Drafting a Winning Contact Center Team
As the summer comes to an end, we can look forward to cooler days, the vibrant colors of fall foliage, pumpkin spice lattes, and, of course, fantasy football. Assuming the NFL can safely play a full season in 2020, millions of armchair quarterbacks will be doing their very best to bring home a championship. As a three-time champion myself (humble brag), I’ve learned that putting together a winning fantasy team requires being able to identify all the right pieces that must come together to help you succeed. No single individual—no matter how talented—will win you a championship; it’s truly a team effort. The same can be said for building any winning team, be it on the field or in the workplace.
5 Realistic Tips Companies Can Borrow from Fantasy Football
Unlike fantasy football, where failures are comically mocked and players shamed, businesses have no room for failure. The reality is that companies must win or they’ll disappear; there are no second chances. One of the most crucial elements to business success is being able to satisfy customers. That’s where the contact center comes in. A cloud contact center allows representatives to field customer inquiries via voice calls, chat, text messaging, or social media. It also empowers businesses to raise the bar on the customer experience by providing consistently high-quality service at every touchpoint. You may think a customer service agent is the heart of this operation and success rests solely on them, but much like building a winning fantasy team, a number of variables go into winning.
Let’s look at what you need to field the perfect contact center team and make winning a reality this year.
1. The Manager
Just as you manage your fantasy team, a great contact center manager understands how to identify the right talent and recognize where they have the biggest holes. If challenges arise and a contact center team member leaves or gets sick, a great manager can quickly assess the situation and have the right person ready to fill-in, never missing a beat. There’s a lot of turnover in the contact center, so it’s important to have a great bench. Just like in fantasy, you may not be working with the same team you started with in week one. That's why a hands-on manager is so crucial.
2. The Waiver Wire
In fantasy, learning to use the waiver wire and grab the right players is the difference between winning and losing. Similarly, in the contact center it’s important to put serious effort into onboarding new starters, making them feel welcomed and valued. These contact center team members may not be contributing right away, but it’s important to give them the tools to be their best so when their time comes, they’re prepared. A strong contact center nurtures and invests in new starters because reducing “'ramp-time” makes sense for everyone.
"Be it fantasy or reality, winning takes work. That means staying on top of your team and constantly monitoring the trends and market to be sure you’re putting the best talent together on any given day."
3. The Right Tools
Unless you’re a fantasy football savant, you need the right tools to help guide your decisions. From websites to podcasts, there are countless resources available to help inform your strategy. Likewise, the contact center relies on supplemental support from other teams to help do their job. A strong support team is essential to allow the “players” to do their best. The contact center needs seamless IT support, easy configuration, built-in security, great reporting, helpful dashboards, extensive coaching tools, superb analytics, excellent training, encouraging supervisors, and so on. Every successful team needs the right guidance in order to compete at a top level.
4. The Sleeper
Every fantasy team has that one player that nobody else had on their radar. It’s the often overlooked player that you snatch up and turn into your team’s season-long MVP. For contact center teams, this valuable piece of the puzzle is artificial intelligence (AI). There’s no question AI is one of the biggest buzzwords in business right now. But while most companies acknowledge they need it, few know how to actually use it to their advantage. A winning contact center understands how to bring AI into the day-to-day workflows to help agents enrich the customer experience, resolve inquiries faster, and enable better outcomes for brands.
AI offers a huge range of value that may not be so obvious. Analytics provide the key to developing more intuitive solutions using the data captured from calls, interactions, and texts. That data helps an agent assess not only the voice of the customer but also the age of their voice. The discovery of trends, themes, key words, and processes can inform how to make positive changes to deliver on key targets. AI will truly be the silent MVP for any contact center that can use it to its full advantage.
5. Playing the Matchups
No matter how good your fantasy team looks on paper, it’s important to understand the matchups and use the players that can succeed against the competition. It’s about knowing the competition. In the same vein, contact centers must understand their audience. Gathering insights about your audience and gaining an in-depth understanding of different types of customers will help you decide what agent tackles certain issues. Some agents might be more knowledgeable in a certain vertical, so it's important to create subject matter experts that can address specific customer inquiries.
Be it fantasy or reality, winning takes work. That means staying on top of your team and constantly monitoring the trends and market to be sure you’re putting the best talent together on any given day.