There are 5 hallmarks of a customer obsessed call center. Collectively addressed and executed together can ignite customer obsession among your Agents and turn your call center into a revenue and retention generating powerhouse.

1. Win the “Hearts and Minds” of the Front Line

Customer obsessed call centers view transforming the customer experience as a movement – a way to motivate and inspire the front line to think and act differently. It requires leadership to evoke an emotion, to influence and convince the front line of their unique position & role in improving the customer experience. The front line must see that leadership is prioritizing change. The more engagement seen by the front line at all levels of the organization, a greater sense of belief, trust and commitment to action will be demonstrated by the front line.

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Easy First Step

  • Distribute a brief 1min video of a Sr. Executive detailing the new commitment to customer obsession (video production quality is irrelevant, in fact, the less produced, the more personal)

2. “Humanize” the Customer Experience

The most successful call centers empower Agents to be creative in their day-to-day customer interactions. Enabling your Agents flexibility in their customer service delivery, rather than forcing strict scripts, allows the front line to emotionally engage with the customer on a level that becomes personal to them.

To enable a more “human” experience, a set of clearly defined service or sales behaviors must be built that deepen the customer conversation and empower the front line to consistently connect with the customer. Agents should be measured on how well they execute the essence of the ideal customer interaction, not the details. Instead of defining a behavior with a set of tasks for the Agent to accomplish on every call, define behaviors based on intent and how the customer perceives the Agent. The goal is to empower the Agent to listen to the customer, to emotionally connect and to be human.



Easy First Step

  • Review your existing QA form and assess if you are measuring tasks or intent for each behavior measured

3. Prove Your Customer Obsession Matters

A dirty secret? Nearly all call centers are built upon faulty front line behaviors; including measuring and coaching to behaviors that simply do not matter to Customer Experience, Sales or KPIs.

There must be a strong correlation between behaviors and KPIs that proves adoption of the right behaviors drives customer experience, Sales, or other performance measures. If you have the right behaviors, Agents who are the top performers at their most important KPI – customer satisfaction – are also performing the behaviors more consistently. Your top performing Agents should be the same Agents that flawlessly exhibit the defined behaviors.

If done right, front line behaviors should be predictive of performance, customer obsession and the customer experience, not a line item on the Agent scorecard that delivers zero indication of actual performance.

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Easy First Step

  • Identify your Top 20 performers in Quality/Behavior scores, and evaluate if they are also your Top 20 performers in your most important KPI (i.e. CSAT)

4. Equip Leaders to Drive Behavior Change

Customer obsession requires a fundamental belief that “coaching drives behaviors drives results”. The best of the best don’t view coaching as an activity, but rather the vehicle to transform the performance of the center.

Building a culture of coaching requires development of front line leaders’ skills on-the-job, not in the classroom. Learning how to change behaviors (not just “coach”) to drive front line buy-in and development requires a hands-on learning experience. Effective coaching to drive human behavior change is the critical link to sales & service transformation. The result is a management system that supports the right behaviors and reinforces a process from executive leadership to management to Agent – for their roles in leading & driving execution.


Easy First Step

  • Ask your Supervisors to document how much time they spend coaching Agents each day for one week, if is less than 50% of their daily activity, begin removing non-coaching related activities

5. Rigorously Use Data to Inspect & Measure

Using data and facts to guide where change is needed, and to inspect progress, is foundational to a customer obsessed call center. Successful call centers equip front line leaders with the “science” of coaching, the capability to inspect diagnostically to determine cause and effect of individual Agent performance. Leveraging coaching related measurements (activity, topic, behavior focus) and Agent behavior trends enables a front line leader to quickly shift focus and target who to coach, how often and to which behavior for the most impact. Real-time diagnostic metrics enable executive leadership to inspect performance and make decisions about where to invest more time and money to translate into desired results, and ultimately ROI.

Easy First Step

  • Develop a rolling 3 month baseline of behavior trends, by Agent by behavior, and equip Supervisors with the data to inform individual coaching conversations

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