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3 Ways to Help Agents Self-Coach
December 7, 2017

3 Ways to Help Agents Self-Coach

One of the key coaching skills I discuss with managers is the difference between “telling” agents and “asking” agents. Most coaches understand this and agree that agents are more responsive to being asked questions about skills in coaching rather than just getting wordy lectures from the coach. But the benefit of using interactive techniques is more than just an opportunity to gain agent trust during coaching. Asking good questions during our coaching sessions is a way to bring the agent to the realization that they have the skills to coach themselves too. Agents shouldn’t be solely dependent upon their managers [...]

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Holidays on the Horizon: Is Your Contact Center Prepared for the Chaotic Months Ahead?
November 9, 2017

Holidays on the Horizon: Is Your Contact Center Prepared for the Chaotic Months Ahead?

Though the holidays bring a surge in sales for many businesses, that usually translates to an increased volume of customer support requests. Even the most prepared service groups can experience chaos in the contact center during these months. I experienced this firsthand during my time as Director of Global Workforce Optimization at a Fortune 25 investment banking and financial services corporation. The event caused the [...]

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Are You Using Customer Feedback to Improve Processes?
November 2, 2017

Are You Using Customer Feedback to Improve Processes?

Sometimes we become so involved in the design, execution and gathering of data that we may not observe what is really going on with our customers and center agents. Here’s one thing I think we can all agree on. Surveys are everywhere. They are coming from your grocery store, your favorite restaurants, online shopping sites and even your dentist wants to know how that last appointment went. Everyone seems interested in what their customers think about that specific interaction [...]

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Fear of Coaching
October 18, 2017

Fear of Coaching

I love working with new coaches and helping them to become the best they can be. Most are very excited about coaching with agents and welcome the opportunity to apply their experience in a new role in the center. Many coaches are supervisors or leads who now coach regularly in addition to their other center duties. Some coaches have shared their fear of coaching with me during our sessions. Here are some of their greatest fears [...]

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Call Center Cost Reduction: Automation Outranks Alternatives
September 29, 2017

Call Center Cost Reduction: Automation Outranks Alternatives

Balancing the need to keep costs low and keeping customers happy is tough. But, Workforce Management (WFM) and contact center operations typically turn to one of four options to meet these objectives. These include digital solutions, right placement, workforce management, and automation. Each option provides a different return on investment and [...]

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Following Call Center Procedures (Including This Bad One)
September 20, 2017

Following Call Center Procedures (Including This Bad One)

Let’s face it…most agents want to be great agents. They want to keep their customers happy and that’s what we managers want too. Unfortunately some companies find ways to create negatives and obstacles that make it impossible for an agent to be successful in creating the best experience for their customers. One story I heard recently illustrates this perfectly. Due to confidentiality I can’t go into great detail on the process itself but I wanted to share the essence of what happened since this is not a rare example of process disconnect. An agent working for a major insurance company [...]

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Banking on Loyalty
September 14, 2017

Banking on Loyalty

Welcome Financial Institution Pros! Today’s post is especially for you. In the midst of increasing usage of mobile banking and online transactions, it’s hard to believe that we still have customers who love to call our representatives in our centers and branches. Some of our customers just feel better speaking to a representative when they need to share personal information and concerns. Others may be worried about online hackers despite the excellent safeguards you’ve put in place. We need to help our staff understand the advantages of providing great service in a variety of customer contact touch points. It’s important [...]

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