As 2013 comes to a close, we wanted to share the 13 top blog posts for 2013. These are the posts you felt provided the most value to you and your organization. Enjoy!
1. The Talent Revolution – Are You Prepared? Work skills are changing faster than ever before just to stay in alignment with the rapidly shifting technology available today. Businesses are hard pressed to predict the types of skills they will need in six months. Rather than incurring expenses recruiting, hiring and training a full-time employee, many businesses find it more effective to hire freelancers. And, many of these freelancers work virtually.
2. Staying Focused – 7 Tips for Success from Remote Agents. Working from home provides an environment free of typical office distractions, but it exposes you to a whole new set of issues at home. Getting the most out of working from home requires discipline and a bit of planning, but in the end it can be the best place to work!
3. The Future of Soft Skills in Contact Centers. As is the case with technology, the soft skills now needed in contact centers are undergoing a transition – one that ensures agents are able to interact with a globalized client base. When considering the types of soft skills your team might require or that you may wish to train for, there are several that are key, including intercultural communication skills, values, emotional intelligence and active listening.
4. Training Games: Fun and Engaging Provides Excellent Knowledge Transfer. After hiring the best agents, how do you guarantee that the training methods you have in place are going to effectively impart knowledge? The trick is to ensure that the agents receive the best information in the most effective way. If you are looking for a way to spice up your virtual training, consider gaming your training!
5. Lessons from Duck Dynasty on the New World of Work. As with many recent cultural phenomena, Duck Dynasty can teach us important characteristics about the New World of Work, particularly the importance of following your passion.
6. Beyond the Numbers – Quality Assurance Encompasses Coaching. The merging of training and quality assurance (QA) programs strengthens virtual contact center agents. At first glance, this merger may seem contradictory since QA is typically metric driven. Yet, many agents benefit from the joining of these two groups into a cohesive organization that coaches agents into excellence.
7. Focusing on Customer Experience in Energy & Utility Industries. Many energy and utility companies have considered the foundational element of their customer acquisition strategy to be price. However, any customer who has had an issue and wanted to reach someone for assistance will tell you they would consider paying more if the customer service was there.
8. Want Happy Customers? Create Happy Agents. Obviously happy agents provide better customer service by feeling good about what they do. Agents are no different than anyone else in a company – they want to know that what they do matters. And they want to know they matter and are not just numbers on a dashboard that align with important metrics.
9. Is Your Contact Center Plagued with Spring Fever? For contact center agents who spend a lot of time indoors, spring fever can really hit hard. You may be a bit distracted and feeling more energized than usual. As it turns out, there are scientific reasons for this change.
10. Thankful For – a Great Job. Our agent interview with Aldo Covarrubias was about how thankful he was for work, new career paths, caring people and the opportunity to be part of what he calls the future of customer service – remote agents.
11. Do you Fear “Slacker Telecommuters?” Rethink Your Virtual Work Strategy. It’s not where they work but who you hire. But even the most dedicated, professionally mature individual will struggle without the correct virtual infrastructure. Before considering a radical, and potentially costly, move of returning your entire workforce to a cube, evaluate your virtual work strategy.
12. 5 Steps to Proactive Customer Delight. To continuously delight your customers requires planning and a solid strategy. It also means stepping up to become more cognizant of their wants and needs. Continuously gathering customer insights will net you very little if your organization is unable to stay on top of customer desires. Therefore, it is prudent to engage in initiatives that proactively engage and delight customers.
13. Top 4 Traits of Virtual Contact Center Solutions Providers. As a pioneer in the virtual contact center arena, we have come to realize there are certain traits that show a solutions provider can and will provide excellent customer service while also improving bottom line results. These four traits can be easily showcased and, while seemingly simple, have a strong impact on the success of the outsourcer.
We hope you enjoyed revisiting your 2013 favorites. We look forward to 2014 and to providing you with valuable customer experience tips, contact center innovations, and ways to positively impact your bottom line.