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Executive Interview : Interview With Darrell Watts From Miles Technology Group Inc.
It's always nice to get a glimpse at other business practices especially as an outsider. ContactCenterWorld.com values the opportunity to interview some of its members from around the world who are willing to share what they think are great ideas for contact centers. Such is the case in this interview with Darrell Watts from Miles Technology Group Inc.
How often should a contact center leader be seen to visit with the front line professionals and sit/chat with them?
As often as possible. High visibility and sincere contact communicates regard and value. Essential components to retention.
What can contact centers do to help manage social interactions better?
Encourage community activities that are purposeful while serving as a social opportunity.
What is the best way to engage staff who work from home?
Regular visual meetings through Skype or Facetime. You don't want your remote staff feeling isolated. Scheduled calls with company updates and request for feedback helps to keep them "in the loop"
What should every contact center do when it comes to recognizing staff performance?
Do it loudly and broadly, communicate in a blast that reaches from the board room to the docks.
Who should be the person presenting internal awards to staff/recognizing achievements of the staff/center and why?
Senior management should be present while the actual presentation is taking place and the ground work should be done by the manager or supervisor. Example: Make the weekly distribution of payroll summaries an occasion to acknowledge the performance of each team member. Take 30 minutes in a conference room or on the floor to have each member retrieve the summary and point out something they have done to contribute to the success of the team and organization during this pay period. Incredible builder. You are giving them something they've earned but presenting it as an award. You've got to hype it but it yields outstanding results across the board.
What tip or piece of advice would you give to a contact center leader who is under pressure from the board to cut costs when you know it will affect customer service?
Cut waste. Try not to compromise the customer experience. Make your case for the long view of customer loyalty.
What is the best way to cut loose/let go an employee who is underperforming?
1) Help the employee understand where they are under-performing and give assistance. I.E. Retraining and set expectations with a time limit, apply any worthwhile input from the employee, re-evaluate. 2) Repeat step 1. 3) Offer the employee the opportunity to be successful somewhere else.
How often should an agents/front line professionals performance be measured from a quality standpoint and how should this be done?
Constantly with an understanding that development to the next level job as well as delivering our best for our customer is our goal. Monitoring sessions, both group and individual, with active feedback. Make it a fun process with a purpose. Pair over achievers with underachievers.
What is the best way to determine which are your best and worst customers and how should you change the way you service them?
Every customer should be viewed as our best customer. No room to deviate! Our action should always focus on our goal of the best customer experience. We should never react and lower our promise to deliver. No bad customers....just trying experiences.
What in your opinion is the best way to schedule staff for a contact center? and how should you allow them to select shifts or should they be set by you?
Set by you and bid on by the agents. Once that process is filled and the "issues" surface make an effort to accommodate those with serious "quality of life" issues but otherwise stay the course.
What advice would you give to a contact center leader who is looking at new technology for the center and how best to evaluate its effectiveness and claims made by the seller of the technology?
Observe a contact center that is using the technology and interview their staff, if possible.
Can you share a tip or two on how to improve agent/front line productivity?
Transparency. Share all the pertinent information about the product, client and contract that pertains to delivering the best service possible. Salaries are the only thing you don't share. If the agent knows the vision, the expectation and feels included, they are inclined to perform.
Can you share a tip or two on how to set service levels for a contact center?
Recruit intelligent agents, tell them the truth and get out of their way as they deliver.
Can you share a tip or two on how to improve reduce repeat calls in a contact center?
Have the initial agent follow up and make contact with the customer where we could have done a better job. Self evaluation is encouraged and expected.
What are the 2 or 3 mistakes managers often make when they recruit staff and how can they avoid these mistakes?
Selfishness is a killer. Egomaniacs too. Asking the right questions to bring out the real person.
Whats the best way to train staff on how to deal with a very very angry customer?
Demonstration as well as how you treat them when they are unruly.
How can you educate your board on what the contact center does? Share some tips
Invite them to call into the center for themselves and present a broad range of conflicts and situations. If you've done your work well it will reflect in the feedback. If not you will know your areas of opportunity.
You have a customer who complains on twitter and/or facebook - how do you deal with this?
Reach out to them with your most skilled agent or manager to shift the paradigm.
Today's Tip of the Day - Understand Your Business
Published: Thursday, December 18, 2014