Keeping Your Call Center Current…

I have been reading the blogs by the editorial staff at 1:1 magazine a lot lately.  Some good stuff.  A nice post this week on what’s new in terms of contact center managers’ priorities. These two items jumped out at me:

Managers want to use e-learning modules for training, but are torn about taking agents off the phones to train.

and…

Daycare workers (college educated moms) and retirees are becoming the hot new workforce in contact centers.

To the first point…there are a few learning tools that are designed to integrate learning int the daily tasks of a sales agent. Knowlagent and other vendors have been pushing these for some time. BUT…without a truly flexible and accommodating CRM front end, these tools are hard to embed into an agent’s desktop environment without a lot of tabbing around, etc. There are some CRM tools, however (cough cough SugarCRM cough cough) that can embed these easily, as a home page dashlet for example.

As to the second point – I like that we are moving away from offshore outsourcing and thinking about call center staffing in more inventive ways. Having “on shore” staff that have total language control and more call presence will surely up satisfaction levels. And with the new SaaS and other web-based telephony and CRM software (cough cough Sugar On-Demand) – home-based agents are not limited in any way.

I think it is a good time for call center managers to really shine in any organization – in this economy, retaining customers is paramount, and we all know it only takes one bad call center experience to sour a once-loyal customer…

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