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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When Building Your Brand, Be Yourself

In a recent issue of The Edge of Service®, I relay my experience meeting actor and author Henry Winkler at a recent ICMI Conference. Winkler reminded me of advice that my mother used to give me, especially when facing awkward or difficult challenges—”just be yourself.” It was sound advice then, and it still is now. And I believe it’s good …

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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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15 Ways to Strengthen Your Contact Center

For some contact centers, summer is a slower time of year with fewer customer contacts. If that is true for your center, you might take this time to think of ways to strengthen your center for busier days to come. Several months ago I wrote an article titled “15 Ways to Strengthen Your Contact Center” for ICMI. You might find …

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10 Causes of Inaccurate Forecasts (and How to Avoid Them)

Accurate workload forecasting is critical to contact center success. Recruiting, hiring, staffing and scheduling—virtually everything that goes into optimizing resources depends on having a good estimate of the work that will come your way. Recently, I was reminded of an article I wrote that was published on icmi.com “10 Causes of Inaccurate Forecasts (and How to Avoid Them)”. If it’s …

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Expert Insight from ICMI Thought Leaders

ICMI recently put together the e-book Expert Insights on 8 of your Biggest Contact Center Challenges, featuring the ICMI Top 50 Thought Leaders. You’ll find thoughtful guidance on topics ranging from employee engagement to VOC data to defining quality. It’s definitely worth the read. Enjoy!

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How Do You Define Great Customer Service?

Erica Strother Marois recently put together a video for ICMI following ICMI’s Contact Center Expo and Conference. In the video, some of the conference speakers answer the question “How do you define great customer service?” The answers provide some food for thought as you consider how great customer service is defined in your organization.  

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The 12 Principles for Building Profitable Customer Relationships

Over the past decade, ICMI has studied, codified and periodically published a summary of the most important principles behind building strong, profitable customer relationships. Lately, I’ve been asked, are these principles less important? Have evolving customer expectations, social communities, new channels and other developments changed the fundamentals? Not at all! These 12 principles are as important as ever, in large …

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Hot Topic’s “Daily Huddle”

A few years back, fashion retailer Hot Topic won first place in an ICMI video contest for a creative portrayal of their “secret to service success,” a daily communications huddle. In it, they compare the daily meeting, which keeps employees up to date, to the ingredients of a gourmet meal: Main ingredient (lasagna noodles): Important information, such as current sales, …

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10 Customer Expectations You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Erica Strother Marios with ICMI recently put together a slide show on ten key customer expectations (as described in Call Center Management on Fast Forward). Take a minute to go through the slides at your next team meeting and discuss what your customers expect and how well you are meeting those expectations.

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