What's New in In Queue
Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, Paul.Stockford@nationalcallcenters.org
I Love Podcasts! Why
do I love podcasts? Because I can learn something in about the
time it takes me to drink a cup of coffee at my desk. Podcasts
can be downloaded at my convenience and I don’t have to commit to a
certain time and day to listen in. Podcasts are quick, easy and
present an opportunity to learn something that has the potential to
positively impact my career.
All of the above reasons are why I like to record podcasts as much as I
enjoy listening to them. There are more than a dozen podcasts
I’ve recorded that can be found behind the “Podcasts” tab at www.saddletreeresearch.com. We’re also about to launch podcasts on the NACC website, www.nationalcallcenters.org.
For those of you interested in contact center mobility and customer
care for the mobile customer, give a listen to my latest podcast
entitled, “The Evolving Challenge of Mobile Customer Service.”
Lots of survey data is shared along with insights from Cisco’s John
Hernandez. You can find this podcast here.
If analytics is on your list of interests, or if you’re just
intellectually curious about the application of analytics in the
enterprise, don’t miss this podcast I recorded with John Bowden of Time
Warner Cable. Entitled “Applied Analytics at Time Warner Cable,”
this podcast will give you a quick but thorough look at the role of
analytics at one of the nation’s largest providers of video, high-speed
data and voice services. All podcasts can be accessed here.
Robocalls and FTC Incompetence. Longtime
colleague and NACC supporter Walt Tetschner has written a hard-hitting
blog that addresses the problem of illegal “robocalls” and the
collateral damage that they are causing the contact center industry as
a whole. Walt is also the author of the monthly “ASR News” and
has developed a reputation over the years as an analyst that definitely
“calls it as he sees it.”
Walt believes the ultimate responsibility for addressing the illegal
robocall industry lies with the FTC but the FTC refuses to adequately
address the problem, suggesting instead that the solution must lie with
the consumer. As Walt pointedly states, that would be like
“shutting down the FDA food inspectors and requiring each consumer to
figure out whether the meat that they are purchasing is safe to be
Walt’s current blog as well as previous entries can be found here. Walt can be contact by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-266-1966.
For VPI, One View is Worth a Thousand Words.
Longtime subscribers and NACC members know that VPI has been a strong
supporter of the NACC for the past couple of years. Continuing
with their strategy of creating market leadership and gaining market
mindshare by pursuing the path less traveled, VPI has introduced a
groundbreaking toolset in the latest version 5.4 release of VPI
EMPOWER. Instant Analyzer enables contact center managers of all
levels to assess the status, trends and root causes of their
operational and customer experience issues and opportunities with
unprecedented ease and speed.
Rather than try to further describe Instant Analyzer in words, I
suggest you take a look at the succinct video that VPI has put together
in support of this announcement. In less than four minutes,
you’ll gain a full understanding of the power of this breakthrough
solution. To view this informative video, go here.
The Predictive Value of Social Media. I
recently came across an interesting blog entry that takes a look at the
value of social media as a predictive tool. Written by Larry
Skowronek of Nexidia, he makes the argument that the contact center is
the link that provides context, and the connection to action, that is
needed for social media mining to have predictive value. In this
highly informative blog, Larry details how the contact center can
leverage its unique abilities in order to provide value that extends
across the enterprise. You can find this blog and read it in its
Go Ahead, Send The Invitation
Dee Kohler, Consultant, Strategic Contact, Inc., email@example.com
you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve
always got.” Henry Ford may have used these famous words to inspire his
leadership team to step out of their comfort zones for the sake of
improving results. Maybe it’s time to challenge ourselves to do
Organizations spend a lot of time, energy, and money developing
leadership skills to provide professional, objective feedback to staff
to elevate performance. Oftentimes, we do not deploy those same skills
at the department level. Your support teams (e.g., IT, HR) and in-house
customers (e.g., Marketing, Product Management) can be powerful
resources to provide 360-evaluations and basic observations.
Does soliciting feedback make you a little nervous? Dare to set those
fears aside and be open to the process. The insights you’ll gain will
be worth the effort. The following steps will help you get started.
insider “field trip” creates the space for improving your operation
while building awareness for the highs and lows of running a modern day
customer contact center. Before you send your invitation:
your goals. Help your guests understand the standards of excellence to
which you aspire to give them a framework for their observations.
Develop an agenda that includes introductions, a brief operational overview, agent shadowing, and time for follow up discussion
Inform your staff about the pending visit and objectives
Prepare the agent(s) for shadowing
Choose a date and time for the visit; remember, busy days might be the best days!
creative. Include your objective to challenge the status quo. Let them
know you would appreciate another set of eyes to visit the center,
observe, and provide thoughts and ideas. Be sure to include specific
requests. For example:
An IT/IS leader may focus on desktop use, applications, and speed
A legal leader may help you focus on language for disclaimers
marketing or communications leader may help with the
phrasing/scripting, or gain awareness of the impact of marketing
initiatives on the interactions
the big day comes, make sure you prepare your guest for a successful
event. Provide a quick tour if they haven’t been to the center before.
Point out support areas such as QA, WFM, and training. Talk about daily
volumes and total number of staff. Show them your posted statistics and
recognition boards. Provide a QA form as well as a list of desktop
applications that the agent accesses. Review specific areas of interest
(e.g., scripting flow, slow application, disclaimers used).
Have them shadow agents for 90 minutes or more. Ideally, your visitors
will get to see different agents in action. Conduct a brief follow up
discussion to capture thoughts and ideas while they are fresh. And
don’t forget to snap a picture of your visitors to include in an
upcoming newsletter to reinforce the concept!
Follow up and Thank You
the observations and create an action plan. Prioritize action items
that will improve quality, productivity, employee morale, and overall
customer experience. Provide follow-up to your visitors on actions that
your team has implemented and the corresponding results as well as
actions you identified in the debrief that may now be on their “to do”
Make “Being Different” Routine
feedback for individual contributors is a proven methodology to improve
performance. The same holds true for developing strong departmental
relationships. Don’t let the interchange of valuable feedback turn into
a one-time event. Invite departments (IT/IS, Marketing, Sales, etc.) on
a frequent (e.g., quarterly) basis. You will demonstrate to your team
and your company that you are open and receptive to ideas and encourage
continuous process improvement.
Call Center Comics!
If you like this comic and would like to see more, write Ozzie at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit his website at http://callcentercomics.com/cartoon_categories.htm
or just click on the comic to take you to his page. The NACC
appreciates Ozzie letting us use some of his comics in our newsletter.
To view past issues of In Queue, please click here.
If you would like to contribute to In Queue, please reply to this email with "Contribute" in the subject line.
Copyright 2013 National Association of Call Centers