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CallTalk Radio

Author: BenchmarkPortal

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CallTalk is the first on-line radio show specifically about Call Centers. BenchmarkPortal brings this show to listeners with no vendor sponsorship so the content is completely neutral. If you have a topic you would like us to cover, send it to
135 Episodes
Join Christine Cunneen, CEO of Hire Image, a nationally accredited background screening company, as she shares helpful information about the latest drug testing and background screening trends facing call centers.  Learn what is happening with marijuana legislation across the country, the latest drug testing developments, and other state and local updates affecting the industry in 2020.   Guest: Christine Cunneen | Hire Image As CEO of Hire Image LLC, Christine Cunneen sets the company’s vision and strategy while overseeing the operations, finance and business development functions nationwide.  Ms. Cunneen is a frequent guest speaker at business, human resource and background screening association events throughout the U.S., educating employers and other professionals about background screening topics, and is often quoted for her expertise in the news media. On a regular basis, she travels to Washington, DC to meet with legislators and is active in campaigns and advocacy pertaining to laws and regulations that impact the background screening profession, business owners and small business entrepreneurs.
Guest Dr. Charles Fenzi and our host, Bruce Belfiore, author of Coronavirus and your Call Center: Don’t Panic – Plan and Prepare, which focuses on how to show true management leadership in the face of this crisis.  This special episode of CallTalk™ is dedicated to providing you information and advice that will make you better able to display, and develop, your management skills in a time of Coronavirus. Learn ways to protect your most precious assets - - your colleagues - - while serving your callers and keeping the corporate mission in mind.
Join Bruce Belfiore as he talks with Mike Dershowitz about the market and corporate forces that push us to offer compensation based on market conditions, and about the human and political elements that push toward offering “living wage” compensation.  Mike will build on concepts he first shared with us during his previous appearance on CallTalk (“Fair Trade Outsourcing: Ethical and Profitable”) and will unpack the many issues surrounding the living wage issue.  He will draw on his experiences managing centers in urban America and offshore sites.  He will share his opinion that the $15 national minimum wage is not the right way to go to achieve living wage objectives.  You will find this a lively but very practical, manager-focused discussion on economic justice, employee engagement and performance results in the contact center environment.
Are you endlessly trying to get agents to improve their customer service? There might be a culprit you’ve never considered. Discover hidden and counterintuitive obstacles that hurt agent performance. You’ll learn: Why rewards and games often makes service quality worseHow wall boards can increase your queuesWhat secret your agents know that can immediately improve service   Guest Jeff Toister Jeff Toister is a best selling author who has written three customer service books, including Getting Service Right: Overcoming the Hidden Obstacles to Outstanding Customer Service. Feedspot has named his Inside Customer Service blog one of the Top 50 customer service blogs on the planet.  Jeff has been recognized as a customer service thought leader by Global Gurus, ICMI, and Comm100. Thousands of customer service professionals subscribe to Jeff's Customer Service Tip of the Week email, and have taken his video-based training courses.
Ever have a bad experience with a contact center agent? Why do you think this happened? One answer may be poor training or poor coaching – either way these situations can be avoided. Join us for our next discussion to hear Nancy Munro share tips and advice on how contact centers can build better and more effective training programs.   Guest: Nancy Munro, CEO of Verbal Transactions, has over 28 years in helping organizations implement and deploy voice enablement solutions.  Nancy has worked with organization’s like CVS, AT&T and Microsoft, helping them decipher how best to address performance challenges that align to their structural capabilities and revenue goals. Nancy pioneered voice-enabled technologies in the corporate space and was the first to launch an interactive audio role-playing simulator. Her current solutions leverage speech recognition and AI to provide a scalable and immersive learning application. Nancy speaks at various conferences such as the eLearning Guild, ASTD, and AA-ISP and was the Chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Chicago for three years.
Gamification and Engagement have been used in contact centers for some time now and so far, the results have been… mixed. Why do some Gamification and Engagement programs work so well for some organizations, and fall flat for others? Fresh out of the military and religious service, Elijah stumbled upon Snowfly, a leading gamification-based incentive, engagement, and analytics company, that did things differently. It’s a company that focused on people and understood and leveraged human psychology. He’s seen and participated in effective programs and created tools that have completely transformed organizations and its people. He’s now on a mission to spread the message the Gamification, Incentives, and Engagement have a new look. Guest: Elijah Cox, COO of Snowlfy Elijah is the Chief Operating and Technology officer at Snowfly, a leading gamification-based incentive, engagement, and analytics company. Elijah started as a junior programmer for Snowfly and within a few years was involved in all operations and consulting within HR, product, and Employee Experience/Engagement. Elijah is passionate about self-improvement, leadership, and organizational health.
Contact center industry associations can contribute a lot to the success of your center and your career. However, many managers don't consider joining or, if they do, fail to make the most of their investment. We have brought in an expert who has seen this from both sides, and can tell you how to make the most of the opportunities that associations offer.
"Conversational Virtual Agent (sometimes known as chatbots) are all the rage. There has been an explosion, with easily accessed and low-priced conversational frameworks from the likes of Amazon and Google. However, while it’s easy to put together a bad conversational application, developing and deploying one that actually provides a useful service for everyone involved is a different matter. Join this show to hear about the different channels on which virtual agents can act, how their knowledge base should be structured, the best approach to training, the necessary integrations, and why machine learning, with all its promise, is not enough to build a conversational agent that you can trust to talk with your customers."
Technology is impacting every aspect of our lives from home shopping, home deliveries, video streaming, voice activated home hubs,  to kids paying to watch their favorite gamers … well play Video Games.  Technology developments in Customer Care world are also developing at a dizzying pace and the increased use of live chat, SMS, Social Channels and Chat Bots in customer care are staggering)
The Call Center industry can be full of drama that can be a poison to the customer experience, employee satisfaction, agent retention and your overall center performance.  In this episode, we will learn how to identify different types of drama and discuss things you can do right now to overcome the negativity associated with drama.
Has the collections industry taken a few black eyes through the years?  Yet, your specific company was not at fault?  Does your company get “stereotyped” unfairly  Our guest today, owns a collection agency that is intent on changing the way collection agencies are viewed - - by being ridiculously nice.  Not just nice, ridiculously nice.  Today, we are going to talk to CEO of Americollect, Kenlyn T. Gretz who will explain how to change the way collection agencies are viewed by being ridiculously nice to consumers. He will explain how data + nice = results.  Guest Speaker: Kenlyn T. Gretz | Americollect Kenlyn T. Gretz is the President & CEO of Americollect, which has been in business in Wisconsin since 1964. Americollect prides itself on changing the way collection agencies are viewed by being Ridiculously Nice. In 2008, Kenlyn and Americollect were awarded the “Small Business Solid Growth” award by “Corporate Report Magazine”. For nine consecutive years, 2009-2017 “Inc. Magazine” included Americollect in its list of “5000 Top Growing Privately Held Companies in America”. Americollect has been consistently (2009-2018) ranked as the Best Place to Work in Collections, according to
Contact centers are under increasing pressure to become profit centers and leverage new channels of engaging customers. Live chat is growing in use--especially among millennial customers--and chat communications can be optimized using machine learning in order to improve engagement, reduce cost and grow sales.
Workforce Management is both science and art. Hear the voice of experience as Rick Lee, Workforce Manager for Convergys, is interviewed by host Bruce Belfiore on his WFM best practices tips. Practitioners who are looking for a deeper level of WFM insight should join this episode.
Highlights from Call Center Campus - Everything You Need To Know
Nowadays you hear a lot of companies who are doing ‘something’ with Automation (RPA) or Artificial Intelligence (AI), however what is the real story behind it, is it truly as easy as the vendors pitch it or does it require effort?
Information feedback is the lifeblood of continuous improvement for contact centers. However, most centers don't employ a structured approach to originating, processing and acting on feedback.  In this session, guest Pam Wilson explains the 4 stages required for a feedback loop to have full efficacy. We will discuss the four stages and Pam will share how she has seen them best implemented in call center settings.
Join Bruce Belfiore and Mike Dershowitz, CEO and Managing Director of Rethink Staffing, as they discuss a novel approach to managing call centers for outperforming results and creating social and economic impact at the same time. Mike shares his philosophy behind fair trade outsourcing, and some real-world examples that illustrate its sustainability, ethicality, and profitability.
Why Drug Test?Drug Testing OptionsNationwide Positivity RatesLegalization of MarijuanaMedical and Recreational Marijuana LandscapeDrug Testing ChallengesPolicy ConsiderationsRecent Workplace Marijuana Case ReviewFuture of Drug Testing
How contact centers can leverage agent knowledge to improve the products they support. Design for improved Customer Experience while sharing valuable input with other departments: marketing, product development and sales. Information gathering, analysis and distribution are keys to a quality customer service organization. Feedback shows you the weak spots, while analysis and communication with other parts of your enterprise bring value to the enterprise as a whole. Dr. Van Bennekom will draw the lines between inputs and great outcomes for contact center operations.  Guest Host Bio: Dr. Fred Van Bennekom helps organizations collect and apply customer and employee feedback in a statistically valid manner. The author of “Customer Surveying: A Guidebook for Service Managers,” Fred teaches operations management in Northeastern University’s Executive MBA program. Before earning his doctorate, he served as an information systems consultant for Digital Equipment’s field service organization. Through his company, Great Brook, Dr. Van Bennekom conducts workshops and advises clients on their survey practices.
Join CallTalk host Bruce Belfiore as he talks with author and speaker Mitchell Levy about ways to bring thought leadership into your life and your organization. Hear the tips he shared with his Ted Talk audience about listening, hearing, connecting and leading. Mitchell will provide you with insights you can use immediately in your center, and will explain his H.E.L.P. paradigm that will get you thinking and acting to improve yourself and your work place.
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