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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. We discuss topics such as call center operations, hiring, culture, technology, and training while having fun doing it!
130 Episodes
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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
What Is Customer Service Experience?"Customer service experience is the opinion your customer forms about the quality of the service you provide."Blocking and tackling.  Fundamentals.  This is what makes us excel at things that are important to us.  In this episode of "Advice from a Call Center Geek!" we take a look at 8 topics that can instantly and easily improve your organization's CX.1. The Tone is the Message2. Branding3. Motivate4. Technology and your associates5. Customer Immersion6. Fun!7. Customer Journey Inspection8. Appropriate Staffing ( I know, I know...easier said than done sometimes :) 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 ChannelThis 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
Back to the basics of what you all love about the podcast!  Let's talk about contact center coaching, how to improve it, have a plan for it, and improve our culture with it.Proper coaching is the most underrated way to improve (or ruin) the culture of your contact center. In this episode we talk about 10 Tips on Improving your Contact Center Coaching: 1. Praise Publicly But Coach Privately2. Sandwich Negative Feedback with Positive Feedback3. Be Specific4. Tie Performance to Data5. Have Your Agent Assess Themselves6. Role Play7. Discuss Roadblocks8. Redefine KPI Goals9. Understand Expectations10. Remonitor 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
Conversational AI...a  topic that confuses some and fascinates others. In today's episode of "Advice from a Call Center Geek!", we have the opportunity to sit down with two industry leaders that are shaping how AI impacts customers and contact centers, especially contact centers that are sales and lead gen focused.Aktify CEO Kreg Peeler and CRO Craig Daly,  join us in a conversation tailored for those looking to learn where conversational AI is today, where it's going in the future, and some of the amazing use issues that Aktify is solving day in and day out through its use.Very interesting discussion from two leaders that are shaping the power of what Conversational AI is and where it is going. JOIN US!Check out Aktify here at Aktify.comFollow CEO Kreg PeelerFollow CRO Craig Daly 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
In this episode, "A Day in the life of a Contact Center Supervisor", we talk about what a full day looks like for our middle management.From greeting reps, planning goals, monitoring/coaching, to the end of the day synopsis, we talk about what we have found to be the best way for our supervisors to handle their day to add the most value to our associates and to our organization.1. Check Closeouts2. Greet Reps3. KPI Team4. Individual meetings5. Staying Relevant6. Monitoring/Coaching7. Dealing with issues that may arise 8. Checklist9. Daily Synopsis10. Weekly Agent AnalysisFollow 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
It seems there is a big struggle to get people back to work post-pandemic. For various reasons, many service sector jobs, including the contact center are finding it harder and harder to find the quality help need to staff appropriatelyIn this episode of "Advice from a Call Center Geek" we dig into proven hiring techniques to try to help all our listeners through this workforce shortage. We talk about what social platforms work the best, how to best use them, and what type of budget do you need.Many other options as well are talked through such as how to set up an employee referral program, using your present workforce to mass post, and looking at many other options that will hopefully give you some ideas to increase your call center hiring capacity not just for now but for the future as well  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
 Announcement- Expivia Virtual Reality Contact Center ConceptExpivia is going to be attempting to build out a 100% fully Virtual Reality Customer Service Contact Center, and we want to show you how we are doing it, in fact, we want you to be a part of it!The goal is to have a 100% functioning POC that allows live customers to interact with LIVE virtual customer service Expivia team members in a fully virtual and brandable world.We will be posting videos/blogs/pics multiple times a week to show you how we are doing this, our mistakes, and our triumphs a look behind the scenes at everything we are doing. We will not hide anything...Please take the time to like our Facebook channel and follow us on our other social outlets!Youtube: https://lnkd.in/dW3hPBZLinkedin: https://lnkd.in/dJZF6P7Facebook: @expiviaVRTwitter: @expiviaV#contactcenter #virtualreality #future 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
We have the honor of having in the "Michael Jordan" of Contact Center Solutions, an encyclopedia of call center platforms, the players in the space, and the technology that is out there, Brandon Knight VP Advanced Solutions- Contact Center at Telarus.This is a can't miss episode for anyone looking to possibly change their call center technology or platform, or are interested in the main players in the space and how they operate differently.We discuss the established players (Nice CXone, 5/9, TalkDesk...), well known premise-based brands and their journey to the cloud (Mitel, Avaya...), and up and comers ( Edify, Ujet, Amazon Connect...).We talk about the difference between platforms that operate on micro-services compared to a cluster model.How AI will really impact the contact center.What new technologies are coming to a contact center near you that you need to understand?Lastly, we discuss tips and ideas to make your call center investment worth every penny.A ton of value here for all Call Center Geeks!If you are interested or need help discussing any  call center software needs please feel free to email Tom Laird at: tlaird@expivia.net 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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