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Challenge Solved! - An Advice Column For Contact Center Managers
Submitted by Ulysses Learning

December 1, 2021

Challenge Solved!  

An Advice Column for Contact Center Managers 

December 2021 

At Ulysses Learning, we are constantly researching ways to ensure our solutions  are relevant to what is happening in the marketplace. We were recently asked  to share our thoughts on this topic at a Client Forum. Here, with a recap from  that meeting is Dina Vance, Ulysses’ Senior Vice President and Managing  Director, North American Operations.  

Have your question answered in an upcoming Challenge Solved advice column. Email your question to: ChallengeSolved@ulysseslearning.com 

Q: What’s on the horizon in terms of training and performance improvement  recommendations for our contact center teams?  

Our featured expert for this month’s question is: 
Dina Vance 
Senior Vice President, Managing Director of North American Operations at Ulysses Learning 
 

A: Given the many rapid advancements in AI and other contact  center technologies impacting our businesses, along with the increasingly complex world in  which we operate, our team of researchers and experts have been looking very closely at ever evolving customer expectations to determine how best we can continue our work to improve  the customer experience. 

We’ve uncovered three important findings.

FINDING #1: CONTACT CENTERS NOW EXPERIENCE A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF “SENSITVE” OR “EMOTIONALLY CHARGED” CALLS.

#1 Contact centers now  experience a higher percentage  of “sensitive” or “emotionally  charged” calls. These calls are  requiring a different level of  finesse when it comes to active  listening, taking ownership, caring enough to ask the question behind the question, and thinking of solutions that add  value. Research shows the steps that make up The Conversation Strategy are still relevant for  today’s calls; however, the key is to ensure reps possess the ability to “flex” to meet the  customer where they are in the conversation flow. This slight adjustment has a positive effect  on both the customer experience and your performance measures. We’d love to show you how  you, too, can add this element of “flex” to your process, which also helps your team feel even  more empowered and excited about their work. 

FINDING #2: CERTAIN REPS FIND IT EASIER
TO TRANSFORM CALL STRATEGIES INTO THEIR OWN EXPRESSION OF SERVICE EXCELLENCE.

#2 Certain contact center representatives find it easier to transform the call strategies into  their own expression of service  excellence, activating what we  call EQ@Work or Judgment@Work. There are several factors that come into play, with the more prevalent being the representative’s:  experience level, age, attitude, and performance level. While emotional intelligence (EQ) comes  naturally to some, we found that certain contact center representatives benefitted from an  alternative approach to help build confidence in using the strategies. We have spent the past  two years testing this approach of infusing EQ into the application of the eight-step  Conversation Strategy with developmental partners, and the outcomes have showed positive  results with improved CSAT and FCR. For those reps needing an EQ boost, the additional  learning through targeted “campaigns” helps make it even easier and more enjoyable for them  to personalize and activate the strategies in a way that makes sense to the rep. In these  uncertain times, the best CSRs are those who “care” about doing a good job and we would love  to help each CSR find their passion for being of service through their contact center work. 

FINDING #3: CONTACT CENTERS WITH
LEADERSHIP-LED APPROACHES TO QUALITY OUTPERFORM OTHERS.

#3 Contact centers that have adopted a strategic, leadership led approach to monitoring and  measuring the customer experience, where the quality team supported their vision (versus a quality-led approach) reported higher levels of both  customer AND employee satisfaction. Overall, the quality process was more organic and less  formulaic, without adversely impacting call times. Additionally, where it has made sense for our  clients, we’ve had recent success in helping them implement a leadership-led approach by  making just a couple shifts in the front end of their quality process. The result was a win-win win for contact center managers, quality team members, and reps. We strongly advocate a  leadership led/quality support business model to drive lasting results.  

So, what did these findings tell us? 

Some, but not all of you, may benefit from this research and the adjustments we are  recommending. To determine if your contact center may benefit, let’s put aside some time for a  discussion. To get started or learn more, please contact your Ulysses Learning performance  consultant or contact me directly. 

Yes, today’s business environment can be challenging but here’s what I know to be true. If  there is a segment of business that is best suited to meet the demands of the times, it has  always been and will continue to be those closest to the customer—and that’s YOU and your  business! Contact centers are awesome for all the right reasons and we’re truly honored to  continue to be your partner during this next exciting phase of the contact center evolution. 

Learn more. Contact us or reach out to your consultant today! 

About Dina Vance 
Senior Vice President, Managing Director of North American Operations 

In her current capacity with Ulysses Learning, Dina is responsible for the day-to-day operations  of the company and also serves as the chief client relationship executive, working with Fortune  100 clients and other progressive organizations to redefine the way customers are cared for.  Under her leadership, Ulysses has become well known for its work in transforming customer  service, sales and coaching cultures through the development of emotional intelligence or  “EQ,” enabling reps to confidently, consistently and expertly handle every call. The company  has special expertise in serving the insurance, utilities, and financial services industries.  

Before joining Ulysses in 1999, Dina was responsible for the ground-level startup of two contact  centers which led to her accepting a role as call center lead consultant and division manager for  an international bank training organization.

Dina can be reached on LinkedIn or at dvance@ulysseslearning.com; for more details on  Ulysses Learning visit www.ulysseslearning.com

Challenge Solved! is sponsored by: 

Ulysses Learning was founded in 1995 as a joint venture with Northwestern University’s world renown Learning Sciences department. Since then, Ulysses continued focus on research and  development brings clients new, innovative enhancements to its industry-leading training and performance improvement  solutions. Contact centers achieve profound business results, ahead of schedule, with Ulysses  Learnings’ artful blend of patented simulation-based e-learning, facilitated exercises, coaching,  and tools, that redefine the way customers are cared for and transform customer service, sales,  and coaching cultures. Ulysses has one of the only training systems proven to build EQ@Work, enabling reps to develop skills to empathize with others, build stronger customer bonds, and  improve team dynamics with confidence, consistency, and excellence.

Ulysses Learning is a multi-year recipient of the Gold Stevie© Award for best contact center  customer service training. 

Begin your contact center transformation now. Phone 800-662-4066 or visit  www.ulysseslearning.com to get started.

 
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