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Ashley Kalcic

Ashley Kalcic is dedicated to global success of The Call Center School, focusing client acquisition, retention, and market presence. With a foundation in contact center workforce management, she has a strong basis for contact center training and development. Ashley has worked on addressing the training needs and initiatives of hundreds of clients from small contact center organizations to large fortune 500 companies. With a B.A. in psychology from Northern Illinois University with a focus on Industrial Organizational and Cognitive processes, Ashley Kalcic has a firm understanding of what helps motivate, retain and satisfy individuals in the workplace. With that knowledge, she promotes ongoing training and development at all levels of the contact center, from frontline staff to contact center supervisors, workforce managers, and quality assurance specialists.

Recent Posts by Ashley Kalcic

When should you outsource training?

Does your contact center do all of it’s 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.

Cost

This is the factor that often times comes up first, because who isn’t trying to cut costs? We all know training is a necessity, so we can’t cut it out completely, but we aim to do it as cost effectively as possible. So, what’s more affordable, in house training or outsourced? As much as I’d love to give a black or white answer, it depends. Evaluating your options doesn’t have to be overly complicated though.

First, calculate how much it would cost you to deliver the training internally. Note, this assuming you have the capacity internally to deliver the training at the quality you desire, but will get to those two factors next. To calculate this cost you’ll want to consider both the cost to develop the training and the cost to deliver the training (hours to create + deliver x the salary or hourly wage of the trainer). Tip: make sure to consider whether the delivery of the training is ongoing or if it only needs to be delivered once.

Then, compare that cost with your outsourced options. Which, by the way, can vary greatly!

Quality

Before you even get to considering cost however, you’ll have to consider quality. If you don’t have anyone on staff (and aren’t planning to hire anyone) with the knowledge to be able to develop or deliver the training you should definitely outsource it. Depending on the training need you may easily be able to cover it internally and at a high quality or you simply just won’t be able to.

For example, if you need to train a new agent on how to submit for time off requests, you probably have plenty of experts in-house to facilitate this. On the other hand, if you need to train a new WFM analyst on long term capacity planning, you may not have someone already knowledgeable in this. In that case, it would be well worthwhile to hire outsource this to someone who is an expert in the area.

Capacity

So, let’s say you have the know-how internally. You should also consider the capacity of your team. If your resident subject matter expert isn’t a designated trainer, they may not have the time to create and deliver quality training to others in your organization. You may not even have the demand to employ a trainer on your staff, and that’s ok. After all, training is a necessity, but it isn’t your core business.

If you do have a designated trainer or training department, that’s great! You still may want to consider outsourcing you're training from a capacity perspective if it will be a training that is complex to create or delivered numerous times throughout the year. If the training is overly simple and delivered at a high frequency, it may make sense to outsource so that your training department has time to focus on other efforts. On the other end of the spectrum, if the training is highly specialized and cumbersome to create, it may also make sense to outsource so that you aren’t tying up too much of your resources into one particular training initiative.

 

Well, there you have it. Cost, quality, and complexity, although not in that order. While cost always manages to make it’s way to the top of the list, it logically makes more sense to start with quality (do we have someone with the knowledge to deliver this internally?), then capacity (do they have the time to do it?) and then cost, (is it worth their time?).

If you’re now thinking, “wow, we need to start outsourcing some of our training”, you’re in the right place! At The Call Center School, training is our core business. We live it, we breathe it - all day, everyday. Whether it’s soft skills to handle angry callers, or hard skills of applying statistical analysis to predict call volumes; we love creating interactive e-learning courses that are fun to take, are easy to understand and teach skills that can be applied on-the-job right away. Our price points are something to get excited about too.


To learn more about our scalable, on-demand, high-quality curriculum, created by industry experts and elearning professionals, visit our training library. With over 30,000 certified graduates of The Call Center School, we’ve helped thousands of contact centers around the globe, you can read what our customers are saying about us here.  

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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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Why the concept of "The Power of One" is important to your contact center

How one agent can make a substantial difference

Research has shown that the main reason customers choose not to return is not because of pricing or product issues. Most customers don't return due to poor service. Your frontline agents can make all the difference. They can give every single customer a reason to return.

Sound like a lot of power? Well, it is.

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Remote Staffing: An Alternative to Traditional Contact Center Staffing

One of the most critical steps in making and receiving customer calls is deciding not just how many staff are required, but what type of staffing solution your business will utilize. Since about three-fourths of call center costs are related to labor costs, the decision is fundamental to the operation of your business.

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The Costs of Call Center Overstaffing and Understaffing

No call center is perfect when it comes to forecasting and scheduling. Even with advanced technology, statistics, and Workforce Management software there are too many uncertainties that impact the call center on an interval level. The goal of any forecaster or planner is to strive to be as accurate as possible in their forecast of requirements and scheduling their associates. Carelessness in doing so can result in heavy costs for the company. Although it may seem obvious how understaffing can negatively affect the call center, there’s a high cost in overstaffing as well.

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Steps of Workforce Management

Contact center staffing, commonly referred to as Workforce Management, is one of the most critical functions of planning and managing a call center. Since the majority of costs associated with the call center are attributable to personnel, it is imperative to get just the right number of staff in place. Overstaffing results in spending needless dollars, while understaffing results in poor service, over worked staff, and the risk of lost revenues.

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