March 2019 In Queue March 2019 NACC In Queue

Welcome to the December 2019 NACC In Queue newsletter!
Making Workforce Management Easy

Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research

I recently wrote a guest blog for Verint that covers the factors behind the trending workforce management refresh in the contact center industry.  You can find the entire blog here, but in a nutshell, our research uncovered the fact that almost 18 percent of the industry is replacing or upgrading their workforce management in 2019, and we expect that volume of workforce management turnover to continue into 2020.

There are a number of industry and social trends behind this workforce management refresh, not the least of which are the rising percentage of at-home agents and the probability that contact centers will have no choice but to find ways to schedule gig agents, or contract agents, in 2020 and beyond.  To dig into the data behind the forecast, read the blog in its entirety here.

Related to this blog, Verint has published an e-book that is designed to make workforce management easy in the midst of all the changes that are affecting the industry.  This resource is available at no charge and can be downloaded here.

I encourage you to take advantage of this informative resource whether or not a workforce management refresh is in your future.


(The following article is a submission from NACC Member Quality Contact Solutions. We welcome newsletter contributions from all NACC members – Ed.)

6 Key Steps To Successfully Outsource Your Inhouse Customer Care

Kelli Barabasz, Senior Operations Manager, Quality Contact Solutions

kellibarabasz Are you considering outsourcing your inhouse customer care? There are many key steps and factors that come into play when considering outsourcing. How do I pick the right outsource partner? What should I be looking for? How long will this take? There are so many questions that need to be answered where do I even begin? So, how do you Successfully Outsource your Inhouse Customer Care? First and foremost, you need to have a clear outline and expectations.

There are 6 key steps that you need to look at when preparing to outsource.

1.    Define the scope of the project
2.    Find your outsource partner
3.    Define your deliverables
4.    Create an implementation & execution plan
5.    Identify your roadblocks
6.    Complete end to end testing

Define the call center outsourcing project scope

There are many key factors to consider in your project scope. First you must create a project scope description so that all your partners clearly understand the full scope of the project. Next you need to identify the needs, goals, expectations & known roadblocks. Finally, you need to get acceptance from all involved partners. This may change your scope and many key factors within it.

Find your outsource partner

When looking for the right outsource partner you must consider 5 key components of the outsourcer.
•    What is the outsource partners culture and values (vision and scope of the outsource partner)?
•    How is the company’s financial stability?
•    What are the company’s capabilities (technologically, people, process, size)?
•    Is the company credible (ask for client reviews)?
•    Most importantly how is the communication and client management practices handled?

Define your call center outsourcing deliverables

What deliverables are you really looking for? First you need to make sure you have the right people in the room. Identify your stakeholders so together as a team you can identify the deliverables and reasonable deliverable dates for the key components of your project. Document every requirement and deliverable date along with the owner of each. Make sure to include a sign off piece to this process where at least 2 stakeholders sign off on the completion of the deliverables.

Create a call center outsourcing implementation plan

You will want to include your stakeholders in all meetings to ensure that all partners are involved in creating the proper implementation & execution plan. The plan needs to include milestones, tasks, budget expectations and timelines. You will need to include an evaluation process at the beginning of all of the meetings to evaluate the progress of each of the above-mentioned criteria. Keep these meetings at a high level and schedule subset meetings to ensure the plan is staying on target.

Identify your roadblocks with call center outsourcing

Roadblocks can derail your project so identifying potential roadblocks up front is critical. Even after identifying the potential roadblocks you will have other roadblocks that come up throughout your entire implementation. Don’t let the roadblocks stop your progress include all stakeholders and come up with alternatives or work arounds.

Complete end to end testing for successful call center outsourcing

Once you are ready for your implementation and execution it is time to start your end to end testing. In the end to end testing the entire application is tested in a real-world scenario such as communicating with the database, network, hardware and other applications Having a great plan in place is key to being successful. Be sure to include your back-end reporting in your end to end testing to ensure the data being transmitted is coming across appropriately in the outsourcers reporting
Now that you have followed the 6 key steps to Successfully Outsource your Inhouse Customer Care it is your outsourcers responsibility to manage your account. You will want to establish the right management team to be the outsourcers main contact. In this model the manager changes from what they did before. They now become the manager that is managing a service provider not service delivery.

Kelli Barabasz is a call center industry leader with over 25 years of experience and success with call center startups, client management and implementations. Currently serving as a Senior Operations Manager for QCS, Kelli’s detail-oriented approach is used to analyze existing operations and to implement best practices, new strategies, processes and efficiencies, enabling her clients to achieve better outcomes. Throughout her career, Kelli has worked on both inbound and outbound B2B and B2C programs. With expertise in call center operations, training, workforce management and client services, Kelli has an unmatched ability to get results for her clients which have included PBM SXC Health Solutions (now Optum RX), Verizon Wireless, Figis, Vermont Teddy Bear Company & Demarini Bats. At PBM, Kelli’s underlying clients EUTF, Cigna, Health Spring, TennCare and PharMerica. Kelli speaks at call center seminars around the globe to share her industry knowledge and insights with her peers.


Our 2020 Survey:  Will You Help Us?

Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research

I get it.  You’re inundated with survey participation requests, especially at this time of year.  So why should you be concerned with helping the NACC with yet another survey that takes up your time?  I believe the NACC is the only 503(c) (6) not-for-profit membership organization in the industry and as a non-profit, we have to rely on the support of other contact center professionals to help us with our research. 

The NACC is university-based and our goal is to present unbiased, accurate information to the industry.  Executive Director David Butler, PhD, and I both have jobs that provide us with our incomes. We don’t make money from the NACC, so we don’t have money to spend on ads and enticements to get you to participate in our survey.  We must count on your kindness and commitment to your chosen profession to help us provide the data that we share with the industry in this newsletter and in our library each year.

I hope I’ve convinced you to donate five minutes of your time to this not-for-profit and complete our survey, which you can find here

Survey participation does not require any identifying information so you are guaranteed that no one will contact you for any reason as a result of your participation in our research.

Believe me when I say we truly appreciate your support on this annual project. Thank you in advance.


CloudCherry: Under The Radar And Into The Mainstream  

Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research

This past October, Cisco announced that it had completed the acquisition of a company called CloudCherry.  Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, CloudCherry was a privately held Cisco Investments portfolio company, which makes this an interesting story.

Building on its vision for Cognitive Collaboration in the contact center, Cisco has added this customer experience management (CEM) platform to a growing suite of solutions.  We see this acquisition as a notable move by Cisco as the company validates its commitment to the global customer service market.

I have written a complete analysis of this state-of-the-art customer journey platform and it is available for you to review here.  No registration is required and as we always promise at the NACC, no one will contact you as a result of your downloading our documents.  My hope is that you’ll find the analysis useful as you broaden your knowledge of the contact center industry.

In This Issue...
  • Making Workforce Management Easy
  • 6 Key Steps To Outsource Customer Care
  • Our 2020 Survey:  Will You Help Us?
  • CloudCherry: Under Radar/Into Mainstream
  • Call Center Comics


Pearls Of Wisdom

"Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out."

~ John Wooden


Reports From NACC

NACC has been burning the midnight oil and typing until our fingers are sore to bring out reports to our members. Each is listed below. If you are interested to see what we are writing about, click on the links
below and download the executive summary of each. If you like what you see, join the NACC so that you can view these reports and others that will be coming out soon on our website. These reports will ensure that you know the latest trends in the industry.

If you like this comic and would like to see more, write Ozzie at  The NACC appreciates Ozzie letting us use some of his comics in our newsletter.
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