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With the economy shifting from a services-based society to an experience economy, organizations must explore other channels for value creation and consider the long-term impact that new strategies and tactics will have on the customer. As a starting point, call centers, which interface with customers regularly, are aiming to become revenue-generating channels for the organization. Improved call center manager effectiveness is needed on the frontline as well as educated reps and useful technology to make the initiative successful and impactful.
At the February 2007 Global Benchmarking Council meeting, members and guests gathered to discuss using technology to create great customer experiences and improve customer satisfaction, the evolving role of the call center manager and winning strategies for call centers in the 21st century.
Vice presidents, directors and managers involved in call center operations, customer service, technology or process improvement and other benchmarking professionals will benefit most from the case studies of five leading companies and the summarized transcripts from two facilitated roundtable discussions.
COMPANIES AND CASE STUDIES
Case studies include speaker biographies and company background before describing key challenges company leaders faced and how they overcame them, recent benchmarking research and results or the future of call centers. Speaker anecdotes, quotes, select slides, insights and key take-aways all liven the case studies with personal touches and graphics.
- Intuit offered insight into how its contact center for TurboTax manages the unusual, seasonal business model and how it enhances representatives' abilities to deliver great customer service and meet or exceed customers’ high expectations during the high-volume tax season in “Utilizing VoIP & the Web to Create Great Customer Experiences.”
- EMBARQ explained how it managed to mount a million dollar challenge (when transitioning from Sprint to EMBARQ) through utilizing previous lessons learned from other GBC meetings and learning the value of immediate feedback from customers, managers and call center employees in “The Million Dollar Challenge: The Price of Immediate Feedback.”
- Teradata shared examples of how significance, relevance and timing are key in the training of call center employees to ensure success in driving high value through optimal customer interactions in “Winning Strategies for Customer Interaction Management.”
- Best Practices, LLC delivered results of a benchmarking study on the evolving role of the contact center manager. Results of the study, that highlighted findings culled from 40 companies, were then used as a springboard for conversation in the roundtable discussions that followed “The Evolving Role of the Contact Center Manager.”
- NetBank advocated the importance of empowering reps as a means to generating success in the call center and offered actionable insights on the level of managers' time and effort spent communicating direction and objectives to them in “The Transformation Imperative: Strategies for the 21st Century Contact Center.”
- Vegas.com stressed the need for managers to coach in real-time to get the optimal results from contact center reps and also to think inside the box about technology and processes in “Thinking outside the Box: Going beyond Technology’s Core Functionality.” Meeting attendees visited the Vegas.com call center, a state-of-the-art facility, and experienced a fresh approach at contact center management.
Following the Best Practices, LLC presentation on the call center manager study, Global Benchmarking Council members and guests divided into smaller groups for more in-depth discussion and information exchange on hot-button issues, including:
- Top challenges in call center operations
- Daily activities and span of control (managerial efficiency and effectiveness)
- Training and time-to-effectiveness
- Performance measurement
- Managing innovation and sharing best practices
This report was compiled from notes taken during speaker presentations and in-depth roundtable discussions at the February 2007 Global Benchmarking Council meeting, “Call Center Ops: Winning Strategies and Tactical Deployments for Success.” For more information on the Global Benchmarking Council or to register for the upcoming meeting, visit http://www.best-in-class.com/gbc.
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