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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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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How Long Are Customers Willing to Wait?

With much of the world on lockdown due to the current COVID-19 crisis, contact centers are grappling with both increased workloads and staffing challenges. One helpful framework — now and in more normal times — is to understand the factors that affect customer tolerance for queues. There are seven, and they influence how long customers will wait in queue, how …

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Real-time Management: Level 2 and Beyond

These extraordinary times have impacted our lives in unimaginable ways. They have also impacted customer service in ways we might have never thought possible. For those struggling to manage unexpected volumes of customer contacts, the following real-time management discussion from the latest edition of Contact Center Management on Fast Forward may be helpful. Level 2 and Beyond In omnichannel environments with …

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Building a Cohesive Virtual Team

Information and communications technologies have created organizations that span geography and time. Multi-site environments, cross-functional teams, and extended-hour or 24/7 operations are common contact center examples. If you are a manager or director, you may have the responsibility of getting results from those who work in different locations, who don’t report to you, or who don’t work the same hours. …

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Removing Barriers to Employee Motivation and Engagement

Incentives, rewards, and other motivational tactics rarely work for long or have limited impact, but you can implement strategies that knock down barriers to great work and significantly improve your customer service. Learn more about demotivators and how to identify and address them in the video “Removing Barriers: Demotivators” from my LinkedIn Learning Course “Customer Service: Motivating Your Team.” Removing …

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