Service Metrics for Accessibility and Quality

Accessibility and quality are closely related. Quality can’t happen unless our services are accessible, but quality also impacts accessibility. If you don’t handle interactions with quality, you’ll have a higher level of waste and rework, time required to fix errors, repeat contacts from customers, escalated contacts in which they ask to speak to a supervisor, and other variables that zap …

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Three Immutable Laws of Contact Centers

There are three immutable laws at work in contact centers that you must keep in mind. They’re always present. Understanding them will help you establish the right metrics, communicate important trade-offs, and shape an organizational structure that works well. Find more videos about contact centers in my LinkedIn Learning course “Managing a Customer Contact Center.” The immutable laws from Managing …

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Being available for customers

One of the biggest challenges in many organizations is that the work arrives randomly from moment to moment. That’s true in a restaurant, a retail store, a contact center, a hospital’s emergency department, and many other environments. Those delivering services don’t control customer arrival rate, or the issues they need help with. I once worked with a healthcare system that …

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Ensuring service metrics are SMART

Have you ever had a metric that drives the wrong behavior? A bus company in a city with a well established international and cosmopolitan flair, had a reputation for too often running late. Leaders decided to give drivers incentives for ending their routes on time. Several months later, passenger satisfaction scores were even worse, and they quickly learned why. When …

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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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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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Contact Center Scheduling Can Be Creative and Collaborative

It’s a new year and a great time to reflect on challenges in your contact center. Chances are that if you’ve managed a contact center for any length of time, organizing schedules has been one of them. But there is good news. Scheduling is creative. It’s collaborative. And this part of planning can be a great opportunity for highlighting the …

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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 …

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