Desire + Concept + Initiative = Communication Culture
Let’s take a step back for a moment and address the core fundamentals of implementing communication culture. The concept begins with a three step process. Its premise is simple: Management’s desire to build a fantastic communication culture, coupled with management’s concept of what that communication culture can embody, may only come to fruition when both management and staff gain the initiative to develop and consummate a new communication culture. In effect, desire must exist for a concept to materialize. Yet, desire and concept mean nothing if call center managers, supervisors and agents don’t possess the initiative to make it happen.
Desire: In general, most call center executives have a penchant towards desire. That means they have the desire to create something better than what presently exists. They may not have the time, resources or skills to do so, but their intentions are good. You don’t build a house without having the desire to create a house. Desire propels us forward. It leads to a foundation. In many call centers — perhaps yours — all levels of management, as well as agents, have the desire to implement something new or different. Their passion may wane as time progresses. It may peak or valley depending on a million different circumstances. But in most call centers, at the core, the desire to build, create, mold and facilitate something, from a simple proposal to a thrilling new communication culture, does exist.
Concept: In most cases, senior management lacks the correct concepts to create the best communication culture possible. Pluck five agents from the telephone and tell them to be creative, and dozens of concepts will be offered. Hundreds of fantastic proposals lie unused and unsolicited, because nobody is asking the agents their opinions. (If every person has fifty ideas, yet only senior executives are allowed to propose ideas, then eventually senior executives will have no ideas left, and each non-executive will still have his fifty.) Clearly, management wants to meet goals and please customers. Often they are so busy with structure, however, that they lack the understanding of how to do so. Their concepts are stale. They see the call center through the prism of their own eyes, not necessarily the way the rest of the call center sees itself. As a result, the organization suffers. Management must understand that concepts create their opportunities. Management must realize that agents are usually the entities that possess all the creative concepts.
Initiative: Finally, initiative is the battle that rarely gets won. The building of a communication culture generally dies because the initiative to make it happen wilts. A management team may have the time to implement ten concepts next year, yet there may be thirty concepts available to implement. Who has the initiative to execute even the ten best? Management rallies troops in the desire to be world class. They create magnificent concepts with regard to how to make it a reality. Then, they falter. They don’t close the sale. They can’t seal the deal. They can’t bring thoughts and actualities to realization. They can’t implement the concepts. Management runs out of energy, loses focus, gets frustrated over barriers, or moves on to what they consider to be more pressing issues. The inability to maintain initiative is the foremost reason why call centers fail to create a performance-based communication culture.
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