The Times They Are A Changin'
Empowering contact center excellence for 30 years!

The Times They Are A Changin'

“Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam…
For the times they are a-changin'.” – Bob Dylan

In life, there is only one constant: change.   You’ve witnessed this to be true at home and at work, with your friends and your family, in your hairstyle and your wardrobe.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve experienced this truth unfold with exponential velocity.

I’m writing to you today as ICMI’s new Senior Analyst, from a new home, in a new town, with a new baby on the way.  To say that it has been a time of exciting, life-altering change would be an understatement.   Through all of this, I’ve rediscovered the importance of true friendship, having faith, and being part of a meaningful community.  These three things can provide deep-rooted value to all of us both personally and professionally.

When I walked into my first job in a contact center seventeen years ago, I never expected to find anything more than a paycheck.   The job was a means to an end, a temporary solution, a place to wait until something better came along.  During the years since then I spent some time working in other facets of customer service, including hotel operations and food service, but kept coming back to the contact center.  It’s not an industry that I ever saw myself working in (I was certain that I was destined to be a rock star, I even got close once), but I somehow found myself addicted to contact centers.  From the people I worked with, to the dynamics of the environment, to the challenge of overcoming a difficult customer situation and the gratification of a successful resolution, I loved everything about it. 

During my most recent tenure in the contact center, I again found myself in an environment experiencing change unfolding at a rapid pace.  They were merging multiple operations into one contact center, integrating a new technology, and overhauling their approach to training and quality. It was during my time there that I came to truly understand the value of being part of the greater contact center community.  I remember downloading articles from the ICMI website, attending conferences, networking events, and just putting myself out there within the community. 

I started as a consumer of these resources, but soon realized that I too had the ability to share stories of my experiences, the challenges I’d faced, and the ways in which they were overcome.  I quickly found friends in similar situations and contact centers, I grew to have faith in the future and potential of our industry, and I found myself immersed in a community of people just like me;  People who understood my challenges, people who could echo my sentiments, and people who could provide insight and guidance.  Toward the end of my tenure in the contact center, I spent several years on the “speaker’s circuit” sharing my stories and experiences.  It was in the fall of 2012 that I was fortunate enough to join the ICMI team as their Training and Development Manager.

I thought I knew a lot about contact centers before joining ICMI, but it is astonishing to reflect on how much I’ve learned and grown through all of your experiences.  I’ve met thousands of you face to face and together we’ve laughed, cried, and learned ways to be better contact center leaders.  I found it a great honor to lead the development of our educational offerings during these past two years and am so excited to see many of the plans that we have on that front come to light.  But, as we previously established, change is inevitable and the time for a change in my role at ICMI has come.

As most of you are probably aware by now, Sarah Stealey Reed left the ICMI team earlier this summer.  It was at that time that I felt the tug to transition into a part of the business that would enable me to further serve all of you, the ICMI community.  In my new role, I’ll be partnering with solution providers to author research reports on the best practices, benchmarks, and future trends of our industries.  I’ll be leading our strategic content direction with the sole purpose of providing all of you with a robust, supportive environment to challenge yourself, learn new things, and above all, grow as a contact center leader.  Lastly, I’ll be responsible for the judging process of the Global Contact Center Awards.

I am so excited for this change and the future that lays ahead of us my amazing ICMI community, my peers who give me faith in the future of our industry, my friends.   We’re poised to revolutionize our industry in a way like never before.  Fasten your seatbelts and hold on tight, because we’re in for the ride of our lives.

In your service,

Justin Robbins


More Resources

Topics: Metrics, Chat, Culture & Morale, Customer Experience, Global Service Delivery, Learning & Development, Mobile, Multichannel Contact Center, People Management, Self-Service, Site Operations, Social Media, Strategy & Planning, Technology, Workforce Management


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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
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