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ICMI's Top 25 Articles of 2016

2016 was huge year for the ICMI community! We connected with thousands of contact center leaders at our two annual events, hosted nearly 50 live twitter chats and more than dozen live webinars, recognized award-winning organizations, and even made a cameo on NBC Nightly News! But our proudest achievement of this year was continuing to empower contact center excellence, and we couldn’t have done it without each of you—our loyal community members and icmi.com contributors!

As we reflect back on 2016, we’ve compiled a list of our most popular articles from this year. Each of these articles ranked high in both page views and social engagement. We hope they’ll inspire and help you as you plan for a successful 2017.

ICMI's Top 25 articles of 2016

Want to see your work on this list next year?  Find out how you can become an icmi.com contributor.

Happy reading, and happy holidays from everyone here at ICMI!

1.    Designing a Distance Learning Methodology that Works (by Greg Hanover)

Does your contact center employ remote agents, or plan to in 2017? Read this article for tips to develop a virtual learning program that’s effective.

2.    7 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Their Team (by Karin Hurt & David Dye)

This article is a must-read for all contact center managers! These seven questions will help improve your team’s communication.

3.    The Most Important Social KPIs (by Stephan Delbos)

What’s the best way to drive and track performance while keeping the human element in social media customer service? This article shares practical tips.

4.    7 Companies with Crushworthy Experience (by Elias Parker)

This article shines a light on seven brands that provide extraordinary customer service. Read to see what makes them stand out from the competition.

5.    Contact Center 2020: Are You Prepared? (by Wade Wiant)

This article shares several trends your contact center should be preparing for now.

6.    Year in Review: Customer Experience Trends in 2015 and What They Mean for 2016 (by Rich Weborg)

This article takes a look back at some of 2015’s biggest customer service trends, and examines what they might mean for 2016 and beyond.

7.    10 Tips for Building an Exceptional Customer Service Team (by Erica Marois)

Industry thought leaders share their advice on building exceptional customer service team.

8.    The Five Most Common Mistakes Made by Small Contact Center Leaders (by Justin Robbins)

ICMI’s Justin Robbins reveals some common mistakes small contact centers make, and how they can avoid them.

9.    A Threefold Approach to Empathy Training (by Sheri Kendall-duPont and Mikey Corral Jr.)

Training on technology and basic job-based skills is straightforward, but how do you train emotion? More specifically, how can you teach contact center agents to be more empathetic towards customers? This article explains!

10.    Understanding the “Power of One”—As Important as Ever (by Brad Cleveland)

While we know the impact each agent has on individual customers and the subsequent publicity (good or bad) that can come from those experiences, the power of one refers more specifically to queues and wait times. Brad Cleveland shares insight on this important concept.

11.    5 Steps to Revolutionize Your Quality Program (by Jeremy Hyde)

Ready for a new way to approach quality management? Jeremy Hyde shares how having agents score manager’s calls transformed his contact center.

12.    The Top 20 Ways You’re Annoying Your Customers (by Erica Marois)

Are you guilty of committing any of these customer service pet peeves? Read to find out!

Angry customers

13.    Reducing Attrition in Contact Centers: It’s All About the Team (by Tom Marsden)

Agent attrition rates are at record highs in the contact center. Need help addressing this problem? Tom Marsden shares valuable advice in this article.

14.    4 Best Practices to Implement a Quality Monitoring Program that Counts (by Baker Johnson)

Quality monitoring is an important part of any successful contact center. Find out how the smartest companies design quality management programs that really make a difference.

15.    12 Ways to Improve Contact Center Culture (by Erica Marois)

This slideshow shares 12 unique ways our #ICMIchat participants have improved culture & morale in their contact centers.

16.    7 Roles Contact Center Managers Must Master (by Erica Marois)

Karin Hurt inspired this infographic, which is a helpful guide for both veteran managers and new leaders. Feel free to print a copy to use as a daily guide in 2017!

17.    Call Quality Monitoring Dos & Don’ts (by Patrick Russell)

Are you making these common quality monitoring mistakes? This article reveals all the dos and don’ts.

18.    Why Texting Needs to be a Part of Your Workforce Optimization Strategy (by Rich Weborg)

SMS is growing in popularity as a customer service channel, but did you know it’s also useful for workforce optimization? Rich Weborg explains.

19.    6 Steps to Build Better Workforce Management (by Kevin Brazon)

Learn how NY Life has achieved success by bridging the gap between workforce management and operations.

20.    How Do You Define Outstanding Customer Service? (by Jeff Toister)

You can’t deliver outstanding customer service until you define it. In this article, Jeff Toister shares guidance for developing a definition that works for your organization.

21.    5 Effective Steps for Making New Product Information “Stick” with Your Sales Team (by Eric Blumthal)

Knowledge retention is a huge challenge after new product rollouts. Learn some useful techniques to help new information stick with your frontline agents.

22.    10 Steps to Implementing Chat Support (by Donald Hasson)

Planning to rollout chat in 2017? Stop and read this article first.

23.    Four Levers for Innovation in Customer Experience (by Brad Cleveland)

Brad Cleveland shares four simple ways companies can innovate the customer experience.  

24.    Millennial View: Finding a Friend in Feedback (by Sara Lighthall)

There’s a lot of negativity around managing millennials, but this Gen Y employee sets the record straight. Read this article for tips to make performance feedback conversations more effective.

25.    5 Ways to Improve Communication with Your Customers (by CJ Silva)

These 5 tips will help you hire and train employees who are better equipped to communicate with customers.