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Planning for Success in Contact Centers

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Planning for Success in Contact Centers

April 28, 2009
By Erik Linask
Group Editorial Director
Of course, it’s always a crucial component of successfully running any business, but the current financial environment only underscores the need for businesses to understand every detail of what makes their operations run effectively — or what creates inefficiencies.

Perhaps the biggest part of that today includes understanding how to implement cost cuts, but it also requires intelligent insight into technology — both existing infrastructures and potential alternatives — as well as basic business functions, like staffing and scheduling, planning, training, budgeting, and more. These elements all are impacted by just about any change to operations or workforces, and result in a need for increasingly intelligent workforce management and an intimate knowledge of the entire operation.  And truthfully, that’s only the beginning, especially in the contact center world (though it really applies to nearly any business environment).
So, why is this important to you? 
First and foremost, you should understand that, as a decision maker in any business —and especially in a customer service environment — any strategic decisions you make regarding your operations will impact your business for a long time. That includes all decisions relating to staffing and investment, of course, which also have an immediate impact on your ability to conduct business effectively.
For you football fans out there, it’s not unlike the New York Jets decision to trade up in last weekend’s NFL draft in order to select Mark Sanchez, the quarterback from USC, who they hope will be their field general for the foreseeable future. Or the New York Giants decision to draft North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, instead of trading for an available, established star to head their receiving corps. The point is, both teams made strategic decisions and investments in their futures, and the impact of those decisions will likely be a topic of discussion for years to come.
But back to the point at hand, which is that strategic planning is critical to the success of any organization, especially when it comes to ensuring customer satisfaction. After all, customer satisfaction is the foundation of success — that’s a fact too many business have realized too late.
However, all the factors that weigh into such decisions create an often unmanageable complexity, which requires the availability of tools — accurate and proven tools — to help uncover the most reasonable options. That is, those that will bring the highest probability of success.
That’s precisely what Ric Kosiba, co-founder and president of BayBridge Decision Technologies, spent an hour discussing in the first of a three-part Webinar series on Strategic Planning in contact centers. Again, though, I point out that while he focused on the contact center, much of what he offered is equally applicable in non-contact center environments as well.
This first Webinar, The Importance of Strategic Planning: How Strategic Planning Mishaps Can Cost Your Organization Dearly (and You Might Not Even Realize It!), focused on the need for proper planning, as well as the repercussions of poor planning.
In fact, it’s mistakenly believed that contact center failures “just happen” or are isolated happenings. Ric, however, contends that they actually tend to be symptoms of larger, earlier failures — failures in strategic planning.
If you missed the live session, be sure to log into hear the archived presentation to ensure you are equipped to make the right decisions, and don’t find yourself cleaning up after what turned out to be the wrong ones.
Then, join Ric and me on Tuesday, June 16th at 2:00pm EST for the second session, which will focus on Strategic Planning technologies, including contact center modeling, from forecasting to requirements generation to hiring/overtime plans to budgets and variance analysis. The session will cover both outdated existing technologies, as well as new mathematical and modeling alternatives, which are designed to improve the speed, accuracy, and scope of you planning process.

Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Managing Editor of TMCnet, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to nearly 3,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erik Linask
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