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New Call Center Manager- Congratulations or Condolences

Congratulations! you are the new Call Center manager/director…now what?

Should it even be congratulations? Perhaps condolences would be more appropriate. Why would this not be a celebratory moment? Well consider that ,

  • more than one third of a call center managers time is wasted on recurring everyday problems (firefighting)…how can we prevent fires if we are too busy fighting them?
  • Only 38% of executives have the tools to solve customers problems …how can we improve customer satisfaction without the proper tools?
  • The staff you will rely on is likely untrained, 30% of Supervisors receive no formal training! …how can we expect them to complete a job they have not been trained for?

Is this a recipe for success? Is it any wonder that 58% of senior executives said that they don’t deserve their customers loyalty? …So it can’t be much of a surprise that almost one third of all call centers and contact centers miss their KPI’s at least one a week

The prime business objectives for call centers and contact centers today are improving efficiency and reducing costs. So against this back drop I ask if you really want this role?

It reminds me of a story where a sea captain in the 1800’s is sailing in pirate infested waters and one day the look out shouts “Pirate ship straight ahead”, The captain turns to his mates and says “bring me my sabre and my red shirt”. The mate does so and after a fierce battle the captain and crew successfully drive off the pirates. A few days later the look out shouts “two pirate ships dead ahead”, Once again the captain asks for his sabre and red shirt and the mate comply. Following a hard fought struggle the captain and crew are able to win the day and turn back the pirates. As they recovered on the deck the mate asks the captain about his pre-battle requests, the mates says “captain I understand why you ask for the sabre, but why the red shirt?”, The captain answers “that’s easy since we are going into battle I don’t want the crew to become frightened or concerned if I were to be wounded and bleed in the fighting…with the red shirt they won’t see the blood”. The mate nods and now understands. The very next day the look out shouts down to the captain, “five pirate ships coming towards us”. The captain without a seconds pause turned to the mate and says…” bring me my sabre and my brown pants”

OK not original, but I think you get the message. With so much lined up against you how can you succeed? The answer requires you to step back from the day-to-day and to look at the center holistically. You need realize that every activity and process that occurs within a call center or contact center is inter-related and that dealing with the symptoms will not cure the disease.

Congratulations or Condolences, I say Congrats, because given the poor state of service in business today there is lots of room for improvement and lots of opportunities for those that can rein in chaos and create effective, efficient, productive contact centers

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