“Seasonal agents may go on to become permanent, full-time agents. Properly treated, they may also become customers and cheerleaders for your brand.” “THEY ARE JUST TEMPS,” said one contact center manager describing his seasonal agents. “THEY WILL BE GONE IN A COUPLE OF MONTHS!” That condescending attitude was reflected in the seasonal team’s environment. They […]
Education expert Bernard Bull once said, “In order to create an engaging learning experience, the role of the instructor is optional, but the role of the learner is essential.” A massive increase in online education over the past decade has revealed the truth of this observation. According to eLearningIndustry.com, the learning management system or LMS […]
While training is a top 2016 priority for contact center managers, a recent study finds that the type and frequency of training that most contact centers are planning will not adequately address the top call center challenge—staff attrition. Regular, planned training that balances process and behavioral skills, reinforced by a certification program, will not only […]
After one of the slowest and hottest regional summers on record, most organisations are now back into their business groove and pushing hard to close the year on a high note and/or actively planning for 2016 Looming large on many corporate agendas is the relevance of customer experience or, as many still prefer to call […]
The times, they are definitely a-changin’ for the call center business. Never before has this industry experienced such a convergence of changes that can have a significant impact on the business: Multiple generations in the workplace. For the first time in history, call centers now employ people from as many as four or even five […]
How would your contact center rate its performance management? Have you brought the right combination of people, processes and technology together to identify and capitalize on opportunities for continuous improvement? If your center is like most, there is room for improvement in either process or technology—or both! A recent SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) […]
A customer’s initial and often lasting impression of a company’s brand is formed by his or her interaction with a customer service professional. Many companies have launched cross-departmental “customer experience” initiatives designed to help ensure that every customer interaction is exceptional. Despite predictions from industry experts over the years that most customer interactions would be […]
MORE AND MORE enterprises have experienced how gamification stimulates a friendly competitive spirit and positively reinforces staff to achieve higherquality performance and greater productivity. According to 1to1 Media, “Gamification is a new concept in employee engagement that is gaining popularity as a solution to improve performance and retain good customer service agents” (“How Gamification Can […]
Over the years, I’ve had the chance to speak with many world-class service providers—companies that are recognized as leading service providers within their industries. These companies stand out by putting their customers and frontline staff at the forefront of their processes and policies through demonstrated practices (think deeds, not words). One thing that all of […]
It’s an unfortunate reality in many companies that, anytime the budget needs to be tightened, staff development becomes an easy target. Once training resources are cut, they’re often among the last to recover. Because of the fluctuating economy, organizations continue to maintain rigorous controls on spending. Those that are beginning to see their financial health […]
Reward and recognition, merit pay allocation, promotions — programs like these are usually designed to reward your Superstars, those employees who reach the highest levels of performance . There’s nothing wrong with organizing your resources to reward your highest achieving employees. The top 10% to 15% of employees do, after all, drive a disproportionate amount […]
Some companies view collectors as a necessary evil, like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. “Yes, we have them, but they’re in another building—deep inside the basement where they will do no harm.” Companies that excessively focus on customers often forget that some customers are downright bad. In these organizations, management finds it hard to imagine […]
“Congratulations! You have been promoted to acting supervisor.” It was 1993 when my manager pulled me aside and gave me the good news. I was thrilled at the chance to lead a contact center group, but I was also nervous. I was a top- erforming agent, but I had never managed staff until now. Unfortunately, […]
How does lifelong learning translate into the contact center? In an ideal world, a lifelong learning environment would afford agents, frontline supervisors and managers the opportunity to leverage the latest technologies and training methodologies to engage in ongoing skill development. It is a place where the emphasis and focus on training is elevated on the […]
I have a confession to make. I made a huge mistake. It happened 12 years ago, when I managed the call center training function at a national telecom company. I spent 80 percent of my time coaching the lowest performing 20 percent of my team! At the time, I just wanted to get my low […]
The ability to provide world-class contact center service is directly linked to employees with the right attitude, skills and motivation to deliver during every moment-of-truth interaction. Many companies have developed formal coaching programs targeted at arming frontline agents with the right information and processes to provide service that meets the customer and company requirements. While […]
Every manager holds a quiver full of beliefs about how to manage and develop their team. They work to get to know each team member, clearly communicate job requirements and goals, identify strengths and weaknesses, and support continuous performance improvement. A key component of their management strategy often includes dedicating substantial time to their poor […]
Prepare new-hires for life in the call center by replicating the true work environment during the initial training phase. I watched with an air of confidence as our newest contact center agents sat at their desks for the first time since completing six weeks of training. I had become the training manager one week earlier, […]
Last time we examined the best of employee performance — how to polish the shine on your high- performers and how to motivate your mid-performers to step up their efforts. This month, we turn our attention to the exasperating question of how to deal with our bottom 10% — those employees who don’t have the […]
Let’s get right to it … Vocabulary is a key player when it comes to Customer Care. Choosing the best rapport-building words and phrases contributes to the efficiency of the contact, the CSR’s confidence, and the customer’s experience.
Like death and taxes, we can’t escape the need for new-hire training in the contact center. New reps have to hit the ground running when they start taking calls — it’s just the nature of the job. To a large extent, new-hires operate without a safety net, and many customers are unforgiving if they encounter, […]
A new vision for training groups in 2010: Focus on skills and opportunities to help contact centers grow the bottom line.
Move beyond team averages to address the behaviors and skills that drive employee and customer satisfaction, and business results.