Building A Better Contact Center Agent

November 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Engagement, People 

National Customer Service Week was set aside by George H. Bush in 1992.  The week has turned into a month-long celebration by many service organizations.   In the Proclamation, President Bush sited the clear value of service excellence in a free market economy.  He said, “A business will do a better job of providing high quality goods and services by listening to its employees and by empowering them with opportunities to make a difference. Customer service professionals work in the front lines where a firm meets its customers; where supply meets demand. With responsive policies and procedures and with simple courtesy, customer service professionals can go a long way toward ensuring customer satisfaction and eliciting the next round of orders and purchases.”

As par of the celebration, I had the opportunity to team-up with ICMI, the nation’s leading global provider of resources for customer management professionals, to write a blog series designed specifically for frontline agents.  We know that great technology and processes only go so far towards the goal to create a “customer obsessed” organization – while the frontline agent really owns the experience.  Their importance cannot be under-valued.

As I developed my outline for the posts, I landed on four key concepts that I think are important.  You can read the posts on the ICMI website:

Agents can make or break the customer experience – building great agents is an important part of building successful contact centers.

Several Recent Online Posts On Industry Sites

October 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Contact Centers – Choose Your CRM Wisely – Bluewolf

Where Are You On The Knowledge Continuum? – ICMI

Is Your Contact Center Living Up To Expectations? – Bluewolf

Was that OK?

In her commencement speech at Harvard yesterday, Oprah Winfree shared an idea that she called “the most important thing she has learned in her career….”  If you work in a contact center – then please watch the video and think about how important it is to what we do as leaders.  “People want to be validated.”

Actually this is a concept that I learned from John Maxwell several years ago in his book “25 Ways to Win with People.”  Although it does not happen every time, I try to live by this concept on a daily basis).  He said that he seeks to say something positive to a person in the first 30 seconds of every conversation – to validate that person – and he seeks to make it personal.

Oprah’s concept is a simple yet powerful one to, not only contemplate, but to make a part of who you are.  My challenge is this – watch the video and read the script.  Then try the concept for the rest of the day.  Seek opportunities to validate people for their accomplishments.  And don’t forget to do it with people that need it most – the people that may be doing just what is expected – not just those that are exceeding expectations.  If we can find ways to validate and improve the 3s, 4s and 5s, we can move them to 5s, 6s, and 7s – and imagine the impact of that on your contact center.

Quick Idea: Seek to validate three people in the next hour!  They want to know, “Was that OK?”


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  • Bob Furniss

    bobfurniss_head_small For more than 30 years Bob Furniss’ career has focused on helping companies improve customer experiences. As the Director of Bluewolf’s Service Cloud practice (, Bob leads a team of consultants focused on improving customer service and engagement. The Bluewolf team works with clients in three key areas: Salesforce Service Cloud strategy/implementation; Social Media strategy and implementation in the contact center; and creating vision blueprints to help companies set a new course for their contact centers in the areas of people and technology. Bob's career includes leadership positions in the areas of Contact Centers, Customer Experience, and Marketing with Touchpoint Associates, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and several other leading companies. Click here to email Bob direct