How to Balance Service and Cost in the Contact Center

Back in December, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jeff Toister, a customer service consultant based in San Diego. The interview touched on a variety of topics, but was focused on issues around staffing and scheduling. We discussed how offering great service typically saves money, something that may be counterintuitive to many. You can access the interview here. …

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Enabling a Supporting Culture

Studies show a strong link between engaged employees and higher levels of productivity and profitability. In one example, Gallup found that companies ranked in the top quartile for employee engagement are 18% more productive and 12% more profitable than those in lower quartiles. What do successful contact centers, those with the most engaged employees, have in common? Watch the video …

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Empower Your Workforce to Fix Things for Customers

Real-time management is often viewed as a matter of responding to workload quantities. What’s often missed in these discussions is how to respond to the nature of the workload. If it’s heavy, there usually are underlying issues driving it. You can throw all the resources at it that you want, but if your organization isn’t prepared to handle the content …

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In Customer Service Timing Is Critical

The right place at the right time. It’s a common phrase, but in customer service, it matters more than ever. Timing is critical. In customer service, we’re like pilots or stage hands. Like them, we also work in a time-driven environment. It’s not just what we do, it’s when we do it that counts so much. Learn more about how …

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Does Your Executive Team Understand Staffing Tradeoffs?

Are you working through difficult discussions related to resources and budget? Just remember, contact centers must handle most customer-related work as it happens, so resource mismatches quickly result in big problems. It’s essential that those making decisions have a basic understanding of staff tradeoffs in a contact center (read: real time) environment. The following table is an example of how …

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Knowing Your Customers

How do you know what a customer needs? If you mention customer advocacy and pose that question many executives will say, “Well they tell us, right?” I think they picture a frustrated customer across the counter or perhaps calling or posting a message that describes a problem. But there’s so much more to it. The video below from the LinkedIn …

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Developing – or Reconsidering – Your Service Strategy

In these unprecedented times, you may find yourself rethinking your organization’s strategy for serving your customers. Strategy is the bridge between your organization’s vision and mission and the specific decisions required to make them a reality. This video from the LinkedIn Learning course “Customer Service Leadership” provides a framework for developing – or reconsidering – your service strategy. Developing your …

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What to Say to Angry Customers

With the current crisis, contact center representatives are grappling with heightened workloads and anxious customers. It takes practice to find ways to ensure your impact is as positive and helpful as possible. Remember that you’re doing important work. It’s hard work and it can sometimes be disheartening and downright draining. But your role in helping customers during the most difficult …

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Controlling Contact Center Costs the Right Way 

With the current economic challenges, many organizations are likely looking for ways to control costs as they serve customers. Done right, these efforts can succeed. But the wrong approach can backfire and result in new and/or hidden costs, frustrated employees and dissatisfied customers. One thing is certain: reducing costs across the board does not work well. Insufficient staff, network or …

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