Following the Rules with Governance

Analytics-based governance keeps our contact centers running in full compliance with internal best practices, legal regulations, and more.

Our Governance Team defines goals, guidelines and terms across the organization; communicates with internal departments on these specifics so that everyone is on the same page; uses data to measure adherence to goals, guidelines and terms; and implements useful monitoring and auditing strategies. As part of Analytics Services, our Governance Team offers real-time visual presentations of data with calculated results and dashboards. This type of analysis measures adherence of results to set goals, guidelines and contractual terms.

Most simply, our Governance solutions provide another set of eyes helping to check all the important details that make a difference to our clients. The team develops reporting to check for conditions to be met and establishes notifications when they are not. For instance, in the case of natural disasters, we might shut-down certain area codes so we’re not calling those affected. Governance reports provide a safety-net to ensure that we don’t accidently make any calls into those locations, providing immediate alerts if there are discrepancies. Another example of our governance solutions includes ensuring that we’re adhering to contractual terms and obligations, then informing stakeholders if there is anything amiss.

Overall, Governance can be used in a contact center to ensure that your organization is one following all the rules.

 

 

Legal and Compliance – A Driving Force Behind High Quality

In the Call Center industry, some very complicated regulations and laws have been established at both state and national levels, in attempt to protect the consumer.  InfoCision employs expert legal counsel to ensure we stay apprised of new and updated regulations.  InfoCision is regulated by many entities – from individual Secretary of State offices to the FEC, and we strive to accommodate all regulations. We work directly with our IT, Governance, and Business Analytics teams to ensure we meet compliance standards, while continuing to make and take the highest quality calls in the world.

Our Legal and Compliance team represents 3 main areas of focus: contracts, compliance with telemarketing laws, and nonprofit/fundraising registration.

    • Contracts –  

      Any organization we do business with is required to have a contract.  We review all contracts to be sure that legal requirements are met and that InfoCision and client interests are protected.

    • Compliance with Telemarketing Laws –

      When it comes to compliance with telemarketing laws, we employ expert attorneys to ensure we stay up-to-date on any new regulations. We have many IT processes and procedures in place to ensure we are calling who we are allowed to call, at the appropriate times, and with the correct disclosures.

    • Nonprofit/Fundraising Registration –

      The third main essential piece of the department is nonprofit/fundraising registration.  Each state has its own set of regulations and requirements it demands from nonprofit organizations.  We are required to register as a professional fundraiser in 44 states.  This license gives us the ability to fundraise in the corresponding state but also comes with a series of requirements that we have to abide by in order to remain in good standing with the states.  This process typically requires us to submit any contract we sign with a nonprofit organization to the state and, in turn, report financials on the campaign.  This way, the state is aware of how much was raised and, of those funds, how much InfoCision and the charity received.

InfoCision has never aimed to be the biggest call center company in the world, just the best. Quality comes first to us in every facet of our business, and our Legal and Compliance practices are certainly a driving force in our ability to handle all calls in the best manner possible, achieving stellar performance and ROI for our clients.

Legal and Compliance – Drives High Quality; Legal and Compliance – Drives High Quality

Analytics – Real Time and Relevant

Our Business Analytics solutions have helped many organizations mine and analyze their existing data and turn it into interactive visualizations and easy-to-use analysis tools, focused on improving results and providing vital insight. Most importantly, we turn large amounts of data into something useful for our clients by doing things like determining pockets of your most callable records, figuring out the best times to call your campaigns, discovering who is most likely to buy your product or donate to your organization, proactively predicting the best Communicator to handle each phone call, or targeting businesses within a given area.

Most recently, we have been able to provide our call centers with the capability to see key KPIs that would help them manage their center more efficiently. These dashboards give them the ability to see a quick snapshot of such metrics as retention, hours tracking, management ratio, program results, and other important factors that are crucial in the day-to-day management of Communicators and programs.  They also have the ability to drill down into reporting connected to the dashboard to get a more detailed view and help pinpoint opportunities for improvement in a more timely fashion.

Tools like these are just an example of how we have been able to successfully build analytical solutions that are both real-time and usable, equating to smarter spending of your investment with us, achieving the best results possible and maximizing your ROI.

Work at Home – Flexibility in the Contact Center Space

Providing flexibility for a workforce is paramount to the long-term satisfaction of many employees in today’s job market. At InfoCision, we have an entire program that offers our contact center staff the option to work from the convenience of their home in a virtual call center environment.

Our staff involved in this unique program receive their initial training in a web-based environment and learn to make the same calls as our traditional agents, just from the comfort of their own homes. This provides an opportunity for people who may not be able to work outside the home otherwise. It also delivers other benefits, like not wasting time commuting back and forth to work, not having a dress code to follow, and saving money on gas and vehicle maintenance. 

Having a work at home program not only encourages employee satisfaction, but also ensures that we have the flexibility and capacity to meet staffing requirements, enabling us to provide excellent customer service and unparalleled ROI. 

 

Gamification: Enhancing Employee Engagement in the Contact Center Space

Keeping employees engaged is a goal for every contact center. In a world filled with social media, where myriads of people are involved in habitually playing games and using fun apps to send pictures and messages to their friends, why not apply the same logic to their work environment? Gamification leverages employee’s natural desires – for socializing, learning, mastery, competition, success, status, and expression – as play.  Whether incentivizing employees to compete with their colleagues to score points individually or motivating them to work together as a team to achieve an overall goal, gamification in the call center space changes the game.

 At InfoCision, we use gamification across the organization – from our Communicators on the phones to salary staff at Corporate.   Our proven gamification techniques align company, division and client goals with fun incentivizes and friendly competition.    Employees receive real-time feedback when their achievements contribute to the goal.  Those employees are instantly recognized and rewarded with their choice from thousands of different incentives, including merchandise, gift cards and work perks!  When personalized achievement, job satisfaction, and meaningful rewards merge to produce best in-class performance and quality – the result for our clients is truly a WIN-WIN! 

 

Team Empowerment in the Contact Center

Everyone can agree that it’s important to empower your workforce but developing best practices to boost retention and morale in the contact center space is critical. At InfoCision, we have decades of experience, which equates to a plethora of time-tested, valuable ideas.

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s a time like no other to evaluate how your management team offers appreciation and encouragement to everyone on your workforce, especially including your team on the phone. From gamification and e-cards built-in our screens each day, to holiday-themed grand prize giveaways, we motivate our agents to provide excellent customer service in every call. However, empowerment is more than just the stuff money can buy. It’s:

    • Building an environment where people genuinely want to come to work – a place that fosters self-esteem, builds confidence, and feels like family
    • Believing in the values of the organizations and brands we’re asking others to support
    • Having supervisors and managers who practice empathy and active-listening, remembering birthdays and asking about sick grandkids
    • Visiting the call center floor regularly with senior management who are invested in acquiring feedback from agents, in person, themselves
    • Focusing on finding solutions within an atmosphere of remarkable teamwork, not just debriefings venting about common challenges
    • Ensuring your team has the tools they need to offer an unmatched customer experience

     

  • Genuine job satisfaction comes from more than appreciative Christmas cards, offering team lunches, and coordinating cheesy holiday festivities. True empowerment is generated through a culture of operational excellence, in a commitment to the continual and sincere encouragement and inspiration of your workforce – not just during the holidays, but throughout the entire year.

Trust Your Frontline Staff to Deliver Outstanding Customer Service

Do you want to boost morale, productivity and engagement in your contact center? Then start trusting your frontline staff to do their jobs and deliver stellar customer service. Let go of the command and control approach so often applied in contact centers for one that truly focuses on customer service and trusts staff to deliver it.

While processes are purposeful and necessary, they’ll never make up for poorly motivated staff. In addition to setting overall direction, contact center managers should introduce practices that give customer care Communicators a sense of control over their work—and even add some fun to the mix. Some items to consider include gamification, real-time communication and Communicator empowerment. These elements can help to build trust and engagement.

To unleash the potential within your contact center for better business outcomes, consider the following recommendations:

Initiate Communicator focus groups: Who knows your customers better than your frontline staff? So, give them the opportunity to share feedback with you on a regular basis. Ask Communicators for their input on customer pain points and frustrations, ways to improve the service experience and even how to enhance your offerings. To ensure this practice remains fruitful, put a process in place that provides follow-up to staff on issues raised and recommendations made.

Make training a higher priority: You’ve hired the best people, so now inspire them to do their best for you through a comprehensive onboarding program. A variety of avenues exists for offering this to staff in ways that support their learning styles. Consider a mix of traditional in-classroom training and online interactive e-learning and e-coaching. Your efforts to enrich their knowledge and skills will let them know you value their contributions.

Establish and measure goals: Everyone on staff should have a clear understanding of business targets. Make sure KPIs and SLAs transparently and fairly reflect performance—and never single individuals out as poor examples. Instead, look for trends and group problems to address in a diplomatic and constructive way.

Schedule to reduce stress: Put the latest forecasting technology to work to right-size your contact center. Consider seasonal fluctuations in business, holidays and new marketing campaigns when predicting staffing needs. This will go a long way to reduce stress from overworking. Another important tool for work-life balance is flexible hours and working from home/remotely. Both are tools that exhibit trust in your workers. Recent innovations in self-service functions allow agents to trade shifts, request time off and voice other preferences—all of which can be automatically approved instead of waiting for a manager to respond.

Boost contact center status: A contact center staffed with well-trained, motivated and trusted individuals is a boon for business. Giving frontline staff a way to work with other departments to learn tips and tricks for delighting customers is another way to engage them more thoroughly in the business and develop trust. Managers should make it a point to promote the successes of their team to senior executives to continue the evolution of trust and respect for Communicators.

These strategies for the contact center, when deployed properly and consistently, will grow trust, improve productivity and increase customer satisfaction. It’s a win-win-win!

The Unexpected Value of Sharing Knowledge

We hear a lot these days about customer service that goes “above and beyond,” but what does that really mean? Customers themselves may not even know, but they know it when they see it. One way your Communicators can provide this level of service is to answer questions that customers didn’t even know they had when they called.

Think about the last time someone gave you an unexpected “tip.” Maybe it was at the paint store, where the clerk steered you—without your having to ask—to a ½-inch-nap lambswool roller, and let you in on the secret that it’s considered the perfect roller by pro painters (it holds plenty of paint without adding too much texture). Or maybe you were wandering around the plant nursery and a worker suggested a trick for opening closed flower buds quickly (put them in warm water first, then cold water). She had no idea you were buying them for company that very night.

If you think people are delighted when they get tips and tricks like these about a purchase, you’re right. Why? Everyone feels good when someone else takes time out of their day, even if it’s just a moment, to help them. Second, we appreciate the “inside” information that we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else simply because we didn’t know enough to ask in the first place.

Here’s where your Communicators can elevate the customer experience. As brand ambassadors, they are considered experts about a product or service. They’ve answered thousands of questions about it, had the same number of conversations about it, and are privy to a great deal of information that customers will likely never know. Taking a bit of extra time on the phone or typing one extra text message with a golden nugget of useful information could be just what the situation needs to turn an ordinary service interaction into an extraordinary one.

Critical Conversations in the Contact Center

Your brand voice, as well as the customer experience you deliver, can be either buoyed or destroyed for a customer by one poor interaction with a customer care Communicator. It all comes down to that single individual and how effectively he or she resolves the customer’s issue.

That’s a lot of pressure on Communicators—and their managers, who must ensure their front-line staff are prepared to deliver the best possible customer service. Toward this end, it’s critical that Communicators are equipped with the training and tools they need to meet customer expectations.

Those components determine the quality of the conversations between callers and Communicators. Training and tools need to be dispensed in line with contact center priorities and trends. For example, top customer service trends during the past year included omnichannel, mobile, self-help, social media and customer experience.

Start improving conversations by collecting and analyzing your contact center data. With the right tools, you’ll discover the journey your customers take before they call your facility. This will help you determine the level of service they’ll expect upon their arrival.

Contact center technology solutions also give managers the ability to understand how Communicator training/coaching and tool usage are impacting customer service—and, ultimately, the bottom line. While statistics, such as average handle time, tell part of the story, decision makers more and more are looking at metrics that indicate how the customer is being affected, such as level of satisfaction.

By truly understanding customer expectations and how best to meet those demands, as well as empowering Communicators with the appropriate tools and knowledge, contact centers will be primed to foster stellar conversations between employees and customers.

Using Gamification to Motivate Your Contact Center Staff

Are the rewards you offer your Communicators sufficiently motivating and engaging that they translate into benefits for your customers? That is, are rewards—from employee recognition to paid time off to wages—enough to overcome job stressors in the heightened customer service environment of today’s contact center?

Appropriate motivation becomes ever more relevant as Communicator responsibilities continue to extend beyond simply reading from a screen. Today, these customer care associates are expected to empathize with customers, use initiative to solve problems and remain focused on conveying a professional demeanor during each and every interaction.

The methods used by contact centers to motivate and engage Communicators to perform these duties were analyzed recently by ContactBabel, with results published in a new study, “The US Contact Center Decision Makers’ Guide 2016.”

The study shows that the 221 contact center managers and directors who responded to the ContactBabel questionnaire believe that their reward systems for Communicators are generally effective. Yet, ContactBabel found this to be true only when the reward was monetary, which approach was only used by 68 percent of respondents (compared to the 86 percent who use employee recognition).

In fact, cash bonuses were the least used reward.

For the most part then, contact center leaders think they are motivating and engaging Communicators in an appropriate and effective manner. Yet, by using attrition and absence rates, ContactBabel discovered a strong correlation between low salary levels and high staff attrition. The picture was a little different for absence rates, however, with those contact centers that ranked their reward programs “very effective” having fewer absences.

Overall, the findings present contact center leaders, who are not in a position to give significant wage increases to their customer care staff, with the need to find another reliable motivator. Enter gamification.

Gamification

Gamification is an approach for improving Communicator engagement, and aligning behaviors and characteristics with those of the contact center and wider enterprise. Basically, it involves turning work tasks into games. The opportunity for reward and recognition is presented at an individual level, with team-based successes also quantified. Achieving company-set goals is rewarded with points and badges.

Gamification increases Communicator engagement in a handful of ways:

  • Rewards those behaviors and characteristics that most closely align with contact center and company goals
  • Provides immediate feedback on performance to employees
  • Improves group performance through the pooling of knowledge and collaboration
  • Reduces ramp-up time for new Communicators, as it provides real-time feedback that encourages positive behaviors
  • Cuts down on time that managers must spend running incentive programs, and delivers them more objectively

Gamification requires company leaders to carefully set goals to avoid the risk of negative repercussions. For example, rewarding Communicators based on average handling time could cause them to drop difficult calls or not address customer concerns fully. Also, prepare for the novelty of the technique to wear off over time. This means that managers need to keep games fresh and goals relevant. It’s also quite possible that rewards will need to increase to maintain motivation levels.