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Calling All Contact Centers!

December 17, 2010

Philippe Asselin VP of FMSI

The below is a guest blog article from Philippe Asselin – VP at FMSI

I recently stumbled upon a quote on a social media site, and it reminded me of how a contact management efficiency software changed things for the better in a contact center at a large financial institution.

The quote was listed as anonymous, so please let me know if you know who actually said this first:

“The people who row the boat don’t rock the boat.” 

As a former HR executive, one of my roles was to investigate the people who would violate policy or procedure, cause mayhem, etc.- essentially the part of the quote relating to the “boat rockers.” 

I haven’t yet conducted a scientific study to confirm my theory, but my 20+ years of managing high performing teams has taught me that people who are actively engaged in their work tend to cause less trouble for themselves and others.  The following story is just one of many that provide evidence for my theory:

This manager had worked her way up through the organization, generating positive results and surpassing goals for the areas she was responsible for.  She is well respected by her peers and her employees.  She works with her team to achieve the goals, and coaches them to success.  Her abilities and accomplishments have earned her several promotions, and she is now leading the organization as a branch manager. 

She arrived as the newly promoted contact center manager years ago, and had inherited a good group of employees, but with some basic opportunities for improvement.  It seemed like we were spending more time than we should with investigations, counseling, and yes- even terminations.  The employees had work to do and calls were coming in, but she knew there was a better way, and that they could be more productive. 

She said “It’s not good that we are meeting this often” after each investigative meeting.  We both would smile, knowing that the changes were coming soon!

These types of challenges were the sparks that had her decide firefighting was not always the best way to run a department or give outstanding account holder service.  She needed to know what the right amount of staffing was to cover the anticipated volumes for specific events and promotions, so she could make her budget and control costs, as well as limit the amount of “boat rocking” that was happening each day.

At the time we were both employees of the financial institution, and put our heads together on a solution that would meet her contact center’s needs.  The choice to partner with FMSI was easy for her, as she was familiar with their Teller Management System™ (TMS) and Lobby Tracking Systems™ (LTS), and loved the service they provide.  The ContactCenter Management System™ (CMS) was what she needed to get the right agents in the right place at the right time, with the right abilities.  It also allowed her to schedule regular recurring tasks, such as answering emails and regulatory and/or outbound telemarketing calls to name a few, which could be assigned to specific people, groups, and on specific times and days, without adversely impacting hold times.

The workforce optimization tool allowed her to diversify the roles of the contact center, increase call volume capacity, and improve account holder service levels. The results were astounding.  Service levels improved, costs decreased, and involuntary turnover essentially ceased!  Most importantly, now that the team was actively engaged in rowing the boat and not rocking it- she spent less time in the HR office… Now I could go visit her, and talk about the many good things her team was accomplishing, and spread the good news!

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