GCCMI Call Center Model..... Prelude to GCCMI Standard

The Customer

Back to fundamentals! Customers’ needs are different, unique and exclusive to each. Uncovering those needs depend on the industry type your call center is serving and supporting.  So the question becomes what do customers really want and not need! Commonality matters.

  • Quality/Accuracy/convenience

  • Personalized Service

  • Commitment/Courtesy

  • Responsiveness

  • Proactive Support.

These wants (also known as Customer Expectations) which customers go through (Customer Experience) during their interaction with any organization’s call center shape the necessary business objectives. Leading call centers that are customer-centric do offer:

  • Personalized service based on customer segment /profile

  • Personalized products and services

  • Customer focus groups to share needs, values and innovation

  • High first-call resolution rate to promote one-stop service

  • Increased customer information access capabilities

  • Single online repository of customer profile database and history of interactions

  • Measurements based on quality of service as perceived by customers

  • Regularly scheduled customer satisfaction surveys

  • Periodic and independent review of their own customer service operations.

A whole new field is evergreen... Customer Experience!

The Strategy

The strategy dimension is the facilitator and the main driver for the GCCMI CCM business capabilities Human Capital, Service Operation and Business Support which, in turn, form the basis of GCCMI Call Center Best Practices Standard Set (GCCMI CCBP-SS 2.800).

 

The Call Center Strategic Direction is aligned with customer values and the organizational corporate objectives. This makes the call center strategy applied by the call center team itself, albeit derived from corporate consumer objectives. This call center management team would then articulate:

  • Organisation-wide vision of customer service

  • Organisational responsibilities and measureable standards supporting the vision

  • Call Center positioning as a catalyst for success

  • Critical success factors based on existing customer values

  • Customer-driven key performance indicators

  • Standardised scripts for unified quality customer experience

  • Empowered frontliner for efficiency and effectiveness

 

Strategy is a controversial topic, but for leading call centers, it would only address three questions:

  1. The assessment of the current situation (where are we today?)

  2. The vision for the future (where do we want to be?)

  3. How to get there (from strategy articulation map to call center roadmap)

 

In reality, the call center business is based on a set of strategic objectives (SOs) adopted worldwide. These SOs would predominantly be:

  • Cost reduction / Revenue enhancement

  • Customer satisfaction

  • Employee development

 

These SOs are then mapped and categorized into initiatives, which constitute the shell for the call center roadmap. The roadmap would depict these initiatives/projects across the GCCMI CCM three business capabilities: Human Capital, Service Operation and Business Support. Necessary prioritization (short-medium-long) is applied by the call center management team to those projects resulting in a grid of at least nine initiatives or projects (3 capabilites x 3 terms).

 

 

 

 

The Human Capital

Like life, the call center is a people game! At least 65% of call center costs is attributed to people. The leading call centers put their efforts where their money is nesting. The Human Capital capability then becomes critical to the success of call centers of tomorrow. The call center technology nowadays is offered on-demand and in the cloud, which affirms lower cost. The bulk of the cost is not only in people but in good people. The call center cost gets transformed into a call center investment in Human Capital. The business capability called Human Capital (aka People) gets transformed into Talent!

Now, how effective are you as call center in deploying your talent into the workplace?

 

To elaborate more on how the Human Capital capability would represent part of the foundation for adopting the GCCMI Call Center Best Practices Standard Set (GCCMI CCBP-SS 2.800). We must understand that call centers have been traditionally fixated on this capability by answering two questions: How can I hire and train the best agent? (Yes, these are 2 questions.)

 

Here is how it goes. You as a Call Center may ask yourself:

  • How can I hire and train the best agent?  After thinking for a sec, I would focus on needing a certain type of Agent to fulfill my strategy and satisfy my different customer segments. But how  can I deploy the best Agent in the workplace?

  • Yes, I would say go on.

  • So, deploying the right Agent to fulfill my call center strategic objectives would require a little bit more than just hiring and training that particular right Agent in the best way possible?

  • Absolutely! Deploying the Agent in the call center workplace becomes deploying human capital in a talent-based environment.  Since that Right Agent is considered a Human Capital or

Talent, as per GCCMI Call Center Best Practices Standard Set (GCCMI CCBP-SS 2.800) then the call center management (or you as a call center) would perform certain practices to ensure that the Talent is deployed in a talent-based environment. Now, this goes beyond hiring and training.

You as a call center vice-president realise you have one more responsibility: spreading the right culture, or the so-called talent-based environment, or develop a new one! You must influence the culture of your call center and make it a productive, ripe environment for vibrant ideas and innovative dynamism. That culture will unveil itself if you focus on the word Talent. So simple!

This not only where the multicultural fit comes in; but the set of GCCMI Call Center Best Practices are all universal fit!

If you look at your people as talent, then you would instigate a talent-based environment (also known as call center workplace) and that comes with discipline, among other things.

 

For leading call centers, the Agent is talent or a resource wealth, but the true player is the team leader! She/he is, therefore, considered the catalyst for success.

You may acquire lots of good Supervisors but Team Leaders are a rare Talent to find. Appreciating Human Capital Value reflects your resource management style and leadership flair.

This Human capability extends its domain beyond the induction program (hiring and training) to embrace deployment of talent in performance excellence-driven workplace within a talent-based environment.

 

Human Capital capability enables the leading call centers to have a resource wealth that is:

  • Motivated, engaged and rewarded for performance

  • Skilled and trained to make proactive decisions

  • Organized into cross-functional work teams

  • Encouraged to participate in continuous improvement efforts

 

Human Capital capability entails these Call Center Best Practices characteristics:

  • Talent empowered to act on customer needs

  • Multi-phase hiring approach and standards

  • Clearly defined roles, responsibilities and competencies

  • Visible career path for succession planning

  • Effective multi-disciplinary (blended) training curriculum

  • Incentives include recognition, awards and bonuses provided for superior performance

  • Continuous on-the-job coaching

The Magic Quadrant

You, as a call center vice-president, may tell your call center team how to go about the people or human capital strategy. You may even explain or draw in front of them the quadrant below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2.2  - Agent Talent Retention Practices

 

Great thoughts! Now what is the Call Center Management team doing or going to do to keep and promote the best, elevate the second-best and nurture the long tenure Agent Talent?

Showing your team your intention and how savvy your business objectives may not be good enough (case in point, the quadrant above). 

It is the performed management practice which would yield fulfillment of business objectives and achievement of target KPI, not the other way around! The CCBP-SS 2.800- encapsulates the 10 best practices which do not require your call center to be certified based on performance indicators or even statistical data but rather on the adoption and implementation of the GCCMI standard set of call center best practices.

Human Capital is about hiring, motivating and developing the Talent.

The Talent Deployment Strategic Capability consists of best practices. Each practice is has performance management characteristics. Talent Deployment Strategic Capability is about the best management practices for hiring, motivating, developing and aligning talent for performance excellence.

MYTH versus REALITY

It is true that we achieved an annual turnover rate of 12% but one would very much argue that it based on the practices adopted and implemented internally that made us achieve that.

Myth: Achieving an annual turnover rate of 12% matters.

GCCMI Reality: What matters more are the practices I should adopt and implement, as a call center, to achieve cost reduction (strategic objective).

The Service Operation

We established that the traditional People capability was transformed into Human Capital in the customer-centric model of GCCMI- CCM. Similarly, the traditional Process capability is mapped to the Service Operation capability.

To elaborate more on how the Service Operation capability could represent another part of foundation for adopting GCCMI Call Center Best Practices Standard Set (GCCMI CCBP-SS 2.800), we must understand that call centers have been traditionally fixated on processes that are designed from the company’s, not the customer’s, perspective. Process architecture typically reflects organizational boundaries, making it inefficient and mostly lacking logical flow. That was the conventional customer service.

 

Within the GCCMI-CCM, the Service Operation capability (conventionally process) is designed around the customer. Just as hiring and training weren’t enough to deploy agent talent, improving call center processes or designing new ones may not be enough to engage that talent. In a talent-based environment, the CCM ensures customer satisfaction, workforce and quality management of the balanced and talented call center workforce.

The call center workplace as a rich talent environment is safeguarded or somehow shielded from processes that are not smoothly integrated with customer-facing processes. Effective call centers shape the customer experience themselves. That is one reason they are considered leaders. They listen to their customers. They are at the center of each and every call.

You, as a call center vice president, want peace of mind. The call center might be a source of nuisance or a complaint line for somewhat happy customers. You might think a monthly scorecard is good enough not to be involved in the call center every day. But without realising you are slowly building your own ivory tower, slowly shying from oral communication and preferring emails and other things, building up slowly which might affect you call center team’s performance and eventually the desired behavior.You know for sure, there is another mountain to climb by building a new culture.

 

Relying on a scorecard or a dashboard of fancy monthly graph is good, but not great! Why? . We are so concerned about the outcome or the number and start presenting that outcome in so many ways, shapes and forms. We look at numbers from different angles. We sometimes torture that outcome to admit to anything we want that outcome to admit!

Service Operation capability enables the leading call centers to apply processes that support:

  • Customer, market and/or service differentiation

  • Streamlined customer communications and customer feedback

  • Continuous improvement and realignment of performance measurements

  • A high single-contact-resolution rate or FCR (first-call resolution)

  • Increased customer retention, lead generation and up/cross-selling

  • Compliance with organization standards, policies and procedures

 

Service Operation capability entails these call center Best Practices characteristics:

  • Flexible shift patterns to meet call customer demand

  • Incoming call volume is handled responsively from the current agent workforce

  • Standardized call guides and scripts to handle sales, routine and exceptional calls

  • Feedback loop from Agent to product development and other departments

  • Multiple customer satisfaction methods implemented, tracked and measured

  • Service inquiries converted successfully into sales opportunities

  • Regular review and support by senior management of call center performance

  • Quantitative statistics and qualitative monitoring conducted to assess agent performance against targets.

 

GCCMI-CCM is customer-centric while the GCCMI CCBP-SS is Talent-centric.

It is the performed practice that would yield the fulfillment of business objectives and the achievement of target KPI, not the other way around! The CCBP-SS 2.800- encapsulates the 10 best practices which do not require your call center to be certified based on performance indicators or even statistical data but rather on the adoption and implementation of the GCCMI standard set of call center best practices.

In summary, Deploying Talent goes beyond hiring and training in a talent-based environment. Incepting a culture! Engaging that talent is also a matter of a set of management practices. As the Human Capital capability in GCCMI CCMB was mapped to deployment talent practices in GCCMI Call Center Best Practices Standard Set (GCCMI CCBP-SS 2.800), the Service Operation capability would be converted to talent engagement practices in GCCMI CCBP-SS 2.800.

The Talent Engagement Strategic Capability consists of best practices. Each practice has performance management characteristics. The Talent Engagement Strategic Capability is about the best practices related to workload management, quality management, process management and performance management.

 

MYTH versus REALITY

It is true that we achieved 80% service level last month but one would very much argue that it based on the practices adopted and implemented internally that made us achieve that.

By the same token, the notion of certifying the call center because of 80% service level achievement or 80% FCR somehow becomes unsubstantiated.

Myth: Achieving a service level of 80%/20second matters.

GCCMI Reality: What matters more are the practices I should adopt and implement, as a call center, to achieve customer satisfaction (strategic objective).

 

 

The Business Support

We established that the traditional People capability was transformed into Human Capital in the customer centric model of GCCMI CCM and the traditional Process capability is mapped to Service Operation capability in the GCCMI CCBM.

To elaborate on how the Business Support capability could represent the final part of the foundation for adopting and implementing GCCMI Call Center Best Practices Standard Set (GCCMI CCBP-SS 2.800), we must understand that call centers have been traditionally fixated on call centers technology that are designed from the IT department’s perspective, not the customer’s nor the call center business perspective. The technology architecture map is sometimes  a puzzle not understood by the call center management team.

Within the GCCMI Call Center Model GCCMI CCM, the Business Support capability (conventionally called technology) is designed around the customer. The GCCMI CCM Model itself is customer-centric.

Technological innovation became a canal for quickly converting knowledge and ideas into fast-paced customer relationships. Artificial Intelligence becomes the outcome of clear and crisp business requirements, user sociability and friendliness enable IT professionals to effectively support the deepening of such relationships.  A lack of business drive towards technology investments (such as IVR call flow, MIS report types on customer behavior, multi-channel integration, on-demand on-the-cloud parameters, channel migration requirements) puts the customer relationship at risk.

A call center can adopt an ACD and do wonders. Others can have the full Monty (IVR, CTI, CRM, recorder, dialer, workforce management solution, unified messaging, digital contacts distributor) and may only utilize 60%. Few are outsourcing their technology onshore or offshore. Clearly, the use of technology and optimization of their business functions is of paramount importance, more than the technology itself. The Business Support capability ensures the optimization of current business systems, usage of customer intelligence and MIS, channel integration business design and the call center business continuity plan.

The leading call centers perceive technology as an investment. Today, customer expectations are constantly evolving; reach and innovation continue to spearhead the call center pace. With the evolution of mobile devices, artificial intelligence, social media, home-based agents and cloud computing; quick players could enable ramping up a call center in less than a week anywhere in the world!

The Business Support capability enables leading call centers to make good use of their business requirements and build intelligence. With these centers optimizing their business functions, it allows them to advance from the traditional call management to customer information digital management, or from quantitative to qualitative territory. This is well-aligned with GCCMI’s thought leadership since the GCCMI certification is based on a standard of best practices (qualitative) and not benchmarking data set such as service level and customer satisfaction score (quantitative).

The Business Support capability enables leading call centers to invest in a solution that supports

  • Fast and easy deployment with low TCO (total cost of ownership) 

  • Personalized customer service

  • Business intelligence and transaction behavior analysis

  • Automation of routine calls, tasks and processes

  • Call queuing and priority treatment

  • Answering response templates

  • Multimedia channel Integration

  • Home-based workers

  • Social media monitoring

  • Business continuity and uninterruptible service

 

GCCMI’s take on this is that you don’t have to have all the technology bells and whistles to become certified, even if you only use half of its capabilities. One ACD may grant you certification as GCCMI Call Center Best Practices Standard Set (GCCMI CCBP-SS 2.800).

In summary, Deploying Talent goes beyond hiring and training. Engaging that talent is also a matter of a set of management practices. The Human Capital capability in GCCMI CCMB was mapped to deployment talent practices in GCCMI Call Center Best Practices Standard Set (GCCMI CCBP-SS 2.800), the Service Operation capability corresponds to the talent engagement practices, and the Business Capability corresponds to Talent Support.

Hence, the capabilities: Human Capital, Service Operation and Business Support do form the three strategic capabilities of Talent Deployment, Engagement and Support in GCCMI CCBP-SS 2.800.

MYTH versus REALITY

Myth: Investing in a state-of-the-art technology would earn my call center added value!

GCCMI Reality: What really impresses your customer is you — not your technology! One ACD with a call routing/ queuing mechanism and support MIS and you can still conquer the call center globe and satisfy your customers!

Share your thoughts!

 

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