Understanding Call Center Productivity: Part 1 of 3


What's the MOST productive thing?

One of the most important things you can do when learning how to manage a call center is to learn how to have high productivity. Let us begin by saying that this article is not a time management lesson. This is a lesson focused on self leadership, your own individual productivity, weather you are a call center manager, agent, or support person. YOUR productivity is a vital component to driving sales revenue production.

Tom Hopkins of ‘How to master the art of selling” fame, would often quote the affirmation; Hopkins “I MUST DO THE MOST PRODUCTIVE THING POSSIBLE AT EVERY GIVEN MOMENT!″ Meaning, if you want to start multiplying your business, then you must always do what you think is the most productive thing possible at every given moment.

When you look at this simple concept quote, “I MUST DO THE MOST PRODUCTIVE THING POSSIBLE AT EVERY GIVEN MOMENT!” it seems pretty obvious, right? Wrong!

The devil is always in the details and in this instance the detail is in the 2 key words MOST PRODUCTIVE.

What does “most productive” really mean?        

In a call center environment, this is perhaps the most important lesson for agents to grasp. Every second counts toward productivity. You already monitor and measure availability, after call work time, ready time, talk time, closed time, just to name a few. If you’re a call center leader, then how do you communicate the importance of these metrics to your agents? If you are an agent, then how do you interpret the importance of these metrics? If you use the metrics just for performance management or you view the metrics as just another way to “get fired”, then you have missed the purpose of these metrics, completely. 

In our experience working and coaching call center business leaders, we believe that the majority of them don’t really communicate the tremendous value these metrics provide their agents. In turn, the agents fail to use these metrics as tools to help them monitor their own behaviors and improve their inefficiencies. Essentially, each agent is operating their own small business. Agents must monitor their activity as any business owner should steward their resources.

One of the critical things that a call center leader or business owner must understand and practice daily is that, if you want to start multiplying your business you must always do what you think is the most productive thing possible at every given moment. This truly is the difference between being really successful and failure. As a business leader (this includes agents), you must be able to very clearly define what the MOST PRODUCTIVE thing is for you in your business.

In our view, based on hundreds of interactions with both call center leaders and agents alike over the years, most haven’t in reality given too much thought as to what really is the MOST PRODUCTIVE thing. For those few who have, knowing what the most productive thing is and doing the most productive thing is two very different notions.

By the way, we have no doubt that your days are full. We have no doubt that you have a lot of things on your plate that need attention every day. We have no doubt that many of you are over loaded and struggle to manage your workloads. Stay with us here because this module will be a terrific help. It will make all the difference to how your next 90 days turns out. These principles will have a massive impact on how your year will conclude.

More to come tomorrow… 



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About davegregory

Dave Gregory, Chief Learning Officer for Inspired Performance Solutions, Inc., believes in the power of the strengths movement. During the past 15 years, Dave managed the Learning Solutions activities of Qwest’s Mass Markets Group, including call centers, retail stores, indirect retail, e-business, collections, alternative markets and the small business teams. Mr. Gregory graduated from Creighton University’s School of Law in 1993 earning a Juris Doctor. He completed his undergraduate education receiving a BSBA with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1990. Mr. Gregory has more than 25 years experience in business development and consulting.

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