By: Steve McKinney On: July 29, 2014 In: Contact Center Comments: 0

For all those Customer Service Managers and Directors out there who read that title, you may think you know what I’m about to say. Spoiler Alert! This will not be a blog telling you how to improve your processes or what to do about social media in your contact center. While we can learn a lot from those topics, I believe we, as customer care professionals, often feel as though we are getting hit from every angle with tons of great ideas, but sometimes not knowing where to start. So today I want to level with you and to talk to you about some of the pain points in your contact center.

Pain Points

Tell me if I don’t pinpoint at least 75% of what’s on your top 10 list of things you’re dealing with today:

    1. Attendance
    2. Schedule adherence
    3. Staff team meetings
    4. New product release meetings
    5. Training schedules
    6. Hiring/ Interviews
    7. I.T. meetings to prioritize projects
    8. Budgeting for next Fiscal Year
    9. Sales meetings
    10. KPI meetings with C-Level

Now I’m sure I left a few things out, but I bet you’re mentally checking items off this list in your head. Some of the things I didn’t mention are of course looking at new technology, calling escalated customers back, reviewing QA results from last week, and preparing management reports. If you’re anything like I was when I managed contact centers, you have probably looked over at the person in the car next to you in traffic and said to yourself “I bet they don’t have to deal with HR issues for 2 hours today”. These issues are simply the world we, customer care professionals, live in, hence the“Whac-A-Mole” title to this post  It seems to be a daily activity in the world of Customer Care. I have played this game myself, and watched others in this industry wear themselves out with it.  So where do we go from here?

Today the game has changed

The truth is, the “Whac-A-Mole” game of today is different than it was just 5 years ago. Back then the “moles” consisted of:

    • Average speed of answer
    • QA scores
    • Average abandonment rate
    • First call resolution
    • CSAT scores

Now the focus is around self-service and the voice of the customer, which can be heard from the ends of the earth. Customers no longer have to pick up their phone (the kind that had a cord into the wall, remember those?) and call a friend to tell them how bad the service was. Now they pick up their smart phone, click once on Twitter or Facebook and start shouting. The new “moles” look like:

    • Average chat response time
    • First tweet resolution
    • Social customer care
    • Knowledge base and web self-service rates
    • Speech analytics


The Point

If you’re a committed professional, your confidence level of your own abilities is pretty darn high. You wouldn’t be in your position if you didn’t feel that way. You might also think to yourself, “I have seen many organizations trying to engage with me and recommend something I don’t need”. Or “I don’t need consultants from a large firm, who have never performed my job, sit across the table from me and tell me how to improve my contact center.” I bet you just said out loud “that’s right!”. For just a moment think back to my top 10 list above. If I was correct in at least 75% of those, you might say I know the world you live in pretty well. You might even say this guy has done his time in customer care, which I can assure you I have.

As I was approaching year 10 as a Contact Center Director, I thought to myself, “I have done some really good things in my career, and some knuckle head things as well, but either way I have some good knowledge I could share with others in my position”. In 2004, I was given that opportunity, and I haven’t look back since. It has been an awesome ride spending time within 100’s of contact centers, some small, and some huge, just talking shop with good people who are playing “Whac-A-Mole” everyday.

Are you ready to unplug from the “Whac-A-Mole” game? Reach out and get information about our complimentary (absolutely no strings attached!) Contact Center Assessment. It’s a no-pressure way to glean new observations from a team who understands your pain points. We look forward to connecting with you soon!