ICMI Contact Center Forum

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8 days ago
Topic:
Contact Center Staff Meetings

jrobbins
jrobbins
Posts: 14
Hi Marla,

Based on your description of things, it sounds like you're understaffed and, if that's the case and you can't increase your headcount, there are still a few options available to you.

On the obvious front, you can "bite the bullet" as Sean puts it and take the hit with overtime. It enables you to hit your Service Level objectives (which keeps the customers happy) but hits your budget (which makes your CFO unhappy).

Another alternative is to plan to take the hit on your service level objective (which makes your customers unhappy) and conduct the coaching/team meetings during periods where you can minimize (but not eliminate) the impact on SL and doesn't add OT (and keeps CFO happy).

A third option is to look at your queue groups and consolidate if & where possible. If you have agents broken into multiple queue groups, they are less efficient than if you had one universal queue (or at least fewer than you have today). If this is an option, it should give you some breathing room to get agents off the phones (or get creative with schedules) to make the coaching and team meetings happen.

The last option is to look at your forecast, your shrinkage numbers (time for QA, coaching, meetings, breaks, etc), your SLA's and figure out what changes need to happen to get you into a better place. This could mean adding staff, it could mean relaxing your SLAs, looking to automate some contacts through self-service, etc.

My point here is that you have options, just need to consider the impact and consequences of each. If you'd like to chat more about this, please don't hesitate to call or email. I worked in a number of small contact centers prior to joining ICMI and know exactly what you're going through. I'd love to help in any way that I'm able.

Justin Robbins
717-537-5504 | jrobbins@icmi.com
edited by jrobbins on 2/14/2017
8 days ago
Topic:
How to Show Love To Your Customers

jrobbins
jrobbins
Posts: 14
Hi Everyone,


Justin Robbins (@JustinMRobbins) here & I'll be this week's host for our Valentine's Day edition of #ICMIchat.


Join me at 1pm ET on February 14, 2017 to discuss the following questions


Q1: How do you enable customers to contact your company when & where they need (and want) you the most.


Q2: Do you leverage social media or other methods to publically show customers appreciation? If so, how?


Q3: Customers love it when you personalize their experience. In what ways does your company personalize the #cx?


Q4: Sometimes, showing customers love means bending the rules. Do you empower agents to use discretion? What parameters are set?


Q5: You celebrate milestones with your BAE, so why not w/ customer loyalty too? How does your #cctr recognize loyal customers?


Q6: Customers are tired of #FakeBrands. How do you enable your customers to have an authentic relationship with your brand?


Q7: In what ways do you set yourself apart from the competition & encourage customers to choose your brand as their Valentine?


Q8: In what unique & fun ways does your company surprise & delight your customers?


I can't wait to see you there!
12 days ago
Topic:
Contact Center Staff Meetings

SeaHawkins
SeaHawkins
Posts: 4
Marla, you can try providing real time updates via email or messaging software. At times, I use team huddles at the start of shift to provide quick updates. These are usually 10-15 min at the most. While these are all helpful in getting information to the teams, nothing is better than meeting as a team. If this means downtime or a service disruption, you may have to live with it. If you schedule meetings in advance, you can then offer notifications to your customers regarding a some downtime. I usually give a 24-48 hour notice.

As it relates to OT, I would personally bite the bullet. However, adjust agent start times for others days to avoid OT. Hopefully this won't send a bad message to the team. Also, break the meetings up into smaller groups and have multiple meetings over the course of a few days.
13 days ago
Topic:
Contact Center Staff Meetings

marla.freeman
marla.freeman
Posts: 1
I manage a call center of approximately 50 agents and our budget is quite tight. We do not have much down time with call volume and in recent months the down time has not been consistent. One of the main struggles that we have is being able to meet with our agents in a group setting to provide regular company updates, team coaching, etc. I would like to get feedback from other smaller call centers to see how team meetings are managed without creating overtime. Thanks in advance for your feedback!
22 days ago
Topic:
Outsourcing Pricing Model

SeaHawkins
SeaHawkins
Posts: 4
Jeffery, have you considered a vendor who offers an hourly rate/agent rather than a per ticket rate? I have used worked under both. Either way, you will still need to be diligent in monitoring service and SLA's. With current partner, consider the type of calls you are sending their way. Is it possible for the basic level 1 support calls to go there, and the more difficult ones remain in house?

Also, review your the SLA's and SOW to ensure they are abiding by the contractual agreement. From what you are describing, they may not best align with your center.
28 days ago
Topic:
Call Center Mission Statement Examples

talkagent
talkagent
Posts: 3
Talk Agent is an offshore outsourcing customer service center providing outsourced live chat and email support representatives for your e-commerce initiatives. Our mission build customer satisfaction.
29 days ago
Topic:
Call Center Management Structure

talkagent
talkagent
Posts: 3
We are USA base outsourcing company and provide best call center support. We have more than 15 year of experience in Call Center. We have professional and experienced agents. Talk Agent is an offshore outsourcing customer service center providing outsourced live chat and email support representatives for your e-commerce initiatives.
29 days ago
Topic:
Call Center Greeting

talkagent
talkagent
Posts: 3
I think most important part of the phone call in call center is the greeting. Simply I tell you some tips for "how to great customer?" Some points are given below:

  • Be concise
  • Be courteous
  • Demonstrate professionalism
  • Use familiar language and prompts
  • If you are recording calls, disclose it
  • Allow frequent callers to bypass messages
  • Use a multi-level IVR for more complex needs
  • Record greetings for everything
  • Allow customers to help themselves
1/11/2017
Topic:
Tracking agent time

parashersushant123
parashersushant123
Posts: 1
I think managing agents time is one of the major key aspect of running a contact center. Most of the call center managers use Aux code to better monitor and identify how an agent's time is distributed
Here are some tips to track and manage call center agent time:

1. Using Auxiliary time in a call center - Auxiliary time is defined as agent status that makes agent unavailable for incoming calls. This means your agents will be marked away or aux and will not receive calls. In order to track what agent is doing, call center assigns aux code.
2. Using real-time monitoring feature comes with every call center software.
3. Keep an eye on agent morale i.e make sure none of your agents is misusing aux time.
1/5/2017
Topic:
Remove noise

valernur
valernur
Posts: 1
valernur
valernur
Posts: 1
Topic: Remove noise
Hi,
I am looking for a software product to improve audio quality - especially reducing or even totally cancelling ambient noise. Do you have experience with PBXMate for this purpose ? Are there any other recommended software products ?
Thanks,
Nur
1/3/2017
Topic:
Handle time

arsh_1011
arsh_1011
Posts: 2
arsh_1011
arsh_1011
Posts: 2
Topic: Handle time
I know this formula for calculating the Average handling time.

Average Handling time = (AverageTalktime+ AverageHoldTime+ After Call Worktime)/Answered Calls
12/20/2016
Topic:
Wireless Headsets

bradleyyoung04
bradleyyoung04
Posts: 7
I was wondering if any of you guys have any suggestions on the latest wireless headsets available? I am looking to advise a high-end company in the UK with regards to upgrading their existing wired devices but was looking for the input of others. I am currently leaning towards Sennheiser wireless headsets https://www.headsets.com/wireless/system/brand/sennheiser/ as they are only a small team and therefore the cost is not going to be a huge factor. Basically, they are looking for quality.
12/20/2016
Topic:
Need Help! Planning for growth

bradleyyoung04
bradleyyoung04
Posts: 7
I am more than happy to provide you with any information that you may require. I actually work as a consultant focusing on call centre best practise and migration options, so happy to offer some insight.
12/20/2016
Topic:
Recommendation for SMS / Texting companies to use?

bradleyyoung04
bradleyyoung04
Posts: 7
I too can vouch for OneReach.
12/20/2016
Topic:
Will robots replace agents?

bradleyyoung04
bradleyyoung04
Posts: 7
I am very much a firm believer in the fact that humans are always going to prefer to interact with other human beings. I know myself then whenever I am forced to interact with a robot, I feel somewhat frustrated and don't feel as valued as a customer.
11/29/2016
Topic:
Will robots replace agents?

ericamarois
ericamarois
Posts: 46
Hi, friends!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I'm excited to be your host again today for #ICMIchat. Today's topic: will robots replace agents? Let's discuss the impact that automation and emerging technology will continue to have on the contact center. Here are today's questions:

Q1: As a customer, how does automated customer service make you feel? #ICMIchat
Q2: Does your company automate any aspects of service? How well does it work? #ICMIchat
Q3: What can contact centers do to improve the IVR experience for customers? #ICMIchat
Q4: Which types of service interactions are best suited for self-service or automation? #ICMIchat
Q5: More restaurants, airlines & hotels are moving towards a mostly self-service model. Good idea or bad idea? Why? #ICMIchat
Q6: Does increased automation change the job description for frontline employees? How so? #ICMIchat
Q7: Some experts believe virtual agents will eventually replace live agents. Do you think this is feasible? #ICMIchat


Please invite a friend and join us today at 10am PT/ 1pm ET :)
Chat with you soon!
Erica
11/19/2016
Topic:
Recommendation for SMS / Texting companies to use?

hellobiu11
hellobiu11
Posts: 1
sales. Was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for ease of use, features, pricing.
11/15/2016
Topic:
How to Create a Seamless Customer Experience

ericamarois
ericamarois
Posts: 46
Calling all contact center, customer service, and customer experience leaders! It's time for another #ICMIchat and we want your opinions and expertise. Please join us today at 1pm ET for a one-hour discussion on creating seamless customer experiences. Neal Topf is today's host, and here are the questions we'll cover:

Q1: How do you define customer experience? #ICMIchat
Q2: What does it mean to deliver a seamless customer experience? #ICMIchat

Q3: What prevents businesses from delivering a seamless customer experience? #ICMIchat

Q4: How can the contact center best work with other departments to drive consistency across customer touchpoints? #ICMIchat

Q5: What role should technology play in the customer journey? #ICMIchat

Q6: What are some brands you think do an exceptional job of providing a seamless service experience? #ICMIchat

Q7: What’s one simple change you can make in 2017 to improve the experience for your customers? #ICMIchat


Everyone is welcome, so please spread the word and invite a friend!


Look forward to chatting soon,
Erica
11/8/2016
Topic:
Tips for Implementing a New Service Channel

jrobbins
jrobbins
Posts: 14
This week on #ICMIchat we revisit the popular topic of new channel implementations. Let's take a look at the channels you'll be supporting in 2017, your strategies for doing so, and insights for overcoming the challenges you could face along the way.


I'll be your host as we unpack the following questions:


Q1: What's your channel of choice when you need to contact a company?


Q2: Is there a channel or channels that you wish more companies supported? If so, what & why?


Q3: What new channel(s) will your #contactcenter add in 2017?


Q4: For what reasons do you plan to add a new channel?


Q5: How will you measure the utilization & success of the new channel?


Q6: What challenges did you face with past new channel implementations?


Q7: How has technology prevented or enabled your new channel implementations?


Q8: What other advice do you have for implementing a new channel into the contact center?
11/4/2016
Topic:
Recommendation for SMS / Texting companies to use?

alberto
alberto
Posts: 2
Thank you for your input! We are actually experimenting with OneReach right now as well, and I will look over the review guide you supplied. I am definitely still open to any and all other experiences anyone else wants to share as well.




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