Delivering Change at the Frontline

“Working in a contact center is not a profession.” When I first heard this statement, I admit that I believed it.

The “type” of person who works in a contact center is probably a failure. They are someone who couldn’t “make it” in the real world – someone who had little aspiration for success. No one went through primary school dreaming of the day that they would be answering the telephone for a living.  No one really “wants” to do that type of work.

Change Management

This statement, and this perception of our industry, is like a cancer. For some organizations, it lies beneath the surface. It is rooted in corporate culture and complacent leadership until it finally manifests one day with a fatal blow. For others, however, the cancer is known and we throw aggressive treatment at it without really knowing the cause. We are allowing this idea to destroy our contact centers and do little to get at the root cause.

How do we break the perception that the role of contact center agent is left for the undesired? What is it, really, that drives success within an organization? How are we as leaders capable of driving change? Improving employee engagement? Increasing customer satisfaction?

The truth is that we, as leaders, hold the key to success – or failure – within our centers. We have the ability to change perception, to drive engagement, to impact the customer experience. All too often, however, we are too lazy, too reluctant, or too fearful to do so.

Challenging the way things have “always been” requires risk, requires confidence, and requires you to be uncomfortable. We have become complacent creatures of habit who settle for mediocrity, so long as results are satisfactory and no one has a chance to fail. As a result, our organizations lack innovation, experience slow growth and become the place where people go to watch their careers die.

If we want to be a leading organization, we must stop settling for “satisfactory”.

“Leadership is the challenge to be something more than average.” – Jim Rohn

Leading organizations are known for having environments which encourage and support risk; they promote empowerment, and are guided by a clear understanding of their mission. The leaders in these organizations have a comprehensive understanding of how to manage change, remain poised in the face of adversity, and build relationships among their teams. They implement programs and incentives that truly inspire employees and encourage them to push limits. These organizations are marked by employees who settle for something more than average. These organizations are your competition and, if you don’t do something about it, will find a way to steal your customers.

This may seem threatening and difficult to achieve and the reality is that it does pose a threat to our organizations, but changing it is not as difficult as it may appear. Driving change will be painful at times and may require you to make tough decisions, but if you have a good plan, put the right people in place, and seek to do the right things, you will be successful. If you decide to sit back and do nothing, the results will be fatal to you, your organization, and ultimately, your customers. If you’re ready to change and become a leading organization, I can help to get you on that path. Join me at Contact Center Expo and Conference to discover how to set your team up for success.


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