Illustration by Eric Jackson

Our top 5 most-read posts in May offer valuable insights, recommendations and tips on managing contact center people, processes and technology. Dive in to read more about tips to improve agent morale and engagement, advice for making the transition from multichannel to omnichannel, insights on calculating occupancy, a look at a few innovative niche technologies for your center, and approaches to dealing with “punctually challenged” staff.

10 Survival Tips for Call Center Agents in 2016
It’s no secret that the work of a call center agent requires saintly patience and nerves of steel, and as customer expectations go up, the job becomes ever more demanding. In fact, Gartner reports that this year 89% of companies will compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago, and a company’s call center performance level heavily influences this.

Top Challenges When Evolving from Multi- to Omnichannel
While many organizations are currently providing multichannel customer service, few as yet have evolved their strategy and systems to deliver a true omnichannel customer experience—one that is seamless and personalized, even when switching channels. What are the top challenges that contact centers face when transitioning to an omnichannel strategy? The following are key insights from industry solutions providers.

The Ugly Truth About Agent Occupancy (Or Why 85% May Be Too Low)
All my talk about Occupancy makes me realize two things: First, many people may not know what exactly it is. Second, they may not know how to calculate its effects. Because of this, people make generalizations about what a good occupancy should be. For most of my career, I have heard that you never want to run much higher than 85% Occupancy, because that makes employees get back-to-back calls and work too hard. Of course, being a math guy, I had to see if this was true. And, in turn, this led me to understand how the definition of Occupancy can play a big factor in what would be acceptable.

Some Nice Niche Technologies
Mainstream technologies get a lot of press. As the backbone of contact center operations, they’re on everyone’s radar and they need to function at peak efficiency. But I’d like to put a spotlight on a few intriguing niche technologies for your consideration.

Punctuality Is the Soul of Business
I found this idiom online at The Free Dictionary. The expression was coined by Canadian politician Thomas Chandler Haliburton, and its definition is pretty straightforward: “You should be on time for all your business appointments.” This definition immediately makes sense and causes me to wonder why the word “punctuality” isn’t used more often. It seems to me that perhaps the contact center prefers discussion about being tardy rather than around punctuality.