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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Common Pitfalls in Service Metrics

“Not everything that counts can be counted,” and “not everything that can be counted counts.” This quotation is sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein and though the source is not entirely clear, the message is. And it’s fair warning. We’ve got to be mindful about the metrics we establish and how much we read into them. We need to take care …

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Traits of Engaged Employees

The National Business Research Institute (NRBI) identifies six traits engaged employees have in common, including: They believe in their organization. They have the desire to work to make things better. They understand the business context and big picture. They are respectful and helpful to colleagues. They are willing to go the extra mile. They stay up to date with developments …

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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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