Free NACC Memberships Available!
Paul Stockford, Research Director, National Association of Call Centers and
Chief Analyst, Saddletree Research, [email protected]
The NACC is setting aside a limited number of individual
memberships that will be offered at no charge to select readers of In Queue. These
are full memberships and include all the rights and benefits of individual membership,
• All reports issued by the
NACC, including the recently published review of 2008 and forecast for 2009;
• Inquiry service;
• Peer networking;
• Job board posting.
A full description of
membership benefits can be found at http://www.nationalcallcenters.org/membership.php.
This is an excellent
opportunity to become part of this exciting, growing industry organization with no
out-of-pocket expense. It is also an opportunity to support the NACC – the
industry’s only true non-profit, University-based membership organization dedicated
to the advancement of the contact center industry and the customer care
In order to qualify for one
of these free memberships you must meet the following requirements:
1. You must be a contact
center supervisor, manager or other executive; and,
2. You must agree to
participate in the occasional surveys that we will send out during the course of the
If you have participated in
any of our past surveys you already know that our surveys tend to be short and to
the point. Every one of them was designed to be completed in a minute or two,
literally. We avoid open-ended questions and try to gather general information that
will benefit all NACC members and readers of the biweekly In Queue newsletter.
As always, the results of
the surveys will be published in the newsletter for the purpose of benchmarking
your experiences, attitudes and intentions against those of your peers. Surveys will
be conducted on-line, not on the phone. Although we will keep track of your
participation, you will not be identified as a respondent in any way. Your time
commitment will be minimal.
The benefit to us is
consistency in the type and number of responses we get to our surveys, which in
turn benefits the entire membership. The benefit to you is savings of $500 as well
as being able to take advantage of all the benefits of NACC
If you are so lucky to already be a member of the NACC,
and meet the criteria listed above and want to participate, we will extend your
current membership one year if chosen.
To take advantage of this
offer please send an e-mail with the word “Volunteer” in the subject line to
Executive Director David Butler at [email protected]. If you have any
questions regarding this offer, please contact either David or me.
From the Trenches-"Customer Relationship
Management" - dead or alive?
Lori Bocklund, President, Strategic Contact, [email protected]
Customer Relationship Management is nothing new. Maybe
you know it as “customer-focused service.” Chances are you use some form of CRM
technology – whether bought, built, or hosted – along with quality monitoring and
voice of the customer programs to promote your focus on the customer. Regardless
of what you call it, pretty much everyone believes in the concept. But do you really
manage relationships and focus on the customer in your center and your
I ask the question
because four recent experiences make me think we have fallen short. Each instance
involved a Fortune 50 company with an immensely recognizable brand. Product
troubles, billing and technical problems they created, and problems they didn’t
resolve on the first, second, or third contact raised costs, frustrated the customer,
and increased the risk of defection. They’re lucky I’m writing an industry-focused
article without their names rather than a pointed rant on a public web site. [Some
of these are really amazing stories!] And by the way, in each case, the “customer”
had a long-standing “relationship” with the company worth hundreds or thousands
of dollars a year. My lifetime value to them? Priceless. Yet this seems to go
unnoticed and unacknowledged. It certainly didn’t seem to influence the service
As call center
professionals, our friends are quick to share their poor customer service stories.
They’ve got a legitimate beef – service often stinks. Check out CCPact – http://www.ccpact.com – and see what you think.
Through a grass roots effort, they’re trying to create a pact between companies
and customers to get it right. I love the idea – we need to promote the positive
potential of our industry! But we have to get it right on the company side first to
enable the customer to come to the interaction with a positive attitude and a
willingness to build and sustain a relationship.
So what should you do?
Become an advocate of true CRM – not just the technology, but the concept. I’m
going to pick up on my last From the Trenches theme to focus on processes,
especially end-to-end. Most of the problems I experienced were cross-departmental
issues, and the call center takes the hit, both in cost and customer perception.
Push a theme across your organization: Consider the customer first. Ideally this
exercise is a top down effort, but start grass roots if you must. Use recordings,
letters, and the cases where customers resort to the Web 2.0 approach to
broadcast their frustration to millions of their closest friends. Use these tools to
build awareness across the enterprise. Ensure executives from other areas sit with
representatives. Start with awareness and then begin to tackle the changes
needed to ensure customer relationship management is alive and well.
60 Ideas in 60 Minutes-Round IX
David L. Butler, Executive Director, National Association of
Call Centers, [email protected]
Paul Stockford, the
Director of Research for the NACC, asked me to serve on a panel at the ICCM
Toronto call center conference in October this year after serving last year as well.
Each panelist was given 1 minute to share their idea for improving call centers
before the next panelist's turn. Stockford moderated and kept time for 60 minutes.
We have recorded and transcribed the session. To view past rounds, visit our In
Queue archive at the following link http://www.nationalcallcenters.org/newsletter.php.>
David Butler-During some of the sessions here as
the people have been presenting instead of listening to the presenter I’ve been
watching the audience all of you out there, and I notice whenever the presenter
say something you don’t know whatever you sort of look around, you may talk to
the person you’re calling next to you, and next thing you know, you know the
person’s off in lala land and you’re getting nothing out of it. So I recommend within
the organizations ask questions, be inquisitive. It doesn’t actually make you look
ignorant, it doesn’t make you look stupid, it actually makes you look interested,
informed, it makes you look caring, it makes the fact that you’re trying to absorb
knowledge. Ask questions about what’s going on, something you don’t understand,
it increases your knowledge base and makes you look like someone who’s trying to
learn. For example, Samantha, what is the social network for business, can you
define it? How do you actually make any money with it? I have no idea, so I’m
Samantha Kane-It’s interesting because both Paul
and I met a gentlemen by the name of Axel Schwarz at a conference in Phoenix this
year, he’s a guru of social networking for business. What he demonstrates is that
true social networking means not getting something but always giving something
and not expecting anything in return Because of that I have experienced venues
like LinkedIn where I have found customers from ten years ago that we’re now
doing business again. I have found people that will help me with knowledge
transfer, I have found contractors who need to fill certain skill sets for our projects
that we’re doing, and so everyday I spend 15 minutes on my social networks giving,
not taking. It has put me in the right place at the right time for the right
Barb Bleiler-How many of you make sure to work
with your technical testing areas to make sure that that testing area is up to snuff
on what your call center is doing and how it works so when there are system
updates and changes they make sure they’re testing the right things for you so
you’re not impacting production come Monday morning. I think that’s a very critical
area you need to have a good tight relationship with, that they have an
understanding of how critical it is, of what systems you use, how you use those
systems them, intricacies that are involved and that if my system’s not up come
Monday morning, you know what, the calls aren’t going to fly. I can’t just put them
on hold. And so I ask for you to make sure you have a nice tight bond with your
technical areas that help support you in any system upgrades or changes or
modifications. Sometimes some simplest little patch upgrades for the newest
Microsoft antivirus or such can cause real havoc on your telephony or your
workforce management and such. Proactively work with that technical area to
make sure they understand what you’re doing, how you’re using it and make sure
that they’re testing those applications for you so you’re set and ready to go on
Beel Yaqub-For information management, as
Samantha mentioned, there is no shortage of reporting in contact centres. The
infrastructure and system design allow us to capture and measure many elements.
With that said, the opportunity exists in building analytical capability in order to
drive the business, especially in areas where analytics can provide insight to inform
the direction for an organization. There was actually a study that was done that
showed only 5% of information typically captured within an organization is used to
guide decisions, the other 95% is just not being utilized. In order to eliminate
hundreds of reports which in many cases forces people to get lost in the details,
you can focus your efforts on key performance indicators which allow you to
identify business drivers in order to gage your ongoing performance. This monthly
report allows for streamlined root cause analysis reporting to identify challenges
and opportunities, in addition to providing a clear view of what is being projected
through scenario based modeling. The next time you receive a report, ask for
insight instead of more spreadsheets.
Vicki Herrell-SWPP-[email protected] -Let's get those agents out of
bed and into the seats on Monday morning! We had a question from one of our
SWPP members asking for help on this. They were having some real problems with
Monday call-ins, so we asked some of our members for some ideas they they've
used to encourage better attendance on Monday. Here are some of those -- see if
any of these would work for you.
1) Have your scheduled
adherence scores give a heavier weighting on Monday, rewarding those who show
up. 2) Include some element of attendance and adherence in the performance
equation, including performance scheduling if you are using that; if they are sick on
Monday then they will get a lower performance score and thus lower on the ranking
for scheduling bidding. 3) Turn Mondays into days people want to come to work by
furnishing pizza or having special contests or theme days. 4) Have casual dress day
on Monday instead of Friday. 5) Do random prize drawing on Mondays and you have
to be present to win.
Bill Durr-Many of
you probably are not aware of this, but in Brazil there has been a tremendous shock
to the contact center industry. The President of Brazil issued a decree which has
the force of law for many of the contact centers there. Of the many things the
decree establishes is that in the first IVR menu selection there must be an agent
choice available. You cannot hide agents down at the bottom of a nested menu.
Another thing that was decreed was that if the IVR asks for information, then
subsequently the agent is forbidden from asking for that same information. What
would we do if that decree pertained to us? Take a look at your IVR menu; if you
have hidden your agent selection to try and force people into IVR, you are working
against your own best interests in terms of customer service.
NEW Call Center Comics!
If you like this comic and
to see more write Ozzie at
[email protected] and visit his website at
or just click
on the comic to take you to his page. The
appreciates Ozzie letting us use some of his comics
Your company logo here. To find out
more, contact David Butler at
To view past issues of
In Queue, please
If you would like to contribute to
In Queue, please reply to this email with "Contribute" in the subject
2009 National Association of Call Centers