Better Mondays = Better Performance

Drive better Customer Experience, Operational & Financial Performance one Monday at a time!

better call center performance

When I start working with Contact Center owners, I always tell them I’ll be at the site bright and early on Monday morning. I usually get responses like, “…well, Monday’s aren’t the best day to visit because everyone is just getting back from the weekend and things are a little slow. ”Why don’t you start on Tuesday?”,

Yikes! no wonder they are calling me for help to boost their call center’s performance. Top Call Center Operators that I’ve worked with make it a point to hit the ground running on Monday mornings. There is not warm up or ramp up time in the Customer Experience industry where your company and brand (or your client’s company and brand if you are a BPO), are as good as your last call.

As a Call Center leader, do you allow your team to leisurely wander into the office, grab some coffee, talk about the games this past weekend, and, eventually get around to thinking about planning for their day? Monday or any other day of the week?

A word to front line leadership. If you want to be a successful Call Center Leader, grow in your career, break records and develop a loyal and high performing team while and separating yourself from the pack, one simple change can propel you way ahead. Be ready to go on Monday Morning. You should be rehearsing the plan you’ve created on Sunday night in your mind as you drive into the office. In fact, some top operators are holding conference calls with their team on the way in.

If you are a front line Supervisor, Manager or Director, if you get to work wondering what you are going to do on Monday morning, you’ve missed it completely. And, holding a staff meeting on Monday morning without an agenda and no goals does not count. Staff meetings on Mondays often are used to plan the week. By Noon the plan is getting rolled out to the floor. Too late to have a positive impact on Monday’s performance, and possibly, the week’s performance.

If you need a planning meeting, have it on Friday afternoon (another very valuable time period that is often wasted – more on that in a future post). Plan for next week so everyone comes in Monday morning with a game plan and ready to go.

Some of you may be thinking, “Wait Mike, I don’t get paid for Sunday night work.” I say, “oh yes you do! You get paid to bring value to the company and to your team. And that means you plan your work in advance so you have a plan and a direction the minute you are in the building.”

If you want to be paid only for the time you spend clocked in, I’m sure your company has some agent seats they need to fill with good people like you. However, once you accepted a leadership position, you chose a different path. You have a direct stake in the success of the company. You are now a role model. You set the tone, the pace and the energy level for your responsible area. Whether it’s a team of 12 agents or a department of 100, you are in control of the performance and success levels which are directly impacted by the preparation you bring to the job each day.

Those around you, direct reports, Sr. Leaders and Colleagues will see the energy and seriousness you bring to the job. This is not a make it up as you go industry and when others see your approach they will know what you expect and will follow your lead. If not, you’ll have a place to start as a mentor and leader.

Let’s all plan to bring our A-game to Monday Mornings and watch the performance needle move.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

March of the Robots into Your Call Center

Artificial IntelligenceSuleman Din writes that “Bots” beat humans when it comes to Honesty in spite of great training and our best intentions. Humans can be impacted by psychological and physiological factors that don’t impact Artificial Intelligence, so we are prone to “go off script.” Something an automated contact center agent would not do.

Read Suleman’s latest article for FinancialPlanning.com HERE

In highly regulated industries like Insurance and Financial Services, having agents freelance responses to customers is dangerous. With Artificial Intelligence in place, not only will the proper scripting and answers be provided without deviation, but the answers and responses are testable by courts and other regulators.

Use of Artificial Agents is expected to also lessen the requirement for Quality Analysis on an agent by agent basis. AI combined with high performing Speech Analytics applications will soon put an end to the need for large human based QA departments. The AI system will provide the same answers to customers consistently so Quality Control should be less expensive and more considered more comprehensive with much fewer risk factors for misleading or misanswering clients.

 

It pays to watch your Vendors closely

eyebrow-clipart-a_pair_of_blue_eyes_with_eyebrows_0521-1102-0513-1231_SMUHere is a case that clearly illustrates the importance of having tight and ongoing oversight over the operations of your third party vendors and Business Process providers. If a third party is answering or making calls on behalf of your company’s product or service, this is very important to your company’s future.

A recent decision out of North Carolina has given more insight into when a company may be on the hook for the actions of its independent contractors. In Krakauer v. Dish Network, LLC, Dish Network employed the services of Satellite Systems Network (SSN) to make telemarketing calls to sell Dish services. After finding that SSN failed to comply with the “Do-Not-Call” provisions of the TCPA, the Court ruled that Dish had also willfully and knowingly violated the provisions, and tripled the damage verdict from $20.5 million dollars to $63.1 million dollars. read the full story here

Occasional visits to the vendor are never enough. Depending on the size of the operation, I might suggest a full-time presence at the Vendor’s site. Beyond reviewing and signing off on all operational procedures and scripting, a major percentage of calls should be reviewed on a regular basis. Call audio and PC screen video should be accessible by the parent company at will from any location and it should be someone’s job to ensure the highest quality standards are being met and that your team is managing the vendor as if they were your employees because, as made clear in this court’s decision, everyone is liable for misconduct.

ROI on the investment your company makes toward legal and regulatory compliance is hard to quantify until it saves you from a 63 million dollar verdict.

 

 

Offshore Collection Work May Soon Carry New Consequences

cropped-24-02-2017_2_1Last week members of both parties in Congress revived a bill that would make it harder to offshore call centers. The U.S. Call Center and Consumer Protection Act would establish a list of companies that move call center work out of the country. The bill requires that businesses with at least 50 call center employees notify the Department of Labor at least 120 days before relocating outside of the United States. Those in violation would be subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per day. Read the full story by Stephanie Eidelman at  InsideARM.

 

 

Saving Call Center jobs in Florida

Florida State Representatives and Senators are moving a bill through the State’s legislature that would make it harder for companies to relocate Call Center jobs off-shore. Read the full storycall-center-consulting at floridapolitics.com

After working through so many years of the State of Florida vilifying Call Center workers and the Industry, it is refreshing to see the tide turn in favor of saving Call Center jobs in the state. The Contact Center industry is crucial in this age of customers demanding instant responses and information on demand from all of their service and product providers.

Well trained and professional Contact Center workers provide customers and businesses amazing value and ROI.