July was a busy month with lots of activity on the Pipeline blog. The top topics on contact center folks’ summer reading lists included useful tips on how to become a better leader; coaching advice for frontline leaders; interesting findings on contact center workplace environment policies; insights on how good intentions can backfire when providing customer service; and affordable technology options for small contact centers.
Being Your Personal Best as a Contact Center Leader
Being a contact center leader is a demanding job. You have a large number of people to lead. You have an overwhelming array of statistical performance measurements to track and analyze, such as average handle time, schedule adherence, personnel budgets, workforce management, voice of the customer tracking, etc. You also need to keep your department informed regarding new products, systems and company changes.
New Frontline Leaders: Coaching Skills Are Critical
Coaching is a key role for frontline supervisors, yet few newly promoted contact center leaders receive formal training in coaching techniques. New supervisors who haven’t been instructed in the whys and hows of coaching often make the mistake of focusing on an agent’s quality monitoring results and trying to coach individuals to improve the score rather than isolating the behaviors that will bring better results across all metrics.
A Few Findings from Our Work Environment Survey
When you get down to it, the “big things” affecting agent job satisfaction rarely differ from one organization to the next. Wherever an agent works, the majority of time will be spent answering customer contacts via a computer and phone, schedules will be set, pay and benefits will be at or near entry-level for the company, and just about everything that is done will be recorded, evaluated and reported.
The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions
My mother had a lot of children… 10 to be exact. She had multiple means of teaching this brood of children acceptable social behaviors. These included metaphors, analogies and idioms. I recall an idiom she offered me when I spent the birthday money my aunt sent but had not written a thank-you note. While I forget my exact litany of “excuses,” I do remember my mother’s rolled-eye response: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Technology for the Small Center
Every small center aspires to deliver good (or great!) service to customers and offer a good (or great!) place for employees to work. The realities of small centers and big technology can make these rather simple goals feel daunting. But excitement abounds with today’s technology solutions, including cloud, suites and managed services.