It’s hard to believe that 2018 is already drawing to a close! At year-end, it’s always interesting to pause and take a look back to see which topics piqued the interest of Pipeline blog readers. The following were our 10 most-read posts in 2018. If you can take a moment during this hectic season, be sure to browse the topics below in case you missed any of these popular posts.
Happy Holidays, and best wishes for a happy and successful 2019!
A Chip on Your Shoulder May Block Your Career
According to Wikipedia, the expression “a chip on the shoulder” comes from the ancient right of shipwrights within the British Royal Navy Dockyards to take home a daily allowance of off-cuts of timber, even if good wood was cut up for this purpose. The American origin can be traced back to the early 19th century. In May 1830, The Long Island Telegraph reported: “When two churlish boys were determined to fight, a chip would be placed on the shoulder of one, and the other demanded to knock it off at his peril.”
Are You Protected? Why Every Contact Center Needs Social Engineering Training
Imagine there is an angry customer calling your contact center. They threaten to cancel their service. They provide their name and mailing address, but cannot remember their account number or security password. However, they are shouting and threatening to complain on social media regarding supposedly unfair charges to their account. Eventually, your agent calms the customer down and convinces them not to cancel service. The customer even apologizes to the agent for yelling at them. The customer also asks for their account password so they can use it if they ever need to call back. The agent, happy to have “saved” the customer, gives them the password.
The Changing Landscape of Employee Engagement
Millennials and Gen Z employees are growing in influence of work organizations and cultures, especially call centers and customer service. According to a 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the median age of an American employee is 42.2 years, while the median age of a customer service representative is 36.5 years. In fact, nearly half (48.4%) of CSRs are below the age of 34. As contact centers evolve with each generation of employees, those employees’ motivations are changing, as well.
Embracing Remote Work
The ability to work from home continues to top the list of desired benefits for employees seeking better work-life balance. Over the past five to 10 years, technology has enabled the growth of remote work across sectors and professions, and research suggests that nearly one-third of the U.S. workforce will be working remotely by 2025 (The Guardian Workplace Benefits Study: Fifth Annual, 2017). Within the contact center world specifically, remote work programs have been on the upswing as more companies recognize the value they offer in attracting and retaining top talent.
Quick Tips to Help Call Center Agents Survive in 2018
I read countless articles on how to reduce stress in the call center and often wonder, “Why is the contact center environment so traumatic?” Well, there are a few reasons for this. The first is quite obvious: Most call center horror stories feature an angry customer, venting their frustration about a faulty product or terrible service. Dealing with angry customers is difficult! Other causes of stress in the call center are less noticeable, ranging from a lack of social support, to feeling undervalued, to role conflict between employees.
Stop Drama from Poisoning Your Customer Service Team
In my 25 years in the contact center industry, I have seen a lot of drama. Before I knew how to handle it, I watched it do real damage to teams and organizations. It usually starts with increased attrition and distracted and disengaged employees, and ends with poor performance and spiraling customer satisfaction. In this article, I will define the different types of drama that can poison a call center. I’ll also share tactics I have found that can reverse the infectious negativity drama brings.
Scheduling Flexibility: Tips to Empower & Engage
By 2025, millennials will make up three-quarters of the global workforce. You have to give this generation their due for forging change in the work environment. Increased collaboration, leadership transparency, real-time feedback, employee growth and development—these are some of the developments that can be tied to millennials’ workplace preferences. More recently, the need for better work-life balance is being heard in call centers where business requirements often call for agents to adhere to rigid work hours and regimented break schedules.
A Call Center and Nonprofit Partnership Connects Homeless with Jobs
On a single night in 2017, 553,742 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Millions more live on the brink every day—one life event away from losing income, housing or both. For those who have experienced it, what often starts off as a temporary hiccup can spiral into a seemingly inescapable cycle of poverty and homelessness.
Four Best Practices for Onboarding New Contact Center Employees
Hiring and onboarding new employees are processes that no contact center manager takes lightly, especially since high agent turnover remains a top challenge. Compounding this challenge is the fact that many new employees lack the appropriate skills and support required for long-term success. Standardizing an appropriate onboarding process that nurtures new agents is important to addressing the turnover problem and providing a solid foundation for their employment.
Now What? The Impact of Chaos on Contact Center Operations
We have all at one time or another uttered the phrase, “Now what?” According to TheFreeDictionary.com, this phrase means, “What is going to happen now? What kind of new problem has arisen?” In these days, the question is asked frequently and not always as it relates to the contact center. For the purpose of this article, I will focus on the CHAOS that occurs when looking for the answer to the “Now what?” question. CHAOS is sadly the condition in which far too many contact centers “live.”