You Don’t Need to Add Communicators to Improve Contact Center Service

Do your Communicators have the best tools and techniques to do their jobs well? If so, you’ve likely learned that less is more. Fewer Communicators with heightened skills are a greater contact center asset than more Communicators with fewer skills. That means it makes sense to develop a customer service approach that optimizes the customer experience as well as your business’s cost structure.

To reduce the need for more Communicators requires taking action on three fronts: Communicator utilization, productivity and call center volume.

Optimizing Communicator usage: Contact center managers can boost staff utilization by employing technology tools that ensure Communicators are scheduled effectively. Today’s workforce management software, which can capture all types of work, including interactions via phone, email and other communication channels, provides an alternative to inefficient paper- based staff planning. Communicators can be scheduled based on their skills—from fluency in two languages to training and experience with various technologies.

Increasing Communicator productivity: Instead of measuring productivity with the old standard average handle time (ADT) metric, contact center managers should track customer satisfaction across Communicator conversations. ADT can actually pressure Communicators to rush customers off a call instead of fully ensuring their satisfaction. Consequently, managers should not only guarantee that Communicators are following policy and procedure but make sure to monitor calls and coach staff on how well they controlled interactions and stayed on point.

Contact center managers should also track how often customers are placed on hold while Communicators look up information. This is usually an indication of training gaps or difficult searches on poorly designed information systems. To improve the customer experience, contact center decision makers must acknowledge and address Communicator challenges to quickly and effectively resolving customer issues.

Reducing call center volume: First-contact resolution (FCR) is the key metric to look at when trying to decrease the number of incoming call center inquiries. Your goal here is to ensure that more customer interactions are based on requests for more products or services—and not to resolve problems with existing ones.

To improve FCR success, proactively identify the root causes of customer problems and determine to prevent them. Do your due diligence to learn from customers whether your products are easy to use. Next, look into whether your processes and practices prevent Communicators from addressing problems on first contact. Check into whether it makes sense to give your Communicators more power to make decisions on customers’ behalves. Ensure they are properly trained for this sort of responsibility before moving ahead.

Keep in mind that less can be more when it comes to both the number of Communicators in your contact center and your success at providing optimal customer service.

InfoCision CFO Dave Hamrick wins CFO of the Year Award

On October 23, InfoCision CFO Dave Hamrick was honored as CFO of the Year in the large private company category, presented by Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Dave Hamrick CFO of the YearLast Tuesday, October 23,  InfoCision CFO Dave Hamrick was honored as CFO of the Year in the large private company category,  presented by Crain’s Cleveland Business. For Dave to have won in a field that included several other talented CFO’s from large local companies is quite an honor, and speaks to the high quality of his work.

I have had the opportunity to work with Dave since he joined our Executive Team here at InfoCision in 2007, and I can’t begin to tell you how much he has made a positive impact, and significantly enhanced our accounting department by fine-tuning accounting methods, expanding financial reporting and improving the budgeting process. The quantity and quality of the work done by Dave and his staff in our accounting department has greatly improved our business overall and his contributions have helped InfoCision maximize profits and reduce expense. He has helped our company to grow over the last few years despite difficult economic conditions.

In the highly complex environment of corporate finance, where more stringent regulations are continuously being enacted, it is essential to have a highly competent CFO like Dave to maintain InfoCision’s compliance leadership in the industry.  I’ve spoken often of the important role compliance plays in teleservices, and the same applies to every corporation’s financial practices.  No matter what your company does, a lack of sound financial leadership would lead to disastrous results.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dave for being named CFO of the Year, as it is very well deserved!