Response Design Corporation:Creating the Uncommon Call Center
Kathryn's Uncommon Call Center Blog
June 3, 2008 01:41 PM
Categories: Management 
Information Security and Call Centers - Noteworthy Similarity

I was reading "The Global State of Information Security 2005" (retrieved from on June 1, 2008) when I came across the following quote:

"When you spend all that time fighting fires, you don't even have time to come up with the new ways to build things so they don't burn down. Right now, there's hardly a fire code."

It struck me how similar this is to what we go through in contact center management.

Fire-fighting has long been the daily norm of most contact center professionals. We get so involved in the daily fires that we don't have time to look at the big picture. Building processes and systems that aren't suseptible to flame outs is a luxury rather than than the norm. For the most part, I think many of us still spend more time on the tactical rather than the strategic.

In order to become customer experience managers and provide real value to the rest of the corporation we have to figure out how to balance the tactical with the strategic. It is not one or the other. Both are important.

What do you do to ensure your customer contact strategy aligns with and enhances your organization's strategy? Do you have a leader (or leaders) that focuses solely on strategy? What percentage of your planning time is spent on coming up with fireproof strategies? Are you predominantly reactive or proactive in your approach to contact center management? What can you do today to become more balanced?

Entry logged at 01:41 PM

I'm not sure that most call center managers really have much opportunity to think strategically. They are commonly viewed as a purely "production" function (if not "overhead") and driven by executive management to do more with less, and then do it again. It can often be a real struggle to convince the powers that be that the call center has a strategic role, and that by playing it, it can contribute to the bottom line (i.e., revenue growth, expense reduction) performance of the entire enterprise.

The call center manager who finds him/herself caught in this scenario might do well to begin by using some of the strategic product and or customer information that they amass in the daily course of doing their job and provide it to other organizations (sales, marketing, manufacturing, etc) who can put it to use. This way they begin building alliances with external groups who, hopefully, will see the value of this information and become an advocate for bering the call center to the strategic planning table.

Posted by: SMurtagh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 3, 2008 05:33 PM
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