Executive Interview : Interview With Paul Litwack From GetUNstuckNOW
As a Consultant, Paul Litwack from GetUNstuckNow was eager to answer ContactCenterWorld.com questions about 10 Great Ideas for the Contact Center. We hope you can extrapolate some useful hints and tips that are usable in your own company.
How often should a contact center leader be seen to visit with the front line professionals and sit/chat with them? Please explain your answer in some detail with your suggestion for frequency and what they should do etc.
Daily (at least!)
In my 38+ years of leadership coaching on 4 continents, this one thing stands consistently above all others in why organizations repeatedly fail to achieve mission-critical results:
Those who have decision-related information are not in a position to make a decision, and those who are making mission-critical decisions, don't have the needed info. It is that simple!
I empower leaders to be seen as approachable and consistently receptive to what's happening real-time, on the front line. Including 'hanging out' by the water cooler and actively participating on customer calls (from the floor, with/as a 'rep').
What is the best way to engage staff who work from home?
Whenever and however possible be inclusive of their contributions, both individually and as a team.
When not physically able to be on-site, arrange frequent meetings via online conferencing platforms like GotoMeeting (paid) or Google Hangouts (free). These can be for casual 'water-cooler' schmoozing (including passing mission-critical info back and forth).
What should every contact center do when it comes to recognizing staff performance?
All mammals (including us humans) crave recognition - and in-the-moment is best for consistent growth. Powerful when we recognize ourselves positively too!
For 38+ years, I continue to coach leaders how to apply my leadership coaching system to empower themselves and to empower their staff consistently.
Yes, the staff are in the best position to recognize and empower their own performance and growth. Here's how: Ensure all conversations (including coaching yourself) are, without exception, framed with positive energy, future-focused and designed to create a positive outcome. Create space only for results (zero space for story/reasons/excuses/blame*).
What is the best way to cut loose / let go an employee who is underperforming? Please explain
The employee is in the best position to recognize and empower their own performance and growth. That includes when it is time to part. Here's how:
Required: Ensure ALL conversations (including coaching yourself) are, without exception, framed with positive energy, future-focused and designed to CREATE a positive outcome. A key strategy in my Get UNstuck NOW! leadership coaching system is to create space only for results (zero space for story/reasons/excuses/blame).
Can you share a tip or two on how to improve agent/front line productivity?
Fact: Each of us is in the best position to recognize and advocate for our own growth and potential, when guided by our inner, unconscious truth. That's right.
Fact: While there is no conscious access to the unconscious, we naturally exist in both concurrently. That explains how ideas 'pop' into our head, seemingly 'out of nowhere.'
Here's how I empower my clients to achieve consistently improved and measurable productivity:
All conversations (including coaching yourself) are, without exception, framed with positive energy, future-focused and designed to create a positive outcome.
Can you share a tip or two on how to improve agent/front line Motivation?
Fact: Each of us is in the best position to recognize and advocate for our own growth and potential, when guided by our inner, UNconscious truth. That's right.
Can you share a tip or two on how to improve reduce repeat calls in a contact center?
Repeat calls means, in fact, while the contact center may have followed policy and procedure, something was missing from the customer view. My decades of research and coaching shows that consistently the missing pieces (for the customer) include: 'not feeling the love' and 'not prompted to immediate action'.
While coaching Disney's contact center professionals, a key is to ensure some 'pixie dust' is shared on every call, even within the company ;-0
So while the script says 'Ask: "Is there anything else I can do for you now", on many calls (with disengaged reps), what the caller thinks they hear is "We're done. Did what we're paid to do. Ready to go now. Is it ok to hang up on you now?" This has happened for me (yes ...me!), 4x in the past month!! In two cases, I called the CEO directly (both were receptive, pulled the calls and reported back swiftly on positive outcomes that resulted from my bringing it to them professionally, with no emotional context).
Here are two strategies from my coaching system to improve the process and reduce/eliminate repeat calls:
1. Ensure all conversation is immediately actionable for a positive outcome - actionable by and for the caller's benefit. Too often, the rep does/in-cants 'magic' to fix the problem. This does nothing to empower the caller to ensure no repeats.
I empower this strategy (example: an answer is readily available in the online user manual): "Sure, how soon would you like me to help you find the answer now for next time too? Great... let's see where the solution is .... I see it on page 2-35. Do you have your manual handy too? No? OK, can you get it on your screen now (confirm URL), I'll wait for you to get to it. No? OK, I've just sent you the link to that specific page. Got it? Good. Now let's follow it together and get this working for you right away.)
Completed with a positive outcome in just seconds or minutes. Professional, Positive, Powerful. Nice. And the customer, actively part of the solution, has confirmed (by doing) that they now know where to look next time (to help themselves). Win-Win-Win.
2. Up front, ask the caller what they see as viable options from their view. Repeatedly confirm during the call, you are on track (from their view). Yes, while a few customers are unreasonable, 99.999999% are reasonable and will work with you. While only enlightened organizations embrace this strategy, they are convincingly the same ones who have earned stronger and longer lasting customer engagement. That's right.
Today's Tip of the Day - Segment Your Customers
About Get UNstuck NOW:
Since 1976, as the Capability Improvement Coach® and Board Certified as Master Coach (NLP, Time Line Therapy & Hypnotherapy), Paul empowers leaders to achieve improved, measurable results.
Published: Wednesday, March 4, 2015