The Best-Managed Contact Centers: #3 – They Know that Their People Are the Key to Success

Cultures vary dramatically from one organization to the next. You’d likely notice some hairstyles that you don’t see every day at some tech contact centers. Some centers who cater to a younger workforce have break room amenities, such as video game consoles, that put most others to shame. Other centers, especially those who serve business customers, maintain a somewhat more …

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The Best-Managed Contact Centers: #2 – They Have a Supporting Culture

Characteristic #2: They Have a Supporting Culture  Culture — the inveterate principles or values of the organization — tends to guide behavior, and can either support and further or, as some have learned the hard way, ruin the best-laid plans for organizational change. While there is no guaranteed formula for creating a supporting culture, many seasoned managers agree that shaping …

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Tools for Your Next Team Meeting

Looking to generate substantive conversation at your next team meeting? Try one of these worksheets on customer expectations, metrics and customer access strategy. It can be helpful to take a step back from the day-to-day, urgent issues to think about the bigger picture. Discussions on these bigger pictures can help keep everyone on the same page and generate ideas for …

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The Nature of Contact Center Work

People who are new to contact centers are often surprised at how different they are compared to other work environments. The workload is so variable and timing is so critical. This is all true, so it can be helpful to better understand the nature of contact center work. In a recent LinkedIn Learning Course that I recorded for contact center …

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Reinforce the “Power of One”

Here are some of the steps organizations are taking to reinforce the power of one. Think through how you could approach them with your customer service team. Educate each person on how much impact he or she has on the queue—incorporate these or similar scenarios into training. Develop reasonable expectations for adherence to schedules. Customer service is as much when …

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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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10 Things Senior Leaders Should Know About Contact Centers

A prerequisite to getting good support from senior management is that they have at least a basic understanding of what contact centers do. To fulfill their potential, customer contact centers need commitment and involvement from the top. And a prerequisite to getting necessary support is that senior level managers understand the unique contact center environment – what they do and …

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How Management and Agent Roles Are Changing

Recently, I was reminded of an article that I wrote for ICMI “How Management and Agent Roles Are Changing.” The article discusses the relationship between specialization and generalization. Often, the end of the summer gives us a chance to reflect on the current state of things before a busy fall. Perhaps this will provide you with some food for thought …

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Common Misconceptions of Customer Service Quality Standards

Sometimes within an organization, there’s resistance to quality standards. Why is that? They’re a good thing, right? Dig a little deeper, and we’ve found there are several common misconceptions that can hamper their development and use. This video from my recent Lynda.com course “Quality Standards in Customer Service” summarizes these misconceptions and suggests how you can ensure everyone is comfortable, …

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