Call Center Operations

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January 16, 2012

SWOT Analysis is Crucial Part of Call Center Operations

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Within call center operations, many elements go into making the call center environment a successful one, whether it’s productive agents, proper training or effective communication across the organization. It is essential that when a call center begins to design a new strategy, plan or mission, they first take the steps to create a Strengths-Weakness-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis.

In essence, a SWOT analysis ensures that all employees are completely truthful, as areas in which agents may not be as fully proficient will be closely analyzed in order to help the organization become better in the long run.

Knowlagent, a provider of call center operations, recently penned a blog post from Dr. David Butler (News - Alert) that spoke about how in most situations, SWOT analyses are led by call center managers who leverage materials consisting of some sort of display board so that every member of the team can easily see what is being shown.

“A big square is drawn on the sheet of paper. Then a line from the top to the bottom cuts the square in half and a line from left to right cuts the square into four equal pieces. This creates a two-by-two matrix on the display. In the upper left-hand corner is where ‘Strengths’ are listed, while ‘Weaknesses’ are listed in the upper right hand box. The bottom left area is for ‘Opportunities’ and the bottom-right quadrant is for ‘Threats.’ The person, or group, then begins to list all of the items under each category,” Butler stated.

To begin, it is easier to kick off with detailing all of the strengths the call center has, which will hopefully bring everyone together and start off on a positive note. Next up is to determine what aspects the center is weak or lacking in. It is imperative that all team members are honest about this aspect of the analysis, so that certain factors in need of change or improvement can be remedied.

The opportunities section should be next and this category consists of where, with slight adjustments, the call center can simultaneously improve and expand its operation, powering a wide variety of innovative services. After this is completed, the threat section must be addressed in which the division speaks about what could adversely affect the current call center operations. From there, it can be determined which of these threats can be transitioned into opportunities, which will then be listed in the opportunities section.

Being able to accurately determine the SWOT for a particular call center will help companies identify their strong and weak points while being made aware of how to continuously ward off any threats.

“After such an exercise, I encourage my clients to summarize the SWOT analysis and print it out on a standard sheet of paper and post it on their wall near their desk. This way this information and self-aware knowledge is available all the time before making key strategic decisions for the center. Completing a SWOT each year enables a call center to see if it is making progress to minimizing weaknesses and threats while expanding upon its strengths and taking advantage of the opportunities,” Butler concluded.

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Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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