“There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation if it.” (Alfred Hitchcock)
Time after time, call center executives ask me to assist them to develop a program to turn their operations around. In essence, they want to take their present environment and turn it inside out. Most of the time, management recognizes they have an operation that is under-performing. At the same time, they understand that telling agents to do better isn’t always going to get the job done. Perhaps the management staff is not doing what they need to be doing. Or, agents don’t feel as if they are making a contribution to the company, and it shows in their performance. Diving into a “change” in operations isn’t about making something different simply to show that action is taking place. Thought before action is required. Creativity and risk-taking is encouraged.
One merely needs to look through the prism of history to learn how to impact your call center environment. History is a truly spectacular guide, because history involves people who have created and administered events similar to your own.
History And The Founding Fathers
How can call center supervisors bring history to their call centers? At the very least, it is a good idea for supervisors to attend a minimum of two outside call center conferences every year in order to gain practical ideas and insights into how they can better themselves and their environment. These conferences are made up of speakers who have succeeded in one arena or the other in the past. There is no reason to create the wheel when the wheel already exists. It is merely important to take the wheel and make it suit your world. This is the guide that history can give to a person.
When I sit down to develop a new environment for a call center, I rely on the successful foundation established by our founding fathers many centuries ago. In order to take your agents and form them into a dynamite unit of success that breaks records, I suggest you take a tip from our founding fathers and adopt the structure, objectives and processes that they used when they went about forming a country. Our founding fathers did many magnificent things hundreds of years ago. They failed in some areas, too, but the failures have been overshadowed by the brilliance of their organizational structures and philosophies. In a land that was, at the time, dominated by the only country they had ever known (England), in a world weeks of travel away from their mother country, they gathered together in the heat of a Philadelphia summer to develop a working document that would guide a country through an infinite number of years.
In essence, they attempted to form a government that would do for people what their present government was not doing. Failure would result in charges of treason. And, they hoped their articles would be solid enough, and practical enough, to ensure that what had happened to them in the past would never happen to people on that continent again. When one thinks back to all the challenges and decisions that had to be made in order to form a powerful country, one realizes that facing challenges and making decisions to form and operate a powerful call center really isn’t that much of a daunting task after all.