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Call Center Demo and Conference Speaker Spotlight: Jeff Toister

Earlier this week Jeff Toister shared a post that offered advice for hiring more quickly in the contact center.  If you missed it, you can read it here.

Jeff just so happens to be our featured Speaker of the Week.  So, just as we did with Chip Bell last week, I asked Jeff a few questions to get his take on the upcoming conference, challenges facing our industry today, and more.  So, here’s your chance to get to know Jeff a little better.

Jeff will be sharing ideas to help you speed up the hiring and training process at Call Center Demo and Conference in October. His session is called Staff Up! 10 Ways to Hire and Train Faster.

Have a question for Jeff, or want to connect before Call Center Conference and Demo?  Feel free to drop him a line on twitter: @toister.

ICMI:  What excites you most about presenting at Call Center Demo and Conference?

Jeff: There are so many opportunities to learn and connect with others at this conference. I attended CC Demo for the first time last year and am still quoting other speakers and talking to people I met there. Getting a chance to present at this amazing conference is icing on the cake!

ICMI: What is one takeaway you hope to leave with your audience?

Jeff: My session is about faster ways to hire and train call center employees.  It will be sort of like a buffet – the ideas will be plentiful, but each participant will load up on something different. My hope is for each person to leave the session more inspired, more confident, and with at least one thing they can implement immediately.

ICMI: What is one question YOU’d like to have answered at Call Center Demo and Conference?

Jeff: There’s one question that I ask at every conference I go to: What’s the buzz? Meaning, what are people talking about? What are the biggest challenges that contact centers are wrestling with? What are some solutions for overcoming these challenges?

There’s usually at least one thing people are excited about and I want to know what that will be at Call Center Demo and Conference.

ICMI: What’s one fun fact that not a lot of people know about you?

Jeff: My wife, Sally, and I have a wine blog. It’s called Share the Bottle and it’s based on the concept that wine always tastes better when you share it with family and friends.

ICMI: What’s the best customer experience you’ve had when you’ve been on the customer side?

Jeff: It’s tough to think of the absolute best experience, but I can give you a very good one. I was about to host a webinar for a client but the webinar platform wasn’t working. I contacted tech support in a bit of a panic and spoke with a very patient person who helped me solve the problem. She skipped all the usually scripted questions and cut to the chase because she knew I was in a hurry and even stayed on the line until we could both verify everything was working properly. By the time my webinar started,

I felt confident and relaxed. And, best of all, my participants never knew there was a problem.

ICMI: What do you think is the biggest challenge contact center leaders face today?

Jeff: On a strategic level, it’s investment. Too many companies still view contact centers as cost centers versus a customer engagement tool. For example, if that contact center agent had been pressured by talk time standards and didn’t take the time to ensure my webinar was working, I almost certainly would have switched providers. And then I would have told all my friends, blogged about it, and Tweeted something angry. Instead, I’m singing their praises. (Can I say it was Adobe?) On a tactical level, it’s time. Often due to lack of investment, many contact center leaders are under constant stress and don’t have enough time to fully invest in developing their people.