You learned in Kindergarten all that you need to know to be an adult. That sounds like it is true for us call center veterans too. Remember a few decades ago when we learned to organize our focus into People, Process, and Technology?
Justin Robbins Contact Center & Conference interview takes me back to kindergarten – Click to Tweet
Now we are all grown up and while the contact center industry has undergone a massive amount of development and change, our focus is still the same. Justin Robbins of ICMI spoke about the three themes for the Contact Center Demo & Conference (CCDemo) meeting in Dallas, in his interview with our Jim Rembach, that fit into the veterans’ view of the industry. What we learned years ago is still true today (with a little twist):
- ‘People’ is now Employee Engagement
- ‘Process’ is now Ease of Doing business
- And ‘Technology’ is now Omni-Channel technology
The 1990s stressors for call center management have evolved into a set of modern day issues that are more complex and financially critical to the organization. We depend now, more than ever, on our Supervisors as they are implementing our everyday ideas to address the implications of the stressors on our centers.
Employee Engagement Heads UP (or Heads DOWN)
Employee Engagement is directly affected by our Supervisors. Do your Supervisors spend their time helping agents to be effective with the callers or is there too little time for such work? Justin Robbins demonstrates the heads down life of a supervisor and it’s safe to assume that you see a lot of top of heads and not enough mentoring and coaching to enhance the customer experience.
Improving employee engagement begins and ends with improving the connection with the customers. Agents want to be efficient and effective but too often we are too busy with making reports, reading reports and reporting on the reports in our Heads Down environment. Agents want to be effective at their job as do the Supervisors.
I work with contact centers who have unleashed the power of the Supervisor by altering the focus of their position to be Heads UP rather than Heads DOWN. The Customer Relationship Metrics platform provides customer experience analytics for each team and we guide the Supervisors to incorporate the customer view into their coaching sessions. Along with other internally focused tools, customer experience analytics identify that one (or two) things that a team or an agent needs to focus on. The answer is easily found in the team analytics and then important ideas for improvement are identified during a Heads Up meeting.
Supervisor Heads Up differ
Not every Supervisor has the same weekly Heads Up items but each do have an adequate number of performance metrics for the agents along with customer explanations for their scores or the details about an unresolved issue.
In a meeting with a Supervisor just last week, we saw a week-to-week decrease in FCR so we isolated the evaluations for only unresolved calls and immediately saw the agent with the issue. Within a few minutes, this Supervisor could see that a FCR decrease was not an issue for the entire team but rather one agent and the customer’s comment about the agent seemed to be distracted and multi-tasking was all she needed to hear to connect the dots with her internal observations. Her coaching was proved to be effective when FCR increased for that agent and for her team.
In some weekly Heads Up meetings, the team analytics point to an issue that applies to everyone on the team. In another example, a driver of the customer experience was the callers’ confidence in the information that was provided (also a driver of FCR, by the way) and the team score on that metric dropped. The Heads Up meeting guided the team to identify the change in a company policy and the cause and they devised a strategy for each of them to present the information differently (read more effectively here) to the callers. It worked which benefited the customer experience but also bolstered the agent engagement as they owned the solution. They used the customer experience analytics to identify and issue, determined a solution, and saw proved the improvement with the next week’s analytics.
The strength of this strategy is to provide the skills and tools for the Supervisors to intentionally connect with their agents to collectively move improve the value of the contact center.
Can you think of a better way to improve employee engagement than to first engage with the customer?
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