Videos to Spark Discussion

Are you looking for a way to incorporate long-term improvement into your team meetings? Take a few minutes during your next team meeting to watch a brief video on customer service and then discuss it as a group. Too often team meetings focus on urgent problems at the expense of future growth and development. It just takes a few minutes, …

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Strengthen Ties Across the Organization

Effective communication across an organization is essential to sharing and using voice of the customer. And there are plenty of additional reasons to strengthen ties. Opportunities for ongoing product and service improvements and innovations almost always involve other areas. Root-causes must often be addressed elsewhere; an issue that deteriorates high levels of customer satisfaction may involve processes far beyond 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, …

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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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Common Causes of Turnover

Excessive turnover costs an organization in many ways: Higher recruiting and training costs; a lower average experience level leading to higher handling times, more transferred calls and lower service levels/response times; the need for more coaching and supervision; and the impact on everyone’s morale when key people leave. The best contact centers continually work on the root causes of turnover. …

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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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Adherence to Schedule Tips

Adherence to schedule is an important performance objective for agents. It is within their control (when implemented appropriately) and measures if agents are available to handle contacts as scheduled. However, to ensure your approach is supporting the culture you want to establish, consider these suggestions for getting the best results: 1. Educate each person on how much impact he or …

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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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