Picture the scene… Call Centre Operations Manager Colin runs a 100 seat contact centre in the utilities sector. The centre has grown from a small 50 seat call centre that was set up in the late 1990s, when everyone was on fixed shifts and 100% of the workload was traditional inbound calls. Now, the centre handles inbound voice, some live chat and a growing volume of email; there’s even a small outbound team on a dialler.
A recent (fake) news story caught my eye: “Man becomes professional pianist after calling his internet provider and waiting on hold for hours. The piano hold music inspired him to learn to tickle the ivory keys.”
Working in a call center, whether you’re on the phone or on the floor managing operations, means that you’re front and center with customers at all times. It also means that you know the importance of delivering a great service experience for your customers. If that’s not an area of focus for you, it certainly ought to be!
The contact center landscape has changed dramatically over the years. Contact centers originally emerged to bring employees into centralized operations, supporting callers more efficiently by leveraging economies of scale. Disciplines in early contact centers were established in a completely different environment to that we have today. Seasoned veterans of the industry who changed companies brought their perception of best practices (which may have become outdated) to their new company. Career employees who never change jobs only knew what they’d been exposed to. It’s been easy for old-school thinking to become institutionalized.
“It’s not as good as the old way” If you’ve ever been involved in implementing a new workforce management (WFM) solution, whether it be an upgrade, a change to a new supplier or even moving from manual spreadsheets to a professional application, you may well have heard this statement or something similar (or worse!). This might be followed by statements like “it’s not working as it should do” and then all too soon “we never should have done this” and “I’m not sure why we changed from the old one”.