| National Association of Call Centers
The fun, informative, and unique newsletter for the call center industry
|Welcome to the November 2017 issue of the NACC In Queue newsletter!
The Best Attributes Of Inbound Call Center Sales Reps
Marcia Jenkins, Senior Operations Manager, Quality Contact Solutions,
a question for call center managers and supervisors: How do you know
you have the best call center reps on your team? In my
experience, the best call center reps share the same characteristics.
The best call center reps (particularly reps on sales-oriented
programs) are persistent. They continue firmly in a course of action in
spite of difficulty or opposition. If you have ever worked on the front
lines in a call center operation, you know it’s tough! When an inbound
call center sales rep has been around a long time, you know they are a
persistent person, working hard, day in and day out to overcome the
obstacles in their way!
They have confidence and know they can get the job done. They take
ownership and don’t look for reasons to explain away their poor
results. These persistent reps keep trying to get better and use
available resources. These reps grow every day and get better every
day, they are not happy with mediocre results.
Another characteristic of the best inbound call center sales reps is
curiosity. These curious people want to learn. Discovering new things
is part of their learning. They speak with others, read information and
really think on things they don’t yet understand. They are also
persistent in getting the answers. When they fail, they recognize it is
a learning experience. They take what they learn and use it to their
advantage on the next call.
One final characteristic is their optimism. Their glass is always half
full and they can keep it positive. They can take the information they
have learned, apply it and be successful. There is no whining or making
excuses. The inbound call center sales reps are coachable and know that
in order to get better, some things must change. When you provide
feedback, you can help them get better as they take what you gave them
last time and implement it, ready and willing to move to the next
level, they are respectful and listen.
Marcia Jenkins is the Senior Operations Manager for Quality Contact Solutions.
Prior to joining Quality Contact Solutions, Marcia was a sought- after
10-year call center veteran with the ability to manage and sell. Marcia
is responsible for the day to day operations for the At Home Division.
QCS At Home is a work-from-home telemarketing and call center solution
focused on business to business inbound and outbound telemarketing,
test-bed projects and special programs which are typically not
well-suited for the traditional brick and mortar call center operation.
Telecommuting Problems Or Management Problems!
Michele Rowan, President, Customer Contact Strategies, [email protected]
some large companies made announcements about pulling back on their
telecommuting programs. In general terms, the notifications advised
many professionals who had worked remotely for years - that they needed
to come back to the office to work, or lose their jobs.
many, the challenges of returning to the office could be
insurmountable. In several cases, local offices had long since closed.
So effected remote employees would have to either uproot their families
to move to a location where there was an active office, or take on a
2-3 hour commute each way.
was a well thought through, huge step backwards for companies involved.
So, what went wrong? And which groups were impacted? Specifics about
impacted groups (i.e. contact center reps vs. corporate employees) were
not available publicly.
Here are some significant considerations and likely scenarios:
remote workers were corporate employees, not contact center
employees. Contact center jobs are highly transactional,
and 100% of visibility of output is maintained with the move to work at
home (via ACD views, etc.). As long as companies make the right
investments in collaboration and communication platforms, there are no
downsides to contact center work at home programs. There are only
upsides, including larger talent pools, increased schedule
flexibility/employee satisfaction, improved attendance and retention.
Effective management/leadership is an obvious requirement.
telecommuting programs can have poor visibility of outputs, poorly
managed teams or programs. I do a good deal of onsite consulting work
around work at home initiatives, for both contact centers and corporate
telecommuting programs. I have seen a number of cases of non-contact
center telecommuting programs that suffered from weak leadership or
weak management. When managers don't take the care to set clear
expectations and agree on ways to consistently measure performance
against agree upon outputs, chances are targets won't be met. When
leaders are weak, disorganized or otherwise ineffective, employees will
disengage. And telecommuters are more likely to disengage faster, and
(non-contact center) no longer meets corporate objectives. This can
happen. Company objectives usually change every couple of years.
Telecommuting may no longer be a strategy that's aligned with
cost cutting strategy. In some cases, reduction or elimination of
corporate telecommuting programs may be a way to contribute to cost
cutting strategies or work force reduction strategies, while avoiding
the headaches of performance-based or seniority-based
center work at home programs work, unless they are peppered with weak
ineffective leaders. It's far easier for the contact center
organization to get work at home right than any other function within
How does your organization stack up against others? Join us at the
2018 Remote Working Summit, Dallas March 7-8. Learn more here:
The Game Is On! Gamification in the Contact Center
Paul Stockford, Research Director, NACC and Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, [email protected]
Perhaps the best-known of all contact center employee engagement
solutions is gamification. Early implementations of gamification
reach back to the mid-1970s. One of the first examples of
gamification was provided to Saddletree Research by Dr. Brooks
Mitchell, retired professor from the University of Wyoming.
In this 1974 example, a gamification experiment was conducted in a
real-world factory environment that had been experiencing high
absenteeism. In this case, the experimental group participated in
gamification while a control group of employees did not. The
experimental group was given a playing card each time they arrived for
work. The control group was not. At the end of the week,
the member of the experimental group who had the best poker hand was
awarded with $20.
At the end of the experiment, absenteeism among the experimental group
was down 18 percent. Absenteeism among the control group had no
Dr. Mitchell replicated this experiment with the City of Garland,
Texas, in 1982, albeit without a control group. All employees
participated. The city was experiencing a high degree of
absenteeism on Mondays and sought a solution through
gamification. Using the same card game utilized in the 1974
factory experiment, the City of Garland experienced a nearly immediate
decrease in Monday absenteeism of 35 percent.
Despite solid examples of success, such as those described above,
gamification has yet to find its footing in the contact center
industry. It appears, however, that this will not be the case
going into 2018. As illustrated in the figure below, interest in
gamification is showing significant gains as the importance of employee
engagement grows in the industry.
source of the above data is the NACC/Saddletree Research survey of
customer service professionals conducted during the third quarter of
2017. The results reveal that over 45 percent of the industry
will be evaluating gamification for implementation in 2018.
believe that the major factor driving this renewed interest in contact
center gamification deployment is the evolution of the contact center
agent workforce. The Millennial Generation, generally defined as
those individuals born between 1982 and 2004. They are now the
nation’s largest living generation with a population of about 75.4
million. Millennials have been the majority of the U.S. workforce
since 2016 and will represent 75 percent of the workforce by 2030.
number of studies conducted over the past several years reveal a set of
Millennial generation work characteristics and preferences that will,
we believe, prove to be increasingly important in the years to
come. Some of the best-known of these characteristics and
preferences, especially relevant to the contact center industry,
• Maintaining a work/life balance
• A collaborative approach to work in groups or teams
• Instant recognition and gratification for work performance
• Excellent multi-taskers
• Constant connectivity with peers and colleagues
• Open and honest relationships with management
• Clearly defined paths for career development
believe that the implementation of contact center gamification in 2018
is only the beginning of the deployment of what can best be described
as solutions that address employee engagement and the evolving
expectations of Millennials in the workplace. We expect
gamification to be one of the breakout industry solutions in the year
recently participated in a webinar entitled “The Game is On!
Gamification and the Next Generation Contact Center.” Sponsored
by Calabrio, a replay of the webinar can be found at https://www.calabrio.com/recorded-webinars/contact-center-gamification/
If gamification is of interest to you, listening to the replay of this
webinar will be a good investment of your time.
Call Center Comics
If you like this comic and would like to see more, write Ozzie at [email protected] and visit his website at http://callcentercomics.com
or just click on the comic to tak you to his page. The NACC appreciates
Ozzie letting us use some of his comics in our newsletter.
In This Issue...
- Best Attributes Of Inbound Agents
- Telecommuting Problems
- The Rise of Contact Center Gamification
- Call Center Comics!
Pearls Of Wisdom
“The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement."
~ Charles Schwab
Reports From NACC
NACC has been burning the midnight oil and typing until our fingers are
sore to bring out reports to our members. Each is listed below. If you
are interested to see what we are writing about, click on the links
below and download the executive summary of each. If you like what you
see, join the NACC so that you can view these reports and others that
will be coming out soon on our website. These reports will ensure that
you know the latest trends in the industry.
|Did You Know That NACC...
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