This article is another contribution from NACC member Mark
Pereira. We appreciate Mark’s support and encourage other members
to contribute to the In Queue newsletter. We are open to any and
all topic ideas. ~ Editor)
When I started my call center career a few years ago, I was basically
tied down to a phone and tackling one call after another with two
breaks and a 30-minute lunch in which to catch my breath. This
went on from 8am to 4:30pm daily and it was fine initially, but as the
months went by, I started feeling down and reluctant to come in to
work. My goal for joining this call center was to help people and keep
learning, but morale among my colleagues was low and this impacted me
and my purpose. Instead of feeling like an asset to the call center and
enjoying what I did, I felt I was another gear or cog in the machine
that seemed to be wearing out.
The symptoms of low morale in the contact center often manifest
themselves in a number of ways, including but not limited to:
Long average hold
times and handle times
level agreements (SLA)
I have discovered in my career that some call centers take an approach
like, “I give employees a paycheck when they come to work. If
they choose to not do what they’re supposed to be doing or not come in,
I’ll bring in someone who wants to work.” That approach may work for a
little while but I have also learned that rather than keep looking for
new agents, it is more cost-effective to retain the agents you have
already trained and have on board. Some of the ideas we have come
up with to try to minimize agent turnover include the following:
Occasional thank you cards. A
small note or card of appreciation for their efforts or for coming in
on a day that they weren’t scheduled to, etc. We went to Michaels and
purchased small thank you cards which costs about $15.
Creating a call center fun committee.
We established a mix of the leadership team and agents who volunteered
to participate in organizing morale-building activities, assist with
training and so on.
Surveys. We ask employees for ideas
for training sessions, organizing an activity, or just getting general
input from your agents. This lets them feel that their voice is
being heard and counts. We do implement some of their suggestions
if they also meet our business needs. We use Microsoft Forms to
Surprise food events. I
borrowed a cart, purchased some yogurt, granola, fruits and juice and
walked around the call center floor serving the agents breakfast on a
Monday morning. The total cost was about $34, and this served a
total of 42 appreciative agents.
Recognize work anniversaries and birthdays.
I do handwritten cards to remember special days of the agents on my
Yearly or half-yearly charitable event(s).
For Christmas we divided the call center into teams to collect canned
goods which were donated to Gleaners, a local charity.
Motivational posters. I’ve
been using a site called Canva to create and print a lot of the posters
or material we use for our call center. You can also create a
collage of pictures you’ve taken in your call center of daily
activities or special events. These posters speak volumes to new
I’ve focused on some of the ideas that I think are the most easily
implemented for this article. I hope you may find some of these
ideas useful for your own operations, and that you also find success in
implementing some of these morale-building activities.
(Note: This article is a contribution from
NACC member Barb Bleiler. Stay tuned to hear more about Barb and her
story in the future. Not only does she work full-time, she is the CEO
of the NICE User Group (NUG), and she also recently completed her
Bachelor’s Degree after several years of part-time study while
maintaining her career! Congratulations Barb! ~ Editor)
The Experience Divide was the concept that was shared by NICE CEO Barak
Eilam at this year’s NICE Interaction Conference held in Las Vegas in
April 2019. This three-day conference started with sessions that
were dedicated to educational topics that provided attendees the
opportunity to learn more about workforce management, call recording,
quality management analytics, and more. The latter part of the
day covered the more technical side of these topics. The day
ended with a welcome reception for all. The next two days moved
into full gear with breakout sessions, and featured keynote speakers.
Lori Brown, the Chief Experience Officer from the Results Company
shared a great story as did Doug Klees, head of Global Customer Care
from MoneyGram. James Cave, Senior Director,
Omnichannel Customer Experience shared how at Macy’s they use NICE’s
Predictive Behavioral Routing to ensure Macy’s customer experience is
unique and unforgettable.
I thought it was unusual that Ashton Kutcher was chosen to be the
keynote speaker for this conference but was so surprised to learn that
he is really into new technologies. He is especially passionate
about new entrepreneurial technology. For example, he has been
following Uber since its infancy and has created his own application
called Thorn. I thought he was just an actor, but my opinion of him has
definitely changed after his keynote.
I was truly excited to hear Chef Gordon Ramsey’s presentation during the
keynote session. Personal admission - I love the Gordon Ramsey
shows. I watch them as I find that you really can find
opportunities and lessons in every single episode for team building,
leadership, and mentoring. I also get great cooking tips and a
good laugh. This talk was just like his TV shows. Gordon shared
what he learned growing up and the importance of perseverance and the
pursuit of perfection. It was served up with his honest British
perspective, and was dished out in a way that everyone could appreciate
A special luncheon was also held and awards were presented to best
cloud implementation, best customer experience, best employee
engagement, best business impact and rookie of the year. All
companies participating for the awards were included in the
luncheon. Award winning companies were photographed with their
awards and this was shared during closing of the conference.
David Swaisgood and John Lally of TTEC, and Tim Poot of Sallie Mae were
individual NUG Star plaque winners. These individuals are Nice
User Group members that were recognized for making individual
contributions to the membership for 2018.
NICE Interactions provided a total of 200 breakout sessions so those
attending with a group of people were able to spread out and cover
multiple sessions. NICE also created a fantastic mobile
application that allowed attendees to easily view which sessions to
attend, and provide session feedback immediately after the session was
Most memorable for me were the conference sessions that were set up
like fireside chats. Really! The session rooms even had monitors
displaying little campfires going during the sessions so we felt more
like we were sitting around the fire and sharing information. I
had the opportunity to conduct one of these fireside chats myself and
included the toasting of virtual marshmallows!
NICE Interaction 2020 will be May 11-13 in Las Vegas at Caesars Forum
Conference Center. NICE has already posted a Super Saver rate
until December 31st, 2019. If you want the full three days, it
will be $1,150. The two-day pass will be $1,050. After
January 1st, the prices go up.
I’ll be there, and hopefully I’ll see you there too!
Software Expands To U.S. Market: Automate & Personalize
Stockford, Research Director, NACC & Chief Analyst, Saddletree
Research, [email protected]
Altitude Software of Lisbon, Portugal is expanding its global footprint
and has entered the U.S. market. Using its regional headquarters
in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as its launch point, Altitude has
established U.S. headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
Altitude has been operating in the global contact center theater for
over 25 years and today has 12 offices on four different continents and
a partner network that numbers over 90 and growing.
Altitude offers both premises-based and cloud-based solutions for
contact centers of all sizes, each providing a full complement of
customer engagement features and a highly competitive array of
traditional and advanced contact center functionalities.
Omnichannel support, intelligent routing, customer scripting and an
extensive portfolio of integrations with third-party applications and
platforms are among Altitude’s offerings.
Throughout its product line, Altitude brings an ability to handle the
most complex of routing applications to contact centers of all
sizes. Altitude simplifies routing through proprietary routing
algorithms that eliminate the complexity and cost typically associated
with advanced routing strategies.
Altitude is among industry leaders in its focus on automation and the
use of robotic process automation (RPA) to address both the customer
experience and the employee experience. On the customer side,
Altitude bots power its intelligent self-service for both inbound and
outbound applications. The bots also have the ability to transfer
a call to a live agent as required, staying with the call to help the
agent as necessary and ensuring an optimal customer experience.
On the employee engagement side, Altitude bots work as digital
assistants to agents. Altitude bots monitor agent activity in
order to assist the agent in determining next best actions during a
customer call. Altitude bots also work on the desktop in order to
assist in onboarding and training of new agents.
All this adds up to a highly personalized customer experience, which is
exactly what Altitude works to provide. As customer centricity
continues to grow as a driving factor in the customer service
profession, Altitude is well-positioned to serve the market. Add
to this Altitude’s commitment to agent empowerment by providing agents
the right tools for the optimal customer and employee experience, and
measuring performance metrics that truly matter and you have a recipe
for customer service success.
While Altitude is new to the U.S. market, they bring with them a rich
history in the global contact center industry and over 25 years of
experience from which to draw. For more information on Altitude
and its market strategy and product portfolio, visit www.altitude.com.
In This Issue...
Morale At Your Call Center
Interactions 2019: A NACC Member Review
Software Expands To US Market
"The moment we believe
that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability as opposed
to resilience and hard work, we will be brittle in the face of
~ Joshua Waitzkin
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.