Recorded for Quality Assurance
Recorded for Quality Assurance is an interview series for contact center professionals where we talk to the world’s leading contact center and customer experience experts about industry trends, CX technology, and transforming customer support into a streamlined strategic advantage for your business. #contactcenter #customerexperience #cx
Build Respect for Your Brand | Episode 40
Throughout social media, there is a lot of corporate speech that presents a fake perception of how a company runs. It’s easy to posts if you're a successful business, but how do you become one? Our guest today is Martin Anderson, co-founder and CEO of Lemon Contact Center. Not only do Martin’s posts build respect for his brand, but they accurately reflect his company and its success. [4:07- 6:45] Are your posts an accurate reflection of your work? Remember that our posts reflect not only our business, but ourselves as well. It’s important to be doing the right thing when no one would see it, so that good actions become the habits. [11:26- 13:05] Having good service is a cost to your business, but it’s a cost you're willing to pay. Always show what the company values and make sure that the service is good, all the way down to the little details. [18:37- 19:35] Your business cannot thrive without care for the environment of the business and the people in it. You can’t manufacture a good working environment, it has to be authentic. [24:00- 25:10] While most of the time you think you should be using your head over your emotion, emotions are still a very important part of building your culture. Your emotions will guide you in building your work environment. The appearance of your company is important, but the appearance is nothing without a genuinely strong working environment behind it. Remember, how you do anything is how you do everything. Build your culture with strong habits and good service to have a respected brand. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to j3;34oin our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
January 30, 2023
Buy-In from Agents Builds Buy-In from Executives | Episode 39
Getting buy-ins is everything in CX leadership, so it follows that it would also be the #1 problem that CX leaders struggle with. Today, with the help of Dave Seaton, we will be explaining how to build buy-in and how to appeal to your stakeholders. Topics we cover in today's discussion: [ 3:34-6:33 ] There are more steps beyond buy-in. To be successful, you need both commitment and action. To do this, you need to really analyze your stakeholders. [ 9:35- 10:05 ] Everybody is different, which means that each stakeholder will have different areas that are more important to them. When pitching to each stakeholder make sure that you are appealing to their wants and needs. Influence with intention, not intuition. [ 17:14- 18:17 ] There are times when you need to appeal to all different types of stakeholders at one time. To properly appeal to them all, think of it like snacks at a party. You’ll want to make sure that everyone of your executives has a little bit of “snack” to keep them interested. [ 19:58- 21:10 ] Predicting the effectiveness of your change is as simple as this easy formula: E ( effectiveness of change ) = Q ( quality of change ) x A ( acceptance of change ) Even with the same project and same goal, you’ll need individual proposals to appeal to each of your stakeholders. Analyzing what is important to each of your stakeholders and applying it to each of your proposals will help with building buy-in. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to j3;34oin our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
January 23, 2023
Values and Value in CX | Episode 38
Today we are talking about the growing expectation from that market that our companies are bringing value to the world. There is a demand for ethical businesses that make the world a better place. Value-based businesses truly reach their customers. With labor being sourced off shore what are our opportunities and responsibilities as companies? [ 3:21 - 4:34 ] What is impact sourcing? Impact sourcing is the idea that you would open up a new labor market, agents, in a location where the ability to pay those agents according to the overall contract value and the other business dynamics represent a massive positive change economically for those societies. Your employees will love their jobs and your customers will benefit directly. [ 11:48 - 13:28 ] It shows when companies take care of their employees. Then those employees are able to turn around and offer true help and real compassion to customers. [ 14:15 - 15:24 ] Companies need to work on retention because of the stressful difficulties agents face. There is shifting value from the employees’ perspective and how much they actually believe in the company they work for. [ 20:31 - 23:10 ] The ways that employees are treated matters a lot. If our business wants to maintain their position in their industry and continue to be a market leader we need to improve this part of our reputation. [ 24:52 - 25:40 ] Your org chart should have customers are on the top and leaders on the bottom. The leader should be serving those who serve the customer. Pair all of this focus on the values and the heart of your business with excellent performance and you’ll have a strong combination. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
January 16, 2023
Lessons from the Southwest Airlines CX Disaster | Episode 37
We just witnessed the Southwest Airlines holiday meltdown of 2022. Due to winter storms, 60% of Southwest’s December flights were canceled, leaving over one million customers were affected. The debacle that ensued can be attributed primarily to Southwest’s Direct Route Model as opposed to the Hub and Spoke Model that most of the other airlines use. Additionally, antiquated technology made it hard to mobilize pilots and staff along other flight routes. That’s what went wrong. Now, with the help of Brannon Stacy, Global Business Development Manager at Fusion, let’s take a closer look at what Southwest did right. [ 4:55 - 6:37 ] Southwest representatives despite feeling helpless, managed to connect with the customer and ease their frustration. They showed a high level of respect, allowing customers to finish speaking. They apologized and they were transparent. [ 7:53 - 9:05 ] Taking another step back, here are 4 things that helped Southwest ride out the crisis: teamwork, partnership with the airport, facing challenges, and overcoming the obstacles in front of them. Truthfully, they defied all odds, and in the end, they lived their mission statement. [ 13:48 - 15:41 ] What kind of training would it require to maintain your mission statement in a time of crisis? Here’s how agents can speak transparently to an upset customer when they don’t have an answer. Our culture wants so badly to hear good news, but isn’t the truth more important? We should not just placate the customer in order to fake a short term, positive interaction. [ 20:16 - 21:12 ] We can all learn from Southwest here. We all need to make sure we have the right tools and technology to prevent these kinds of situations. [24:27 - 25:26 ] As an agent, it would be tempting to throw in the towel in the face of so few answers for so many unhappy customers, but instead, a great agent will still try to connect with the customer on a human level. Does your mission statement shine through on an average day? What about in a time of crisis? Once the crisis happens, the time for training is past, and if agents can embody the mission statement in a time of crisis, that’s an excellent reflection on senior leadership. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
January 09, 2023
Real Questions and Answers with CX Agents | Episode 36
Welcome to the show! Today we’re diving right in with two real life customer service calls we recently had in our personal lives as customers. Let’s talk about what makes a helpful and seamless experience versus a frustrating experience. Let’s talk about tools, policies and responsiveness. Focusing now on the voice of the agent: [ 9:55 - 11:21 ] The results are in and 65 percent of CX agents don’t think of CX as their career, and 40 percent want to leave CX as soon as humanly possible. Unfortunately, we see the self fulfilling cycle of turnover that our friend Leslie Oflehaven calls “the lasagna of stupid.” We don’t invest in our agents as much as we could because they don’t stick around. And they don’t stick around because we didn’t invest in them enough. [ 12:40 - 14;03 ] The agents who do see CX as their career are most happy with the ability to work from home. [ 14:03 - 16:35 ] People are taking stock of 2022. Is work what drives you? How is your overall well being as a person? Working from home is fitting into their life. The ability to work from home is actually more important than pay. Be careful about the push to return to the office. [ 21:42 - 24:27 ] There are some great lessons and opportunities for discussion in the book The Customer Rules by Lee Cockerell. One point to highlight is that we should become an expert at creating experts. Another lesson is to surround yourself with smart and confident people. Let those people be equipped and freed up to thrive in their role. [ 26:25 - 28:00 ] Don’t give responsibility without authority. Giving responsibility without authority sets your center up to have a high rate of escalations because you’re not letting the agent resolve the customers’ issues on their own. All of those escalations are going to increase your costs. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
December 26, 2022
What CX Agents Want and How to Give it to Them | Episode 35
Back in front of the mic today to talk about agent satisfaction and how to effectively compensate and motivate our most important assets. [ 6:58 - 8:45 ] The polls are in and here’s what agents really want: more respect from leadership, more respect from customers, more satisfaction from their work, better pay, proper training so they feel like they’ve actually been taught how to do their job the way leadership wants it done. Of all of these, the highest by far was higher pay. And agents want higher pay not just because they want more money, but because they feel like they don’t get paid enough for what they go through. Wouldn't an alternative to higher pay, then be to come up with ways to make their work to better and easier.? [ 9:49 - 11:34 ] We are focusing on “the voice of the agent” and designing an agent-satisfaction metric, making qualitative data more quantitative. Call center leaders need to listen to agent feedback to improve their CX programs. They need to listen to both seasoned agents and new agents. [ 15:42 - 17:21 ] CX agents, if they are trying hard to contribute to the company, may face the challenge of burn-out and we may start to see “quiet quitting.” The truth is though that most people don’t strive to underperform in their lives, and the people who are in that mode didn’t get there over night and probably don’t want to stay there. [ 18:44 - 21:20 ] Change initiatives are usually uninspiring. First to note here is that we shouldn’t think of our goals or initiatives as “change management.” And, it doesn’t matter what you’re saying if you’re not paying a livable wage. If you want to inspire, figure out how to open up the profitability that would pave the way for pay increases. [ 22:57 - 25:39 ] Who builds brand loyalty? Agents do. They are the one that communicates that the customer matters to the company and that what the customer is experiencing matters to the company. And now, employee experience is finally getting the air time it deserves. You’re not building your business. You’re building the people who’ll help build your business. These times are marked by shifting labor dynamics, turnover and the leverage going to the agents who can now switch jobs more easily than ever. This is one of those moments in time where the economics are shifting and we don’t want to miss this opportunity to grow in the area of employee experience. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
December 19, 2022
Screening for and Staffing the Soft Skills that Build Brand Loyalty | Episode 34
Jakob Mattice sits down with Kory Kostecka from RemX to discuss his insights into the ways we are staffing our call centers and how we can improve our hiring. Our standard screening questions when hiring new call center agents focus on hard skills instead of the soft skills that really move the needle with brand loyalty. Topics we discuss: [ 4:59 - 5:44 ] Here’s what contact centers should be looking for: problem solving skills, listening skills and phone etiquette. [ 8:06 - 10:44 ] Surveys show that customers value a friendly tone from customer service representatives. They want someone who’s trying to help solve their problem and they say they feel loyalty to the brand when they feel that helpfulness. [ 12:51 - 14:36 ] Here’s how to encourage our agents, who were hired for their hard skills, to develop their soft skills as well: incentive pay, providing a flexible schedule, company culture. and helping them feel like they are important and that the work that they do is important. [ 15:27 - 16:59 ] The opportunity for advancement is essential for retention. [ 19:47 - 20:35 ] We are often using screening questions that are too binary. For example, we may ask “How many years experience do you have?” And, if the candidate doesn’t say the right number, the recruiting team isn’t even going to get the chance to meet these new, “green” agents who may have the soft skills that we are looking for. [ 24:13 - 26:09 ] Inherent AI challenges to watch out for and how to avoid them. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
December 12, 2022
Overcoming the Challenges of Omnichannel for Agents | Episode 33
Let’s welcome back Fred Stacey to the podcast! Today we’re discussing the unique challenges related to the global nature of CX in addition to the improvements we’re seeing. We’re just always encouraged by the data which time and time again proves that positive agent experience directly correlates to high performance and profit growth. It’s just the reality. This is why we are creating a metric to measure agent experience so that companies can leverage employee support programs even more. Topics discussed in today’s episode: [ 4:32 - 5:17 ] Having fewer US-based CX candidates means looking to other countries for customer support representatives who can man the phones and man the chats. The benefit of this trend is that those agents love their CX jobs and they do very well. [ 7:33 - 8:32 ] Fred saw firsthand the challenges with expansion of Dell and early-stage Microsoft going over to India, the language and cultural barriers. The truth is that we are so much more of a melting pot now; we don’t have the same issues. Fortunately, we have technology developing that can simulate accented speech, which over the next 5-10 years will continue to bridge communication. [ 15:56 - 16:53 ] Since moving away from a manufacturing economy, we evolved from a service economy to an ideas economy, coming full circle on this globalization dynamic. [ 18:41 - 19:03 ] Employees choose to work for companies they believe in. They care about the “how” and the “why” behind their company. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
December 05, 2022
Appropriate Expectations of Agent Empathy | Episode 32
You’re going to love our guest Leslie O’Flahavan and her refreshing take on the way we empathize with customers. She’s passionate about shifting the burdens off of CX agents so they can focus on connecting with the customers. Topics discussed in today’s episode: [2:34 - 3:00] "Empathy statements can be scripted. Yes. But the question is, “Should empathy be scripted?” [5:12 - 6:32] We expect agents to express empathy to customers all day long. Is that fair for us to demand that emotional involvement continually? [9:39 - 11:05] Are we giving enough training on sympathy and empathy as skills? [12:28 - 13:36] Making sure that our empathy statements are sincere. [14:36 - 16:32] Let’s fix the problems that prevent agents from giving good sympathy and let’s stop expecting agents to absorb the negative aftermath of the bad practices of the business. [21:26 -23:16] We all know companies where agents are given a job that is doable and rewarding. They are trusted to make good decisions on customers’ behalf. Those businesses thrive. [26:43 - 28:17 ] Do not put legal or financial risk decisions in the hands of the agents, but empower them to regain the customers’ trust in the company. Leslie O’Flahavan is the owner of E-WRITE, a writing training consultancy. Check out her offerings to strengthen companies and organizations. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
November 21, 2022
Aligning CX Leadership | Episode 31
Delighted to introduce you to Dave Seaton of Seaton CX. Dave’s consulting firm works with B2B companies to measure, manage and improve their customer experiences. He focuses on leadership, emotional intelligence and getting buy-in for CX. His weekly newsletter CXPRESSO is for brave CX leaders who want to learn about how to score buy in, how to spur executives to action, how to cultivate a customer-centric culture and how to wrench your funding from the jaws of budget cuts all with out arguing or begging. Topics discussed in today’s episode: [ 6:40 - 7:09 ] Buy-in is not enough to create change. Listen in to hear what is actually needed. [ 14:04 - 15:08 ] When leadership isn’t aligned, everyone feels it. We need to put the company initiatives into action. [ 17:48 - 18:42 ] The sequence of adoption, from early to late adopters and how this shows up among CX stakeholders. [ 22:24 - 23:12 ] Alignment is a bit of a buzzword now because we all understand what it means for company culture and how valuable it is, but it’s still hard to achieve because we all have our own sets of values. Sign up to get Dave Seaton’s weekly newsletter, CXPRESSO, here. Let’s go make our worlds better! To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
November 14, 2022
Live from ICMI, Introducing ASAT—the Agent Satisfaction metric | Episode 30
Understanding what matters to agents is important, now more than ever. If agents aren’t satisfied with their work or connected to their contact center’s culture, they can find opportunities that better suit their needs elsewhere. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to measure agent satisfaction so contact center leaders could prevent turnover and improve agent performance? We agree. That’s why we’re developing the ASAT metric. First off, what is the ASAT metric? Put simply, the agent satisfaction score will measure satisfaction based on how well agents’ needs are met across six dimensions: Training: How does the agent’s training prepare them for calls? Technology: How does the agent’s software assist them on calls? Team: How does the team support the agent? Culture: How does the contact center’s culture support the agent? Well-being: How are the agent’s wellness needs being met? Product/Service: How does the agent feel the company’s products or services serve the customer? Examining these six factors creates a holistic picture for contact center leaders to understand what agents need to succeed. With the ASAT metric, leaders will get actionable information on how to structure training, what tools to purchase, and how to cultivate a work culture that best helps agents do their job. For more information on the ASAT metric and its six dimensions, watch the latest episode of CX QA Live! with Rob Connelly from Vistio and Jeremy Watkin from NumberBarn.
November 07, 2022
A New Metric For CX | Episode 29
Talking with Jakob Mattice today about the amazing themes from the ICMI Contact Center Expo in Orlando. Meeting in person, building community and networking with so many great colleagues was so inspiring. Let’s dive in to some of the ideas we share at the conference, namely our focus on Agent Satisfaction as our main metric. [ 8:38 - 9:28 ] Agent empowerment is when an agent understands and solves the customer’s problem and then goes beyond to make a connection with the customer. As a result they feel like they have purpose in their work and they are adding value. [ 9:32 - 10:16 ] Improving training practices, to create a connection, even in this virtual world, so agents can have the “why” and the “how.” [ 10:54 - 12:06 ] Having a good perspective of where you are as an organization and where you want to go. Not making enormous changes, but rather focusing on accomplishing feasible goals. [ 13;47 - 15:35 ] The intersection between agent experience and customer experience, the ASAT Metric. [ 15:36 - 17:05 ] An in-house automotive company cx agent success story. [ 21:41 - 22:19 ] We are not just building a pipeline. We are building a community. #voa for voice of agent. Let’s make each day better! To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
November 07, 2022
Mistakes to Avoid in CX Training | Episode 28
What a great episode today! Sheri Kendall, leader of the CX training team of Wayfair returns to talk about training safe, successful and satisfied agents! FYI: If you haven’t had a chance to listen to episode 17, be sure to go back and catch that episode next to hear even more from Sheri Kendall. In CX when issues aren’t resolved quickly it’s a lose-lose situation. The CFO wouldn’t be happy about the amount of time invested in trying to fix the problem and the customer actually becomes more determined to leave the brand. Long term, multiply this out and think of the outcomes facing your business. What is the fate of your market share? Sheri helps us recognize some of the mistakes we make in CX training: Be careful never to say “just customer service.” Customer service is often the only interaction your customers have with your brand besides marketing. Allow agents to be human at work, they are, after all, literally tasked with interacting with our human customers. The script, the process, the tech: Please have a note screen so the agents can document the call and facilitate all future calls with that customer. Agents can be an “agent of peace” for the customer and win major customer loyalty. Highlighting other topics we discussed: [ 6:52 - 7:27 ] Empathetic customer service at its best: understand my issue and resolve it quickly. [ 16:12 - 16:27 ] When agents get to show up as themselves, the customer experience is better. Empathy and connection can be present. [ 19:15 - 20:22 ] If your job is to connect with another human and you don’t even feel that you belong in your work environment, that’s not complementary. It helps to understand how your job plays into the bigger picture. [ 22:05 - 23:42 ] An IRL experience with a policy that was quite ‘anti-customer' where the agent empathized with the customer, reassured the customer that the leaders do care and empowered them to provide feedback. This interaction was a success because there was psychological safety in that CX work environment that allowed the agent could connect with the customer. We have a special announcement for the CX Industry tomorrow, on October 25th LIVE at noon Eastern Time at ICMI in Orlando where we are broadcasting with Jeremy Watkin. We very excited to share our news; it’s going to help CX leaders understand what’s happening within the agents’ experience and make better business decisions! Keep asking questions and we’ll get better together! To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
October 24, 2022
EX is the New CX | Episode 27
Welcome to the podcast! Today we are talking with Fred Stacey about his experiences in call centers, both helping to build them and helping them in recovery. Dovetailing nicely with our Agent-Centric Call Center Philosophy is the objective today to discuss Employee Experience. What can we still do to enhance the work life of our employees? How can we engage with them and support them? What’s working and not working? What can technology to do serve them as they engage with customers each and everyday. For example, gamification adoption is at about 20% even though it’s been around 10 years. What is the ideal role of technology in supporting employee experience? Topics discussed in this episode: [ 3:28 - 3:57 ] For call centers in recovery invest in mid-level leadership; we’re talking about floor-level leadership. It’s shocking how many c-suite executives have never taken a call in their call center. [ 11:14 - 12:25 ] People here in America are in for a rude awakening when it comes to the costs of running call centers. Fred Stacey fears that companies, right after making any necessary cuts in marketing will then turn and make cuts in service and support. Wait times creep back up and customers and employees alike will feel the strain. [ 13:04 - 13:37 ] Taking a positive viewpoint, we ought to start viewing the entire cx operation as an opportunity for positive business outcomes! [16:06 - 17:23 ] Agents receive a ton of information that is coming from a human perspective, but we should also gather the structured and unstructured data that never makes it way up to the c-level executives. Teach leadership how to engage with agents to find out what they know. [ 27:17 - 28:06 ] Fred Stacey has been a witness to call center global expansion in the Caribbean, later-stage India, Latin America, South America, and early-stage Philippines. In these locations call center employment is a very good position. It’s a fact that companies that focus on employee experience always perform better. Call centers aren’t just a necessary evil or a cost we must sustain to do business. The truth is call centers are the easiest way to access positive business outcomes. Make sure your leaders have the skills to connect with their agents. The only thing that’s missing is recognizing the agents in this process. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive .
October 17, 2022
How CX Leaders Can Engage with Agents | Episode 26
We’ve got a special episode for you today! We recorded this conversation on October 4th, the 10th annual CX Day! Meet our fantastic guest Jim Tincher who is the author of the book Do B2B Better which is available now. He’s an expert in all things change management, but you’ll have to tune in to hear what he calls it because he doesn’t actually love that term’s vibe. Jim is here to talk to us about activating employees in ways that truly benefit them. Call center work is so important and we know that, first hand, as consumers in our lives outside of work. The role of an agent is the most important factor in our customer service and our customer satisfaction. So let’s dive into how to activate our agents! [ 7:20 - 8:20 ] Change management is really about looking at behaviors that create a better outcome. [ 11:49-12:59 ] The link between customer outcomes and agent outcomes. [ 19:05-19:57 ] Coaching agents on improvement in specific ways instead of vague survey feedback. [ 23:53 - 24:51 ] How to help executives understand the pressures the agent faces. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
October 10, 2022
How to Realize the Actual Value of Your CX Agents with Idris Said of XTendico | Episode 25
Today we’re chatting with Idris Said from XTendico about truly understanding the key role agents play in relationships with our customers and how invaluable that is. Customer service tops the in-demand skills list. We need agents with these skills to take care of our customers. And, then we need to take care of our customer service agents in return, or they’ll leave. They will. They have other options in the employment market. Start to see the agents as long-term fixtures and assets in your business. Offer them career development opportunities and invest in them. Feature agents' accomplishments. People want to be recognized, not just compensated. Topics discussed in this episode: [3:05-3:41] Consumer feedback is a huge value center. Agents are fielding questions, receiving feedback, hearing which issues our customers have; you can’t buy this kind of data in focus groups! [8:05-8:59] We should empower agents to provide frequent feedback to management so we capitalize on everything they are learning. [13:05-13:51] Customer support agents are problem solvers. All day they are decoding what the consumer is saying to get them to a resolution. Soft skills cannot be replaced by technology. [23:25-24:23] Work should fit into an employees’ life and not the other way around. There are more jobs than applicants so agents can choose the best work situation for them. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxqalive.
October 03, 2022
The Adoption of Technology, CRMs in CX | Episode 24
Vistio’s Co-Founder Gregg Antenen joins us today to discuss the adoption of technology in CX. As you may know Vistio provides software, technology and tools to equip CX agents, namely Customer Relationship Management software or CRMs. There is a lot of rhetoric in this industry surrounding buzzwords like digital transformation and value proposition, and we need to comb through that chatter to get back into the agent’s chair. Leaders and management should go down to the call center floor and take a call or answer a chat to remind them what it’s like. This will give them the perspective they need to make a qualified decision on what the agent and consumer need to get the job done. Topics discussed in this episode: [6:32 - 7:21] Will call centers ever become unnecessary? Yes incredible strides have been made in self service, but we will always need to be there, ready to have a human interaction with the customer in certain instances. [11:05 - 11:50] CRMs were built for keeping track of interactions between the customer and the company, but here’s how they sometimes end up being more of a burden than a help. [17:10 - 18:27] Leaders should go down to the call floor, take a call and answer a chat. [20:17 -20:37] What are some non-variable principles that a CX leader should have in mind when integrating technology? It’s not about having the call go as quickly as possible, it’s about getting it right. [23:54 - 24:45] Average hold time is a favorite metric for call center management because it impacts customer dissatisfaction greatly. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxqalive.
September 26, 2022
Competitive Job Offers and Agent Retention with Kory Kostecka of RemX | Episode 23
The shift in labor dynamics that we’ve seen over the last two years has given call center agents the advantage of being able to work from home, take new jobs without having to relocate and elect better opportunities as they come along. Contact centers have been impacted by this new power dynamic. Let’s give a big welcome to Kory Kostecka from RemX. In the CX industry they focus 100% on the people. They create customized work force solutions and get the right talent in the door. Topics discussed in this episode: [5:37 - 6:27] What is behind “silent quitting” and “ghosting” in the interview process? How companies can improve retention with “stay interviews.” Instead of and long before an exit interview, sit down and negotiate the possibility of them staying. [10:45 - 12:03] Data shows that to new hires, pay, work-from-home compatibility, job security, shift flexibility, career advancement opportunities and culture are the most attractive factors in a new position. Applicants have multiple job offers. [16:56 - 18;36] Besides compensation, companies are going to have to look at new ways to attract agents.Technology and working conditions rank high on the list of importance. [18:38 - 19:00] The biggest reason agents look for other jobs: 41% say they feel overworked. [27:50 - 29:37] For agents, as you look for better opportunities, make sure your resume shows longevity and loyalty. If you’re going to look for another job here’s how to do it right. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxqalive.
September 19, 2022
Creating Opportunities for CX Agents with Martin Anderson of Lemon | Episode 22
Today we welcome Martin Anderson cofounder and CEO of Lemon. Lemon is a BPO is that different approach to its employees and their careers. Today we are talking about improving the lives of our CX agents so that they have supportive training, work-life-balance, and a safe place to vent so that we can extend and elevate their roles in the company promote the longer success of the business. Topics discussed in this episode: [12:30 - 14:11] Lemon’s vision is to create opportunity for their people. [15:51 - 18:09] Historically the CX agent role has been difficult and transient but in the new market, the technology involved the the agents’ role is helping to elevate jobs into careers. [12:20 - 20:00] How can we focus on agent experience when we need to be focusing on customer experience? this is a business and we need to make a profit. Ultimately the agent looks after the agent who looks after the customer. [25:16 - 27:37] The better why. Values in action. If you care about your industry, product, service and brand, then make decisions that are years, decades and generations ahead and not for a quick buck right now. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxqalive.
September 12, 2022
Buying the Technology that will Serve Your Agents the Most | Episode 21
The VP will have an opinion. The C-suite will will want a say. IT’s recommendation will ring heavy in the air. Those in charge of operations, training, marketing and quality assurance will each have their own goals in mind. When it’s time to buy CX technology, though, we believe strongly in keeping the agents in mind. The agents’ use and satisfaction with the technology will affect customer experience every step of the way. Today we welcome Joe Rice founder of CXponent for an in-depth discussion of the technology buying process. Exponent helps companies build or reset their tech stacks for CX organizations. Topics discussed in this Episode: [02:57] In the end organizations are judged on their customer outcomes and their business outcomes. [08:30] Joe Rice’s three guiding principles: 1 - Be really specific around your desired customer experience. [09:08] 2 - Embrace your constraints: timeline, cost, what other systems or tools are under contract, etc.? [09:43] 3 - Be intentional about the decisions and trade-offs down the road. [20:44] Balancing the competing priorities in CX to achieve overall organizational success. Thanks for tuning in to this veritable CX Buying Master Class today! To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxqalive.
September 05, 2022
Relieving CX Agent Trauma with Jeremy Hide | Episode 20
When most people think of trauma, they think of people who fought in wars or who have witnessed crimes. This is not always the case and most often, trauma can be found in any extended period of stress, including being a CX Agent. We are grateful to be joined by Jeremy Hide, in today’s episode where we will be discussing how trauma can be caused in the workplace, along with how to positively work through the trauma and the related triggers agents face. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive. Tune in to learn about: Understanding how CX agents may develop trauma from negative customer interactions and the stress of working in an organization Recognizing what it might feel like when a trigger causes a traumatic experience to resurface Skills that can help you reflect and grow from your past trauma like journaling and therapy How leaders in the workplace can improve to better relieve trauma responses and when to utilize professional help Managing the customers that cause significant trauma to agents and ensuring the right conversations are taking place
August 29, 2022
The Agent and Company Culture with Hui Wu-Curtis from supportU | Episode 19
You’ll say you have competing priorities and you’re right. On one hand we have profitability and the other we have people. We can’t deny the importance of revenue and profitability, but, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we believe in focusing on the agent. Today we welcome Hui Wu-Curtis from supportU to talk with us about the all-important business buzz-word: company culture. To really measure company culture you have to look at how agents actually live. Do we have unreasonable expectations of them? Do we have expectations that are inconsistent with the culture we claim to have? It’s more than just putting the word “Diversity” on your website. We need to be willing to set performance, KPIs, and quality scores as secondary. We’re not saying it’s easy. Tune in to hear more about: Employees courageously giving feedback to their managers, also known as “managing up.” Leaders modeling good reception of feedback. Looking beyond a resume to find agents who will have stellar interactions with customers, relatability skills and a growth mindset. Making sure we haven’t de-humanized our employees. Topics discussed in this Episode: [03:56] Healthy Company Culture Will Provide opportunities for otherwise marginalized people to shine, grow, and progress professionally. [06:47] A Healthy view of Diversity will help agents to thrive and provide their maximum value to your CX organization. [14:13] Spoken vs. Lived culture. [20:59] A Healthy Cultural Ecosystem will help to RE-Humanize employees
August 22, 2022
The Right Technology to Boost Customer Self-Service with Jeremy Watkin of NumberBarn | Episode 18
Today we here at CXQA Live give a big welcome to Jeremy Watkin from NumberBarn and we’re focusing our conversation on implementing the right technology into the contact center. Jeremy talks about the main priority, as he sees it, regarding technology in a contact center: It should boost customer self-service. Data shows that customers would rather not call a contact center to resolve their problem, preferring any option that enables them to solve the issue independently. When he’s evaluating contact center technology he’s looking for ways to boost self-service. The second must-have in the technology we utilize is that it helps agents work more efficiently. We don’t want our agents to feel aggravated; that energy would get passed down to the customer. That aggravation would also lead to higher agent turnover. For these reasons we depend on the technology in our contact centers to improve our efficiency. And of course, promoting customer self-service and efficiency must be carefully tempered so that we can still work and serve in a way that feels human. The wrong technology or poorly implemented technology can work against the safe, successful and satisfied agent and can impact the metrics we expect of agents. We feel so strongly about this advice: Sit down next to the agent and observe them at work. Don’t overwhelm the agents or the managers with too much ROI talk. Empower the agents to look for trends, do diagnostic work on their own and ‘act like an owner.’ To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
August 15, 2022
CX Training at its Best: Integrative, Cost Effective and Psychologically Fortifying with Sheri Kendall of Wayfair | Episode 17
In this episode we bring you Sheri Kendall Regional Training Manager of Wayfair to share her approach to CX Training. In many ways our call center agents act as our brand ambassadors all day long, talking to our customers and we believe in taking care of these agents. We need to provide them with effective training to set them up for success. They are holding up important positions on our front lines! Let’s build a solid foundation relationship with them so they represent us well. Let’s offer them a work environment where the departments of our business function cohesively. Let’s integrate their training right into their work seamlessly. Most importantly let's have their back and stand by them so they can thrive. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive. Topics discussed in this Episode: [10:14] Training should incorporate what is learned in CX and Known Through Your Organization. [15:45] Integrating small segments of training into the work Reduces Training Costs and Improves Effectiveness. [19:26] The Ladder of Psychological Safety in CX Training. [26:29] Agents who feel safe at work can help us grow and improve!
August 08, 2022
Your Most Valuable Asset: The Agent-Centric Call Center Philosophy | Episode 16
Recorded For Quality Assurance is a show where we talk to the world's leading CX experts about industry trends, CX technology, and transforming customer support into a streamlined strategic advantage for your business. On this episode we talk about our agent-centric call center philosophy. The call center agent is the single most important asset that you have. Training, technology buying, and positive team dynamics should all promote the well-being of the agent. Call centers are facing new labor and economic problems. Agents now often work from home and can change jobs easily in search of the best company culture. Data shows customer experience is suffering and a recession is looming. We need to improve customer experience while being mindful of these financial demands. The answer is the agent. With the right training, tools and connection with your company the happy and fulfilled agent can keep your customers, produce more and contribute to the long-term success of your business. [02:01] The Call Center Business Faces Unique Labor Problems in Today's Economy [02:52] The Agent is the Single most important Asset in Call Center CX [04:02] Agents with the right training, tools and connection with your company will be a revenue growth and protection center for your business or brand [05:17] The right agents will be the best diagnostic tool you have to understand what’s going on in your business. [07:09] The right agents will ensure that your customers are satisfied and connected. [09:05] The right agents will produce more and better work. To listen to a recording of this and other episodes, visit vistio.io/podcasts. And to join our show live each week, go to vistio.io/cxlive.
August 01, 2022
Looking at Future Trends and Technology in CX : A Deep Dive Interview with CX Trend Expert, Stephen Loynd | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 15
On this episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance, we welcome CX Trend Expert, Stephen Loyn. In this in-depth interview, Stephen gives expert insight into where the industry is headed with the implementation of technology to enhance customer experience, the current role of the contact center agent and how to improve the CX experience starting on the contact center floor and more.
July 08, 2022
BPO Best Practices and Blockchain: A Deep Dive Interview with Expert BPO Consultant, Steve Weston | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 14
This episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance features Steve Weston, Managing Partner at SKWeston & Company. Tune in as Steve gives expert insight into the key considerations when choosing a BPO partner, the 3 main areas to focus on when creating a contact center from scratch, how blockchain can transform CX and more.
June 13, 2022
The Impact of the Customer Experience Function: A Deep Dive Interview with Customer Experience Executive, Erica Mancuso | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 13
On this episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance we welcome Customer Experience Executive, Erica Mancuso. In this rich episode, Erica gives expert insight into the importance of having a CX function representative at the C-suite level, how to break down organizational silos to increase customer satisfaction, the technology we provide our agents and more.
May 28, 2022
Navigating the Work-From-Home Contact Center from A to Z: An in-depth interview with Customer Service and Work-From-Home Expert, Michele Rowan | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 12
This episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance features Michele Rowan, President of the Work From Home Alliance. Tune in as Michele gives expert insight on how to best hire, train and retain agents in the work-from-home environment and more.
April 03, 2022
Workforce Optimization and GigCX: An in-depth interview with CX Subject Matter Expert, Terry Rybolt | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 11
On this episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance we welcome CX subject matter expert and CRO of LiveExchange, Terry Rybolt. Terry gives expert insight into the impact of agent attrition on an entire organization, the transformation of moving agents to a WFH model, and the benefits of GigCX.
March 16, 2022
A 360 Degree View of the Contact Center Floor: An Interview with Customer Service Operations Expert, Jenny Dempsey | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 10
This episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance features Jenny Dempsey, Consumer Experience Manager at Apeel Sciences and FruitStand.com. Tune in as Jenny gives expert insight into improving agent morale, important communication strategies, what the ideal agent technology toolbox looks like and more.
January 27, 2022
From Making Sandwiches to Making the CX Journey Better: An Interview with Customer Experience Expert, Nate Brown | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 9
On this episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance, we are joined by Nate Brown, the Senior Director of CX at Arise and Co-Founder of CX Accelerator. Tune in to hear him speak on the key to truly delivering excellent customer service, how we set agents up for success, the most important metrics to be focusing on and so much more.
January 12, 2022
From 411 Operator to Contact Center Geek: An Interview with Contact Center Operations Expert, Matt Beckwith | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 8
This episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance features Matt Beckwith, Director of Customer Experience for Clark Pest Control and the man behind the popular blog, "The Contact Center Geek." Tune in to listen to Matt share his unique take on contact center technology, how he has successfully created a 100% work-from-home contact center, and how he is tackling agent attrition.
December 15, 2021
From Agent to Innovator: An Interview with Contact Center Technology Visionary, Sean Murphy | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 7
In this Episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance, we interview Co-founder and Chief Technologist of Vistio, Sean Murphy. Tune in and listen as Sean shares his journey of how he became an innovator of contact center software and what he believes are the elements that are needed to truly have technology improve the customer experience.
December 09, 2021
BPO with a Purpose: A Candid Conversation with Hui Wu-Curtis | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 6
This episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance features Hui Wu-Curtis, COO and Co-Founder of SupportU. Tune in and listen as Hui discusses her unique BPO organization and where she sees gaps in the BPO industry. She also shares the critical steps for finding the right talent to complement an organization's CX goals and the factors to consider when choosing CX technology to enhance the agent experience and ultimately aid in delivering excellent results customer service.
October 22, 2021
From CTO to CX Industry Analyst: An In-depth Conversation with Mark Hillary | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 5
On this episode of Recorded for Quality assurance, we are joined by Mark Hillary, renowned author and leader in the CX space. Tune in to hear about his unique career journey, his original view on CX technology, and how the CX industry is often on the cutting edge of implementing emerging tech.
October 05, 2021
Selection, Implementation and Use: The Journey of Contact Center Technology with Joe Rice | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 4
On this episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance, we welcome Joe Rice, CEO of CXponent. Tune in to hear Joe share his insights on CX technology implementation, stakeholder participation, the importance of organizational alignment, how to drive the benefits of contact center technology and more.
September 16, 2021
From Agent to Executive: Unique Insights into all aspects of the contact center with Tom Benton | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 3
This Episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance features Tom Benton, the Head of Operations at Vistio. Tune in and listen as Tom shares his unique insights into the main pain points from the perspective of the contact center agent, manager, and risk management professional. He also delves into some of the failsafe solutions to these pain points that he has developed over his long career in the industry.
August 25, 2021
The Evolution of the Contact Center and Process Evaluation with Rod Jones | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 2
On this episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance, we are joined by Rod Jones. Tune in to listen to this pioneer of the contact center industry discuss the importance of setting clear processes for contact center agents, the importance of executive participation and how Henry Ford would have made a brilliant contact center operator.
August 09, 2021
Evaluating the past, present and future of CX with Peter Ryan | Recorded for Quality Assurance: Episode 1
On the pilot episode of Recorded for Quality Assurance, we're joined by Peter Ryan, Principal at Ryan Strategic Advisory. Tune in to listen to this CX expert discuss the importance of providing contact center agents with the right solutions, understanding their needs and tailoring the solutions to suit their requirements; the future of CX and practical career advice for contact centers leaders.
August 05, 2021