Coaching is as much a critical process in today’s contact centers as workforce management, quality monitoring, and call routing. Agents need feedback and goals to improve and succeed, and it is the supervisor’s role as a coach to manage and deliver that performance guidance. Unfortunately, in many contact centers today, coaching is not managed with strategy and rigor or treated as a first-class process. Often, the supervisor-agent relationship is broken, jeopardizing the success of...continue reading this post »
Many customer contact organizations have implemented Workforce Optimization (WFO) As an operational strategy to improve the performance of customer care professionals once they are on the contact center floor.
However, an agent’s relationship with a company begins well before he or she handles their first interaction. Therefore, a sound WFO practice starts well before then with the recruitment and hiring of agents who demonstrate the necessary skills and abilities to be successful. A new HireIQ...continue reading this post »
A couple of weeks ago, a leaked memo revealed that tech giant Yahoo had decided to end its remote working policy. The move has certainly rattled the cages of employees and commentators alike. Forbes called it an ‘epic fail’ – even Richard Branson waded into the kerfuffle.
And the debate rumbles on. For in the greatest age of flexible working, powered by conveniences like the cloud, why expect people to be tied to an office?
Sure, an office environment can’t be beaten for building a culture and...continue reading this post »
By Greg Levin
True contact centre success comes when organisations make the critical switch from a ‘measure everything that moves’ mind-set to one of ‘measure what matters most’. Given that we are now living in the Age of Customer Influence, ‘what matters most’ is that which most increases the likelihood of the customer not telling the world how evil you are via Twitter.
No longer can companies coast on Average Handle Time (AHT) and Number of Calls Handled per Hour. Such metrics may have ruled...continue reading this post »
Using Workforce Productivity Solutions and Practices to Turn the Contact Center into a Profit Center
The traditional view of the contact center as a cost center that needs to be managed solely for efficiency is outmoded. For your company to remain competitive, your contact center has to go beyond cost savings and evolve into a revenue contributor.
The enormous potential of the contact center as a tool to build customer loyalty, win new customers, and increase revenue has now been recognized by...continue reading this post »
Contact Center Physics
The concept of entropy is one that many of us discussed in physics class: it can be simply described as the “process by which things with energy wind down over time, unless outside energy is pumped into the system.” Entropy is why a glass of ice sitting in a room will melt. The heat energy in the room will move to the cold glass of ice. Over time, the glass of ice will warm up and melt, while the temperature in the room will fall imperceptibly.
Now, a top call center...continue reading this post »
Mobile WFM: Defining Success for Next Generation Contact Centers
Many contact centers now draw their staff from the millennial generation who largely use smartphones and tablets for their personal and social communication. For these progressive organizations, adopting a mobile WFM solution is often the defining element in successful operation. Leveraging mobile Web-enabled devices to connect contact center managers, supervisors and agents can increase efficiency as well as staff and customer...continue reading this post »
If “first-come-first-serve” is your contact center’s current method of vacation planning, now is the best time of year to consider adopting a new, more proactive approach.
Here are seven best-practice contact center vacation planning tips to help you get the ball rolling:
Tip #1: Establish an annual vacation bid
Conducting an annual vacation bid (typically administered in November of the prior year) is the perfect way to create some win-win structure in your contact center. It’s good for the...continue reading this post »
The global consumer electronics market was estimated at $681 billion in 2010 by Business Insights and 83% of consumers say that their purchase decison is influenced by support services accoding to Research Now. And consumers now have questions that frequently go beyond the realm of standard service agreements, involving multiple interconnected devices and programs from separate sources.
So it's no wonder that OEMs, ISP carriers, software vendors and major retailers are all seeking...continue reading this post »
I'm the new kid on the block here at CRMXchange,but since I've been involved in customer-related issues since the prehistoric days when CTI was the golly-gee tecnhology and it was still acceptable to use the dreaded 'T" word to summarize the industry as a whole, I'm not all that new and hardly a kid.
I've seen the terminology migrate from customer service to customer care, to customer relations management--before it became the acronym we now all know and love. But the growing demand for immediate...continue reading this post »
Recent talk in the industry takes exception with the concept of making idle time productive by suggesting there isn’t really much idle time to be used, that it would cause adherence issues with the call center workforce management tool, and associating it with the detrimental effects of multi-tasking (suggesting that it lowers agent performance). We see these as critiques based on some limited information. Research data, integration technology and feedback from those using technology to manage...continue reading this post »
Workforce management (WFM) has been at the foundation of efficient contact center and customer care operations for decades. Today, over 30 years since the first WFM solution found its way to the call center, WFM is experiencing a surge in industry interest and demand. With market penetration rates of over 50 percent and the benefits of precise workforce scheduling well-understood in the market, this renewed interest is not due to any previous lack of information about WFM. Rather, it is likely...continue reading this post »
In a previous post, we covered the issues that workforce managers reported as their top challenges for 2012. Not surprisingly, the need to balance off-phone work while maintaining service levels was a top priority for workforce management professionals as it is their job to sustain this equilibrium within the call center.
To top it off, the pressure to ensure agents complete the training (or coaching, assessments, communications, etc.) necessary to keep agents performing is compounded by the...continue reading this post »
The main topics of interest at the IQPC Call Center Week Las Vegas were ‘cloud’ and ‘multi-channel’. Attendees were also concerned with the use of social media.
How customers connect to companies is evolving. Customers want to connect on their own terms with the channel that suites them best. Vendors are attempting to respond to the customer’s needs with a variety of new solutions. Below is a recap of exciting technologies and solutions that were at the event.
360'CRM is a full spectrum CRM...continue reading this post »
“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is
made in the small ones.”
Call center agents hold the power of your brand promise in their hands.
The moment of truth can be when customers need to talk to an agent after exhausting self-service options. Or, it can be the accumulation of experiences across all channels.
As problem calls increase and interaction points expand, companies need to adjust their customer experience strategies to ensure agents are equipped to...
Do wonder why the cost for your customer contact center is out
of control and yet your customers are not happy with your Service
Level (SL) performance? The place to look for the answer may be
within your workforce management processes, data collection,
forecasting, implementation and communication.
COPC Inc. provides performance improvement consulting services for customer contact operations throughout the world, and we find that workforce management is one of the least understood areas of the...continue reading this post »
In the first quarter of 2012, Knowlagent surveyed workforce management professionals to learn more about the goals and challenges that pertain to their role within the call center. We wanted to understand more about the group whose daily responsibility is to deal with the complex nature of the contact center to match supply (agents) with demand (calls). We heard about the issues involved with scheduling agents, ensuring they have time to complete the necessary off-phone work that helps them be...continue reading this post »
The latest generation entering the workforce brings a new energy to the contact center, which also brings new challenges to the table for call center management. But this generation also represents the new social customer, so understanding what makes them “tick” can provide invaluable insight into what motivates your customers.
Donna Fluss, a recognized thought leader and innovator in contact center and real-time analytics, will join Knowlagent CEO, Matt McConnell, for an interactive webinar on...continue reading this post »
Over the last ten years, interest in remote agent contact center models has steadily increased. For example, attendance at the February 2012 Remote Agent Summit increased by 30% over 2011. And home agent models are not limited to the United States and Canada. Several firms are operating home agent models in Europe and a UK version of the US Remote Agent Summit is planned for July. Michele Rowan of At Home Customer Contacts which hosts the Remote Agent Summit and Workshops reports that:
Survey...continue reading this post »
When you hear the term “contact center” today, the image that may come to mind is a large operation with hundreds of agents in headsets busy on calls. However, if you were to visit the most typical call center, you would only see a couple of dozen frontline staff. That’s because most call centers are actually small in size with three out of four centers employing fewer than 20 agents.
According to Pelorus Group statistics, 75% of call centers have between 1 – 20 staff and another 15% have...continue reading this post »