Hands-on Leadership

One of the keys to high levels of employee engagement in contact centers – and the strong performance that follows – is hands-on involvement from the top. For example: Among other endeavors, Dan Gilbert is the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, the giant Detroit-based mortgage lender. Gilbert speaks often of Quicken’s core values, saying that they “drive every decision, …

Continue Reading >

Contact Center Management on Fast Forward – Fourth Edition Now Available

It’s hard to believe that Contact Center Management on Fast Forward is in its fourth edition. It is a testimony to the strategic importance of contact centers to organizations of virtually any type. It has been a privilege to be a part of an industry that is dedicated to connecting with customers and helping organizations succeed. If you’ve read any …

Continue Reading >

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 …

Continue Reading >

The Best Managed Contact Centers: #8 — They Leverage Technology to Support and Further Their Mission

New technologies are not passive — they are changing customer expectations, causing reallocations of resources, creating power shifts in organizations, and changing the responsibilities of agents and managers. The best contact centers identify the technologies that further the mission of the organization, and they implement them with the necessary foresight, planning and training. They also recognize that an important (according …

Continue Reading >

The Best Managed Contact Centers: #7 – They View the Contact Center as a Total Process 


Contact centers that consistently get the best results view the operation as a total process. This viewpoint takes many forms: Ensure that everyone in the contact center, and those with key supporting roles outside the center, have a basic understanding of how contact centers operate. Recognize the process to be where most quality problems occur — and also where the opportunities …

Continue Reading >

The Best-Managed Contact Centers: #6 – They Leverage the Key Statistics

Contact center measurements are plentiful and it’s easy to get buried in information. The contact centers that get the best results from using their reports and information have several things in common: They focus on a relatively small number of measures and objectives that support their mission and direction. They know that trying to focus on too many things is …

Continue Reading >

The Best-Managed Contact Centers: #5 – They Have an Established, Collaborative Planning Process

Effective planning is a central theme in the best contact centers. A major objective of good planning is to get the right number of skilled people and supporting resources in place at the right times, doing the right things. But systematic planning accomplishes more than that. It also improves communication and culture in the following ways: Creating a body of …

Continue Reading >

The Best-Managed Contact Centers: #4 – They Build Plans and Services Around Evolving Customer Expectations

One of the most critical — and difficult — aspects of managing a contact center is to provide services that satisfy changing consumer demands. Those who fall behind pay a brutal price: dissatisfied customers, insufficient support from the organization and low morale in the contact center. But those who stay ahead of the curve enjoy strong customer loyalty and the …

Continue Reading >

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 …

Continue Reading >

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 …

Continue Reading >