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Are You Using Customer Feedback to Improve Processes?

Sometimes we become so involved in the design, execution and gathering of data that we may not observe what is really going on with our customers and center agents. Here’s one thing I think we can all agree on. Surveys are everywhere. They are coming from your grocery store, your favorite restaurants, online shopping sites [...]

Are You Showing Sincere Agent Appreciation?

We train our agents to thank our customers and show appreciation for their business.  We coach to ensure that they make the customer feel important and valued, and sound sincere when they do this.  A poorly given thanks is no better than saying nothing and the customer can hear the insincerity in our word choices, [...]

3 Ways to Improve Adherence in the Contact Center

When agents don’t (or can’t) adhere to their schedule, the WFM team must manage these exceptions. Some companies tolerate a certain percentage of non-compliance as a cost of doing business while other companies rely on supervisors to coach agents on the importance of adherence. Today, you can leverage automation to improve adherence, drive compliance and [...]

By |February 21st, 2017|Best Practices / Metrics, Innovation, Intraday Automation|

Why So Many Contact Center New Hires Fail

It’s a given that we spend a great deal of time and money recruiting and training agents for our centers. Sometimes we hire someone who looks great on paper and knows how to present themselves well in interviews, but they don’t make it past the training program. Even those who seemed so eager to work [...]

By |October 6th, 2015|Corporate Culture, Training / Coaching|

Too Many Process Cooks Spoil Customer Experience and Agent Support

Unfortunately, the story shared here is based on a real company event. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, but too bad the company name can’t be shared so they can be shamed for their part in poor customer experience and agent support. An agent recently told me about a customer service situation that demonstrates [...]

By |September 8th, 2015|Corporate Culture, Customer Experience, Training / Coaching|

Home-Based Heroes Need Agent Coaching Love, Too!

It’s hard enough to coach with agents in your center who sit close by, but it can be even more challenging coaching with those farther away. Many home agents are part of skills monitoring and coaching programs that are timely and motivating.  Some aren’t that fortunate and may find themselves wondering if they still have [...]

By |June 9th, 2015|Training / Coaching|

Complete Agent Disengagement in One Email

I recently saw an email that was a good reminder to all of us that the words we choose to write can convey a very different meaning from what we intended to say, especially when the actions before and after the email aren't mirroring what we wrote. The email I’m referring to was written by [...]

By |May 11th, 2015|Corporate Culture, Training / Coaching|

Why the “Old” Way of Workforce Management isn’t Good Enough

Having been in this business over 40 years and in over 1,000 call centers in five continents, I've seen some major changes in workforce management. For example, back in the early days, we didn't have ACDs – we had PBX “hunt groups.” Calls were simply given to the next available agent. There were no queues, [...]

By |February 24th, 2015|Best Practices / Metrics, Innovation, Workforce Infrastructure|

Remember, Call Center Agents = Your Brand.

How's your brand today? Defining your brand used to be so much easier. In the good old days (for me, the good old days were the 80s), your brand was whatever your advertising said it was. Social media changed all that. Now your brand is whatever your customers say it is. And so your brand [...]

By |January 28th, 2015|Corporate Culture, Workforce Infrastructure|

5 Things Frontline Leaders Can Do to Help Agent Attrition

I love working with front-line supervisors and managers who are learning how to be more effective coaches. Most are eager to learn how to build a great team. During our work time together, many express frustration about agent turnover, the time and effort that new hire training takes with high turnover. Some add that they [...]