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The GCS Blog

The GCS Blog

Helpful information on Contact Centers, Customer Service and People Skills

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Contact Center  |  Customer experience  |  consumer communication habits  |  contact center trends  |  omni-channel  |  outsourcing call center services  |  soft skills

From Raving Mad to Raving Fan - A Customer Service State of Mind

Customer satisfaction is the key to profitability. From low churn rates to high LTV (Customer Lifetime Value), a consumer's state of mind demands serious attention from customer service specialists. In the race to win over the customer, companies are focusing on improving the quality of their offer, tweaking retention strategies, and making themselves available across numerous channels. Including, contact centers.

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BBB Better Business Bureau  |  Business process outsourcing  |  positive culture

GCS is a Finalist for this year's BBB Torch Award for Ethics

GCS is honored to be a finalist for this year's BBB Torch Award for Business Ethics. Congratulations to IFB and Frank Myers Auto Maxx for taking top honors. We love a challenge to improve. The full BBB Press Release is reprinted below.

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Outsourcing Guide

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The Complete Call Center Outsourcing Guide helps you plan for better outsource success. Get this guide and subscribe to our blog.

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Contact Center Consulting  |  Contact Center Vendors  |  Management

Clutch Taps GCS Agents as Top Performing BPO

A great BPO company can supercharge your business’ operational flexibility. The perks of working with an outsourcing company are getting skilled and experienced team members working on your projects.

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Call Center Optimization Forum  |  Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Contact Center Vendors  |  Inside a Contact Center  |  Management

Customer Loyalty, and Retention in a Post-COVID World: A Customer Service State of Mind

All global economies have been impacted by a non-selective economic catalyst. COVID-19 has altered consumers' behaviors within global economies. And change has been inevitable, especially for customer service.

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Customer satisfaction  |  contact center vendor  |  customer service outsourcing

GCS Named One of the Best Call Services of 2021

We are honored to have been named one of the Best Call Services Companies of 2021 by Digital.com. 

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Blog Feature

call center staffing  |  hybrid agent workforce

Advantages of Hybrid Agent Workforce Over Brick and Mortar Call Center

Your call center partner decision impacts your results. Let's face it. You have a lot to do. You need a trustworthy partner who does not require lots of intervention. You need an outsourcing center with a reliable business model and a demonstrated ability to manage the agents to achieve successful results. What’s the importance of a hybrid agent workforce model?

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Call Center  |  Newsletter  |  Press Release

GCS Agents is a Leading B2B Company in North Carolina

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community

Lessons from Bob Lynch

Robert “Bob” Lynch, Jr. passed away last week.  He was instrumental in the growth of three companies in the telecommunications industry.  Bob was an original investor in SOMAR in the 1980s. After retiring from a box manufacturer, he joined SOMAR as an advisor and our site selector during a time of explosive growth. In 1996, SOMAR was merged with several companies to become Telespectrum.   Bob continued to provide real estate options for the parent company, while remaining loyal to the hometown SOMAR team in Salisbury.  In 2001, Global Contact Services was founded with many of the SOMAR managers and Bob joined the “band”.  Again, Bob was the go-to resource for selecting communities having the GCS profile of professional, friendly and meaningful partners.   In business terms, Bob’s impact was staggering.  Over twenty communities selected, over 7,000 jobs created and over $1 Billion of economic contribution.  His leadership impact was also significant.  He practiced patience with his younger colleagues, provided timely wisdom and never said ‘no’ to a road trip.  I conservatively estimate logging over 10,000 miles of “windshield” time with Bob. His insight and stories will live on.   Bob Lynch will be remembered for his dry wit, calming demeanor and can-do attitude.  RIP Bob Lynch.   Bob Lynch and his wife Mary Nell at a GCS function.

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Growth  |  community

GCS is moving Rowan Forward: Join to Help Grow Our Community

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7 Top Trends in Outsourcing Work From Home Agents

Today's global entrepreneurial landscape is customer-centered and highly competitive. This is why many organizations outsource their call center functions. Doing so allows internal teams to focus on the core business processes while ensuring there is a dedicated, and variable, customer support team. Whether in a center or working from home, the desired outcomes have not changed.

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awards  |  community

GCS Wins Two 2020 Excellence in Customer Service Awards

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community

GCS supports ApSeed in NYC!

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Lessons on Leadership  |  soft skills

The Power of Habit and Mentorship

Global Contact Services CEO Greg Alcorn recently had the chance to chat with Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. 

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Lessons on Leadership  |  Podcast  |  soft skills training

Learn My 3 Powerful Soft Skills in 3 minutes

If you have 3 minutes, I’ll share 3 powerful communication skills from my recent podcast on Thrive Loud with Lou Diamond.

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Contact Center Management  |  call center consulting  |  call center outsourcing

4 Great Questions Before Switching Your Contact Center Vendor

At GCS, we evaluate each new program with an understanding of what problems you encounter with your current outsourced contact center or call center program. We often hear, “Oh yeah, I wish I had considered that before I signed the contract.” The best way to avoid making a mistake again is to think about these factors before it is time to renew.

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Contact Center Management

How to Use a Contact Center Improvement Plan to Increase Value

It’s true, the right tools make any job easier. It’s also true our tools must evolve to keep pace with a changing world. That’s especially true in the contact center as channel requirements and customer expectations become more plentiful – and demanding.

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Contact Center BPO  |  Contact Center Management  |  Public vs Private Contact Center  |  outsourced call centers

Public vs Private in Call Center Outsourcing: David vs Goliath(s)

Public companies live in dog years.  Well, almost. Dogs age seven years per calendar year.  Public companies live FOUR, sometimes painful, quarters per calendar year.  Before starting GCS, I was a public company division President and vowed NEVER to live that life again.  Every quarter was stressed with “making numbers”, “showing growth”, “getting wins”. Dog years!!

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People Skills  |  online soft skills training  |  soft skills

What Are The Benefits of Soft Skills Certification for Call Center Agents?

Today, soft skills, time management and problem-solving, are critical. Now, soft skills certification can be a difference-maker for many organizations.

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Contact Center Management

10 Call Center Innovation Ideas to Boost Your Competitive Edge

Businesses are always looking for the competitive edge. This requires businesses to stay top-of-mind with clients and potential customers. It’s also about businesses, and their partners, using the latest innovations in both product and service development. Success really is all about being agile. Processes often are repetitive for good reasons. But inefficient processes can wreak havoc on a call center. When a process isn’t working the way it should, we experience increased attrition of talent and customers. The dollar loss can be significant.

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Blog Feature

Contact Center Management  |  call center outsourcing

Outsourcing Your Call Center? Consider The Performance Trifecta.

Each of our clients is unique, so it makes sense that we would have our own set of “uniquenesses.” We often hear our approach to People, Process and Technology is different from other BPOs.  

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People Skills

Soft Skills Training Tips for Exceptional Customer Service

What makes soft skills so hard to master? For contact center managers and supervisors, teaching adults in the workplace to relate more effectively and consistently to their customers and colleagues can feel like herding cats. Of course, it just feels that way -- soft skills can be learned, reinforced, and continually refined. As customer service experts, the development of soft skills is central to our ability to consistently meet our client’s service levels. That is why soft skills training is emphasized at GCS. Today we’re going to look into why soft skills training can be so challenging, and offer some practical advice for managers on how to train your trainers and staff.

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outsourced call centers

Who Are The Best Call Centers in the World? (Reviews/Ratings)

Each year, we at GCS speak with many companies in the United States (and beyond) looking to improve their outsourced contact center results by switching from their current call center partner. And because most procurement professionals want to make sure they are doing their due diligence in speaking with the best of the crowded field of outsource call centers, they often ask us who are some of the other contractors and competitors we have in this space.

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Education

How to Achieve Call Center KPIs with S.M.A.R.T. Goals & Objectives

People often confuse goals & objectives.  But both are needed in business and personal endeavors in order to grow and be successful.   With call center agents as the point of impact with your customers, it is important to set goals and objectives to help your team reach the call center KPIs you are tracking. In order to achieve these KPIs and help your team be successful, you must: understand the difference between goals & objectives the best ways to use them and how to start setting S.M.A.R.T. goals

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Blog Feature

Lessons on Leadership

9 Purposeful Leadership Traits for Call Center Leaders

We all occasionally practice these 9 traits of leaders.  Engaging, successful leaders in call center management and most industries practice them frequently and on purpose.  

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Blog Feature

Contact Center Management

11 Call Center Innovation Ideas to Boost Performance

Businesses are always looking for the competitive edge. After all, in order to keep your customer base it is important to keep your product or service updated. As rapidly as technology can change, it’s imperative to also stay on top of industry trends, pushing your business to the forefront.

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Contact Center Management

What Call Center KPIs Increase Performance?

One of the most effective ways to determine how your call center’s performance stacks up against other providers in your industry is to track call center KPIs. Many enterprises are satisfied when their call center meets goals that are set internally, and that works to a point. But, the picture can get less than rosy when goals achieved in a vacuum are compared to companies who benchmark against call center industry standards.

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Call Center RFP  |  Call Center Tips

Find the Right Partner with a Better Contact Center RFP

So, you’ve completed the process of determining you need a new contact center and have the buy-in from upper management to proceed with the project. Now it is time to select a vendor to help you get there, but selecting the right one is an important decision not to be taken lightly since they are an extension of your brand. How do you find a capable partner who will keep your long-term goals in mind? After you do your initial vendor research, one of the first steps in the selection process is typically to issue a request for proposal or Contact Center RFP.

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People Skills

6 Ways to Use Soft Skills Training to Deal with Difficult People

We've all had to deal with difficult people at some point.  Difficult people can present a unique problem when they are your employees and it is your job to manage them.

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People Skills

Soft Skills Training your Contact Center Representatives Need

The most important technology in your call center isn’t hardware or software. It’s your people.  As the originators of technology, we human beings demonstrate thousands of years of development, invention and progress in uncountable ways every day. Despite the widespread belief that we humans despise change, we learn and adapt without really noticing it. We are constantly adjusting to new demands and circumstances as they emerge.

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Customer experience  |  Customer satisfaction  |  EnergyCentral  |  Utility  |  customer service  |  customer service tips  |  soft skills  |  soft skills for contact centers  |  soft skills training

7 Common Communication Blunders

Have you ever said something at work you wish you hadn’t? Shocking isn't it. Sometimes the wrong words just blurt out to employees or with the client. The first step in repairing common communication blunders on the job is to know what those blunders are. Then you can say things the smart way and not the dumb way.

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Contact Center Management

Contact Center Solutions: Right-Sizing

When it comes to contact centers, typically labor costs are your most significant expense. You have to get the number of agents right or suffer the consequences. You will erode your profit margins or overspend if you have too many agents scheduled. On the flip side, customer satisfaction could suffer if you don’t have enough people to answer the phones. That leads to lost customers and a dinged reputation. To provide a consistent level of service, many companies go through “right-sizing” to become appropriately staffed. (You may also need to look at which call center model is best for you)  

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Contact Center Management

Cloud Contact Center: Improving Disaster Recovery

Disasters happen. That’s why there are Disaster Recovery plans. At GCS, we have Disaster Recovery, but we first take the approach of Disaster Avoidance. By understanding why disasters happen, you can build process and systems to prevent them from ever having an impact on your center performance.

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Contact Center Management

Contact Center Solutions: Process & Design Flow

Setting up a call center or reconfiguring an existing call center can be as simple as installing phone systems and cubicles in whatever configuration fits in your space, but that won’t get your company the results it wants. The only way you can make your contact center successful is to set it up from a process AND design standpoint. The thing is, call centers are all about the people that work IN them. Ideally, you need a facility that is as functional as it is pleasant. A well-designed call center will inspire your agents to do their best work and help them get there with the right technology and functionality. It also needs to be a place where they feel safe. And it needs to be clean. Of course, all of that is easier said than done. In this article, we will highlight some of our best practices, so you can understand how GCS designs call center process and flow for success. Let’s get started.

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Contact Center Management

Contact Center Solutions: Contact Center Makeovers

We speak with a lot of people whose core business is NOT contact centers and they often struggle because they don’t quite know enough to understand what information they are lacking? Or, maybe they have an idea that something is wrong, a process could be better, their team could do more? In all cases they are ready to make a change, but they aren’t sure where to start.

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Education

Smart Ways to Improve Every Relationship with Soft Skills Training

Everyone says dumb things from time to time. They fail to listen to important details or respond to certain questions. They accidentally miss a particularly telling tone of voice. It happens to everyone. These little slip-ups may only make you cringe when you catch yourself committing a faux-pas like that with a friendly neighbor or the coffee barista. However, the consequences are a much bigger deal in the business world, especially in customer care situations.

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Blog Feature

Contact Center Management

Top Considerations for Contact Center Outsourcing

Thinking about outsourcing your contact center? Here’s everything you need to consider before you start the process. At GCS, we help companies like yours set up call center outsourcing every day. Sometimes, these businesses are growing too fast for them to scale their customer service needs to meet the demand. Other times, they have had a contact center provider in place, but they worried that they were not getting their money’s worth or they were unhappy with the level of customer care. Sometimes they are looking to control or reduce cost with better management and technology. Whatever the case may be, your first priority in contact center outsourcing is to find a vendor that can meet your parameters. Let’s look at these considerations in turn.

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Blog Feature

People Skills

Frequently Asked Questions for Soft Skills Training

When you think of what makes a great customer service agent, what are the first traits that come to mind? It probably isn’t efficiency – that’s just a function of the work. Evaluating your call center representatives on whether they can answer the phone would be like rating doctors on whether they can treat you. Of course, they can. That’s their job. Like doctors, the way contact center people differ is in the WAY they do their jobs. The good ones have soft skills.

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Contact Center Management

4 Popular Techniques to Ensure a Successful Call Center

Successful call center management involves more than overseeing the productivity of customer advocates and making sure that customers have their issues resolved – and that fact may be one of the best reasons for you to outsource your contact center activities to a vendor. The right company will partner with you to help you achieve your customer-centric goals, by putting the right attitudes on the phone. The right partner could abolish all of your human resources worries and facility issues while giving you the flexibility to meet changes in customer volume or demand.   Let’s look at some common call center management models and explore some of the ways that contact center vendors fulfill those needs and help you ensure successful call center management.  

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Contact Center Management

Call Center Outsourcing Services: Dedicated vs. Shared Agents

Once you make a decision to outsource or contract out your call center activities, you have a choice to make. You will need to decide what type of agent you want working on behalf of your company. You can achieve your required service levels with any configuration. However, the type of call center outsourcing services you choose will shape the pricing of the service. It influences how calls are handled, the cost of extended customer support hours, and the level of service your agents can provide. The term “outsourcing” has become a scapegoat this political season. But beyond the political hype, it is important to understand the long term benefits of outsourcing. AND it doesn't have to mean sending jobs outside your community. There are three basic types of call center representatives. Some agents are dedicated to your project exclusively while others are blended or shared. In this article, we are going to review each one in turn and discuss how opting for one support model over another will impact your business.

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Outsourcing

4 Ways to Improve Contingent Workforce Performance in Your Call Center

Improving contingent workforce performance in your call center can be a challenge. These workers are not like your regular staff. They were hired on a temporary basis, usually by an outside staffing company or outsourcer, to complete a specific project. Contingent workers are often paid differently and receive less training than your full time workforce. They may even have different performance standards. All of these factors can make managing this personnel a contingent workforce difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. While comparing a contingent workers to regular staff is often like apples to oranges – there are things you can do to manage both groups efficiently. The following workforce management techniques will help you improve contingent workforce performance.

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Contact Center Management

How to Tackle the Call Center Setup Process

One of your biggest challenges in adding successful call center services to your operations is setting up the facility. There’s a lot of upfront time and capital investment in the set-up of the physical space for your facility. Even if you already have a contact center, it could be failing because you didn’t know how to set up a successful contact center in the first place. At GCS, some of the common problems we see are choosing the wrong location, building a facility that is too small, and picking the wrong combination of technology to balance the needs of your customers and your organization.

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Blog Feature

Contact Center Management

How to Tackle Call Center Workforce Management

Call center workforce management is a helpful tool for scheduling and supervision. Thanks to the nature of the business and technology in general, call center managers have an unprecedented amount of information about their agents’ activities and the call volume they receive. This information can give them an opportunity to truly excel, but only if they are paying attention to the data.

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Contact Center Management

Call Center Companies: 6 Factors to Consider When Outsourcing

What do you think of when you hear the word “outsourcing”? Many of our clients tell us that while they knew that other companies outsourced some of their services to outside vendors, to them, the practice always seemed impersonal – until they got to know GCS.

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GCS news

Clutch Reveals GCS as One of the Leading New York City B2B Companies for 2019

The reach of technology seemingly extends everywhere these days, and the customer service industry is no different. As communication evolves and adapts to new technologies, GCS Agents provides an unbeatable combination of timely customer contact, unparalleled customer support and technology that works. Our team’s commitment to ensuring that every client and business that we work with experiences optimal results has made us a force to be reckoned with in the business services world. We are pleased that our efforts have been confirmed by our recent inclusion in Clutch’s 2019 report on the top B2B firms in New York City. It is a credit to our people to be recognized as one of the best call center companies in the city.

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Contact Center Management

Using Call Coaching Training to Improve Call Center Operations

Call coaching is one of the most powerful tools in your call center operations management toolkit. You can take all the performance measurements and analytics you want, but if you aren’t actively coaching your staff to be better, you can’t be surprised when they miss the mark. Your agents will be more engaged and more effective when you take the time to help them improve, instead of demanding results and not explaining how to get there.

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Blog Feature

Contact Center Management

3 Tactics for Managing Call Center Agents More Effectively

Managing a call center requires a solid knowledge of business management concepts, but it also takes something more. Call centers are like nothing else. They are high-volume and customer facing, and they have their own unique set of challenges because of that. To be effective, you need management that knows how to produce at elevated volumes while providing effective customer service. We call this “sanity” - doing the same thing over and over and expecting the SAME result. For each call, a personalized result. One million calls, one person at a time.

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Contact Center Management

How to Be a Better Call Center Agent: 4 Things to Improve

Being a customer service agent can be hard work. While helping customers all day is not often a hard task, it does take a special person to do it well. While many customers your agents encounter in a given day are simply looking for information, others will have a problem or an issue that needs to be resolved. Your agents need to have the personality and training to be the customer advocate. They need to be able to remain calm in the face of conflict, empathetic in the face of anger, and friendly even when your customers aren’t making it easy. Choosing the right people to work on your behalf is essential – but it’s not the only challenge. 

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Blog Feature

Contact Center Management

Call Center Staffing Agencies: 5 Benefits of Using a Staffing Agency

Building a successful business takes more than a good business idea. You need to have the right people to support your vision, execute your plans, and work with your customers. The problem arises when you know you need to fill specific roles, but you do not know enough about the job function to make a good hire. That disconnect can cost you, big.

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Blog Feature

Contact Center Management

Call Center Team Leader Training: Improve Effectiveness

Call center management can be complicated. We approach it as an upside-down organization chart. The Agent is the most important person because they have direct contact with the customer. They will do the most to impact your brand with the customer. Meanwhile, the Supervisor is the most influential person because they influence the performance of the Agent on a daily basis. Their style and approach provides a safe environment for the Agent to connect with the customer. Depending on the program, a  supervisor manages between 7 and 15 agents under their care. They need to manage, support, coach, and supervise their team. They are responsible for achieving the performance that delivers the Service Levels required by the customer. Our process and procedures are there to provide the path for success and ensure we get a consistent result with each customer engagement.

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Contact Center Management

Why Are Call Centers Outsourced?

The decision to outsource your contact center is not one that you as a company should ever take lightly. It is a major decision – after all, you are trusting a part of your business and its operations to another company. Your contact center is often the first line of communications your business has with first-time buyers and customers who have had an issue with your products or services. Choose the wrong call center outsourcing company and it could miss the opportunity to grow your relationship and reputation with your customers.

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Blog Feature

Contact Center Management

9 Things to Think About When Building a Call Center Staffing Plan

Outsourcing your call center could be the smartest decision you ever make, but only if you take the time to plan it out. While your call center outsourcing vendor will handle most of the legwork for you, there are certain variables that you as a company should decide upon first. It is important that you have a framework of a call center staffing plan that fits your business needs today while setting you up for success tomorrow. After all, it is your business on the line and only you know the objectives you want your customer service operations to have.

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Contact Center Management

Call Center Outsourcing Services: How to Choose the Right Contact Center Vendor

Deciding to outsource your call center activities is a smart way to keep your focus on what really matters – running your business! But, it only works if you choose the right vendor. If you aren’t careful, you could end up with more headaches than the outsourcing is worth.   In this article, we will share the call center outsourcing best practices that lead to the most successful contact center projects. We will also go over a few red flags to look out for at the beginning of a project as well. Taken together, they can help keep your outsourcing project on the right path.

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Contact Center Management

Call Center Outsourcing Companies: 5 Things to Expect From Your Vendor

Once you have decided to outsource your company’s contact center activities to someone else, the research begins. You will find that there are many vendors out there, but that doesn’t mean that all, or even most of them, will be a good match for your organization. Aside from more subjective strengths and weaknesses, outsourcing call centers can differ on very objective measures like their choice of business models – and that can have a lasting impact on your company’s success.

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Blog Feature

Contact Center Management

5 Call Center Staffing Model Examples

You don’t need to settle for a one-size-fits-all solution to staff your call center. While outsourcing all or part of your contact center staffing can be a turnkey operation, you need to choose the staffing model best suited for your needs.

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Blog Feature

Contact Center Management

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource a Call Center?

Call center staffing is critical to the success of your contact center. Whether you are hiring for inbound customer service or outbound sales, people make the difference. They impact the customer experience; they also impact your company budget. By how much will depend on the way you chose to structure your call center operations.

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Contact Center Consulting  |  Performance  |  soft skills training

Dynamic, Voice Variety

First, a short language lesson - the word ‘monotone’ which means a continuous, droning, and unchanging tone comes from the Greek word monotonia – meaning "one tone". That word is also the root from which we get the word ‘monotonous’ - meaning dull and tedious. And that’s no coincidence.

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Uncategorized

A Guide to Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are here! Effective communication shouldn’t disappear just because family is near. Turn to these tips to survive the days, when your loved ones may tweak you in so many ways:

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Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Disaster Preparedness  |  Productivity  |  Strategic Planning

Minimize Damage to Call Center Operations in the Face of Natural Disaster

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the millions of American families impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma over the last several weeks. We know that this is just the beginning of the recovery and restoration effort.

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Best Practices  |  Client Relationships  |  Communication  |  Management  |  Productivity  |  Uncategorized  |  soft skills training

GCS’s Quick Reference Guide to Conference Call Etiquette & Productivity

Everybody has experienced a conference call.

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Best Practices  |  Call Center Tips  |  Client Relationships  |  Communication  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Customer Service  |  Education & Learning  |  Increase Profits  |  Leadership  |  Management  |  Performance  |  Team Building

Real Solutions for a Municipal Turnaround: How to Make Customers Happy, Engage Employees AND Stay Under Budget

Managing a customer call or service center is a lot about managing the numbers. Both the macro ones – how many calls, how many agents. And the micro ones -  how many calls can one agent take on, how many calls can one agent take on happily.

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Business Services  |  Call Center  |  Call Center Tips  |  Call Centers  |  Consulting  |  Contact Center  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Contact Center Vendors  |  Customer experience  |  Inside a Contact Center  |  Performance  |  call center consulting  |  communication  |  contact center improvement  |  contact center kpi  |  contact centers  |  customer service

Contact Center Best Practices: 10 Areas of Focus

                  “You will never reach your destination if you throw stones at every dog that barks.”

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Contact Center Consulting  |  Contact Center Vendors  |  Inside a Contact Center

Five Contact Center Trends to Follow in 2017

  "The easier it is to get fast, convenient customer service, the more consumers will engage with customer service. That higher level of engagement will remain essential to building the long-term loyalty that businesses depend on for stability and continued growth."

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Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Contact Center Vendors  |  Outsourcing

16 Keys to Successful Contact Center Outsourcing

  "A great outsourcer should deliver positive outcomes for your KPIs. But, our experience shows there’s much more to demonstrating proof of outcomes than simply meeting KPIs."

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Call Center Optimization Forum  |  Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Contact Center RFP  |  Contact Center Vendors  |  soft skills training

16 ROI-Proven Ways a Consultant Can Help Your Call Center

"We’ve picked 16 of the tougher questions and ROI-proven approaches that a worthy consultant should be able to tackle."

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Call Center Optimization Forum  |  Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Contact Center Vendors  |  Inside a Contact Center  |  Management

Five Things to Ask a Contact Center Vendor Before Hiring Them

"When your vendor is interacting directly with your customers on behalf of your company, questions you ask before hiring them need to be deeper, more pointed and increasingly challenging."

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Call Center Optimization Forum  |  Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Contact Center Vendors  |  Customer Service  |  Employee Engagement

Exposing the Super Heroes in Your Contact Center

  This is the week when we honor the work of our favorite super heroes. We know them by many names: professional problem solvers; queens of the queue; princes of patience; masters of making things right; bearers of the brand; champions of connection. As they answer even the most roundabout, complicated questions (or the same simple question asked 35 times each day) their legends travel far and wide, blanketing every channel.

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Call Center Optimization Forum  |  Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Contact Center Vendors  |  Performance

Five Ways A Consultant Can Help Fix Your Contact Center

 

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Call Center Optimization Forum  |  Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Contact Center RFP  |  Contact Center Vendors  |  Inside a Contact Center  |  Management  |  Outsourcing

How Does Your Contact Center Vendor Measure Up?

"A strong vendor management program can properly locate & manage the right vendor partner in a crowded and chaotic competitive field."

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Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Customer Service  |  soft skills training

3 Call Center Soft Skills Your Representatives Need

As call center professionals moving forward into the Digital Age, we are keenly aware of the impact of automation on our industry. One of the biggest concerns we’ve heard is the effect automation may have on the labor pool. With lightning fast development in robotics process automation and machine learning, will customer service reps (CSRs) eventually become obsolete?

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Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Customer Service

3 Tips for Great Contact Center Staffing: The People Perspective

"For good workers to be consistently productive, a sense of worth and organizational mobility is essential."

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Best Practices  |  Call Center Optimization Forum  |  Call Center Tips  |  Management

Paratransit Call Center Case Study

How GCS Turned an Ailing Paratransit Call Center into a Platform for P3 Best Practices  

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Call Center Optimization Forum  |  Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Management

Contact Center Workforce Optimization & Management

  "The best workforce optimization goes beyond the numbers & cultivates an understanding about how the numbers impact workforce management."

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Best Practices  |  Call Center Optimization Forum  |  Call Center Tips  |  Management  |  Performance

The 3 Part Formula for Contact Center Success

"Measuring the Right KPIs can Get & Keep Your Call Center Operating at a High Efficiency"

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GCS News  |  Leadership

Attention. Thank you. Forward March

Did you know that in the 1940s the American Auto Industry did not make any cars for almost three years? During World War II the auto makers turned their assembly lines into wartime producers of military equipment. Over 40,000 tanks, 100,000 planes and dozens of ships were created in the name of freedom. The auto makers turned their talents from cars in January of 1942 to producing military equipment in April of that year. It was a transformation that changed the world.

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Call Center Tips  |  Education & Learning  |  Employee Engagement  |  Training

9 Ways to Fix Your Call Center

"9 Ways To Fix Your Call Center"

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General

We'll See You at the Government Procurement Conference!

I will have the pleasure of attending the 2012 DMA (Direct Marketer’s Association) convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 15th and 16th.  This is a huge event with over 10,000 marketers attending across all industries.   The event also has hundreds of exhibitors as well spanning from ad agencies to email marketing agencies and fulfillment services.

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GCS News

Thanks For Giving

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Call Center Optimization Forum  |  GCS Culture  |  Uncategorized

Personality Testing to Build Highly Effective Call Centers

A contact center serves as the front line for business during many interactions with the client base. An excellent call center will convey warm, caring, positive feelings, along with the information the consumer needs. An ineffective call center leads to customer dissatisfaction, cancelations, poor reviews, and lost revenues.

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Best Practices  |  Call Center Tips  |  Client Relationships  |  Communication  |  Customer Service  |  Employee Engagement  |  Inside a Contact Center  |  Performance

Hiring for Effective Customer Service in the Contact Center

Hiring for Effective Customer Service in the Contact Center Good customer service begins with the people providing it. For many businesses, this means the call center employees tasked with handling daily call volumes. But recruiting and retaining the best contact center professionals can be difficult, especially with so many businesses and government agencies competing for the best workers. There are several things hiring managers are doing today that can be put to use to improve service in your organization.

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Uncategorized

Train-the-Trainer or SME

Training and education are on-going needs in any industry employing customer service teams. As an outsource provider of contracted contact centers, Global Contact Services uses both Direct Delivery Training, and Train-the-Trainer programs to provide on-going development of skill and performance of our Customer Service teams. The key to helping your customer service agents grow is to determine which training method works best for your team. There are certain programs, like Direct Delivery Training and Train-the-Trainer, that cater to the right dynamic for your team. We discuss the pros and cons of each program to help you decide which method will work for you.

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Can you stand to sit any longer?

Sit too long and stress takes off The usual thinking is when under stress of a deadline the best choice is to just knuckle down and get it done. That could be the very thing to send your stress levels skyrocketing. Nathan Kleitman is a sleep researcher who discovered the 90 minute cycle all people need to move through the five stages of sleep. His study of brain cycles while awake let to his discovery of how there is a related 90 minute cycle for activity. After 90 minutes of concentrated focus, the human brain needs to recharge itself or it will rely on cortisol to begin to combat stress. Just getting up and moving for five minutes can reduce your stress levels, allow your brain to recover, and prepare you to be just as focused for the next 90 minutes of work.  

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Do you Speak my Language? The Importance of a Multilingual Contact Center

There are over 7,100 languages spoken in the world today. Thanks to technology, our world is getting smaller and more connected. If you’re running a business, there’s a good chance you’re encountering shoppers from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. That’s why brands need to invest in multilingual contact centers. Although multilingual associates may have been a luxury 10 years ago, it’s a necessity for businesses of any size and in any industry. 

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Multi Channel versus Omni Channel Customer Communication

The simple way to understand the difference between the two approaches is to know begin with the prefixes, “multi” means many, and “omni” means all. Multi channel environments utilize many different communication devices and platforms to allow for customer interaction. For instance, a company allowing consumers to call, email, write and chat is taking a multi channel approach.  The focus is on the many ways the customer can communicate with the company.

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Uncategorized

Using Customer Experience to Outdo the Competition

About Call Centers Having an effective call center is essential for any business, charity, or government organization. Unfortunately, many of these organizations are slow to embrace the changes of the last 20 years, and confront their customers with long hold times, confusing and frustrating automated scripts, and impersonal communications. Because your call center is the front line of communication with your customers, it is important y agents be as effective and personable as possible.

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Uncategorized

Changing Lanes to Win More Customers

Why you need more than a phone number and email address While having a regular postal address, phone, fax and email has been the standard for multi channel communications for years – it isn't enough. Most customers don't have the time to phone, don't own a fax machine, want a faster response than a letter and don't want to wait for an email. Sites that are effectively engaging their consumers are providing them with multiple options for immediate contact that can be accessed on a range of devices. These options include live chat, SMS messaging, and social media.

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Uncategorized

Getting What You Measure in Customer Service

Because businesses rely so heavily on their contact centers for key support, it’s imperative they maintain a constant awareness of how the call center and individual agents are performing. By giving customers the chance to voice their own satisfaction levels with each interaction, businesses can gain valuable insight into how their call centers are performing and where there agents need additional coaching and support. Here are some of the most common ways businesses measure customer satisfaction.

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Uncategorized

Why you can't just hire 50 more like Sara?

I often get calls from new, growing companies trying to figure out how to grow their agent pool. They typically have started with a handful of people on the phone and are seeing success, but trying to figure out how to go from 5 to 50 with the same success. Do they continue to hire fully commissioned agents, contract with a Pay-for-Performance center or find an hourly center to handle it all for them. The risk and the reward varies with each approach and the path to success for each option is different in many ways. One of our strengths is in scaling an existing program to reach or service a large target audience in a short period of time. It allows a company to stay ahead of the competition before their idea can be copied in the marketplace or allow them flexibility during peak times or promotions. Our scalability success requires a defined process that will work with a large group of agents, regardless of scale. A room of several independent agents can each have their own unique approach and be very successful, but they do not have the scale to cover a large target market or handle a surge of volume.

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Contact Center Consulting

Call Center Consulting

Sometimes you need help to develop the right plan or process for reaching the goals of your Contact Center. Consider working with a contact center consulting services that will develop result-oriented solutions for the various challenges you face. A consulting team will focus on finding the root cause of your frustration and present the information, ideas and resources necessary to improve results. Consultants are an investment in the future. They provide insight and process changes that will save your center time, money and frustration on an ongoing basis. Many will not just explain what to do, but can be used to help with various phases of the implementation and make sure the ideas are transferred to the call center management team.

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Best Practices  |  Call Center Tips  |  Contact Center Consulting  |  Employee Engagement  |  Management

Call Center Staffing Solutions

It’s no secret that starting with good people makes a huge difference. Finding the best contact center staff for the job can be a big challenge. Mistakes here can really set back an operation. Defining the right skill sets to recruit will vary based on the needs of a center.

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Uncategorized

Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream

Fulfillment of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream One needs just to look at the last 7 years in America to see a major fulfillment of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream. The election of Barack Obama, an African-American—a black man to the nation’s highest office, President of the United States, 40 years after Dr. King’s death. His words ring so prophetically from the speech the night before his assassination: “And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.” In addition to the election of President Obama, Dr. King’s dream can be seen in all aspects of society. The hiring of qualified minorities and women as workers and CEO's in Fortune 500 companies, as coaches and managers of major American sports teams, as chancellors and superintendents in higher and lower education, as well as the election of qualified minorities as mayors and governors, and the appointments of qualified minorities in other high government and military positions as well as state and local government and law enforcement positions.

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General

Make ‘em cry

  Emotion Plays a Key Role in the Customer Experience You know that moment in the movie where the unexpected emotional moment occurs and tears of joy flow in the audience.  The scene tugs at your heart string.  Why, because everything came together in the production.  Acting, directing, writing…. Everything reaches that climactic point through lots of coordination and coaching.  No, the director didn’t just tell the actors, “go out there and make ‘em cry. Same with customer satisfaction.

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General

Suspects to Prospects to Clients

Here’s an update on our sales and marketing activities.  Over three months, we are attending five major conferences that have connections with call center services.  At these conferences we have a booth for attendees to drop by, we advertise in their programs and we even presented at one conference. Here are the conferences:  Utility Call Center Conference, International Bridge, Tunnel and Toll Association, American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Society of Customer Service Professionals and Association of State Highway Officials.

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Call Center Tips  |  Customer Service

Kids say the darndest things…

…and so do adults.  Back in the 1960’s, Art Linkletter had a variety show that included interviews with children.  When a child said something unexpected, Linkletter would say his then famous line – Kids say the darndest things.  We’re not sure if “darndest” was or is a word, but everybody understood.

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Education & Learning

Management Candidate Program

One of the main principles at GCS is to provide opportunities to those who want them. It is our goal for all associates to enjoy working at GCS and to find it makes their lives better. That’s where our Management Candidate Program comes in. This program was started over twenty years ago and includes dozens of learning modules designed to develop and hone the skills necessary to become a manager in the contact center advisory services field.

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General  |  Strategic Planning

The Importance of the Past for On the Job Accuracy

Every year, the Puerto Rican Day parade and celebration causes many streets and pathways leading to our GCS offices to close.  To avoid problems in today’s routine, it is important to look out for those past disturbances caused by an annual event. Often in the first year of a contract, GCS has to rely on the results and schedules left by our predecessor. The challenges from working off someone else’s results are numerous.  Since we often have to rectify issues like high wait times and low staffing, the old data is not always helpful.  Often there are new employees, different schedules or simply the data was not completely accurate, on point or even recorded at all.

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Disaster Preparedness

Communication in Emergency Situations

In today’s society, safety and effective communication in emergency situations is proving to be more and more important. Intercede Services, a software company owned by a father of a GCS employee, has recently launched a new emergency incident reporting technology called iAlert. The product was launched in response to growing concerns regarding the safety of school children, teachers, hospital employees, construction workers and many more individuals who are exposed to dangerous situations and elements due to the nature or location of their work. iAlert was designed to promote effective communication for 3 common types of safety incidents: crisis events, emergency events, and urgent events. iAlert allows users to instantly notify multiple responders of an emergency incident allowing for fast and efficient communication to mitigate critical situations and promote safety and compliance. Pre-determined responders are able to react immediately based on the unique geo-location technology used by iAlert.

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Communication  |  Conferences

Generational Communication

Guest Post by Eleanor Alcorn

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Call Center Tips

Three Reasons Omni-channel Outperforms Multi-channel

The other day, I read an article that claimed “omni-channel” is just a buzzword word that means the same thing as “multi-channel.” I couldn’t disagree more. Omni-channel contact centers represent a major step in the evolution of customer service.

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Conferences

If We Go, We Show

Global Contact Services (GCS) is staying very aggressive in putting themselves top of mind and seeking new opportunities in the contact center solutions marketplace.

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General

GCS Discovers SOCAP 2014 Symposium

On April 27-30, Global Contact Services (GCS) attended the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP) 2014 Symposium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event featured keynote speakers, best practices discussions and workshops geared towards customer care professionals in the Consumer Packaged Goods, Retail and Direct Sale, Healthcare, Hospitality, Travel & Tourism and Automotive industries. As a first time exhibitor, GCS’ was able to meet and converse with many customer-driven organization made up of vice presidents, directors, managers and supervisors of customer care and customer affairs professionals. Their mission is to develop successful business strategies in the customer care arena through the use of various educational tools and networking opportunities the organization offers.

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