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Inside View: Valvoline

It has often been said that motor oil is the lifeblood of an automobile engine. While professional drivers and automobile enthusiasts know that using the right lubricant is essential for a well-performing engine, most...

Three Ways Contact Center Staffing and Training Has Evolved

It seems like every day we learn about a new brick-and-mortar retail giant that is closing stores across the country. Sam’s Club, Toys R Us, Sears and Macy’s are just a few retailers saying...
Why Training Programs Fail and How to Avoid It Happening to You

Why Training Programs Fail and How to Avoid It Happening to You

We considered starting this article like this: “Two grizzled training veterans walk into a bar…” but that’s not exactly how it happened. We are experienced (not grizzled) training consultants. We’ve never met in a...

Are Microskills the Key to Surviving the Bots?

As the next decade is upon us, we should all take a minute to understand the big trends that are going to impact our contact centers. Do you have anxiety about the bots? More broadly,...

The Importance of Soft Skills Training Beyond the Pandemic

Even as local economies begin phases of reopening, COVID-19 is keeping most of us in our homes for the foreseeable future, and as a result, online shopping has become the go-to way Americans are...
12 Better Ways to Start a Customer Service Email

12 Better Ways to Start a Customer Service Email

“Thank you for contacting us.” There’s nothing wrong with that little email starter sentence, but it’s not great, either. Think about it. In most cases, you’re thanking customers for doing something they wish they...
Why Training Matters

From Transaction Processors to Knowledge Workers

Service is delivered through people. Despite all the advanced technology and Six Sigma processes that we institute in our contact centers, the frontline agent holds the key to high-quality (and low-cost) service. Many of...
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Inside View: DAT Solutions

In the B2B world, where businesses tend to compete on price, DAT Solutions stands out as a shining example of a service-oriented company that prides itself on delivering value to customers. “Customers for Life”...

Don’t Reduce People to Numbers… or Should You?

Assessment tools have been an industry standard in human resources management for a while. At times, this may feel cold and very corporate, as one of the beauties of Homo sapiens is that we’re...
Executive Talk Interview with James J White

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...

Why Customer Service Is Not an “Entry-Level” Position

My 10-year-old son thinks I am so old, I roamed the earth alongside the dinosaurs! He is right in one way: I started in the contact center industry when things were very primitive. In...
Cautious Optimism… Taking Ownership of Communication

Cautious Optimism… Taking Ownership of Communication

Cautious optimism is defined as “a feeling of general confidence regarding a situation and/or its outcome coupled with a readiness for possible difficulties or failure” (TheFreeDictionary.com). I had an interesting experience when I called my...
The Making of a Contact Center Superagent

The Making of a Contact Center Superagent

The universal agent is certainly not a new concept for contact centers. Next-available agent routing models have long relied on the use of experienced agents who have been cross-trained to handle a wide variety...
Contact Centers Need to Connect the Customer Journey

Lateral Moves: Another Path to Career Success

Since there are a finite number of management positions available within the contact center, some centers help their career-minded agents to gain skills and experience that will allow them to pursue a desirable career...
Upskilling the Contact Center Workforce

Upskilling the Contact Center: Planning for Your Agents’ Future in an Era of Uncertainty

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, shifting last quarter’s priorities to the back-burner. As more communities around the world go on lockdown, company leaders are focusing their resources on stabilizing the...
Follow the 3's for a Meaningful Contact Center Performance Review

Follow “The 3 Cs” for a Meaningful Performance Review

Of all the things employees despise, end-of-year performance appraisals (PAs) are at the top of the list. The Washington Post has research to support that “basically every single person hates performance reviews.” Regardless of...
Call Center Gamification a Holistic Approach for the Call Center Agent Lifecycle

Gamification: A Holistic Approach for the Agent Lifecycle

Climbing a traditional career ladder is not for everyone. Some agents may be perfectly content to spend their entire careers in the contact center while steadily gaining skills and expertise. It is critical to...
Contact Center Pipeline Blog