Simple Technique to Reduce Average Handle Time and Increase Customer Satisfaction in Your Contact Center

Chris Dellen

When I visit contact centers and bring up the metric, Average Handle Time (AHT), I receive many different reactions. In one camp, there are those that are completely focused on squeezing every drop of efficiency out of their contact center. In the other camp, there are those who don’t even bother to measure AHT because they want to make sure that agents are empowered to solve their customers’ problems, even if it takes hours (literally) on a call to do it.

Reader's Choice: CPI's 10 Most Popular Contact Center Blog Posts

Chris Dellen

In an effort to continually improve the content we deliver to you, we looked back over the years and compiled our reader's top 10 most popular contact center blog posts.

We invite you to take a minute and explore these 10 posts then share with us in the comments which is your favorite. Every couple weeks when we send you an email, we want to make sure they're helpful and useful to you, today.


6 Keys to Successful Chat Deployment in your Contact Center

Christy Green

Live chat is one of the best ways to get instant communication with a company. In a survey of 2,000 consumers for a 2014 Customer Service Benchmark report from eDigitalResearch, 26% of the survey respondents had used live chat to communicate with a brand within the last 12 months and satisfaction rates were high. 73% said they were 'extremely satisfied' or 'satisfied' with the level of service live chat afforded them. The findings also revealed that 30% of consumers expect live chat to be an option to contact a company.

The 3 Pillars of Workforce Management, Part 1

In my 20+ years of experience in call centers, I’ve learned that Workforce Management is the true backbone of the center. Almost every aspect of what happens runs through the WFM staff – including agent staffing, training, budgets, PTO scheduling and more.

I see Workforce Management in 3 very distinctive but inclusive parts of one another - the Real-Time Analyst, the Forecaster and the Reporting Specialists.

My 2015 Contact Center Non-Resolution Resolutions

Ruth Lochary

Happy New Year! I’m a little late to the party – but, it’s a new year for my 2015 blog posts! The time for resolutions has come and gone. Most resolutions made January 1 are dropped by January 31. So, why am I talking about resolutions? Because there are 3 things I want you to turn into habits for 2015. Don’t just make a resolution – make a commitment!

8 Steps to Make Your 2015 Contact Center Resolutions Stick

Christy Green

The start of a new year often brings new initiatives or other opportunities for transformation. But how often have you seen the effort not bring about the desired results, or even worse, fizzle out completely? How can we implement new processes and procedures and get the change to stick, and bring about the results we want?

The Powerful Benefits of Customer Experience Journey Mapping

Christy Green

Today, customer experience is at the forefront of company strategy across industries worldwide. According to a recent Gartner survey, 89% of companies surveyed plan to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience by 2016. However, fewer than half the companies surveyed rated their customer experience as exceptional today, but two-thirds expect it to be so in two years. In order to thrive in today's customer empowered environment, companies need to deliver the best customer experiences when, where and how customers want it.

6 Best Practices for Implementing Knowledge Management for Your Contact Center Agents and Customers

Steve McKinney

Would your customers get the same answer if they asked two different contact center agents the same question? Would your agent’s response be the same as the information posted on your website, mobile app, or Facebook page?

3 Knowledge Management Lessons to Utilize in Your Contact Center

Jennifer Ball I just finished a rather large internal knowledge management (KM) project and realize that many of you may be going through the same process in your contact center. I followed a simple, yet powerful roadmap that I unexpectedly learned from my physical therapist and thought it may help you in your knowledge management project.

Cybersecurity Awareness in the Contact Center Environment

Carla Kraus

As CPI’s Facility Security Officer, I’m required to take training classes on an ongoing basis. I recently completed a course on Cybersecurity Awareness. I came away with several key tips that can be applied within the framework of how we conduct ourselves in the “cyber” world.

Usually our blog posts focus broadly on contact center operations - centered on improving efficiency, increasing customer satisfaction, and even generating revenue. However, in light of the recent cyberattacks on Chase, Target, and Home Depot, this information is not only relevant to you as a consumer, but also relevant with the type of scrutiny your reps will receive by your customers as they discuss sensitive information.

The Power of Knowledge Management in Customer Service

Steve McKinney

I’m almost out of breathe from running.  No, I haven’t suddenly taken up exercise, although I need to! Rather I’m running from roof top to roof top yelling at the top of my lungs, “Get your Knowledge Management in place." 


CPI Revamps Panera Bread's Agent Desktop - Improving Agent Handle Time by 50%

Chris Dellen

One of the biggest measurements of success we have at CPI is when we have the opportunity to help our customers raise the bar, do something innovative, and sometimes even help them revolutionize their industry.


Agent Desktop: the Contact Center's Secret Productivity Killer

Chris Dellen

I have been sitting in contact centers for years listening to calls, crunching numbers, speaking with everyone from CEO’s to agents. I am continually amazed at what is on an *agent's desktop.

On average, I see agents tabbing, clicking and dragging between 10 - 20 unique programs and windows (databases, CRM's, websites, Excel documents, binders, sticky notes, printed emails, and even shouting over their cubes to their colleagues) to get the answer their customer needs. It is a situation that is right in front of our noses and yet the challenge persists.


4 Keys to Unlocking the Voice of the Customer in your Contact Center

Recently a co-worker was planning a camping trip with her family. Of course every successful camping trip involves S’mores. So while going shopping for all the items she needed, she ran across something that really caught her off guard -- S’more sized marshmallows!

Customer Service Whac-A-Mole

Steve McKinney

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.  


"I Know What I Want and I Want it Now" - Why empowering customers with knowledge is critical for your contact center

Christy Green

"I know what I want and I want it now”, the lyrics of the 90’s song popped into my head as I browsed fruitlessly through a cable company’s website (to protect the guilty, I won’t give their name). All I wanted to find out was how much it would cost me per month for cable and internet, and didn’t have a lot of time, nor did I want to spend a lot of time, clicking around trying to find it.

3 Simple Steps to Build an ROI for Your Customer Experience Projects

Chris Dellen

It happens time and time again, and never fails to break my heart. The customer experience executive proposes a project that will improve customer satisfaction by 10-15%. The executive team commends the individual on their incredible work, but then the sales executive presents his proposal. If his initiative is funded, he projects to drive an additional $4 Million in sales.

You know how this story goes. Perhaps you’ve been in a meeting similar to this.

10 Key Takeaways that Could Rock Your Contact Center's World

Chris Dellen

In the past 3 weeks, I have had the opportunity to listen to experts from around the world discuss where contact centers are headed in the next five years. During that time I have traveled over 2,500 miles on planes, trains, and automobiles; consumed 27 cups of Starbucks; and sat through 44 sessions from industry experts.

I’ll present more detail surrounding each of these in subsequent blog posts, but for now, I hope you take a second and think about how these will impact your contact center.

Here's' what I have learned:

Insights to Jumpstarting your Customer-Facing Knowledge Base

Chris Dellen

Building a customer-facing knowledge base is one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve customer satisfaction and reduce the number of calls that come into your contact center. Added bonus: the impact can be immediate. For those getting started on building a knowledge base from the ground up, it may seem like a large task to pull together the “knowledge” itself. I will share a few insights to get you started and to save you a ton of time.

If you already have a customer-facing knowledge base, I believe you'll find a couple of these insights helpful too.

Quantifying the Impact of Good Customer Service

Christy Green

These days, most goods and services are commodities, making product differentiation a challenge. However, top companies are realizing in this customer-centric era, the best way to differentiate their company is by the experience they deliver to customers, not on the products they sell.