Improving Call Center Processes

How to Improve and Fully Leverage the Power of Your Call Center’s Operation

The call center is the quintessential process environment, rich with customer, business and transaction information to run the business. Work is performed in repeatable and measurable workflows day in and day out -an ideal format for achieving and sustaining excellence.

Unfortunately, most call centers are setup to manage the people within them, not processes. Work tasks and activities are organized to serve functional department missions and goals. “Local” priorities overshadow “global” community needs of process customers and the realities of the total call center system.

The consequences: Frustrated inbound callers, excessive transfers between service reps, inconsistent customer service, ineffective outbound calls and lost sales.

For many call center leaders, “fire fighting” is the method of choice to manage these challenges. Valuable real-time information is lost in the fray of day-to-day survival, resulting in “controlled chaos.” Inefficiency and waste become part of the system, robbing your organization of profits, productivity and its competitive advantage.

But, there is a way out.

Process management methods can completely and finally resolve the “controlled chaos” and replace it with stable, predictable and effective processes that deliver the full strategic advantage of your call center.

The skills delivered in this seminar can be applied in a variety of industries, especially those multi-functional operations with inbound & outbound customer service and contact, telephone sales, or transaction processing environments combining front-line call support with back-office work tasks.

Who Should Attend

  • General Manager of Customer Service/Contact Center Support
  • Director of Operations Support
  • Member of Customer Service Leadership Team
  • -Vice President
  • -Director
  • -Manager
  • Quality Assurance Manager, Supervisor, or Team Leader
  • Team Leader/Supervisor
  • Member of an improvement project team

What You Will Learn

  • Recognize and understand your center’s core processes
  • Identify the primary “internal” customer-supplier relationships and recognize their role in the success of your center
  • Prioritize and evaluate which processes need repair and which require major overhaul
  • Convert a mature call operation with newer, high-benefit multimedia technologies in-flight…while also keeping the business running uninterrupted
  • Increase immediately the day-to-day effectiveness of your current operation
  • Apply the value-added test for identifying redundant, wasteful and non-essential activities
  • Map and document how work is performed to expose the real bottle-necks, handoff gaps and service-level “busters”
  • Discover and leverage new process capacity within existing resources

Seminar Outline

Day 1:

I. The Foundation: Essentials of Call Center Leadership

  1. Leveraging the “built-in” strategic advantage of your call center:
    • Staying ahead of the competition
    • Parity or perish: Keeping up with the competition
  2. The Operating Foundation:
    • Core guiding principles
    • Primary functional components
    • Organizational structure & key roles
    • Fundamental “blocking & tackling”
  3. The tactics of effective call center “leading”

II. Call Center Process Management

  1. Why your call center may not be the quintessential process environment:
    • The unseen day-to-day forces within a call center
    • The damage of functional silos
    • The birth of micro-management and its unintended consequences
    • Process decay spiral…what it looks like and how it begins
  2. Traits of an effective process oriented call center organization
  3. How to mobilize for process change and quality improvement
    • Techniques for gaining cross-functional support required to achieve effective call center teamwork and performance
    • Strategy and methods for achieving and sustaining a robust continuous learning and improvement culture
    • Lessons-learned in avoiding the pitfalls, false starts and wrong turns experienced in so many other improvement efforts
  4. The Call Center Improvement Cycle and Tools:
    • Starting where you are:
      • Recognizing and understanding your centers core processes
      • Identifying the primary “internal” customer-supplier relationships
      • Selecting processes which need repair
      • Mapping and documenting the “As Is” process
      • Analyzing, evaluating and recommending improvements that get the process where it “should be”
      • Developing and deploying effective, workable Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to “sustain the gains”

Day 2:

III. Planning for the Next Generation Call Center:

  1. Using process management tools and operational data to more effectively plan and set goals at both the corporate, call center and team level
  2. Leveraging the newer, high benefit “multi-media” technology capability
  3. The Call Center Improvement Cycle and Tools (Major Reengineering Overhaul)
    • Recognizing and understanding your centers highest priority core processes
    • Identifying the primary “internal” customer-supplier relationships, extending beyond existing boundaries and constraints if needed
    • Selecting processes with the most to gain or those with limited useful life in their present form
    • Mapping and documenting the “As Is” process
    • Analyzing, evaluating and recommending improvements that get the process where it “Could Be”
    • Planning and executing the “Changeover” while keeping the business running smoothly
  4. Emerging Call Center trends and strategies:
    • Benefits and challenges of the newer “state of the Art” technologies
    • Potential changing of skill set criteria and implications for existing and future workforce training requirements
    • Real effects of consolidations, mergers and acquisitions
    • Doing more with the call center, often with less resources

IV. Achieving Synergy With Your Key Suppliers, Field Partners & Customers

  1. The call center as critical enabler of higher order company wide mission and goals
  2. Issues and methods for integrating within the larger “meta” process organization
  3. Setting up and deploying “Collaboration” Agreements:
    • Service Level contracting with internal and external suppliers and partners
    • Setting realistic measures and success indicators
    • Planning and executing the agreements
    • Maintaining and updating the agreements