling time, like the volume of contacts, must be incorporated into planning by the half hour. Assuming the same average handling time all day for forecasting purposes will not reflect the environment accurately. Some relatively simple analysis can go a long way toward tightening up your projections. Here are a few important prerequisites for getting this part of your forecast …

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