Five Truths for Driving Business Success

In today’s fast-paced world, the only constant is change. Technology is developing faster than we can learn how to use it, long-established companies are feeling the heat from digital savvy newcomers, and jobs are being created and/or restructured faster than workers with appropriate skills can be recruited to fill them. In the 30 years that I have been an entrepreneur, I have watched trends change and technology advance, but while the mechanics of business success have evolved, the foundation has remained the same. Here are 5 universal business truths that I believe will stand the test of time:

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The Evolving Role of Workforce Management in Organizations

Challenges in attracting and retaining talent and the need to effectively balance quality of service with efficiencies have created a need for more sophisticated Workforce Management teams. While Workforce Management optimization is essential for providing great customer service, it is always a balancing act. The Workforce Management team is tasked with driving scheduling efficiencies while carefully considering the needs of their associates. When approached in the right way, the front-line teams have sufficient time for coaching and development which drives First Contact Resolution, customer loyalty, and sales along with employee retention.  Flexibility in staffing is crucial to ensure the right number of associates are available to handle customer contacts every half hour of the day, but it is also important to offer associates a consistent schedule. It’s essential to meet associate needs but not be too tight on the number of people scheduled. If scheduling is too tight and call volume comes in 5% higher than expected, there won’t be time for coaching, offline time, or meetings. If employees’ needs aren’t met, they will leave, and it can take up to 9 months from the time an employee leaves a contact center until a new hire is competently filling their role.  The cost of attrition is substantial on many levels and is frequently not included in the overall financial health of an operation.

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4 Ways Data Analytics Transforms the CX

Today’s business environment is constantly evolving, but the consumer’s expectations are as focused as ever on the fundamentals of genuine, personalized, effortless and effective service. By leveraging insights that your customers provide on a daily basis, you can ensure that your business’s means of approaching the Customer Experience (CX) remain agile.

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Assessing Your Quality Management

Recent research reveals that 81% of business strive for the customer experience to be their competitive differentiator, yet only 22% of businesses report that they are exceeding customers’ expectations.

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Trends in Workforce Management and Integrated Analytics

An effective Workforce Management organization ensures a contact center has the right number of agents, with the right skills, in place to deliver the desired member experience in the most efficient manner. Forecasting call volume and determining staffing needs are becoming more complicated due to the multiple channels that are now available for customer service. At the same time, the advanced data analytics that are now available to forecasters allow them to better predict call drivers, the events that trigger calls. As a result, the following trends in Workforce Management (WFM) have emerged:

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Optimizing Your Workforce Through Shrinkage Management

At its core, Workforce Management (WFM) ensures your business’s understanding of its staffing needs—who’s doing what, what needs doing, how long does it take to do and how many employees are needed at any given time. Broadly speaking, you’re implementing WFM best practices if you’re staffed with the right number of people across each interval and consistently achieving defined goals. One of WFM’s many interlocking factors is shrinkage: the percentage of time that your employees are paid, but are not working on incoming production items. While shrinkage can be valuable (e.g., time spent in training, one-on-one coaching sessions, etc.), excessive shrinkage inhibits productivity, exacerbates stress, and inflates expenses. A proactive and realistic shrinkage forecast mitigates risk and allows you to fully invest in your employees while achieving business goals.

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The Key to Motivating: Great Management

The best companies are made up of employees who are both successful and committed.  Motivated and engaged employees can be found in a company that promotes productivity, creativity, and innovation through its culture and leadership.  Creating a culture that supports and promotes employee engagement requires an understanding of the connection between employee attitudes and performance as well as a leadership team that is accountable for building and strengthening that relationship.

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The Value of Data-Driven Insights for Contact Centers

“Thank you for calling. Please listen carefully because our menu has recently changed.” We’ve all heard this greeting, but most callers aren’t aware that it’s not just the menu that has recently changed. The technology, processes, and workforce management efficiencies at contact centers have all undergone recent upgrades. Advanced capabilities are now possible due to data-driven insights which are valuable to contact centers for multiple reasons:

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Stay Ahead of the Competition with Customer Journey Mapping

Consider your experiences as a consumer. Have you ever been so aggravated by a company that you’re ready to switch to their competition because they are just too difficult to work with? Most (if not all) of us are likely to answer “yes”.

As consumers with busy schedules and a lot to accomplish on any given day, we gravitate towards options that provide the fastest and most painless way to obtain the services we need – whether it’s making a purchase from an online retailer, or establishing new telecom or cable services, or getting questions answered about healthcare insurance coverage. In every case, we’re looking for a business whose customer service model is simple, effortless, fast and accurate. And what typically aggravates us the most is when a business gives us scripted answers, hard-to-navigate websites and apps, or answers that vary depending on the service channel that we use on any given day.

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Big Data Boom: How to Capture and Leverage Insights

If your organization is like most, you might be overwhelmed by the volume of information available at your fingertips. To make it worse, the pace of this information continues to increase; data (lots of it) is being produced more rapidly than ever before.  How can you capture this data and use it to help you and your organization make informed decisions, and ideally to predict future behavior and events?

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