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Advice from a Call Center Geek!
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Advice from a Call Center Geek!

Author: Thomas Laird

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Advice from a Call Center Geek is a weekly podcast with a focus on all things call center and contact center. Tom Laird, CEO of 600+ seat award-winning BPO, Expivia Interaction Marketing, ICMI Top 25 Contact Center thought leader discusses topics such as call center operations, hiring, culture, technology, and training while having fun doing it!
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Happy 2022!It's time to look at your center and develop a strategic plan for the new year.  In this episode of ACG, we take a look at four-five aspects of your center and talk through what we look at every year to improve.  These include:Technology      New     ExistingAgent/Culture     Engementment     Goal Setting     Hiring      EducationReporting     Realtime/Dashboard     Skilling     KPIsManagement     Education     EngagementPolicies/Procedures     New      ExistingFollow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "New Book" to 814-247-0633 This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
NEW BOOK! Advice from a Call Center Geek 3.0! is done!Ok I just posted the full 204-page book for FREE on our Linkedin group Call Center Tips and Tactics, you can download it right now!I will also be offering the Amazon Kindle version for free for 3 days after it goes live on Amazon ( by Jan 10)Amazon is taking longer than normal to review all the published books as they are dealing with staffing issues I'm sure.I didn't want to wait for them to be ready as I already pushed this back once!This new version has over 200 pages and 10 new chapters. We added about 70 pages to the last update.I hope it adds value to all of you!I will upload the book here to my LinkedIn as well in the coming days but if you want it now, head over to the Tips and Tactics Group:https://lnkd.in/dDC-VUxFollow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "New Book" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
My New Book (Kinda) will be out on Jan 4th! We have taken "MORE Advice from a Call Center Geek" and added 10 chapters to it and over 50 pages.New chapters on AI, KPIs, Engagement, Outsourcing, WFH, new pricing guide, and more!We also included a Final Exam that you can take with your team that will allow for a deep dive into your contact center to improve every facet of it.If you are a listener to the podcast and want the new book FREE, all you have to do is join our Linkedin Call Center Tips and Tactics Group.  Not only will you get the book free, but you will also get to join a community of like-minded call center pros that can help with any issues or contact center questions you may have!I will be offering my new call center ops book free for three days in the group!  Click here to join Call Center Tips and Tactics:https://lnkd.in/dqPnN3NmFollow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "New Book" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
I got a Linkedin inMail from a listener that said:Hey Tom!Thanks for accepting my connection request so quickly.I recently stumbled across your "Advice from a Call Center Geek" podcast and have been loving the content.I'm a supervisor in a 25 head center about to apply for the manager position. I've listened to your New Manager cast from August and was wondering if you have a cast (or simply any advice) around what advice you would tell your 25-year-old self?Thanks!John- Avid LearnerThis really got me thinking about what I would tell myself if I could go back in time and teach my 25-year-old call center self.  Being this episode is being recorded 2-3 days before the new year, I thought a self-reflection episode would make sense.  So I did it.  I hope this helps all the younger (and older) call center team leads, supervisors, and managers out there!Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "New Year" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
Let's look at your contact centers efficiency as we head into the new year.  In this episode, we look at:Call Routing and Skilling MistakesUtilizing Self Service the Right WayMaking sure we are Measuring the Proper Efficiency KPIs     *Adherence     *Occupancy     *AHTFollow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "New Year" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  As we record this episode, it is December 23rd, 2021, two days before Christmas.We wanted to take some time at the time of year when you are off with family and away from work with an episode to get you to think a little about what will be happening in the contact center in 2022.  Here are our Top Ten trends that we are looking at and talking about in our contact center, what we have seen at all the contact center conferences, what what is being talked about in the industry.*AI Revolution?*Agent Assist Becomes Real*New KPI's Emerge *Emergence of Non Contact Center CX*Security for 2022*At Home Training*Realtime Reporting Upgrades*NFT's, Smart Contacts, Metaverse*Cloud Apotion in All Parts of Business*Crypto from PaymentsFollow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
I am doing a down and dirty episode here with my knee-jerk reactions to the Customer Contact Week (aka call center week) conference. This episode has not been edited and has been recorded on my iPhone as I left my mic back at home but I didn’t want to wait to record as I didn’t want to forget anything. The is my CCW recap episode. Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
Friends, we have done deep into the law here with our attorneys to create a full policy for the upcoming January 4th mandated date for all companies, (we are focusing on contact centers) that have over 100 employees to comply with the government vaccine mandate.After you listen to this episode, you will be fully versed in the law, the dates that are of importance, what constitutes vaccinated, and what you can and cannot legally ask your employees about their vaccination status.On top of all that, if you do not have a Vaccine Mandate Policy, I am more than happy to not only give you ours, but also our one-pager for the employees, and the documents you need to keep track of is employees are vaccinated, unvaccinated, getting weekly testing, or have exemptions.To download our policy, we have posted it here on Linkedin:Vaccine Mandate Policy Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
The week before Thanksgiving is a great time of the year.  It's time where you can reset some of the negativity that you may have in your contact center, and accent the positivity using some motivational tactics that really get a boost when paired with the holiday season.In this episode (129) we talk about ways to engage and motivate employees during the holidays, ways you can utilize social media with your teams better to motivate and enhance culture, and we also discuss bonuses and some bonus structures that I have used in the past in the contact center environment.This episode is all about your agents and helping develop the culture you want.Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
I am always thinking about how can my contact center be different?  How can we have better quality, how can we as management engage our employees better?One of the thoughts that I had when I was out sick with Covid, was doing a Reddit style Ask Me Anything (AMA) and having all the employees do just that, and me anything they want.It was AWESOME!So many times we just assume that people understand why we do what we do, why this policy is in effect, why we don't allow that.  If we dont explain then may times there is the assumpltion of "thats just how it's always been done" or " they just want to be mean", or even "that makes no sense!"This allowed me to explain questions, policies, procedures, and topics that I did t realize needed to be discussed in more depth.  It was a great experience and really enhanced our corporate communication culture.Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
This episode is a little different than what we normally do, much more personal.  10 days before recording this, I tested positive for covid, this at a time when Covid has hit our Expivia contact center family petty hard, much harder than in 2020.I want to give you my perspective on how I dealt with this and how it changed my perception of my WFH agents and my thought process on dealing with agents, even WFH agents that test positive.  This was a big wake-up call for me.I also want to talk through the vaccine mandate that will be coming into play for many of us the first week of January, how we are dealing with team members that don't want to get vaccinated, policies that we are having to put in place, and just overall how we are dealing with the mandate.Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
One of my roles as the CEO here at Expivia, is to make calls on where I see technology and CX intersect to try to position us to be ahead of the curve.Facebook (at the time of this recording) just announced they are changing their name.  The name is a small piece of what they are doing.  One of the largest companies in the world is changing its entire business model to focus on the Metaverse.  This should open all of our eyes as tho what is coming, it definitely opened mine.In this episode, we look at customer experience how the metaverse, VR, AR, and some other newer platforms  coming to play in Customer Experience 3.0Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
Covid had changed the way many of us operate our contact centers.  In this episode of "Advice from a Call Center Geek!" we take a look back at where we were and all the policies, procedures we changed, the technology we now utilize, and the engagement that we have evolved.This is a great episode for you to take a look at your internal operation and see what areas you can improve with all the changes in the workforce and technology we have all seen.Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633If you would like to appear on "Advice from a Call Center Geek! make sure you shoot tom an email at tlaird@expivia.net!This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
The Ultimate Guide To Contact Center Outsourcing Episode...we created it!This episode of "Advice from a Call Center Geek!" is designed to give you everything you need before you outsource.What to look out for, what to negotiate, pricing... it's all here.This episode will give you everything you need to make the right decision about outsourcing (or not to outsource) your contact center.We also have a full downloadable guide that goes into even more depth that you can find here:Ultimate Guide to Contact Center Outsourcing!Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633If you would like to appear on "Advice from a Call Center Geek! make sure you shoot tom an email at tlaird@expivia.net!This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
What should your service level KPI's be in your contact center?In this episode, the voice of the Geek, Tom Laird, gives the "official" "Advice from a Call Center Geek!" SLA benchmarks for Voice, Chat, Email, QA, and Sentiment.Let the arguing begin!Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
In this week's episode, we take a look at a really cool team-building exercise that I have done here at Expivia.  We sat down with some of our management and HR team and tried to discuss the top 10 customer service skills that an associate would need to be a world-class agent.The discussion was lively and fun!  Every organization will have a different set of ten, but going through this exercise you really were able to see what some of your management most value and what are they missing as well.Well worth the time and effort to go through this exercise.Once you do, make sure you post your top 10 on LinkedIn with the #callcentergeektop10Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
In this episode of Advice from a Call Center Geek! we dig deep into 13 questions that all contact center leadership teams should be able to answer and have a plan for.We dig deep into these questions to start anyone in management or working on the first lines of a contact center thinking on how they can improve as individuals and as a call center management team.Some of these questions we discuss include:Do your supervisors all manage differently?What is tolerated or not tolerated on the call center floor?How does management treat peers?Do your supervisors all manage differently?Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
We had the privilege of talking to NICE CXone (inContact) CEO Paul Jarman on this episode of "Advice from a Call Center Geek!"In what will be one of our cornerstone episodes, we had the opportunity to get into the mind of a true CX leader and visionary.We talk about the state of AI, speech analytics, changing customer preference, the oncoming digital transformation, and where he sees the contact center and CX going in the next 5 to 10 years.The discussion also covered the story on how inContact was started as a seller of unified long distance in the late '90s, through the transition of becoming one of the first CCAAS companies,  all the way through the merger with NICE and where the company is today.Very interesting discussion for any call center geek, great insights into where we are now, and where are going in the near future!Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube ChannelText Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
You just got the job as the new call center manager, you are super excited!!!  But then you realize, " I AM THE NEW CALL CENTER MANAGER!!!!", what do I do!In this episode, we take a look at what the first three weeks should look like for a new call center manager.  how to earn trust and respect, creating a culture to be proud of, and getting your team to row in the same direction! Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube Channel Text Me: Text "Call Center Manager" to 814-247-0633This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
Speech analytics is an extremely powerful tool in creating a positive agent and customer experience.  sentiment, trending keywords, even frustration level and be monitored and tracked.What we all have been waiting for though is real time analytics. Technology that will help and empower agents in call.  Well we have found a call center leader and a forward-thinking company that is doing just that.Balto CEO Marc Bernstein joins Tom in discussion in the state of analytics, the technology behind it, how they are doing agent assist, and the technology behind their August 9th launch of real time coaching and real time QA.  The ability for technology to be one actually scoring calls may not be science fiction after all.Fascinating episode on a company that is leading the way in the speech analytics space.  We are very excited to present this episode.  Its a can't miss for all call center geeks! https://www.linkedin.com/in/baltoceo/ https://www.balto.ai/ woof.balto.ai/boom   Follow Tom: @tlaird_expiviaJoin our Facebook Call Center Community: www.facebook.com/callcentergeekConnect on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tlairdexpivia/Schedule time with me to talk about anything call center related:https://calendly.com/call_center_advice/15minLinkedin Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9041993/Watch us: Advice from a Call Center Geek Youtube Channel This episode is brought to you by Balto.Balto's Real-Time Guidance helps your agents say the right things on every single callGet 26% more sales and cut ramp time by 75%.In just a little over a month.Head over to balto.ai/tom to get a free pair of Bose headphones for a demo
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Comments (1)

Alisha Truemper

Great advice for a newb. Thanks!

Dec 8th
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