Top 10 Posts of 2017

Top 10 Posts of 2017

The end of December is a great time to reflect on the past year. It’s also a time when I like to dip into our blog statistics to see which topics appealed most to readers. For 2017, not surprisingly, the emphasis was on people-centric topics. Among the articles published on artificial intelligence, the chief concern was about its impact on contact center staff. Readers were also most interested in posts about process and performance improvement, and how to motivate and engage today’s agents.

In case you missed any of these articles, or want to read them again, the following are our 10 most-read blog posts of 2017.

Blending AI with Human Support
The future of work and the impact that artificial intelligence will have on the workforce has been a hot topic lately. The publicity has been a bit unsettling, though, given the tendency to couple the acronym AI with the word “replace”—as in “AI Will Replace Half of All Jobs in the Next Decade” or “Could AI Replace Teachers, Lawyers, Drivers, Doctors, [fill in your job]?”

Surprising Ways to Motivate Your Agents
I love movies. So, I was thrilled to win movie tickets as part of a contact center sales campaign back when I was an agent. However, the coworker sitting next to me hated movies and was not motivated at all by this contest. Everyone is different. What motivates one person may demotivate another. I am all in favor of running call center contests and rotating prizes every week/month in an attempt to motivate people. However, people are driven by deeper motives than the opportunity to win a contest.

10 Tips to Improve Agent Scheduling
Work in a contact center for any length of time and it soon becomes apparent that the largest capital expenditure is in staff. Agents are both the center’s greatest asset and greatest expense. Agents are lost through the natural attrition process, call patterns change and leave holes in the work day, or it’s a beautiful day to head to the beach and unplanned absences skyrocket.

Creating Career Paths for Agents
There is no doubt that technology has accelerated the pace of change in contact centers. Yet when it comes to the human element, some things have remained the same for decades. Agent turnover has been and remains a top challenge in centers. The repetitive nature of the job and limited potential for career advancement create a revolving employment door in many centers. Perhaps change is finally coming to this critical aspect of contact center management.

Create a Sales Incentive Program for Your Center in 3 Easy Steps
“Trinkets and trash!” That was the description a contact center agent used to describe their company’s sales incentive program. This company had recently mandated that every customer service agent had to upsell and cross-sell products. As a result, managers were throwing small prizes at anyone who attempted a sale.

Are Your Contact Center Metrics on Target? Follow This Easy 3-Step Process to Find Out
Contact center days are jam-packed with activity. It’s easy to lose sight of the thread that should tether contact center performance metrics to what matters most to customers. Doing so can leave the contact center and its agents disconnected from their own customers. Use the easy template below to make sure the path between what customers want to what experience agents are giving is straight and clear.

Driving Margins by Minimizing Contact Center Costs
Understanding your contact center costs is vital to successful management and administration of your center. Before we begin the discussion about reducing your cost per call, we first need to make sure that you have contact center costs measurements in place. If you are not actively tracking your costs and trends, it is impossible to know whether any of your change efforts have been successful. Unless you are an Excel power-user, enlist the help of a business analyst who can help you gather, filter and graph data for trend analysis.

5 Best Practices for Designing a Successful Training Program
David Merrill, renowned educator and coauthor of Reclaiming Instructional Design, defines instructional design as a “technology that incorporates known and verified learning strategies into instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective and appealing.”

Looking Ahead to 2020
Top-tier contact centers prepare for the future. It is one of the key ingredients to their performance success. They will be the first to tell you that they are not always right, and can point to many instances where the future brought a surprise or two. But by considering all of the possibilities, they are rarely caught off guard—even when they are wrong.

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun
“Time flies when you’re having fun” is an idiom quite familiar to anyone that has been to a great party, family event, vacation or concert. First recorded around 1800, the idiom still applies today. Time flies while it is fun. If however, you are delayed at the airport for even a couple of hours those hours stretch out before you as if they will last forever. Your experience skews the perception of time.