Response Design Corporation:Creating the Uncommon Call Center
KathrynKathryn's Uncommon Call Center Blog

President and co-founder of Response Design, Kathryn Jackson is a pioneering product developer, savvy business leader, and much sought-after speaker in the world of call centers.

August 20, 2008 01:16 PM
What's Wrong With This Promotion (or is it me)?
Categories: Customer Experience 

I get an email a few days ago that tells me about some new metric research. The email says, "If you are looking to boost your contact center performance, this guide will quickly get you up to speed. Would you like a free copy of this complimentary guide? If so, just let me know."

Immediately I understand this company doesn't "know" me. If they did, they would realize I don't manage a call center and boosting an imaginary call center's performance is not top on my list.

But, I am a research junkie. Therefore, I notify the company that I would like a complimentary copy. I comply with their instructions: "To receive your complimentary guide, simply reply to my email." (There is no link to click.)

I inform the compnay in my email that after reviewing the guide I would like to promote their company and research on the Customer Contact Performance Forum (CCPF) ( I explain we have members who might be interested in requesting the guide (I had no intention of including the entire guide on the CCPF site).

Entry logged at 01:16 PM
August 5, 2008 10:51 AM
Manager Integrity Linked to Profitability
Categories: Management 

According to a study conducted by Simons, Walsh, & Sturman (2001) "employee perception of their managers' integrity - both keeping promises and demonstrating espoused values-were strongly linked to hotel profitability." In this study approximately 7500 employees at 84 hotels completed employee surveys that were then matched with the results from approximately 25,000 customer surveys and with financial records. The study showed that small changes in employee perceptions of manager integrity led to big changes in profitability (defined as EBIT divided by total revenues). According to the study if a hotel were to increase its management's integrity score by 1/8th of a point (on a 5 point scale) then the hotel could project an annual increase in revenues of 2.5 percent.

Interestingly, the researchers also found that employee commitment was more of a driver of customer satisfaction than was employee satisfaction.

Entry logged at 10:51 AM
July 22, 2008 01:28 PM
Ensuring Data Quality in the Contact Center

When was the last time you opened up a customer record to handle an inquiry only to find the comment field populated with abbreviations and codes that made the documentation unintelligible? Or, as you are quality checking the data side of a call, you find entries into fields that “are not allowed” according to procedures but certainly are allowed by the database? If you have, then you probably agree with Howard (2007) “Data quality isn’t just a data management problem, it’s a company problem.” And, certainly it is a customer contact problem we have to address sooner rather than later.

Entry logged at 01:28 PM
July 14, 2008 08:55 AM
Ideas to Boost Employee Morale
Categories: Management 

What happens when we aren’t diligent about ethical behavior? I don’t mean only the great lapses in judgment. I’m also talking about the “little nods” that happen on a daily basis because we are too busy to address them. Did you know that studies show employees have four ways of dealing with these confusing expedient nods? When employees watch us act contrary to our defined ethical standards (e.g., code of conduct), they often begin to demonstrate:

1. lowered productivity,
2. reduced quality of output,
3. increased absenteeism, and
4. voluntary resignation

I’ve posted a whole chapter of our customer contact book “The Ten Most (un)Wanted Villains” to what I like to call “Expedient Nods” at under the discussion group "Villains that steal customer contact success."

So how can customer contact leaders encourage their companies to act ethically? In addition to the advice we give in our The Ten Most (un)Wanted Villains chapter, consider what Miller and Jentz (2008, pp. 48-49) have to say. They indicate that there are four factors that define a leader committed to ethical leadership.

Entry logged at 08:55 AM
July 7, 2008 08:58 AM
Driving Consistent Contact Center Decisions
Categories: Management 

How many times have we heard it? One day a contact center manager is asked to make a decision that seems counter to the request asked yesterday. “We need to cut personnel costs…but, let’s not forget to keep our service level performance high.” I’m not saying that cutting costs and keeping service level are always competing actions but there are times when some decisions run counter to others.

Most of the time I run across this is when there is a poor understanding of the organization’s strategy and how that affects contact center strategy and decisions. In particular, how organization competitive strategy drives the strategy of the contact center that then defines the competencies of the agents the contact center team hires, trains, and manages. Contact center management can spend needless time and money if the organization strategy is not defined or poorly communicated.

To illustrate, consider the different competencies of agents supporting an operational excellent versus a customer intimate competitive strategy.

Entry logged at 08:58 AM
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