So after travelling some 17,000 KM in the past 3 months, I am back in Thunder Bay. Was a great trip and met some great people on the way through Florida and Texas. Got delayed coming back due to snow in Kansas! Now back home in the North there is no more snow :)
Publish Date: March 24, 2010 6:18 PM
Just arrived in Dallas and the weather is fantastic. Hoping to visit some other centers whilst I am here. Planning for our conferences is going really well - an amazing lineup of speakers will be there. More details on the conferences to follow.
Publish Date: March 10, 2010 7:55 PM
I would like to thank Jewell at Austin 311 for the tour this week - it was awesome. Also thanks to Kim and her team at National Instruments - another great tour in Austin. Thanks folks - some good things happening out there!
Publish Date: March 10, 2010 7:49 PM
I meet, hear from and read about so many outsourcers who blatantly say their people are highly valued and motivated. So when I receive communications from some outsourcers to advise me they won't spend any money sending their agents to compete in awards they have already qualified for it frustrates me. Why some outsourcers encourage their staff to enter then, when they are invited to come to present to try and win awards or to receive an award, the outsourcer backs out citing a lack of funds. They don't consider how the agents must feel or the effect on morale on the rest of the center - image the uproar if say the US Ski team qualified for the Olympics and the US Olympic Committee then turned round to the IOC and said, "thanks, but we can't pay to come to the Olympics." Imagine what message they are giving every potential Olympian! Shame on the outsourcers for not practicing what they preach. If you value your staff and do have a highly engaged workforce, show it - you owe that to the staff you put forward at the very least allow them to go as far as they can! Otherwise please do not bother entering awards where participation is required - you are creating a bad impression for your staff and your entire company and I certainly do not condone this.
Publish Date: March 10, 2010 7:39 PM
I have flagged this as a quality and customer service issue.
I have been using Virgin Mobile in the USA since 2006 and in past years found the service great. However recently I have become a little frustrated. I have 2 Virgin cell phones and when I called from one with an issue about another I had to navigate the frustrating menu options to find some help with the phone. None of the IVR options matched my needs so I selected troubleshooting only to go round in circles. The IVR system kept on playing the same set of announcements - there seemed to be no way to speak to anyone! After probably 15 minutes of frustrating messages I finally connected with an agent - talk about call avoidance! The agent was based in an outsourced contact center and almost sounded like a robot. I explained my problem and she said 'Ok ma’am, what we will do is ..." I let her finish and said I am not a woman. She obviously did not take notice because a minute later she called me 'ma’am' again. I said again, I am not a woman. At this point she apologized. She knew my name etc but for some reason called me 'ma’am' twice! I found this once before with Virgin Mobile USA.
Come on guys, this is not acceptable and I certainly do not sound like a woman! And the service? it was very poor overall - talk about call avoidance with IVR! Eventually the agent gave me a solution in the form of a set of instructions - I asked if they could be emailed but they don't have access to email so I had to write down the instructions and was told I could call back if they do not work. You can bet I read back word for word the instructions - all of them - because I did not want the hassle of calling back, spending 15 minutes trying to get an agent and then being called 'ma’am'. Come on Virgin Mobile USA - what happened to the great service I used to get? Cost cutting on service will lose my business.
Publish Date: March 2, 2010 10:27 AM
So I am almost as far South in Texas as I can go to escape the cold my colleagues in the North are experiencing ! yesterday was beautiful, todays its cooler and breezy. Hope to do get some R&R and then will be heading back north later in Feb. South Padre is a little gem in Texas - miles and miles of sandy beaches :)
Publish Date: February 15, 2010 12:45 PM
Special thanks to Carol Trostle (fmr President) and Clifton Smiley President PTMA San Antonio, TX for their kind hospitality and time during our meeting in San Antonio recently. ContactCenterWorld.com are pleased to support the PTMA. Check out PTMA at this link http://www.ptmasa.com
Publish Date: February 15, 2010 12:40 PM
I would like to thank Professor Marcello Salazar and the team at Brazilian Top Team San Antonio - I managed to get in some BJJ, Boxing and Kickboxing. A really active (lots of classes) club with all the facilities you need - large mats, weights, bags, cardio equipment and even a cage. One of the best I have visited.
Check them out at http://www.btt-texas.com/index.html
Publish Date: February 15, 2010 12:36 PM
I had the chance to visit the Blinds.com contact center in Houston thanks to my good friend Brad of Primas Group. During the tour we met with Steve Riddell VP Operations who shared with us great information about the center and what they do - I will be writing about these guys very soon!
Publish Date: February 10, 2010 1:04 PM
For those of you who think Camping is setting up a tent a trip to Camping World will change your perception of Camping in the USA. Some of their centers - the 'Super Centers' sell big RV's - some which sell as much as $480,000 USD! Anyway, I am travelling a-x the Southern US in a 34 foot travel trailer and wanted to get an awning attached to my trailer. I had booked a 9am slot Friday and called them to say I would be there by 9:20am as traffic was heavy. The service desk took my trailer and told me it would be 1 hour max. 10:30am I went back to the service desk and noticed my trailer had not moved at all so I spoke to the service technician who had booked us in. After a few minutes, he came back and told me it would be sorted out immediately and would take 45 minutes so I walked the store again and reviewed some of their new trailers and buses. I then went back at the time my trailer should have been ready and could not find the technician - he was on lunch! No one knew what was going on so I asked another technician to find out - he came back 10 minutes later and told me the guys who were fixing the awning had gone to lunch! I could not believe this so went to find the GM. I spoke to him and he went away to find out what was going on. 10 minutes later he came back and told me it would be ready in 15 minutes. That did not happen. Eventually we got our trailer back around 1:15pm! So much for service. A 1-hour work order took almost 4 hours and we had planned to travel the 150 miles from Houston to San Antonio so the delay had a big impact on our day. Poor service left a bitter taste in our experience with Camping World. When we complained to the GM because it was not ready when he told us it wold be, he simply said "I only just heard about this 20 minutes ago what do you expect?" I replied "if your guys were doing the job you should not have even heard about this because it would not have happened" He blamed poor internal comms and after some haggling agreed to waive the service install fee which I was unwilling to pay because the service failed.
Publish Date: February 6, 2010 10:14 AM
Friday 5th Feb I will be making my way to San Antonio and will be visiting some local centers there and in Austin. If any members are interested in meeting with me please let me know - best is to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Then approx. a week later I will be heading to the DFW area for some more visits. Hope to get a day to visit Sea World and the Alamo when in San Antonio.
Publish Date: February 3, 2010 9:51 PM
This week I have been spending some time in Houston, TX. I would like to thank Brad Odum of Primas for his kindness and for brining me into to see 2 great contact centers - Blinds.com and South West Water. Thanks also to Dawn of Cross for helping us with South West Water.
I also had the opportunity to visit Precash - thanks to Tricia for organizing the tour.
I will be writing up some notes for our members to review.
Publish Date: February 3, 2010 9:47 PM
It was great to meet with the management team at New York Life recently at their Tampa Contact Center - voted Best Contact Center in Americas 2009. I would especially like to thank Victor and Darrell for their hospitality and time. It was also great to see the cabinet full of awards they had won and that almost all were Top Ranking Performers in the Contact Center Industry Awards!
Publish Date: February 3, 2010 9:42 PM
I would like to thank the team at British Airways for allowing me to come by and take a tour. They have a great center and it was interesting to hear and see first hand how British Airways looks after their valuable customers. Thanks
Publish Date: February 3, 2010 9:39 PM
Last night went to train with Igor and his students at Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu in Kissimmee. Igor has a great club here and great students. Thanks Igor - you and the training were fantastic and, having Gustavo 'Gutty' Muggiati (3rd Degree Black Belt) visit and do a session was a bonus!
Publish Date: January 15, 2010 9:50 AM