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Every Award Winning Contact Center Needs: Top Talent

Last month we hosted the Call Center Trade Game webinar sponsored by Jabra and iQor; the interactive event took our community members behind the scenes at three award-worthy contact centers, and gave them the opportunity to choose which center they’d like to trade places with if given the chance.  Attendees got to meet call center leaders from Philly311, Freeman, and Wells Fargo, and watch the video tours they created when submitting entries for our Global Call Center of the Year awards.

From discussing their challenges and successes, to learning more about each of their unique cultures, it was a really insightful and action packed 60 minutes.  In fact, it was so full of action that we didn’t have a chance to answer all of the live audience questions. To keep the conversation going, we gave audience members the opportunity to vote on a question they wanted to have the contestants answer offline. As promised, we have the answers!

The question our audience members most wanted answered:

What’s one thing you think every contact center should do that doesn’t require a large financial investment?

Last week we shared Freeman's answer, and this week Sheryl Johnson of Philly311 weighs in.

"I recommend that every contact center invest in talent," said Johnson. "Technology and systems are ineffective if you don’t have the right mix of skills, personalities, etc."

More specifically, Johnson recommends that every contact center does the following to ensure success:

  • Review job descriptions annually, and more if there are significant changes in the organization.
  • Develop profiles that link to the capabilities and characteristics of the position.
  • Partner with the HR department to help source and grow talent.
  • Hire the right people for the right job.
  • Train managers and supervisors to deal effectively and timely with performance issues.  No training budget, there is lots of free information on the web.
  • Create a voluntary Employee Development Program; customize plans based on organization and participant’s needs.
  • Blend management and employee driven recognition programs.
  • Get employees feedback on projects, processes and procedures when practical.  Use surveys, focus groups, town hall meetings, etc. 
  • Give employees regular updates about the business, department, customer satisfaction, etc. using multiple methods such as new letters, meetings, emails, bulletin boards, etc.
  • Create a sucession plan for your organization or department regardless of the size.  This helps to identify strengths and gaps.
  • Develop a plan to fill gaps.
  • Review all plans at least annually, and more if major changes occur.
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

What one thing do you think every contact center needs to do to become award-winning?  Share your ideas in the comments.