Author Q and A
Illustration by Polina Flegontovna

Pipeline contributor Dick Bucci, chief analyst at Pelorus Associates, and Patrick Botz, VP of Workforce Optimization at Voice Print International (VPI), have announced the release of their new book, OPTIMIZE: Workforce Optimization & Customer Engagement Best Practices. It’s a useful guidebook with hundreds of proven contact center optimization strategies, tips and tools. VPI is offering a complimentary copy of the digital edition, and hard copies are also available for purchase online.

The authors recently shared some insights about the book with Pipeline.

Download your complimentary copy of the digital edition of the book at:
Download a complimentary copy of the digital edition here.

How is OPTIMIZE different from other contact center handbooks?
This is more than a how-to book. Of course we provide valuable tips on how to improve contact center quality and performance, but more than that, we provide a very comprehensive overview of the history, contribution, function and technology of the contact center industry.

This overview helps put the more granular discussion of best practices and technology into perspective.

Who can benefit most from reading OPTIMIZE?
Our book is is structured to provide valuable information for everyone within the contact center—executives, managers, analysts and agents—as well as for employees of other customer-facing functions.

VPs and directors will gain a deeper understanding of the strategic value of the contact center toward shaping the customer experience. They’ll also learn how to establish a framework for continuous improvement using Lean Six Sigma principles (chapter 2), define the metrics that really matter (chapter 4), and leverage BI and analytics tools to uncover and take action on the vast business intelligence that resides within the contact center (chapters 6 and 7).

Managers and supervisors will find value in the discussions about aligning contact center goals with corporate goals, how to effectively measure and improve first-contact resolution (chapter 10), and improving agent performance through coaching and e-learning (chapter 11).

Quality auditors and supervisors will benefit from chapter 8 which explains how to measure and analyze contact center quality more effectively.

Workforce managers will benefit from chapter 5 on developing an agile workforce forecasting and scheduling strategy.

Agents will benefit from the chapters on the history of the modern contact center (chapter 1) and the importance of creating a customer-focused culture (chapter 3).

What sources did you rely on in preparing this book?
We relied on the contributions of noted analysts, trade associations and industry writers. We also drew upon our extensive personal experiences in the contact center industry, our network of subject-matter experts, and included several impressive case studies from advanced users of contact center technologies and modern processes. Key contributors are listed in the acknowledgments and references section.

How can contact centers most effectively use the information contained in OPTIMIZE?

  • Training: Relatively devoid of jargon, this is a valuable primer for employees who are new to the contact center.
  • Improving the customer experience: This book introduces important metrics for measuring the customer experience and effective tools for motivating agents and improving call quality.
  • Technology planning: We review the essential tools such as quality monitoring, workforce management, contact center business intelligence (BI) and reporting, speech and data analytics, e-learning, coaching and voice of the customer surveying methods. We point out important trends such as the move toward omnichannel analytics, intelligent desktops and smart IVRs that use artificial intelligence. The discussion is objective and analytical, with the aim to assist any size organization with the broader objective of improved business performance. This book is not a sales pitch.
  • Educating department heads and staff of other customer facing functions: With its own terminology and unique metrics and processes, the functioning of the contact center may be a bit of a mystery to sales, marketing, tech support, collections and other customer-facing functions. This book can help with bridging the gaps between departments, as these parallel functions often encounter the same challenges and could benefit from contact center technology and management practices.
  • Educating senior leadership: Improving the quality of customer care is now a top priority of major organizations. This raises the visibility of the contact center to the executive management level. It is very important that senior leaders have a good understanding of the contribution of the contact center and the importance of supporting this essential function—when its business intelligence potential is well understood and used, the value of the contact center gains strategic importance.