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Unleashing agent retention in contact centers

Contact Center Virtual Summit

The fifth step (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4) in the contact center agent journey is about agent retention. Retaining contact center agents has always been a significant focus area in contact centers. With labor being the most significant expense in contact centers, labor is even more costly when you’re unable to retain it.

Retention of productive agent is a major concern of HR professionals and business executives. This is due to the fact that it’s more efficient to retain a quality contact center agent than to recruit, train and orient a replacement of the same quality.

Agent turnover is expensive. Estimates on the true cost of losing agents vary based on multiple factors, but recent research found that the cost of replacing highly-trained agents can easily exceed double their annual wage.

About 3 million Americans quit their job each month

Not counting layoffs or other types of involuntary termination, data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that three and a half million employees have left their job voluntarily every month since January 2019.

Agent retention is a massive threat to the success of the contact center industry and common practices in the industry are fueling our poor retention performance.

This is one of the reasons I developed the Contact Center Virtual Summit, to help in sharing better practices in retaining contact center agents.

Beyond a Conference to On-demand Learning

The Contact Center Virtual Summit has the benefits of a conference, integrated into your day because it converts from conference into an on-demand learning portal. You can get access to agent retention expert insights and tools anytime, anywhere.

Over 35 industry experts deliver insights and tools on the topics of agent hiring, on-boarding, development, leading, and retention. A several Expert Sessions are dedicated to the topic of on-boarding contact center agents.

Playbook and Planner

The CCVS Playbook and Planner helps you get the most out of this modern contact center conference. In the CCVS Playbook and Planner you’ll be able see the Expert Sessions for Leadership that Engages in contact centers to optimize agent performance.

Getting Free Access

Expert Sessions START & EXPIRE AT 9am ET each day. You’ll have 24 hours to watch sessions after they are released, unless you have an All Access Pass which gives you UNLIMITED access and fast action bonuses for an entire year (on-demand from anywhere).

Speaker Faculty on Unleashing Agent Retention

As I mentioned, the fifth step (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4) in the contact center agent journey comes with Unleashing Agent Retention. At the Contact Center Virtual Summit, you’ll get the opportunity to learn from industry experts that will help to guide your thinking and idea creation on optimizing agent performance.

The Speaker Lineup for the Unleashing Agent Retention sessions are: Michael Pace, Michael Replogle, Todd Hixson, Bill White, Shawna Fuller, Joe Rogers, Mary Beth Brackman, Judy McKee, Dick Finnegan, Shep Hyken

OPENING SESSION – Unleashing Agent Retention in Contact Centers

Michael Pace President, Northeast Contact Center Forum

Michael Pace shares contact center industry opportunities on agent retention in contact centers and common mistakes to avoid.

About Michael Pace: I wake up each day envisioning how I can inspire companies to create environments, journeys, and actions that help make their customers more successful. I believe wildly successful companies start with successful customers and associates. Through strong values, discipline, and sharp customer focus, I build amazing experiences resulting in worldwide leading customer experience scoring, Net Promoter Scores, Customer Satisfaction, and company profitability. I see a company’s associates as their customers, and have a proven record of creating and motivating high performing teams to exceed both personal and organizational objectives.

EXPERT SESSION – Agent Retention is Not An Accident

Michael Replogle ​​Vice President Operations, CustomerServ®

Agent retention has always been a challenge for companies. However, high and consistent retention is possible if companies will take time and be very intentional in taking a few steps.

About Michael Replogle: International Executive Vice President who has successfully driven call center performance and productivity for more than 32 years in such companies as JP Morgan Chase, USAA, Regus, Direct Energy, and 1800Flowers.com. Uniquely talented in identifying strategic growth opportunities, motivating staff, negotiating partnerships and executing corporate-based initiatives.

EXPERT SESSION – Schedule and Forecast To Help Agents Win

Todd Hixon Capacity Manager, Hulu

You can never give agents schedules that they like and still meet service level!” This is an often stated theory that is basic nonsense. See who strategic growth in thinking outside the box can help your company build a highly executable and repeatable model that engages agents and reduces attrition. Plan the plan, work the plan, and win.

About Todd Hixson: Todd has been involved in innovative workforce strategies from the time we were still routing calls by allocating trunks between sites. The industry has come a long way, with the goal not being to keep up, but to stay ahead. He was one of the pioneers of forecasting theory for social media and believes in right call to the right agent (or bot) with the right skill set and planning for all so we can always help the one and meet KPIs. Todd worked at Cabelas, Intuit and Travelocity prior to joining Hulu and has managed to survive the beneficially scientific strategy that can wind up with the eternal queue.

EXPERT SESSION – How We Changed Attendance Policies To Benefit The Business And The Associate

Bill White Executive Director – Customer Care, ​​​Stuller, Inc.

If there is ever a policy that is in place “because” it’s your attendance policy. When you stop and think of it, how much sense does it actually make? In this session, I’ll talk through the journey my team took to reinvent this stalwart metric.

About Bill White: Bill has worked in Customer Care for over 20 years in leadership positions with Asurion Insurance Services, AT&T, ClientLogic, Omnipoint Communications and Unicel Wireless. Bill’s current assignment is heading up the Customer Care team for the leading US manufacturer of fine jewelry, Stuller.

EXPERT SESSION – Unleashing Agent Retention

Shawna Fuller Director of Customer Service/Corporate Sales, GiftTree

This session will cover how to create culture to maintain high retention, the leading reason people leave and how to avoid this. I will provide a few immediate take aways that can create instant improvement as well as long term goal setting.

About Shawna Fuller: I have been with GiftTree for 15 years as Director of Customer Service and B2B Sales. I am responsible for all fiscal and operational aspects and have a particular gift for creating and maintaining a high employee engagement measured through high survey scores conducted by Denison and Gallup polls for several consecutive years.

EXPERT SESSION – How Coca-Cola® Adds Life to Contact Center Employee Engagement

Joe Rogers Senior Director, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated

For many, managing morale and employee engagement in a contact center is a complete mystery. One thing that can magnify its complexity is due in part to the transient perception of roles and the strong desire to micromanage agents.

Regardless of how lost you feel now, join Joachim “Joe” Rogers, Senior Director of Customer Care Center for Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated to learn about steps you can take to find your way and add life to your culture making your contact center a desired destination.

About Joe Rogers: Joachim (Joe) Rogers is in his seventh year at Coca-Cola Consolidated Inc, the nation’s largest Coca-Cola bottler. Joe heads Coca-Cola’s 300+ person Inside Sales and Service team and serves as Site Manager. Joe is a graduate of Syracuse University and the University of Colorado where he received his MBA. He has over 25 years of experience having spent most of his career in financial services.

EXPERT SESSION – Creating A Dynamic Culture Through Employee Engagement

 Mary Beth Brackman Client Service Center Manager, Pinnacle Financial Partners

This session will give ideas on how to create a family culture that builds agent relationships in a virtual environment. In today’s society it’s crucial to cultivate culture in your work environment for retention and working smarter not harder. In applying these techniques Pinnacle’s North Carolina experience higher engagement.

About Mary Beth Brackman: Mary Beth Brackman serves as Pinnacle Financial Partners North Carolina Client Service Center Manager. She is responsible for a team of 30 plus banking professionals along with a team of 9, providing procedural support to associates across 120+ offices. She began her financial services career in 2000 serving in many leadership roles. She has significant experience across Learning and Development, Branch Management, Commercial Lending and Call Center Management.

Mary Beth is a graduate of Morehead State University. She was awarded Volunteer of the Year from the High Point Chamber of Commerce in 2011 and 2013 for her work in her community.

EXPERT SESSION – Agent Retention is an Inside JOB

Judy McKee ​Business Partner and Owner, The LAMA Training by McKee Consulting

The upset is never the upset! Remember that. How to STOP fixing the Agents and Start Building up a TEAM that wants to STAY! IN today’s call center world, it costs from $20,000 on up and that stat is from SalesForce! Let’s STOP this madness. People do come to work to do a good job. In this session, you will learn the three reasons agents leave and how to fix them all!

About Judy McKee: ​Trainer and Coach in the Contact Center Business for over 25 years. She is an author of “The Positive Coach Approach” with her daughter Sally Cordova and three other books about Call Center Agents.. She is the founder of McKee Consulting and the LAMA Technique. She is a Motivational Speaker and a true Believer in The Universe Always says YES. Her clients are Aetna Insurance and e-Harmony. She is currants Training Trainers in Los Angeles to use the LAMA Technique for Communication and building self-esteem of agents worldwide. She trains Grupo Noa Agents in 30 countries online. She is always fun…Bring your issues to the LAMA MAMA, she will open your mind and your eyes and mostly your ears!

EXPERT SESSION – The Power of Stay Interviews, AKA Finnegan’s Arrow

Dick Finnegan Coach | Trainer | Speaker | Author |

Combine historic low unemployment, millennial job-hopping, and the usual new-hire revolving door turnover…and employee retention becomes THE critical metric to improve productivity. This session provides fresh-thinking with no reference to surveys, pay, or any other “same old” solution.

About Dick Finnegan: Dick Finnegan is SHRM’s #1-selling author and webcast presenter, and has invented a method to cut employee turnover that has been used by Bank of America, Caterpillar, and other large and medium companies, as well as praised by Forbes and BusinessWeek.

EXPERT SESSION – How to Provide an Amazing Contact Center Experience

Shep Hyken Customer Service and Experience Expert, Keynote Speaker And Bestselling Author

Get ready to be AMAZING

About Shep Hyken: Shep is a customer service and experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession.​

Contact Center Industry Facts

For some contact centers agent retention has reached critical stage. The need to improve agent retention practices needs to be a top priority for everyone. The need for skilled talent is growing and the ease of leaving is growing. What this means for you is a massive career opportunity to leverage these new retention methods to advance your skills.

Join the Community

In addition to improving your skills, participating in a peer community is a key learning method. In our Contact Center Virtual Summit Private Facebook Group. Come ask questions, interact with the Speaker Faculty, help others, and gain perspectives.

Where do you go from here?

As a contact center professional, you must commit to continually building your agent retention skills. This is your opportunity to start your journey of continuous learning with Michael Pace, Michael Replogle, Todd Hixson, Bill White, Shawna Fuller, Joe Rogers, Mary Beth Brackman, Judy McKee, Dick Finnegan, and Shep Hyken…today.

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Additional Resources

The post Unleashing Agent Retention in Contact Centers: Top Experts Reveal Secrets appeared first on Call Center Coach.

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Leadership that engages in contact centers

Contact Center Virtual Summit

The fourth step (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3) in the contact center agent journey is about leadership that engages agents. Employee engagement has always been a problem in contact centers. The most significant factor that differentiates contact centers in their struggle with employee engagement is the skill and strength of leadership.

While some people have a natural ability towards leadership, all people need continuous development in leadership. And building the six core competencies in contact center leadership is not an event, it’s a journey that requires a roadmap and success path.

And as Jennifer Hofmann stated in the Report: The State of Learning and Development, we’re experiencing a period of evolution in learning right now, thanks to the digital revolution. Our organizations, our learners, and our jobs have changed dramatically.

She says that confusingly, though, classrooms remain strikingly similar to those we learned in over 20 years ago. We know that traditional approaches like multi-day workshops don’t build skills efficiently. But our organizations change slowly, and prefer to operate in ways that worked in the past.

This is one of the reasons I developed the Contact Center Virtual Summit, to advance the traditional approach to educational conferences and event-type learning. As Lisa Oswald, Senior Vice President, Global Customer Service with TravelZoo said, “The Contact Center Virtual Summit combines the best of two worlds – this one-of-a-kind program delivers high-caliber content and ultimate convenience. Where else can you get information you can “use today” in an on-demand format?”

From conference to On-demand Learning

The Contact Center Virtual Summit has the benefits of a conference, integrated into your day because it converts from conference into an on-demand learning system. You can get access to high-performance agent development expert insights and tools anytime, anywhere.

Over 35 industry experts deliver insights and tools on the topics of agent hiring, on-boarding, development, leading, and retention. A several Expert Sessions are dedicated to the topic of on-boarding contact center agents.

Playbook and Planner

The CCVS Playbook and Planner helps you get the most out of this modern contact center conference. In the CCVS Playbook and Planner you’ll be able see the Expert Sessions for Leadership that Engages in contact centers to optimize agent performance.

Getting Free Access

Expert Sessions START & EXPIRE AT 9am ET each day. You’ll have 24 hours to watch sessions after they are released, unless you have an All Access Pass which gives you UNLIMITED access and fast action bonuses for an entire year (on-demand from anywhere).

Speaker Faculty on Leadership that Engages

As I mentioned, the fourth step (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3) in the contact center agent journey comes with leadership that engages. At the Contact Center Virtual Summit, you’ll get the opportunity to learn from industry experts that will help to guide your thinking and idea creation on optimizing agent performance.

The Speaker Lineup for the Leadership that Engages sessions are:

OPENING SESSION – Leadership that Engages in Contact Centers

David Hadobas CEO, CCNG

David Hadobas shares contact center industry opportunities on leadership and engaging employees in contact centers and common mistakes to avoid.

About David Hadobas: David started CCNG in 1991, recognizing limited resources for information among contact center /customer care management. CCNG’s mission to provide a community for member-driven agendas, topics, events and conversations provides true peer learning for contact center management. Through three decades of CCNG’s evolution, David has guided CCNG and its members through different modalities of facilitation and communication.

EXPERT SESSION – Gaining CX Momentum

Nate Brown Director Of Customer Experience, UL EHS Sustainability

How to OVERCOME common CX barriers and establish a program that will stand the test of time.

About Nate Brown: Nate is the Co-founder of CX Accelerator. While Customer Service is his primary expertise, Nate is able to leverage experience in professional services, marketing, and sales to connect dots and solve the big problems. From authoring and leading a Customer Experience program, to journey mapping, to managing a complex contact center, Nate is always learning new things and sharing with the CX community. Follow him on Twitter using handle @CustomerIsFirst.

EXPERT SESSION – Critical Questions to Address to Avoid Speech Analytics Failure

Amy Radin Award-Winning Author, Innovation Adviser, Former Fortune 100 Chief Innovation & Digital Officer ​

Growth through innovation is costly, complex and not at all certain. In today’s rapidly changing and demanding market, customer-facing employees play a unique role in any company’s innovation strategy. One certainty: relying on the status quo is an untenable strategy. The good news is there is realistic and proven path to deliver growth through innovation. In this session, former Fortune 50 Chief Innovation Officer Amy Radin shares pragmatic advice based on real-world experience, that will empower call center leaders to participate actively and effectively in their business’ innovation efforts.

About Amy Radin: Amy Radin is an award-winning author, and adviser who works with corporate leaders to assure innovation success.. Amy built a track record moving ideas to performance in senior executive roles at Citi, AXA and American Express, as a startup adviser and board member. Her book, The Change Maker’s Playbook: How to Seek, Seed and Scale Innovation in Any Company (City Point Press, Fall 2018), is available in hard cover and e-book versions at e-commerce retailers.

EXPERT SESSION – Creating Coachable Moments Through Speech and Text Analytics

Fred Shadding Founder of Visionary Call Center Leaders Forum | Trusted Call Center Outsourcing Advisor & Industry Contributor

In this session we will explore methods of leadership communication that will enhance the morale and performance of your center’s workforce.

About Fred Shadding: Fred is the Founder of The Call Center Source, an advisory firm which creates results-driven partnerships between BPO providers and firms seeking to establish outsourced relationships. He serves as a valued advisor to a variety of small to Fortune 500 clients and has aided in the establishment of over 100 outsourced relationship in 12 countries.

EXPERT SESSION – Engagement… or Relationship?

Dee Kohler Director of Contact Center Service Excellence At Prime Therapeutics

You had me at “HELLO” is more than a movie line. It is one of the key drivers of building the environment and relationships at work that result in higher productivity.

Everyone is chasing an Engagement “number.” Join Dee as she shares some of the history, research and methods that some are using to drive improved culture and results.

About Dee Kohler: Dee has over 25 years of experience in the Contact Center industry. Kohler has leveraged contact center principles and executed the transformation from “departments answering phone calls” to true customer experience centers. Dee’s true passion is being a part (however small) of another’s development in leadership, call center principles or personal growth.

EXPERT SESSION – Leaders, 7 Steps to Engage for High Morale and Performance!

Kate Nasser The People Skills Coach™ & Author of Leading Morale

To engage and inspire your agents, you must lead morale. If you’re not leading morale, you’re not leading anyone. Join Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, as she engages you to learn the 7 steps to engage and inspire your agents for high morale and performance.

About Kate Nasser: For 25+ years, Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, has taught tens of thousands of agents the skills to deliver superb customer service experience. Along the way, it became clear that leaders needed help in engaging and inspiring high morale and performance. This drove Kate to write the book, Leading Morale, and brings her here to speak at this virtual summit.

EXPERT SESSION – Get Your Heart in The Game – The Magic of Heart Centered Leadership

Don Williams Keynote Speaker | Author | Transformational Leader | Entrepreneur | Mentor | Success Coach | Strategic Training

The world is a changing place and the role of the CSR is not just about answering phones. What is expected in this new age and how do CSRs adapt for success in this new world!

About Jackie Morales: Jackie is the Chief Insurance Officer of Bestow, a leading life insurance technology company democratizing access to innovative financial solutions.

Prior to joining Bestow, Jackie was with LGA as their Chief Operating Officer. In her more than 20 years’ experience as a life insurance executive, she has focused on advancements in digital innovation, systems hardware and software design and upgrades, and has been a driver of the use of data analytics to improve the customer experience. She has worked for Americo Life, UICI, Lincoln Financial Group and AXA.

EXPERT SESSION – How Do Your Call Center Supervisors Measure Up?

Penny Reynolds Co-Founded The Call Center School, And Call Center Pioneer Award Winner, Consultant, Speaker, Writer

Perhaps the single most important ingredient in the success of your call center is the effectiveness of your frontline leaders. But, it’s also an area where many organizations have some serious shortcomings. Attend this training and turn it into your strength.

About Penny Reynolds: Penny Reynolds is one of the industry’s leading voices in call center training and education. She co-founded The Call Center School, where she spent 15 years developing and teaching a wide range of educational programs for call center professionals. Now an independent consultant, she is a popular speaker at industry conferences and continues to write for many industry publications.

Contact Center Industry Facts

The need for skilled leaders has become a top focus for c-level leaders and for the past several years has been a targeted focus. Yes, complexity is growing and the strategic importance of the contact center has become dramatically more important. What this means for you is a massive career opportunity to leverage these new learning methods to advance your skills.

Join the Community

In addition to improving your skills, participating in a peer community is a key learning method. Iin our Contact Center Virtual Summit Private Facebook Group. Come ask questions, interact with the Speaker Faculty, help others, and gain perspectives.

Where do you go from here?

As a contact center professional, you must commit to continually building your leadership skills. This is your opportunity to start your journey of continuous learning with David Hadobas, Nate Brown, Amy Radin, Fred Shadding, Dee Kohler, Kate Nasser, Don Williams, and Penny Reynolds…today.

Please Share
  • Leadership that Engages in Contact Centers: Top Experts Reveal Secrets  – Click to Tweet
  • Contact Center Conference Coverts to On-demand Learning – Click to Tweet
  • Speaker Faculty on Leadership that Engages at the Contact Center Virtual Summit – Click to Tweet
Additional Resources

The post Leadership that Engages in Contact Centers: Top Experts Reveal Secrets appeared first on Call Center Coach.

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High performance agent development in contact centers

Contact Center Virtual Summit

The third step (Step 1, Step 2) in the contact center agent journey is about developing high-performing agents. Once agents move beyond your on-boarding process and their new hire learning curve, it’s time to focus on enabling their performance.

While some people in frontline roles excel at a faster rate than others, performance lifts are possible among the bulk of your agents. In some cases, technology has been a major factor in performance gains. In other situations, changes in practices and procedures have generate performance gains.

It’s important to note that you want to be certain not to place too high of an expectation on technology to fix systemic causes preventing higher agent performance. Since the advent of contact centers, it’s never been documented that technology has remedied a failed systematic approach. If fact, most often technology has accelerated poor performance in these instances.

Conference Coverts to On-demand Learning

The Contact Center Virtual Summit has the benefits of a conference, integrated into your day because it converts from conference into an on-demand learning system. You can get access to high-performance agent development expert insights and tools anytime, anywhere.

More than 35 industry experts deliver insights and tools on the topics of agent hiring, on-boarding, development, leading, and retention. A several Expert Sessions are dedicated to the topic of on-boarding contact center agents.

CCVS Playbook and Planner

The CCVS Playbook and Planner helps you get the most out of this epic summit. In the CCVS Playbook and Planner you’ll be able see the Expert Sessions for high-performance agent development and more.

Getting Free Access

Expert Sessions START & EXPIRE AT 9am ET each day. You’ll have 24 hours to watch sessions after they are released, unless you have an All Access Pass which gives you UNLIMITED access and fast action bonuses for an entire year (on-demand from anywhere).

Speaker Faculty on High-Performance Successful Agent Development

As I mentioned, the third step (Step 1, Step 2) in the contact center agent journey comes with developing high-performance. At the Contact Center Virtual Summit, you’ll get the opportunity to learn from industry experts that will help to guide your thinking and idea creation on agent development.

The Speaker Lineup for the High-Performance agent Development is:

OPENING SESSION – High-Performance Agent Development in Contact Centers

Vicki Herrell Executive Director, QATC and SWPP

Vicki Herrell shares contact center industry opportunities on high-performance agent development in contact centers and common mistakes to avoid.

About Vicki Herrell: Vicki serves as the Executive Director of the Society of Workforce Planning Professionals (SWPP) and the Quality Assurance & Training Connection (QATC) and has been at the helm of both associations since their inception. Vicki has over 20 years of experience in the call center and workforce management industry.

EXPERT SESSION – HI+AI – The Right Formula for Performance Management

Jim Iyoob Chief Customer Officer​​, Etech Global Services

Learn the importance of the right combination of people and software when managing agent performance and customer experience.

About Jim Iyoob: Jim has responsibility for Etech’s marketing, business development, program implementation and product development across all of Etech’s existing lines of business – Etech, Etech Insights, Etech Technology Solutions (ETS), and Etech Social Media Solutions. Jim has 30+ years of contact center outsourcing experience in inbound, outbound, chat operations, and social media management spanning across the globe; His expertise includes operational performance management, e-commerce sales and service with an impeccable track record of innovation and advanced business intelligence.

EXPERT SESSION – Critical Questions to Address to Avoid Speech Analytics Failure

Roger Lee ​​Customer Success Leader, Gridspace

All speech analytic platforms are the same – Myth or Reality

There are similarities among speech analytics platforms, but there are distinct differences. As you evaluate your existing speech analytics tool or prepare to invest in one, it is important that you are armed with the right questions to ask in order to make an informed decision.

About Roger Lee: Roger Lee is responsible for all facets of the customer experience for Gridspace. Roger has more than two decades of combined experience in finance, operations and services management and quality. He has held several leadership positions and been characterized as an “other-centered leader” who fosters a transparent environment with an emphasis on engaging and actively listening to all staff and customers. In 2018 and 2019, Roger served as a judge for the Stevie Awards for the customer service and sales category and evaluated over 120 nominations.

EXPERT SESSION – Creating Coachable Moments Through Speech and Text Analytics

Jeff Gallino CTO And Founder, CallMiner

our contact center is always looking for ways to maximize agent conversations to better your business and create more positive customer experiences. Hear how to create a culture of stronger agent performance through coachable moments including automated QA and additional analytics insights from every conversation.

About Jeff Gallino: Jeff is CallMiner’s co-founder and Chief Technical Officer and oversees research, language development, and future product direction. Jeff has more than 25 years of experience delivering complex software and hardware solutions to enterprise and government customers. He holds a BS degree in computer science from the United States Air Force Academy.

EXPERT SESSION – Scoreless QA: How to Focus On Behaviors And Forget About The Numbers

Justin Robbins Contact Center Evangelist | Content Marketing Strategist | Keynote Speaker

Have you ever felt like your agents were more focused on achieving a score than improving their performance? The truth is that when quality assurance programs focus on achieving a specific score, everyone loses. In this session, Justin Robbins equips contact center leaders with a Scoreless QA framework for focusing on behaviors and forgetting about the numbers.

About Justin Robbins: Justin is a customer service expert, professional speaker, and business consultant that helps contact center and customer service teams develop quality assurance, coaching, and training programs that drive sustainable performance improvement. 

EXPERT SESSION – How Consistent is Your Service?

Brian Flagg President, Flagg and Associates

How consistent is the service your call center delivers? How do you know? If you are managing to averages, such as answer speed and resolved on call, you are not managing variability. Variability in service translates to variability in the customer experience, and hence satisfaction. Brian will give an overview of how to begin measuring and managing variability.

About Brian Flagg: Brian Flagg has been in service and support roles for nearly 30 years, working for IBM, Target, Texas.gov and Medtronic, where he transformed organizations through the application of process improvement and technology. Brian is the author of Contact Center Excellence, exploring advanced concepts and techniques in contact center operations management.

EXPERT SESSION – Motivating in a Digital World  

Jackie Morales Chief Insurance Officer, Bestow

The world is a changing place and the role of the CSR is not just about answering phones. What is expected in this new age and how do CSRs adapt for success in this new world!

About Jackie Morales: Jackie is the Chief Insurance Officer of Bestow, a leading life insurance technology company democratizing access to innovative financial solutions.

Prior to joining Bestow, Jackie was with LGA as their Chief Operating Officer. In her more than 20 years’ experience as a life insurance executive, she has focused on advancements in digital innovation, systems hardware and software design and upgrades, and has been a driver of the use of data analytics to improve the customer experience. She has worked for Americo Life, UICI, Lincoln Financial Group and AXA.

EXPERT SESSION – Live Chat Quality Isn’t Good Enough; How to Help Agents Write Better Chat Right Away  

Leslie O’Flahavan Owner, ​E-WRITE

Live chat isn’t a shiny new customer service channel anymore. It’s been around for years, and we have solved some of its early problems. But overall, the quality of live chat still isn’t good enough. Poorly written chats drag on too long; CSRs require customers to repeat information, and support teams squander the per-contact savings they were counting on when they implemented chat.

About Jackie Morales: Leslie helps CSRs write better email, chat, social media, SMS, and chatbots. She provides hands-on writing training, develops quality scorecards, and rewrites knowledgebases. Her clients are international airlines, Fortune 500s, startups, nonprofits, & more. For Lynda.com, Leslie’s author of three customer service writing courses. She’s author of the workbook Clear.

EXPERT SESSION – Live Chat Quality Isn’t Good Enough; How to Help Agents Write Better Chat Right Away  

Lisa Oswald ​Senior Vice President, Global Customer Service, Travelzoo

Traditional QA forms are the cornerstone of most companies’ quality measures. But how do you know if what you’re measuring is important to your customers? Research shows QA scores are not correlated with customer satisfaction, yet we continue to confuse QA results with customer experience. Travelzoo threw out its legacy QA checklist and devised a new approach that is improving cx and puts agents in control of their pay for performance incentives.

About Lisa Oswald: Lisa is SVP of customer service for Travelzoo, a global media commerce company. She joined Travelzoo in 2011 in support of its 28 million members, overseeing customer and client services, product operations, and customer insights. Lisa is a customer strategy and operations leader with 20-years of success building world-class sales and service organizations for consumer brands in the digital and physical world.

EXPERT SESSION – Supercharge the Impact Of Agent Coaching With 3 Practical Tools You Can Implement Today

Rebecca Gibson Workplace Learning And Performance Consultant, Gibson Learning And Performance

You rely on supervisors’ ability to drive high performance, inspire engagement, check turnover, and model culture, mission and goals. This requires coaching conversations that are part pragmatic and one part heart. Join Rebecca Gibson for the practical insights you need to clarify coaching expectations, assess coaching proficiency, and measure the impact of coaching conversations.

About Rebecca Gibson: Rebecca has a gift for creating and implementing performance improvement initiatives that support individual and organizational key initiatives. With extensive knowledge in adult learning, instructional design, program measurement and evaluation, she specializes in practical, creative approaches to training, employee development, performance management, and quality.

Contact Center Industry Facts

Complexity is growing and the strategic importance of the contact center has become dramatically more important. What this means for you is that you raise your effort and focus on industry learning and education.

Until the Contact Center Virtual Summit, contact center learning at scale was impossible. But the future is here.

Join the Community

In addition to attending expert speaker sessions you must interact and build your peer network in our Contact Center Virtual Summit Private Facebook Group. Come ask questions, interact with the Speaker Faculty, help others, and gain perspectives.

Where do you go from here?

As a contact center professional, you must commit to life-long learning. It’s time to start your journey of continuous learning with and Vicki Herrell, Justin Robbins, Jim Iyoob, Jeff Gallino, Jackie Morales, Leslie O’Flahavan, Brian Flagg, Lisa Oswald, Rebecca Gibson and Roger Lee…today.

Please Share
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Additional Resources

The post High-Performance Agent Development in Contact Centers: Top Experts Reveal Secrets appeared first on Call Center Coach.

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Successful agent on-boarding in contact centers

Contact Center Virtual Summit

The second step (the first step) in the contact center agent journey comes with the on-boarding process. This is one area of the agent journey that can be dramatically different from one organization to the next.

In my experience seeing many contact center operations, I see this area of the agent journey being full of improvement opportunities. If you seek to make a great impact in employee engagement, this is one place where you’d want to invest in increasing your knowledge.

Many organizations attempt to focus on the customer experience while neglecting to focus on their own employee experience. On-boarding is your employee launching point. What are you doing to make certain they hit the mark?

Conference Coverts to On-demand Learning

The Contact Center Virtual Summit is the only contact center conference that converts into an on-demand learning solution. Getting access to new on-boarding knowledge is available online and on-demand for the first time ever.

The CCVS has a Speaker Faculty of more than 35 industry experts that deliver insights and tools on the topics of agent hiring, on-boarding, development, leading, and retention. A several Expert Sessions are dedicated to the topic of on-boarding contact center agents.

CCVS Playbook and Planner

The CCVS Playbook and Planner is a tool to help you get the most out of this epic summit. In the CCVS Playbook and Planner you’ll be able see the Expert Sessions for on-boarding and more.

Free Access

Expert Sessions START & EXPIRE AT 9am ET each day. You’ll have 24 hours to watch the session after they are released, unless you have an All Access Pass which gives you UNLIMITED access and fast action bonuses for an entire year (on-demand from anywhere).

Speaker Faculty on Successful Agent On-boarding

As I mentioned, the second step (check out the first step) in the contact center agent journey comes with the on-boarding process. At the Contact Center Virtual Summit, you’ll get the opportunity to learn from industry experts that help to guide my thinking and idea creation on hiring right.

The Speaker Lineup for the Successful Agent On-boarding is:

OPENING SESSION – Successful Agent On-boarding in Contact Centers

Linda Harden President and Publisher, Contact Center Pipeline

Linda Harden shares contact center industry opportunities on contact center agent on-boarding and common mistakes to avoid.

About Linda Harden: Linda Harden is President of Pipeline Publishing Group and Publisher of the monthly contact center management magazine, Contact Center Pipeline. Her passion is to promote discussion, resources, events and services that impact the lives of our employees and customers.

EXPERT SESSION – Lowering Training and Attrition Costs through Effective On-boarding

Randy Rubingh ​​Chief Customer Officer, FrontSpin

Typically call center agents train for 2-4 weeks and are not fully productive for another 1-3 months. Call center attrition rates are 40-100%. Therefore, at all times many agents are in a training or unproductive mode. Effective on-boarding is the key to reducing training time, getting agents up to speed faster, and lowering attrition. Let’s discuss.

About Randy Rubingh: The author of “Call Center Rocket Science” , Randy has more than 25 years’ experience building, managing, and leading customer support organizations. During his career he has managed over 20 million incoming phone calls. His service strategies and opinions are published in numerous industry publications, and he is a frequent conference speaker.

EXPERT SESSION – How Important is On-Boarding

Kelli Barabasz Vice President Of Customer Care, National notary Association

Successful on-boarding is key to having successful employees of all levels. In the past companies used to use the sink or swim mentality which ultimately takes employees 3 to 4 times as long to get acclimated into an organization.

About Kelli Barabasz: Kelli has worked in the call center industry for over 25 years. She has worked with direct retailers, and outsourcing in both operations and workforce management with the number of agents ranging from 100-3,200 agents. Kelli is passionate about employee engagement, and motivates her staff to deliver consistently high performance and quality. Kelli’s ultimate passion comes in employee development. She has developed several training development courses for all levels within the customer care operations to include supervisors, managers and workforce management.

EXPERT SESSION – Common Mistakes to Avoid When On-Boarding New Staff

Colin Taylor CEO & CCO (Chief Chaos Officer), The Taylor Reach Group

What are the seven most common on-boarding mistakes? Find out at this session that will focus on the common mistakes that contact centers make when recruiting and on-boarding new staff.

About Colin Taylor: Recognized as a leading contact center, inside sales and CX expert, Colin has received 30 Awards for Excellence in Contact Center Operations and Management on two continents. An author and a frequent international speaker on customer service, contact centers, cx, operational transformation, CRM, sales, and team building. Since 2003 Colin has led Taylor Reach to success in contact center and customer experience consulting, with offices in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

EXPERT SESSION – The On-Boarding Excellence Journey

Mark Brody Contact Center Industry Professional

This session will discuss the various facets of a successful on-boarding process. This 4-P approach will take the attendee through the employee journey from acceptance through the first 90 days a newly hired employee comes through your doors.

About Mark Brody: With over 25 years of experience in the contact center industry, Mark’s drive for excellence has defined his career and led him to forming Brohawk Solutions, LLC., a consultancy focused on helping small to medium sized contact centers improve employee engagement and operational efficiencies leading to a better customer experience. Mark has successfully created cultures of engagement that have led to turnover reductions, increased customer satisfaction, and improved organizational performance. He also currently serves as the President of the Austin Contact Center Alliance.

EXPERT SESSION – Thanks for Coming in Today!  

Charles Ryan Minton ​Customer & Employee Experience Expert, Speaker, Author, Hotel GM

By providing your customers with an unforgettable experience, your business can build customer loyalty and gain an edge over your competition. But what most managers forget is that great customer service starts with happy employees. To take your organization to the next level, you need to work from the inside out. Ryan shares his keys to creating an environment where your employees enjoy coming to work.

About Ryan Minton: Charles Ryan Minton is best-selling author, keynote speaker and hotel general manager. He is currently the General Manager at the Boca Raton Renaissance Hotel in Florida.

Contact Center Industry Facts

Complexity is growing and the strategic importance of the contact center has become dramatically more important. What this means for you is that you raise your effort and focus on industry learning and education.

Until the Contact Center Virtual Summit, contact center learning at scale was impossible. But the future is here.

Join the Community

In addition to attending expert speaker sessions you must interact and build your peer network in our Contact Center Virtual Summit Private Facebook Group. Come ask questions, interact with the Speaker Faculty, help others, and gain perspectives.

Where do you go from here?

As a contact center professional, you must commit to life-long learning. It’s time to start your journey of continuous learning with and Linda Harden, Randy Rubingh, Kelli Barabasz, Colin Taylor, Mark Brody, and Charles Minton Ryan Minton…today.

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How to hire right in contact centers Top Experts Reveal Secrets

Contact Center Virtual Summit The first step (the second step) in the contact center agent journey comes with the hiring process. During the past few decades in the industry I’ve come to rely on learning from some of the top industry experts to help guide my thinking and idea creation.

In my experience as a practitioner, solution provider, learner and educator in the contact center industry, I’ve reached the conclusion that we have a massive education opportunity. And the way to reach more people than ever before is to take advantage of the same technologies that have turned our industry upside-down.

Just as the customer is now in charge of their experience due to the internet and mobile devices, so do we need to use these tools to take charge of our learning about the practices, pitfalls, technologies, economic issues, and the business issues that are constantly changing.

Conference Coverts to On-demand Learning

Because of our education opportunity, I team up with virtual summit producer Abraham Venismach to create the first online contact center industry conference that converts to an on-demand learning system.

The Contact Center Virtual Summit, has a Speaker Faculty of more than 35 industry experts that deliver insights and tools on the topics of agent hiring, on-boarding, development, leading, and retention. The Expert Sessions are part of the CCVS event and can then be accessed on-demand whenever you need it.

I know contact center professionals are very busy and millions of people in our industry would never get the funding or time to physically attend an industry conference. CCVS Speaker Faculty member Jim Iyoob says, “This virtual summit is the future. I’m looking forward to it! How else can you learn and enjoy your back yard at the same time!”

CCVS Playbook and Planner

The CCVS Playbook and Planner is a tool to help you get the most out of this epic summit. In the CCVS Playbook and Planner you’ll be able see who’s speaking and when and help you get the most out of the online summit.

In it, you’ll be able to find out about top Contact Center Solution Providers and learn about the Contact Center Virtual Summit Boot Camp that will help you to expand your skills.

Free Access

Expert Sessions START & EXPIRE AT 9am ET each day. You’ll have 24 hours to watch the session after they are released, unless you have an All Access Pass which gives you UNLIMITED access and fast action bonuses for an entire year.

With the Contact Center Virtual Summit All Access Pass, it’s like having the best contact center experts guiding your agent performance optimization journey along the way, as you’re avoiding costly mistakes and delivering maximum results…faster.

Speaker Faculty on Hiring Right

As I mentioned, the first step in the contact center agent journey comes with the hiring process. At the Contact Center Virtual Summit, you’ll get the opportunity to learn from industry experts that help to guide my thinking and idea creation on hiring right.

In addition to the Expert Sessions on Hiring Right, I included a special executive session to help set the tone. The Speaker Lineup for the day is:

EXECUTIVE EXPERT SESSION – Getting Buy-in at All Levels

Lance Gruner EVP, Global Customer Care at Mastercard | Keynote Speaker | CX Expert

Mastercard has differentiated itself in a commoditized industry through Lance’s executive leadership. Lance shares how he intentionally does things different than most executives with his practices, behaviors and values that enable the entire enterprise to capitalize on greater value from their contact centers.

When Lance Gruner was recruited to focus B2B support processes at MasterCard, product lines operated independently, each with their own unique experience. There was no seat for neither him nor the customer at the table. Now, Lance leads B2B and B2C customer care, global CX and insights, engagement, and customer-centric culture transformation organization-wide.

Watch Lance as he reveals the foundation of how he and his team made the contact center an honored guest at the table and how they became a culture catalyst for customer centricity. 

OPENING SESSION – How to Hire Right in Contact Centers

Stuart Discount CEO, PACE Association

Stuart Discount shares contact center industry opportunities on contact center agent hiring and the powerful impact of avoiding common mistakes.

About Stuart Discount: Stuart is the CEO of the largest non-profit contact center trade association. For 35 years Stuart has been a thought leader, advocate and entrepreneur in the contact center industry. PACE, an association of 240 members provides programs in contact center education, compliance and is the voice of the industry.

EXPERT SESSION – A Few Hiring Tips from The Contact Center Floor

Neal Topf President And Co-Founder, Callzilla

Having recently hired and reconstructed hiring process for call center agents, Operations Managers, Operations Directors, and HR Managers, Best Practices in Contact Center Hiring is relevant for everyone in the customer care industry.

About Neal Topf: Neal is the President and Co-founder of Callzilla. Contact center passions include having a strong team, well defined goals, use of process and measurement to achieve continuous improvement. Washington Redskins are his favorite football team.

EXPERT SESSION – Hiring Right Means Happy Customers

Laura Sikorski Contact Center Makeover Expert

Hiring the right people can make or break a successful contact center team. Finding the right mix of skill set and disposition enables faster on-boarding and reduces employee turnover. The right person should not only by qualified for the specific job duties, they must be a cultural fit!

About Laura Sikorski: Laura is a recognized expert with over 33 years’ experience in Contact Center operations and technology.  The contact center best practices she has developed for people, process and technologies have enabled her clients to proactively anticipate customer needs to resolve all issues through consistency and product knowledge and ensure employees are meeting and/or exceeding customer expectations and satisfaction.

EXPERT SESSION – Stop Focusing on The Resume So Much

Steve DiGioia Customer Service Crusader, Author, & Trainer

We all wish to hire the best person available for the job. But too often we’re destined to fail from the start, even if we do find the best person. In this session, I describe the self-imposed pitfalls and obstacles we face before we even collect the first resume.

About Steve DiGioia: With 20+ years of leadership in the hospitality industry and voted one of the “World’s Top 30 Customer Service Professionals”, Steve shares a lifetime of experience with his real-world tips and tactics to improve your customer service, increase employee morale and provide the experience your customers’ desire. 

EXPERT SESSION – W.H.O.M.: How to Hire A High-Performing Team

Omar L. Harris Country Manager Brazil With Allergan PLC, Author

We all wish to hire the best person available for the job. But too often we’re destined to fail from the start, even if we do find the best person. In this session, I describe the self-imposed pitfalls and obstacles we face before we even collect the first resume. He will discuss the 4 key attributes of high-performance individuals and how to source for them.

About Omar L. Harris: Omar has been creating high-performance organizations since 2006. He is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach; a bestselling, award-winning fiction author; independent publishing guru; entrepreneur; and twenty-year veteran of the global pharmaceutical industry.

EXPERT SESSION – Working Backwards to Happiness

JoAnna Brandi, Certified Chief Happiness Officer

Agent happiness is key to customer happiness. That means working backwards from the customer experience to understand what kinds of people work successfully in your culture, how to find more of them and how to onboard them in a way that make them want to go the extra mile.

About Omar L. Harris: An Author, Workshop Leader, Coach, E- Course creator and now, Certified Chief Happiness Officer, JoAnna has been helping companies create customer happiness since 1990. She’s worked with companies large and small. A speaker for Vistage for 21 years helping CEOs create positive cultures that generate both happy customers and happy employees.

Contact Center Industry Facts

One of the most significant facts we must face is that our industry has rapidly become more complex. And the strategic importance of the contact center has become dramatically more important. What this means for contact center professionals is that we must raise our effort and focus on industry learning and education at all levels.

Until the Contact Center Virtual Summit, contact center learning at scale was almost impossible. Jim Iyoob said it. This is the future and the future is here.

Join the Community

One thing I’ve also made more accessible is peer interaction. I mentioned that I learn from my community and experts within it. You need to do the same. So in additional to all of the expert speaker session you can get and give support and build your peer network in our Contact Center Virtual Summit Private Facebook Group. Come ask questions, interact with the Speaker Faculty and help others.

Another fact, as adults one of our most important ways we learn is from others and a community of peers is the best way to make that happen.

Where do you go from here?

As a contact center professional, you do not have to commit to learning. But if you are or desire to be a leader and a contact center professional it’s required. You must commit to life-long learning.

So, start your journey of continuous learning with Lance Gruner, Stuart Discount, Neal Topf, Laura Sikorski, Steve DiGioia, Omar L. Harris, and JoAnna Brandi…today.

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Help Lightening | Customer Contact Week

How Do Your Call Center Supervisors Measure Up Training

For many contact centers taking the leap to implement virtual agents to handle the simple and repetitive tasks is somewhat an easy decision to make. With improving the customer experience an imperative, alongside of controlling costs, the barriers of resistance become small.

But for one contact center that implemented virtual agents, their call handle times quadrupled! What happened? For those of you in contact center operations, this is not a huge surprise.

After implementing virtual agents, more of the complex customer interactions remained. And in contact center reporting, if you remove the simple interactions with lower handle times, your average skyrockets.

If this is your situation, now is the time for you to analyze these more complex interactions to improve the customer experience, alongside of controlling costs.

This new problem to contact centers requires new thinking. What about your live agents leveraging some virtual power of their own? Is there an app for that?

Of course, there is. Your live agents can have a virtual presence too. With a mobile merged reality interaction that consists of combining live video streams and telestration, agents can help and share ideas instantly.

The uses of this merged reality in contact centers are thrilling. You can deliver a never before imagined customer experience on your most complex customer cases. And delivering a WOW experience when things are difficult is when life-long customers and advocates are created.

I get it. You’re probably saying, What?!

That’s exactly what I did when I met up with Scott Sobera of Help Lightning at Customer Contact Week. I finally understood, when I was able to have Scott share with me a few real-life customer interactions using an agent’s virtual presence.

Here’s a transcript of my interview with Scott:

Jim Rembach: Hey, this is Jim with the Fast Leader Show and Call Center Coach . And I’m here with Scott Sobera of Help Lightning. Scott, how do you help folks get over the hump?

Scott Sobera: Absolutely. What we have a technology that is actually a patented solution called a mobile merge reality. Originally designed for surgical application for very precise use but today the technology is used by about 30 customers around the world to be able to have a deeper and richer experience between two parties. We allow you to be able to virtually interact with other parties so that we go way beyond a typical phone call. So if you think about video conferencing, for instance, the ability to use our technology allows you to actually reach in real time as though you were there standing next to the person assisting them.

Jim Rembach: So I think for me it’s kind of hard to say in words what that is without seeing it. You talked about and actually reaching into the screen, and people being able to see. And so if you think about somebody trying to explain something on the phone from a product perspective and you’re saying, did you plug this into that port? You can actually kind of put your hands in there and they can kind of see what you’re talking about.

Scott Sobera: That’s exactly right. If you think about the way that our customers are using the technology today, a lot of the use cases, if you will, has this idea of whether I’m helping a field technician that might be part of my staff or I’m helping a customer directly. The ability to be able to do just like you said, reach in is incredibly valuable. There’s actually science behind this that shows that when you use your hands, the effectiveness of that transfer of knowledge is much greater, actually 10 times greater. So when you think about things like training, onsite support, if I’m a manager for instance, and I need to be able to sort of look over the shoulder virtually of someone that might work on my staff, or maybe I’m training someone and I don’t necessarily want to go out in the field with him, I had that ability to be able to, in essence be kind of a virtual mentor in their pocket.

Jim Rembach: That’s really cool. But when I start thinking about the use cases, as you refer to them, I start thinking about the impact on a frontline supervisor in their job, how are you guys impacting their role?

Scott Sobera: Absolutely. So think about things like training, think about things like call escalation, all of those are different areas where when you really need to have that manager, for instance right there beside the individual, the second one to call for instance, you then have the ability to have them come in and virtually be a part of that experience.

Jim Rembach: How do folks learn more?

Scott Sobera: Sure. Easiest thing to do is just go to our website, which is www.helplightning.com. A lot of great information there. A lot of videos actually which is something that’s a used quite heavily from our marketing and also from our customers’ perspective to get a clear understanding. Because like you said, when you’re trying to describe this sometimes to someone in person it’s very difficult to comprehend but when you see the video it really allows a light bulb to go off.

Jim Rembach: Scott, thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and we wish you the very best.

Scott Sobera: You Bet. Thank you.

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Twilio Flex | Call Center Coach | Customer Contact Week

How Do Your Call Center Supervisors Measure Up Training

Flexibility is often an innocently misunderstood element in the contact center technology evaluation criteria. Afterall, unless you’re evaluating and implementing a wide-array of contact center technology as part of your everyday job, it’s just impossible to keep up with. But you can’t ignore this issue, or else you’ll be tearing apart and ripping out your new technology as quickly as you’ve put it in.

Seeing how solution providers are removing the unknowns and creating freedom for contact center technology decision makers can be much easier to access. I got a better understanding of how Twilio is addressing this when I met up with Al Cook at Customer Contact Week.

Here is an edited transcript of my interview with Al Cook:

Jim Rembach: Hey, this is Jim from the Fast Leader Show and Call Center Coach and I’m here with Al Cook of Twilio. Al, how do you help folks get over the hump?

Al Cook: Well, thanks Jim. The hump that we see is over and over again large enterprises really struggling to be able to customize their contact center to be able to do the integrations. With every single piece of back end information with a CRM and to be able to deploy the channels that they want and to be able to do all of that fast enough. Over and over again folks like ING Bank, folks like Liberty Mutual have just not been able to get that level of control they need from the typical contact center. And so, what we’ve done with Twilio Flex is we think of as an application platform so we can deploy out of the box.

You don’t have to write a single line of code. This is not a build versus buy decision, but you can change absolutely anything. You can change it down to the very kernel. There is not a single decision that I as a product manager have made that you cannot override, you cannot disagree with there’s nothing that you can’t tear apart and put together in different ways. So, you don’t have to be a developer but as and when you’re ready to make a change, you should never be waiting on a vendor’s road map.

You should never be waiting on the next release or campaigning for your request to get in. You always have controls to do whatever you want. And that’s how we get folks over the hump because that gives them that, they’re in control they have control over their own destiny and that’s what makes a difference.

Jim Rembach: Well, and when I start thinking about what you’re saying, I’m starting to think about how are we really talking about an impact to the agent and the contact center internally and then ultimately the impact the customer.

Al Cook: Yeah. I mean, I think this level of customization and integration is exactly what makes a difference to your point to both sides of this because–I sit with every customer we work with I go sit with their agents, with their supervisors and you see them furiously alt tabbing between 19 different interfaces or you had to separate out the work because there’s just too many windows for one agent to interact with. Whereas when you have complete control, when you’re not constrained by, well, this was how the product was designed 10 years ago and this is how it works and this is how it will forever work.

You can pull all of that information in and you can start doing things like ab testing, which is very hard to do on a sort of traditional contact center platform of saying, well, let’s figure out, let’s do some tests that’s find out what is going to make a difference for our agents. What is the most impactful, most actionable information we can put it in front of an agent? How do we get to next best action as fast as possible? And the same thing for supervisors. How do we surface what they need to be focusing on to help coach their team, to help quality manage their team? How do we get real time feedback to the agents so that you’re not looking at reports from an interaction from two weeks ago, you’re looking at something that happened right then, right now and actionable information.

And in turn all of that makes a huge difference to a customer journey and the experience that a customer can get. These are the things that folks have been trying to do for some time, but it’s just always been so hard to do, to bludgeon your contact center into submission. And we’re here to set that free and to give you a platform where you can do anything you want.

Jim Rembach: Well, okay, so as you’re talking, I’m starting to see and think about the word empowerment really. Right?

Al Cook: Exactly. Yeah. That’s exactly it. Yeah. I mean it’s empowerment at every level. It’s empowerment for the agent to have the capabilities they need. The supervisor to be able to give the feedback they need. But also for the operation side of the house, the business side of the house, who is typically asking the IT team, hey, we really love to deploy this new channel, we’d really love this feature. And the IT team typically had a really hard time being able to say yes to all of those requests because it involves upgrades or downtime or maintenance windows or licenses that you don’t have or the features is not available. And so they can’t say yes.

And so, we think of Twilio Flex’s flexibility because it’s flexibility for every single person. It’s empowerment for everyone. Everyone in this cycle gets to have the exact tools that they need.

Jim Rembach: Okay. So when I start thinking about the potential impact of having that empowerment, which I can totally understand and been there as far as not being able to have it, it’s kind of like we’d have to do it this way, like you were mentioning, because that’s the way it’s built. Right? And so, I start thinking about the impact of the front line supervisor because their role is so critical. So, how are you really making their life easier?

Al Cook: Yeah. Obviously our supervisor has all of the same capabilities that you’d expect to be able to monitor and view all of your different agents and invoke monitor whisper badge and give real time feedback. You can also get real time allotted if same keywords are said or same sentiment is detected and that can flag an interaction for feedback right there and then. But also the same level of programmability like particularly with flex, we tend to focus very much on the larger side of the enterprise.

So, 1000 to 30,000 type agents is typically our sweet spot. And again, levels of customization, how do I create my own exact perfect supervisor dashboard that is exactly what I want, both in terms of customizing the things that work out of the box in flex? And also being able to pull in all of the other scoring and metrics that you have typically scattered throughout multiple different silos and being able to pull all of that in. That level of customization makes a huge difference. And you know what, the bigger the company you are, the more agents you have, the more supervisors you have, the more important it is.

Jim Rembach: Al, how do folks learn more?

Al Cook: We’d love to talk to you. If you go to https://www.twilio.com/flex you can read all about it and get in touch, we’d love to talk and show you a demo.

Jim Rembach: Al, thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and wish you the very best.

Al Cook: Thank you.

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Comm100 with Call Center Coach

How Do Your Call Center Supervisors Measure Up Training

The contact center industry can seem very fragmented at times. One thing that we must remember is there are new contact centers being opened all of the time, and in a wide range of industries. When considering live chat the same thing is true. We have some new to supporting the chat channel and some experienced at chat. But success in both cases hinges on two key factors.

Thanks to Jeff Epstein of Comm100 sharing his insight at Customer Contact Week. Here is an edited transcript of my interview with Jeff Epstein:

Jim Rembach: Hey, this is Jim at the Fast Leader Show and Call Center Coach and I’m here with Jeff Epstein of Comm100. Jeff, how do you help folks get over the hump?

Jeff Epstein: What we do with our platform, Jim, is we want to make sure we make it very easy to get into live chat, whether it’s your first time or you’re replacing a different system. There are two factors that play into that. One is the ability to get our platform onto your platform, whether it’s a website or a mobile app, very, very quickly, very painlessly from an IT perspective. The next one is, and this is the bigger challenge, is making your agents really comfortable with live chat. So the customer side are used to it, they’re texting and they’re messaging all day long. Agents are now getting into a new communication channel, a new way of conversing with their clients. We’ve built our console to make sure those agents can learn very, very quickly to get up to speed and get all the data they need to answer those questions that are coming in via live chat.

Jim Rembach: You and I had the opportunity to talk a little bit off mic before we started the interview. My question was–there’s a lot of different communication platforms that are out there and you said, well, we’re not omni-channel. What do you mean by that?

Jeff Epstein: Okay. So when you think of call centers, the traditional model is phone, where you had live phone calls coming in and then you had IVR, interactive voice, right? Where you—press one to do this, press two to do that, but more so where the trend is going in the future or the digital conversation channels that’s via website, via chat, via sms, via social media. Those digital channels are the channels that we specialize in.

Jim Rembach: Got It. So when I start thinking about your particular solution and how you were focusing in primarily on the digital piece and the whole training piece, I started thinking about the impact to the supervisor. So their role is critical. How are you making their life easier?

Jeff Epstein: Well, we have three core personas that we designed for this. Obviously, the visitor and the agent, but you’re right, the supervisor, the one who’s making decisions on agent deployment, on agent training, they need the data points to make sure that their agents are on company mission and are meeting the metrics that they put in place. So, into our system we’ve built a wide range of analytics and proof points that help them measure and track agent performance, things like average queue, time spent on a call, queue capacity. How many chats can a typical agent handle as they get more mature. And those data points are all converted into analytics that can help those supervisors plan for the future more effectively. Now it could come down to routing chats based on tenure and skill set, routing chats based on product line or based on seniority of that agent, the more the supervisor can do that, the more control they’ll have over that live chat experience and the more confidence they’ll have in their agents when they execute.

Jim Rembach: So, Jeff, how do folks learn more?

Jeff Epstein: Visit us at www.comm100.com.

Jim Rembach: Jeff, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and we wish you the very best.

Jeff Epstein: It’s my pleasure, Jim.

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  • Two things you need to know if it’s your first time or replacing your contact center chat system. – Click to Tweet
Additional Resources

The post Two Factors Make It Easy for Contact Center Chat appeared first on Call Center Coach.

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Contact-Center-Virtual-Summit

Contact Center SummitThe Contact Center Virtual Summit is a 3-week contact center event and the world’s largest virtual contact center conference.

Taking place from July 7th through 27th, this event features a focus on frontline agent performance during the entire contact center agent life cycle. If you’re a solution provider that has solutions that are used on the frontline or improves the performance of the frontline, then I’d like to give you the opportunity to put forward your solution or case study to present at the event.

Along with its sister event, the Customer Experience Success Summit classified as the largest virtual customer experience event in the world, attendees can access all sessions on demand from the comfort of their own office or home.

A short-list of those scheduled to appear at the Summit include: Shep Hyken, Nate Brown, Kate Nasser, Justin Robbins, Natalie Calvert​, Neal Topf, Ricardo Saltz Gulko, Simon Blair, Amy Radin, and Stuart Discount, so you will be in the midst of a great speaker line up. See the growing line up here.

Contact Center Virtual Summit facts:
  • 21-day event
  • A full week of speaker sessions
  • Demo Week
  • 14-day Virtual Boot Camp
  • 35+ Speakers
  • 100+ “use-today” tools
  • Open Q&A Webinar
  • Public Facebook Community for Peer Discussion

Agent performance topic sessions include:

  • How to Hire Right
  • Successful on-boarding
  • High-Performance Agent Development
  • Leadership that Engages
  • Unleashing Agent Retention

So, if you are from an end-user contact center or solution provider and interested in sharing your solution or case study, all you need to do is:

Graft a 50-word summary of what you’ve done or plan on doing to achieve success in agent performance

Email jim [at] callcentercoach.com

I look forward to partnering with you to deliver a positive impact to the world.

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  • CALL FOR SPEAKERS – Contact Center Virtual Summit – Click to Tweet 
  • CALL FOR SPEAKERS – The world’s largest virtual contact center conference. – Click to Tweet
  • Share your contact center agent performance improvement story or solution with the world. – Click to Tweet
Additional Resources

The post CALL FOR SPEAKERS – Contact Center Virtual Summit appeared first on Call Center Coach.

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Love Contact Center Supervisors
80% of contact center agents leave because of their relationship with their immediate supervisor.

How Do Your Call Center Supervisors Measure Up TrainingBut with all relationships, it’s much better to give first – so that you shall receive. Follow these tips for building a better relationship with your Supervisor. She’ll likely love you for it!

Your Supervisor today is like that elementary school teacher that you are still in touch with and will most likely be in touch with for the rest of your life. While you might work for this person for a short time, maybe a year or less, you are building a relationship that has a much bigger picture.

You never know how that supervisor, that you see almost everyday, will impact your life. Who will they introduce you to? What opportunities might they guide you towards? You must have people in your life who can speak highly of you, talk about your professional capabilities, who can recommend you to others. Your supervisor can potentially be the person who has made the greatest positive impact in your life.

I’ve supervised in contact centers and been supervised myself and I’m still in touch with with some of them. I’m often asked for references, recommendations, or participating on calls on their behalf. And I’m happy to do it.

Here are some tips to help you show the love to your Supervisor:

1. Win the race

You can talk to any contact center supervisor and they will all say it’s a great feeling to see people coming to work on time and being ready to work at the scheduled time. Busy supervisors need people to rely on, to depend on. The more trust you generate with them, the more opportunities they will send your way. When you are a consistent face that your supervisor sees in the morning and can rely on, it’s a great thing.

2. Plant a seed

Your relationship with your Supervisor isn’t going to be the relationship you have with them a few years from now. But are you approaching it as something that can grow? When you work for someone the relationship has to be planted, fed, and attended to in order for it to bear any reward. Eventually, you will both move on, but did you do anything to help the relationship to survive? Do your best tending now.

3. Respect the difference

Some will be great and others not-so-great. It’s most often and a personality thing and what you can tolerate and accept. Just as some supervisors will notice some things about you and others will notice other things. Your personality can rub one supervisor the right way but another one another way. This is true in all aspects of our life.

4. Don’t let your Supervisor’s quirks taint you

The best thing you can do is be consistent in your words and actions. Even if you aren’t a person that experiences mood swings, you can’t change someone who is. Be aware of your Supervisor’s mood and then move on. The best thing you can do for your supervisor’s mood is act as you normally do. Be the consistent person they can rely on. You have no idea what kind of pressure they are dealing with.

5. Don’t wait to be recognized

Whenever people tell me they are waiting for recognition, it often feels immature and foolish to me as they describe. Having a need to have someone tell you that you are doing a good job reflects your ineffectiveness in communicating to find out what’s expected of you. If you don’t know what good looks like then what are you work towards each day? Some people get so falsely caught up in waiting for praise that they get frustrated when it don’t come around. Learn your expectations and role and be confident in your abilities. Your Supervisor does not read minds and expects you to do a good job and to do good work–that’s part of the employment agreement. If you’re not clear on what it’s supposed to look like, go seek clarity.

6. Be preemptive

Surprises for Supervisors are often not of the welcomed kind. Lighten their burden. Provide as much advance notice as possible when you are needing to make an adjustment to what is routine and accustomed. Time of, late arrival, early departure, medical procedures, family events can all cause your Supervisor lot of administrative and mental grief. Be a reliable, consistent, thoughtful, and considerate employee that’s going to remove burden, not add it.

7. Embrace their communication style

One of my children’s most frustrating teacher was due in part to their understanding everyone’s communication style. There are supervisors who explain everything flat out and there are those who don’t explain anything. There are supervisors who ask for something the day they want it and there are people who ask for things days in advance. There are some they tell you how to do it and there’s some that just ask you to get it done. There are some that are gentle and some that are harsh. There are some that sarcastic and some that are empathetic. It just takes some getting used to. It takes time to learn how everyone functions. When you start a new job, ask your supervisor boss about their communication style.

8. Don’t be their friend

They don’t need to know everything about you or your personal life. Unless your Supervisor sends you a friend request, don’t be Facebook friends. It’s okay to follow your Supervisor on Twitter or Instagram, but don;t be bummed if they don’t follow back. But if they block you…you might have a different issues to address.

9. Put a spotlight on them

As author of Serve Up and Coach Down, Nathan Jamail said on the Fast Leader Show, “A person’s job is to make your leaders look good.”. Always remember this always.

10. Go toe-to-toe

There will come a time when something happens and you need to confront your Supervisor. But you should not look to pick a fight or be aiming for a confrontation every day. Some people start talking back and arguing with their supervisor and it just escalates. Always approach the situation with respect and you most often times get it in return.

11. Be ON their team

Let your Supervisor and your colleagues know that you are on their side. If you are ever in a situation where people are bad-mouthing your Supervisor, even your teammates, let them know that’s not acceptable. If it continues, let your Supervisor know. Nobody wants to be part of a disloyal bunch of bandits and you need to take the lead and squash that bad behavior. Adults want to work in a respectful and open environment and adults need to police the environment.

12. Turn out the lights

If your shifts align, never leave before your Supervisor. Just relax, organize your things, work ahead, or do training. You don’t want your Supervisor coming around your desk and seeing you on social media ever.

You want to do whatever you can to develop a solid, long-term relationship with your Supervisor. If nurtured properly, this relationship will last a lifetime and you will forever have them on your team. Many of my friends, peers, and colleagues take their former direct reports and supervisors along with them when they’ve found incredible opportunities.

So, show supervisors some love and get ready to be loved too.

Additional Resources

The post 12 Ways To Show Some Love To Supervisors appeared first on Call Center Coach.

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