Illustration by Eric Jackson

October is a great time to be in the contact center. The month kicks off with Customer Service Week celebrations and, in some parts of the country, the weather changes to crisp days and cool nights. Perfect reading weather. The following were the Top 5 most-read posts in October.

Conversing or Transacting?
Contact centers come in all shapes and sizes. We have different ways to define them—sales vs. service, virtual vs. brick and mortar, small vs. large, etc. To that list, I would like to add one more—conversational vs. transactional. This designation might not be the most obvious, but you need only listen to a few calls to be able to discern one from the other. The transactional center sounds businesslike and mechanical, with a focus on efficiency. A conversational center sounds completely different.

Inside View: Garden City Group
The modern call center may be evolving, but the industry is still struggling to overcome a negative reputation. Let’s face it: In many centers, agents have very little control over their time or work, no diversity in their daily tasks and no real career path. It’s no wonder that centers have had a long battle with low morale and high turnover. That is an image that Brian Burke wants to change. Burke is SVP of operations for Garden City Group (GCG), the nation’s leading provider of legal administrative services.

Executive Talk: Jim White, Santander Bank
Jim White is Senior Vice President and Director of Card Services at Santander Bank. Jim talks about the agent skill requirements they have in their financial contact center. Their agents are a source of information and education. He discusses their hiring and training practices, and addresses the challenges that come from efficient technology that handles all the easier interactions leaving their agents to handle the more complicated issues with their customer base.

5 WFM Things You Have to Do by Hand
I’m a gadget guy. If it beeps, blinks or pretends to make life easier after following the 115-step setup guide, I want it! I love WFM systems and how they make scheduling much faster and more effective. And when it comes to process, one of my big mantras is “reduce or remove manual touches.” But there are a few things that just need the tender touch of our gooey little fingers to make them come out just right.

Get the Show on the Road
The idiom “get the show on the road” alludes to a theatrical production going on tour,” according to The American History Dictionary of Idioms. It has come to refer to getting things going and moving in a forward direction. I am sure that many of us have alerted our teams, families and loved ones to “get the show on the road” at some point. When it comes to customer experience, it is time to take a hard look around at what supports and what hinders getting the customer experience show on the road.