Escape the Contact Center Paradox: Narrow your Focus

Posted by Ross Duff

Today’s information overload is at an all-time high. The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, in particular, is an information-intensive world. So much so that the various masses of data can camouflage what is most important and distract finite resources away from a business’s performance cornerstones. BPO contact centers that are most effective at reducing the noise of distracting facts and figures, to ensure emphasis on the BPO mission and relevant priorities, tend to be the most successful.  There are 3 important steps well-organized contact centers follow to guarantee focus on what is most important:

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1.Establish “The Critical Few”
First, as Steven Covey wrote, “Begin with the end in mind. Envision what you want in the future so that you know, concretely, what to make a reality.” Effective contact centers are very clear on what is most important. The first step in protecting your contact center from wasting energy is for the senior leadership team to establish priorities by answering the definitive question, “What does success look like for our business?” After establishing an exhaustive list of priorities, define “the critical few” (3-7 primary priorities) by ranking the list according to importance to identify your top priorities. Remain disciplined; resist the urge to include “more.”

2.Directly Connect the Priorities to Business Metrics
Not all metrics matter. In fact, some are just noise. The BPO industry has become so technical and advanced that metrics are multiplying rapidly. Over time, contact centers can get bogged down by the magnitude of efficiency and quality metrics. Identifying the most important metrics and translating the data into intelligent insights and actions is where many companies fail. Once you clarify your priorities, the proper metrics will become apparent, as will the systems to capture the data necessary to track those metrics. And, remember, metrics should be functional rather than merely interesting.

3.Ruthlessly Calibrate, Communicate, and Align Effort (An Operational Governance Model)
Effective contact centers establish a controlled system for monitoring, evaluating, and directing the actions and decisions of account teams. This governance model guarantees alignment of interests and priorities among account stakeholders.

The operational governance model comprises various types of meetings, all with agendas and objectives ensuring a contact center’s community of professionals is aligned and accountable to the greater good. Each of these meetings directly links every employee with responsibilities and activities that are in line with the contact center’s priorities.

Benefits of an Operational Governance Model include:

  • Overarching client priorities and objectives are translated into real-time front line focus and activities.
  • Performance action planning is built-in as part of the fabric of the Operation. Intelligent and successful performance plans are produced because they are mandatory and essential not because they are “requested.”
  • Organizational scorecards are tailored to each client’s interests, with the critical metrics weighted accordingly.

HGS Operational Governance Model Engagement Matrix

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Every contact center has different challenges based on its size, the industry it supports, its scope of operations, and customer interaction solutions focus. However, by adhering to these steps, you can effectively align and prioritize organizational efforts. The result will be a more effective contact center that delivers higher-impact business results, as well as the optimal customer experience management today’s consumers demand.