Building the Workforce Foundation
Empowering contact center excellence for 30 years!

Building the Workforce Foundation

It is hard to believe that  ACCE  is just a month away!  For this edition of ' Speaker of the Week ', we profile one of our ICMI own. Rose Polchin has an impressive background in both contact center operations and in consulting. As one of the ICMI Senior Consultants, she also conducts training sessions at our symposiums and speaks at national conferences. This year at ACCE she is teaching two courses that truly set the foundation for any contact center, and any contact center professional. Take workforce management for example. Without having the fundamental knowledge of the other aspects of the contact center, WFM will not be successful. Service level, occupancy, adherence, training, QA, 1-1 coaching time, and just about every other aspect of the center need to be taken in consideration when forecasting and developing agent schedules. WFM is not simply about agent availability and real-time management.

In Rose's words: Every time I have the honor to represent ICMI either at conferences like ACCE or teaching their foundational course, Essential Skills and Knowledge for Effective Contact Center Management, my goal is the same: to provide contact center professionals with a strong set of foundational principles to “build” their respective contact centers on. What is great about these sessions is that it provides those new to the contact center with a starting point and for veterans, it is an opportunity to validate and/or refresh their skills AND share their expertise with the others.

I have the privilege of delivering two sessions at ACCE this year: A pre-conference session: Principles of Effective Contact Center Management and Contact Center 101.

The pre-conference session (Principles of Effective Contact Center Management) covers the skills and knowledge necessary to run an effective contact center. We’ll start by exploring the value contact centers deliver to their respective organizations, customers and employees and then the “what and how” to deliver on that value! We’ll use a step-by-step format and process, so that you have the opportunity to learn and/or validate the fundamental principles you can apply now and in the future. One of the topics we’ll explore is the immutable laws of service dynamics that are part of any contact center and that make it unique. We’ll discuss how, due to the driving forces and the unique nature of contact centers, we need to have a systematic planning and management process. In other words, we’ll see that it takes careful planning to: “…get the right number of the right people in the right places at the right times.”

ICMI’s planning and management process is a process that emphasizes planning over reacting and is designed to guide contact centers, large and small, corporate and government, across all types of contact center applications and contact types, to predict and justify the resources they need to meet their goals and objectives. We’ll spend the balance of the session working through these steps and discussing the concerns of various stakeholders as we progress. More specifically, we’ll explore what it takes to accurately forecast, staff and schedule; the tradeoffs between service level, agent occupancy, and costs; how service level and quality are interrelated; how to manage new contact channels, e.g., social media; and, how to explain these principles to others in your organization and get them on board.

In my Contact Center 101 session, we’ll take the express lane to contact center management and explore the unique characteristics of contact centers; the link between resources and results; the relationship between service level and quality; how accessibility impacts productivity; schedule needs versus base staff requirements; staffing and telecom issues; and, the increasing demands on agents. These are the seven critical issues everyone inside and outside your center needs to embrace and understand in order to ensure we can deliver on the promise we make to our customers, our employees and key stakeholders.

I hope you will join me for one of these sessions! Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments. See you at ACCE!

Topics: Learning & Development, Workforce Management, Site Operations, People Management, Metrics


More from Rose Polchin


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Does your contact center have a policy regarding allowing agents who wish to apply for internal company positions outside the contact center?

No, we don’t have a formal policy
Yes, agents must work in the contact center for at least 1 year before applying for other positions
Yes, agents must work in the contact center for at least 6 months before applying for other positions
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