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2013 Conference Sessions

People Management

If you're responsible for managing people in the contact center, this track is where you'll find the ideas and resources you need to improve. We'll tackle the tough issues of retention, stress, and attendance, give you insights on coaching and selling, and set your supervisors up for success.

Session 101

Dialing into Cultural Change: The Correlation between Company Culture and Profit

Tuesday | 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Session Level: All
Barbara Porter

When organizations nurture a culture that breeds trust, optimism, accountability and good will, employees are better prepared to hear, understand and respond to the needs of customers. The result: reduced turnover, higher customer and employee satisfaction, and improved service and profitability. Learn how to build a unique culture by measuring the impact of behaviors and decisions on employee and customer engagement. This session will provide insight on how to to use customer and employee feedback management technology to gauge employee engagement and loyalty – and correct problems before they affect customers.

Session 201

Staff Up! 10 Ways to Hire and Train Faster

Tuesday | 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Session Level: All
Jeff Toister

For most centers, hiring and training new employees represents a significant investment of time and money. What if there was a way to reduce recruiting and training time AND improve results? This dynamic session reveals ten proven ways you can ramp up your staffing levels faster than ever before. These concepts can also be used to improve short and long-term retention, increase new hire performance, and decrease recruiting and training costs. Drawing upon real-life case studies and cutting-edge research, you will gain practical ideas, tools, and techniques to speed up the hiring and training process in your call center.

Session 301

Moving from Employee Frustration to Engagement

Tuesday | 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Session Level: All
Perian Stavrum

The correlation between employee engagement and business profitability has been proven time and again, and yet, frustration in the workplace remains high. In this enlightening session, you’ll discover how to recognize the signs of worker engagement, frustration and withdrawal. We’ll share real world examples of how involving employees in continuous improvement initiatives has worked to rekindle engagement and reduce frustration. You’ll leave with the tools to implement remedies that will stem the tide of worker disengagement and frustration in your own organization.

Session 401

A Whole New Set of Writing Skills: How to Train Phone/E-Mail Agents to Chat with Customers

Wednesday | 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Session Level: All
Leslie O'Flahavan

Just because agents are excellent in other channels doesn’t mean they'll be able to write chat. Communicating real-time with customers requires not only rock solid writing skills, but also the ability to control the dialogue to help define the customer’s problem, write with empathy so customers believe the agent cares, manage delays with grace, and balance sales writing with service writing. This session will provide an understanding of the unique demands of writing chat; how to assess whether agents have the skills to make the transition to chat; and how to evaluate the quality of chat in your center.

Session 501

Overcoming the Challenges of an At-Home Workforce

Wednesday | 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Session Level: Case Study
Scott Murphy

By now, most centers have incorporated virtual workers into their operation in some way − whether as a significant staffing strategy, or simply to handle overflow call volume. And yet, although the benefits are great, there are challenges to maintaining a successful home agent program − most notably, in the areas of training, ongoing communication and employee engagement. Join Scott Murphy, an early adopter of a home agent model, as he shares proven strategies and lessons learned from his experience managing a successful work-at-home program.

Session 601

An Insider’s View: What Award-Winning Agents and Supervisors REALLY Think

Wednesday | 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Session Level: All
Justin Robbins , Brooks Webb, Noe Vazquez

It’s well known that employee engagement is directly related to customer satisfaction. But what really motivates agents and supervisors to excel? Join us for this unique opportunity to hear directly from a group of exceptional performers – all finalists or winners for ICMI’s Agent and Supervisor of the Year Awards. What inspires them to be “stars” instead of mediocre employees? How do they like to be coached or mentored? What do they most want from their leaders and employers? This interactive discussion is sure to provide invaluable insight into the wants and needs of the most critical players on your team.

Operations Management

We’ve emphasized the “how to” in these critical operations topics so you can return home with actionable ideas for making immediate improvements to your contact center. Results are what you need, and this track will show you exactly how to achieve them in your own operation.

Session 102

Data Overload? Using Metrics to Improve Customer Experience

Tuesday | 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Session Level: All
Matt McConnell

Today’s customers have multiple preferred channels and limited patience. Understanding which metrics to focus on to improve customer experience is not a nice-to-know, it’s a necessity. Meanwhile, many contact center professionals suffer from “analysis paralysis” – a difficulty making decisions due to too much data, and not enough clarity on how to use it. So how do you take action and move forward? Join this session to learn the top three metrics you should measure to drive customer experience, actionable tactics to implement and improve results, and how to successfully incorporate these into your existing program.

Session 202

Moving from Firefighting to Control at Alfa Insurance

Tuesday | 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Session Level: Case Study
Susan Adcock, John Goodman

All too often, managers misallocate resources based on several false assumptions − leading to a chaotic, reactive, “firefighting” approach to service. This compelling session will describe a six-step process for creating a customer experience strategy, and introduce a framework for moving from firefighting to a preventative approach to service. Hear how Alfa Insurance has eliminated unnecessary calls and escalations via mobile and customer interface technologies, empowered reps with access to information, and a voice of the customer analytical process. Discover how technology, proactive education, and empowerment can increase first call resolution, employee satisfaction and retention in your center.

Session 302

Successfully Integrating the Chat Channel into Your Organization

Tuesday | 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Session Level: Case Study
Victor Janey

Thinking about adding chat to the list of channels you serve, but not sure where to start? This enlightening case study will walk you through General Dynamic’s journey to chat service excellence. From strategic planning considerations, to WFM integration, to getting and training the right agents, you’ll gain insights into the best practices in servicing the chat channel. You’ll also hear how they are using text analytics and focus groups to ensure continuous service improvements that will and allow them to take the channel to the next level!

Session 402

Rethinking QA: Transforming Your Organization through Customer Experience Quality Monitoring

Wednesday | 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Session Level: Case Study
Lauren Mott, Ted Nardin, James Keaten

How do you transform agents into personable, spontaneous, and professional representatives? Through collaboration and enterprise-wide support, Bright House Networks discovered a unique, challenging, and successful way of answering this question by adopting a dialogue approach to quality assessment with their internal and external customers. Discover the details of their innovative program, including the motivation for change, the process of implementation, and the inherent challenges for training, measuring, and coaching. Learn about the renovation of a key customer experience metric which resulted in dramatic changes to not only their quality monitoring program, but also their culture.

Session 502

Maximizing Efficiency through Extreme Workforce Optimization

Wednesday | 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Session Level: Case Study
Todd Hixson

Are your WFM and operational teams often at odds? In this straightforward presentation, you will see how optimization not only benefits customers, but how balanced optimization increases opportunities for agent development and off-line activities utilizing schedules in a higher level of efficiency. Learn about “extreme” optimization techniques, and glean tips for agents and coaches on how to make their days more productive while alleviating stress. You will walk away with a toolkit that promotes cross-functional collaboration and instills understanding beyond “because your mother said so.”

Session 602

Starting from Scratch: Forecasting and Scheduling without Historical Information

Wednesday | 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Session Level: All
Kimberly Pugh

Have you ever been faced with a request to generate a forecast and schedules with no reliable historical information? Whether it’s a new client or a new line of business, these types of requests seem to be on the rise, and it can be difficult to know where to begin. This session will provide ideas on where to start, and how to create the most realistic forecasts and schedules possible for these situations. Learn how to use dialogue with key players and basic reports to gather historical data, and how to prepare yourself to make quick changes to the plan as more information becomes available.

Strategy and Leadership

If you’re ready to be inspired by fresh ideas on strategy and leadership, this is the track for you. We’ll delve into the “big picture” issues that keep you up at night, and provide insights into leading your team to success from the best in the business.

Session 103

How Bright House Networks Provides Standard-Setting Social Customer Care – and You Can, Too!

Tuesday | 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Session Level: Case Study
Brian Weber, Eric Swayne

In 2011, Bright House Networks – a company that provides support to 2.4 million customers via the phone, email and live chat – launched social service. The benefits were unexpected: lead generation, intelligence for new products, and an early warning system for product or service issues. How did they do it? This case study will address how to identify the right agents, plan for staffing needs, develop agent scorecards, what KPIs to use for benchmarking, and what to look for in a social media aggregator. You’ll leave this session with a structured implementation strategy and check list to launch your own social media support implementation.

Session 203

Rules of Engagement for the 21st Century Leader

Tuesday | 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Session Level: All
Justin Robbins

If your employees were polled today, would they consider you a manager or a leader? Are you motivating the masses, or just providing daily dictatorship? If you’re unsure of the difference – or don’t know how to make the transition – this session is for you! Join Justin Robbins of ICMI as he describes situational leadership, how to apply it, and what leadership styles to avoid. Discover proven best practices in employee motivation, and incentives that can be implemented into your workforce. And explore how effective goal planning can set your employees – and yourself – up for success!

Session 303

From the “WOW” Revolution to Big Data – The Top Five Customer Experience Trends of 2013

Tuesday | 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Session Level: All
Lauren Ziskie

In today’s “reputation economy,” to continually innovate the customer experience, it's critical for contact centers to be aware of macro industry trends. This session will describe the top five customer experience trends to focus on in 2013: the “WOW” revolution; creating a digital concierge experience; optimizing service across multiple devices; communication overload; and leveraging big data to predict consumer behavior and trends. Discover how each of these trends will impact your service strategy, and ways to respond to them that will keep your service on the cutting edge.

Session 403

Creating A Powerful Customer Culture – Best Practices from America’s Top Brands

Wednesday | 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Session Level: All
Marilyn Elledge

By applying the principles and best practices of customer experience management, you can change your organization’s culture, create a significant competitive advantage, and achieve dramatic increases in customer value and revenue. Come learn how America’s top brands leverage customer experience into a culture that creates loyal customers and high profits. Discover the eight steps needed to create a Customer Culture, from creating a customer advisory team, to sharing VOC data, to training employees on the value and priority of customers. You’ll leave with a roadmap for creating a customer-focused culture that drives business value in your own organization.

Session 503

Cross-Talk: The Impact of Emerging Channels on Customer Engagement

Wednesday | 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Session Level: All
Sarah Stealey Reed, Ian Hunter, Kim Martin, Chad McDaniel, Jason Wolcott

It’s no secret that emerging channels are changing the inside of the contact center. But what is the impact of mobile, social, and advanced self-service on the customer, and how do they influence customer engagement with the contact center? What is the true impact to CSAT, loyalty, differentiation, and brand recognition? Join this lively panel of experts as they cross-talk about the emerging channel customer, provide benchmarking data and insights from their own research, talk about trends, and share some “aha moments”. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of how these new channels WILL influence your customers.

Session 603

What Happened with Mobile Customer Service in 2013?

Wednesday | 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Session Level: All
Sarah Stealey Reed, Tobias Goebel

Today’s consumers have access from their mobile devices anytime and anywhere. They can research and compare products, make immediate purchases, and share their opinions. This session will present the findings of ICMI’s 2013 Mobile Customer Service Strategy Survey, and discuss how the research and reality have intersected over the past year. Benchmark your own center against the community, hear what’s transpired in 2013, and get prepared for the exciting changes ahead in mobile customer support. Walk away with all the data, facts, figures and ROI to convince YOUR senior executives to implement a Mobile Customer Service Strategy.

Technology Management

The amazing array of bells and whistles in today’s technology is impressive – and overwhelming. This track will help you to understand what’s most important: how to use contact center technology to get the job done. These sessions range from selecting applications to using them, including how to coordinate across the organization.

Session 104

Innovation from Award-Winning Contact Centers

Tuesday | 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Session Level: Case Study
Justin Robbins , Sean Hawkins, Josh Chapman, George Larribas, Rosetta Carrington Lue

In this enlightening panel discussion you’ll hear how best-in-class contact centers – finalists from ICMI’s 2013 Global Call Center Awards– are effectively using innovation to drive business results and bring their service to new levels. They will introduce you to new uses for technology, unusual ways of handling common challenges, and creative tools and processes that increase agent and customer engagement. Contact centers of all sizes are sure to find insights and inspiration from this interactive session.

Session 204

Putting Insights into Action − Realizing the ROI from Speech and Text Analytics

Tuesday | 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Session Level: Case Study
Lori Bocklund, Victor Janey, Amas Tenumah, Stephanie Claycomb

The benefits of speech and text analytics have been hyped for years, but does the reality live up to the promise? Getting the funding and support necessary can be difficult, and the truth is that many of those who have made the investment struggle to realize its full potential. In this panel you’ll hear from who have successfully implemented these technologies and are using them to drive tangible business value. Find out how they got funding, lessons learned through the implementation process, and how these technologies are being used to move their organizations to a new level of service.

Session 304

Beyond the Hype: A Real World Look at Cloud vs. Premise Based Services

Tuesday | 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Session Level: All
Richard Hathaway, Rich Fox, Richard Dumas, Matt Zemon

The term “cloud” has become ubiquitous in business. It seems as though everyone, even premise-based system manufacturers, are now offering hosted/cloud services. But how do you know if a cloud solution is right for your center? The decision must include an examination of all short and long term factors relevant to your specific enterprise operations, infrastructure and corporate culture. This panel will explore the promise and reality of a move to the cloud from the perspectives of a consultant, vendors and practitioners. Gain insights on decision criteria, implementation issues, and real world results of a move to the cloud.

Session 404

Multi-Channel Technology Options for Servicing Emerging Channels

Wednesday | 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Session Level: All
Todd Marthaler

Today’s customer is hurling shouts for help at agents from all points in space with remarkable and not always predictable speeds. Our teams must be equipped with the tools to respond to customers quickly and effectively based on their preferences. How do we handle these demands and make for an effortless customer experience? Can our agents handle multiple channels at the same time? This interactive session will take a deep dive into the technology options and operational solutions to make a multi-channel engine hum and work for your team!

Session 504

IVR Improvements: From Low-Hanging Fruit to Big Time ROI!

Wednesday | 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Session Level: Case Study
Robert Growcock, Mark Camack and Peter Brandt

There may be no “magic menu” for IVR design, but by utilizing proven practices to build a high performing IVR, you can optimize system performance metrics and simultaneously increase caller satisfaction. In this case study, you’ll hear insights from JEA's IVR improvement journey. Less than two years after applying best-in-class menu design principles, their new IVR is setting records at JEA for call containment, with no adverse impact on operations or caller satisfaction. This session will demonstrate successful design principles in action, and describe how best-in-class systems get that way.

Session 604

Tech Options for Creating an Effective Knowledge Base

Wednesday | 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Session Level: All
John Custy

Knowledge Management is about the systematic use and reuse of knowledge within an organization. With all the technologies available – SharePoint, SMS, Google, wikis, chat, social media and more – it’s easy to be confused. What are the differences between each of these technologies, and how do you determine which is most appropriate for your organization? This session will explain the logical structure of the knowledge, and review the tool capabilities needed to more effectively utilize this critical asset. Explore the range of options, and discover the choices you need to make to successfully implement a knowledge base in your organization.

"Overall I enjoyed hearing how other Call Centers operate and what they do in certain situations."

Brian McKenna, Account Services Supervisor, New Balance

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