Managing Associate and Supervisor Confrontation in a Call Center

tug

Confrontation in the work place is going to happen. How we manage it is a trained skill that all managers must have. Since I have run call centers for most of my life this is the example that I will use. These are some of the tactics that we cover in our management trainee program at my company Expivia Interaction Marketing. These can be very easily transferred to any manager who leads a team.

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The 5 Absolutes for an Amazing Call Center and Customer Service Culture

culture

You learn some things after running contact centers for 20+ years. The following are 5 tips or to take that a step further, absolutes on changing or creating a great contact center culture in your customer service center.

“You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management.” -Howard Shultz CEO Starbucks

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Taking a Look at Why SOOOOO Many Companies Have Poor Customer Service

bad service

 

Why is customer service done so poorly in so many service centers? There are many reasons for this, just look at all the books written on this subject. I would like to focus on 7 core reasons that I have seen in many different companies and have helped correct:

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In-house or Outsource, What to do?

in out

Post 5: In or out?

Keeping call center operations in-house or outsourcing call center operations and customer service is a topic that many organizations struggle with.  While you are giving up control of your customer experience to a 3rd party,  the perception that in-house facilities are ALWAYS better is in my opinion, false.  Just like post 3 in this series on “Self-Service”…if you are looking to outsource strictly to save money then you are doing it for the wrong reasons.  Yes that is an ancillary benefit but one that will bite you in the long run if you choose the wrong partner.

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Multi-Channel Customer Service is The Only Option for Today

multi-channel

Is your organization telling your customers how they are to interact with your company? Seems backwards doesn’t it? So many organizations make customers go through long drawn out IVRs, have no mobile strategy, Facebook pages with only company updates (thinking that’s a social media strategy). Worse of all though are organizations that hide their phone number on their website to try to force non-voice options because it’s cheaper (so they think)! I don’t understand this; your customers should be telling you how they want to interact with your company. We should want to talk to our customers if they want to talk to us, why are we pushing them away or funneling them to one or two channels when that is not what they want?

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Improve the Overall Quality of Your Customer Service Agents- Agent Analysis Program

quality

Do all your contact center/customer service agents have a current, up to date improvement plan? Do they understand their goals for quality, sales, conversion or net promotion? There are a lot of centers that just do a quick morning meeting and then get on with their day. If that is the basis for your reps improvement/goal setting then let’s look at something very easy to do that I think can benefit all centers.

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5 Tips For Creating a GREAT Customer Service Call Center Culture

cult

You learn some things after running contact centers for 20+ years. The following are 5 tips on changing or creating a great contact center culture in your customer service center.

“You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management.” -Howard Shultz CEO Starbucks

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The Games We Play Part II, More Fun In a Customer Service Call Center

fun

Call center/customer service work is hard. Representatives on the phone can take a ton of abuse no matter when channel they are working. The environment must be one of comfort and….yes its ok to say…FUN!

Our job is to make the customers that interact with our center have a world class experience. We cannot do this if we have associates that are lethargic, have bad attitudes and do not want to be at work. One way we can help them is by making the contact center THE fun place to work.

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The Hardest Parts My Call Center Start Up Adventure

startup

Four years ago we founded a startup in Erie, Pa. Expivia Interaction Marketing Group, inc was born in 2011 from the ascendants of a larger BPO contact center/marketing group that was sold in 2011. Being a smaller startup at the time, there were things that were new to me as I had never been through any of this before. The following are the facets of a smaller startup that I thought were the most difficult. Most of them we have overcome, some we are still working on and yet others will be with us forever (mental and physical cost of doing business).

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World Class Customer Service NEEDS the Interaction Center of Today!

cust

Is your organization telling your customers how they are to interact with your company? Seems backwards doesn’t it? So many organizations make customers go through long drawn out IVRs, have no mobile strategy, Facebook pages with only company updates (thinking that’s a social media strategy). Worse of all though are organizations that hide their phone number on their website to try to force non-voice options because it’s cheaper (so they think)! I don’t understand this; your customers should be telling you how they want to interact with your company. We should want to talk to our customers if they want to talk to us, why are we pushing them away or funneling them to one or two channels when that is not what they want?

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