Innovation Solutions: Knowlagent

Call Center Gurus Weigh in on Industry Topics in New Forum: Productivity Plus Blog

By TMCnet Special Guest
  |  March 01, 2012

This article originally appeared in the March issue of Customer Interaction Solutions

Knowlagent recently launched a new Productivity Plus blog where experts within the call center industry can collaborate and opine upon the customer experience, agent productivity and the call center culture … things that are top of mind for most customer service leaders.

Productivity Plus is a type of short-hand that epitomizes the balancing act leaders have to do on a regular basis. Call center people tend to spend a lot of time optimizing productivity and efficiency, but it’s the “plus” that gets them excited.

Maybe you’re trying to figure out:

  • What you can do to focus more on the customer experience, including first call resolution and quality monitoring?
  • How you can create a positive work environment that can improve customer retention and increase revenues.
  • How you can better communicate with agents, deliver one-on-one coaching and recognize achievements.
  • What tactics have successful companies implemented to improve customer satisfaction?
  • How your company can better measure return on investments.

We’ve asked industry experts  Jeanne Bliss, David Butler (News - Alert), and Greg Levin  to join us in helping answer these and a host of other questions that will help you create a great customer experience and great agents.

We will focus on five topics that matter most to you: corporate culture, customer centricity, technology, agent success factors and best practices. We’ll provide you with case studies and real-world tips from companies that have mastered these areas so you can too.

Below are a few excerpts from recent posts:

“Can Everyone Jump a Fence to Serve a Customer” by Jeanne Bliss

The silos often get in the way when we are serving customers. Customers are triaged, put on hold or passed from one person or department to another. And we also deliver a broken up experience when the data does not connect – so your frontline is compromised with lackluster information they need to serve and support their customer. This leaves customers thinking, “Do they know me at all?”, “Do they even talk to each other?” and “Why can’t someone just own my call?” 

How good is your “fence jumping” ability to connect the silos and the data today?

San Antonio–based Rackspace (News - Alert) grows by imagining the life of their IT manager clients. And that means making it easy to get help, support and service without the customer “hot potato.” Rackspace is organized by teams assigned by customer account, in order to create customer peace of mind….

Learning to Focus on Employees – A Call Center’s Best Asset” by David Butler

Let me tell you a story of two call centers. Both have similar operations, both similar employees and both serve the same basic customer operation.

Call center A manager was a traditionalist. He focused on the basic metrics, average handle time, time in queue, customer satisfaction and the rest. He was never satisfied with the performance of the agents in his center. Each time he tried to improve one of the metrics in his call center the other seemed to change in the wrong direction. Frustrated, he did not know what to do. Every attempt to increase the metric based performance created shifts in the wrong direction….

Call center B manager had the same problems as call center A manager. She was always looking for improvements in metrics only to have other metrics move in the opposite direction. One day call center B manager decided to sit down and shadow her best agents for two days… .

“Is Yours An IVR… or an IVRn’t?” by Greg Levin

No contact center technology is more notorious than interactive voice response, or IVR. This three-letter acronym more often than not is viewed by customers and the media as a four-letter word.

But the truth is, the universal hatred for this instrument of automation isn’t really justified. Granted, some – okay, many – IVR systems are certainly deserving of customer wrath; however, there is nothing inherently wrong or evil about IVR technology itself. The problem lies in the common programming and design mistakes that are made – by humans.

We hope the information presented in each post gets you energized about ways to improve your call center operations. Please contribute your ideas as well through the comments section on each post. We’d love to hear your thoughts, stories and successes. If you find it useful, spread the word and share this information with other executives and managers in your company.

We’ll be posting a few blogs a week on these varying topics, so please visit the blog often! And, enjoy.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi