Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Follow the Leader" Featuring Todd Hixson


What are some forecasting best practices that you utilize?

Here's a quick tip for each area of forecasting. And yes, make sure you include all four!

Volume: Clean anomalies. This includes high abandons (look at redials). Remember too, if you are going to be understaffed, you will abandon again - forecast the inverse!



AHT: Include glide path impact for new hires.

Shrinkage: Forecast what you need. Have an accountability process with partners.

Occupancy: Make sure service level and time of day match occupancy. Don’t flat line!


Currently the Director of WFM at VIPDdesk Connect, Todd Hixson has 35 years in management, the last 17 in the contact center.  He has been recognized for pioneering forecasting theorems for social media, has served on various advisory board, and routinely speaks at industry event.

Follow the leader: LinkedIn | Twitter

#CustServ #QOTD


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#CustServ #QOTD


An Effective Approach to Employee Development

By Sean Hawkins

Employee development is very important to me. As a leader, it is my obligation to create a culture that aids in the personal and professional growth of my staff. 

In my career, I've had the opportunity of starting training and development programs with two companies. I have also utilized alternative training methods with regularity.



Whenever I am asked how to implement an employee development program, my answer is always the same, “begin at the beginning”! 


Start with the employees first, and then build your program. If the program is not employee focused, it will fail!


Developing staff begins the moment a new member joins your team. In addition, all staff members should have a "living" professional development plan in place. Staff development should be an on-going process, not a one time, yearly event. 




1. Agent assessment
Have team members complete a self-assessment of their interests, skills, values, and personality. This should not be an assessment of the organization. Instead this is an opportunity for employees to provide you with their critique of themselves, while also giving way for them to express their thoughts and detail their aspirations. Doing so will reveal any blind spots and/or misconceptions managers may have.
When reviewing the staff member's responses, keep these questions in mind:
  • What skills, career opportunities, technologies interest the individual?
  • Do those skills/interests/goals support the organization's needs and goals?
  • What are the short and long term steps to get there?

2. Manager assessment


Based on the staff member's self-assessment, their performance, and your own observations, determine the staff member's skill level in the following categories:
  • Technical skills: skills needed to get the job done.
  • Social skills: how do they work with others?
  • Aptitudes: natural talents; special abilities for doing, or learning to do, certain kinds of things.
  •  Attitude: outlook, feelings, mind-set, way of thinking, and point of view.


3. Organizational assessment
To ensure corporate buy-in and assistance, identify where your staff's needs and interests align with organizational objectives. If you want to retain talent, this is an ideal way to do so. You'll also increase the chance of reaching corporate objective, by matching talent and skills to those objectives. Furthermore, should the talent not exists, you have made it easier to approval to hire or train. Consider the following goals:
  • Company goals
  • Departmental goals
  • Team goals
Review corporate goals to ensure you are in position to meet them.


Are we there yet?
NOW, you can start creating a program. Based on the steps above, you have a higher probability of success. If not, you'll find that you are pulling the cart before the horse. That's a discussion for another time. 


I have over 15 years of progressive call center leadership and experience in the public, private and government sectors.


I have led or consulted contact centers of various sizes across numerous industries. Additionally, I’ve implemented new technology and products, while maintaining award-winning contact centers.

Connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.