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The Contact Center Workforce Manager Skills Series

Part 2: Skills for Creating Optimized Schedules

"Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers."

This quote from Stephen R. Covey, business author and successful entrepreneur, is not just for executives to internalize. It also applies to workforce managers.

Workforce managers determine how many staff are assigned to a shift and which employee takes which specific shift. Their scheduling decisions, therefore, can have a huge impact on employee satisfaction. If they schedule too few agents for a shift, agents will become overloaded and stressed. Customers will notice this immediately. They have to wait longer until they are connected to an agent and then often have to deal with a stressed agent who has no time to answer all questions in detail.

Moreover, if workforce managers take little or no consideration of agents' preferences when planning shifts, agents may be less satisfied and be less motivated to perform well and provide good customer service. So when it comes to creating shift plans, workforce managers have a big responsibility.

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The Contact Center Workforce Manager Skill Set for Forecasting

Part 1: Workload Forecasting Skills

In contact centers today, roughly 65% to 75% of the total operating cost is consumed through paying  the frontline staff. For that reason, the biggest opportunity for contact centers to manage or reduce cost is to optimize the utilization of their frontline workforce. To do this, most contact centers today have a workforce manager or an entire workforce management (WFM) department.

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5 Simple Ways to Ensure the Effectiveness of Coaching

From elevated productivity to increased morale, better performance, and heightened engagement, the benefits of successful call center coaching are plentiful. And yet, coaching in contact centers is often times executed ineffectively or neglected.

In this article, we’ll outline 5 principle elements of coaching success to help make coaching in your contact center more effective. We’ll start with building trust and credibility and I’ll provide you with guidelines for when you should be training and alternatively, when you should be coaching. We’ll emphasize the positive impact of involving the agent in the coaching process and provide you with techniques in order to do so more constructively. We’ll remind you that coaching needs to be regularly prioritized in order to be most effective and that coaching to celebrate is just as important as coaching to correct.

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How To Create Engaging Training

Employee training, anyone who has had a job has gone through it and ask a handful of people about their experience with employee training and you’re likely to get a negative recollection of how boring it was. 

But it’s easier than you think to make courses more focused, engage learners, and positively influence behaviors. And employees who are engaged in their training will retain more information, are more likely to pay close attention to their work, ensure that all procedures and processes are being properly followed and that they are performing to the best of their abilities.

In this article we’ll provide you with a step by step guide to create high-quality, engaging training courses that employees can reminisce about fondly. We'll cover establishing your learning aims and objectives, designing your training session, and preparing the content. We'll define what learning aims and objectives are while differentiating the two. We'll go over method of delivery, how to put your objectives into logical order and structure your training session, how to choose your content, resources and activities.

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When should you outsource training?

Does your contact center do all of its training internally? Have you considered outsourcing some of it, but you're not sure if you should? Do your options seem overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start? Worried about cost?

There may seem to be many factors to consider when deciding to outsource your training, but generally they all boil down to cost, quality, and capacity.

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7 Skills Mastered by Successful Contact Center Supervisors

The role of supervisor in a contact center is a challenging one, but if done right, a very rewarding position. For many agents, becoming a supervisor is the next step in their career. In fact, our data indicates that 80% of contact center supervisors started as an agent. Becoming a supervisor is also an excellent intermediary step to becoming a manager, as many of the skills a manager needs overlap with the skills a supervisor needs. So what exactly are the skills needed to be a successful supervisor?

In this article, we'll explore the 7 skills acquired by a successful contact center supervisor.

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E-learning or classroom training, which is right for your training needs?

When googling which training delivery method is better, e-learning or class-room delivery, you'll find that there's a hot debate about which of the two is most effective. The advocates of class-room training will say that putting learners into a room where they can interact with each other and the instructor is the better form of delivery. And the advocates of e-learning will say self-paced learning with engaging and interactive new technologies is more effective. And you know what? They're both right. That is because the answer to this question is: it depends. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question (bummer!). The end.

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The State of WFM in 2019. Where do you stand?

Workforce management in contact centers, with the aim of creating the best possible fit between the forecasted workload and the amount of employees scheduled, is constantly changing. With the advent of new support channels, the consequential shift in workload between channels, technological innovation and and a new generation at work, staffing departments need to constantly adjust to these new realities.

This constant change poses the question; where does the art of WFM stand in 2019? This question has occupied our sister company, injixo, for a while and they have undertaken thorough research to answer that exact question. With their support we are happy to be able to share some of the key findings from their research in this blog post.

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7 Timeless Quality Assurance Best Practices

Foundational QA techniques that stood the test of time

The contact center industry is constantly evolving by supporting new channels and implementing the newest contact center technology. Also in the world of quality assurance there are always new challenges that arise that need to be handled. Over the years, however, we have learned that regardless of trends or innovative developments, there will always be timeless best practices that can make any quality monitoring program a success.

In this blog post we'll share 6 foundational quality assurance best practices that are just as relevant today as they were a decade ago.

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Top Strategies for Reducing Agent Turnover in your Contact Center

High agent turnover is a problem shared across the contact center space. On average, attrition rates in contact centers are between 30-50%. In extreme cases, centers experience more than 100% attrition. In comparison to all other industries, this is exceptionally high where the national average hovers around just 15%.

As you are probably aware, this is a very expensive problem. When considering recruiting, hiring, and training, research by the Everest Group indicates an estimated direct cost to contact centers between $3,100 and $5,100, to replace a single lost employee. What’s more, is that because of a temporary drop in productivity, companies miss out on revenue, which is estimated at an additional $2,000 - $3,000 per lost employee.

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