Contact center training with proven results

The Challenge of Using Personality Profiles to Serve Customers

Personality profile training has been around for decades, yet the application of this psychology-based practice continues to vex and perplex managers, especially those leading contact center operations. Tap into the wisdom of the frontline in this thought-provoking read from Dina Vance. While Dina has been a senior executive in the contact center industry for over 20 years, she remembers with great clarity her experience as a front-line contact center representative

Call Center Times, September 5th, 2017
Featuring Dina Vance, Senior Vice President, Managing Director North America, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

How to Help Reps Deliver a World-Class Customer Experience

Ronnell Lovings, Senior Market Business Support, Call Strategy Facilitator and Coach from Florida Blue, offers best practices and tips for transforming a technically-focused call center into one that delivers a memorable, world-class customer experience. As an esteemed client of Ulysses Learning, Ronnell, offers a unique blend of perspectives with his extensive experience and proven track record in both learning and development, as well as business and call center customer service operations. Ronnell holds a Six Sigma Black Belt certification and is a recipient of the University of North Florida Excellence in Employee Development award.

Call Center Times, August 1st, 2017
Featuring Ulysses Learning Client, Ronnell Lovings, Senior Market Business Support and Call Strategy Facilitator at Florida Blue Learn More >>

What Your Supervisors are Afraid to Tell You About Employee Engagement

Carol Troxell, Business Analyst, Senior Care Division at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, helps Ulysses tackle a topic that (surprisingly) impacts many contact centers, but is not typically discussed at executive roundtables – supervisor engagement. Carol has more than 30 years of experience in Customer Service and supervision and is a highly respected Master Coach. Her perspective is invaluable

Call Center Times, July 3rd, 2017
By Carol Troxell, Business Analyst, Senior Care Division at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and
Dina Vance, Senior Vice President, Managing Director North America, Ulysses Learning
Learn More >>

How to Create Even Greater Prosperity and Prominence for Your Contact Center

Read what Vince Pepper, Director of Customer Operations Support at one of the nation’s leading energy companies and longtime client of Ulysses Learning, has to say on how you can create even greater prosperity and prominence for contact centers today.

With over 30 years in the customer service and contact center space, Vince has seen our industry grow from its humble beginnings into one of the most sophisticated, high-stakes, and must-have businesses of today. Always the pragmatic visionary, we think you’ll enjoy reading Vince’s insights.

Call Center Times, June 1st, 2017
By Vince Pepper, Director of Customer Operations Support, DTE Energy Learn More >>

How to Keep Your Metrics Moving in the Right Direction

……It's not enough, and dare I say, it can be downright dangerous to share your data with CSRs and tell them they have to hit a certain number (or numbers). I know this because for 16 years I worked with contact centers around the world to benchmark their performance internally, as well as externally, comparing their data to their peer groups. As you probably already know, ultimately, the goal of good benchmarking is to better understand the customer experience and what is needed to improve that experience going forward. What I learned is that getting and sharing the data is only part of the equation, how the data is understood and acted upon at the point of customer contact matters most. he short answer to this question is that you need to start sharing very specific communications (both in writing and verbally) with everyone on your team right away. At the minimum, your people must have a clear understanding of these key questions...

Call Center Times, May 1st, 2017
By Sarah Kennedy, Senior Client Development Consultant, Canadian Operations, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

How to Best Introduce FCR to Your Agents

…The short answer to this question is that you need to start sharing very specific communications (both in writing and verbally) with everyone on your team right away. At the minimum, your people must have a clear understanding of these key questions...

Call Center Times, April 3rd, 2017
By Dina Vance, Senior Vice President, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

How to Become an Omni-Channel Customer Service Provider

……I think the challenge that we have, particularly with folks close to the contact center industry but not necessarily in the industry, is that there is some confusion between a multi-channel and omni-channel customer experience. As I mentioned, omni-channel is a newer concept. Oftentimes, people like to focus on what’s new without having a true or deeper understanding of it. They may talk about an omni-channel experience but what they really have is a multi-channel experience. There is a distinct difference between offering customers access to multi-channels – whether it be phone, Email, some SMS texting, or other self-serve options – and offering them a truly seamless omni-channel customer service experience where all the various channels are tied together…

Call Center Times, March 1st, 2017
By Ulysses Learning client, Rob Gofourth, VP of Operational Strategy and Performance at BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina Learn More >>

Best Agent Metrics That Drive Efficiency While Upholding a Positive Customer Experience

…If you really want to send the right message to agents, have them focus on the customer experience…and that’s it. And have your managers focus on the customer experience, as well as all other measures that matter most in your contact center.

I’m not saying that other business measures or areas of focus should not matter to your reps. They should. It’s just I have found that it can be very dangerous to have reps focus on measures other than the customer experience. Rarely does it work out well for the contact center. Having been a frontline manager, I can tell you it can cause numerous business disruptions, poor morale, and many, many, many sleepless nights…

Call Center Times, February 1st, 2017
By Dina Vance, Senior Vice President and Sarah Kennedy, Senior Client Development Consultant, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

How to Turnaround Call Center Morale Fast…For the Better

Before beginning anything, I would exam to see if any trigger pops up as to why the morale began to decrease. Was there a layoff? Did a very well respected leader retire or change jobs? Is the company going through a merger or acquisition, or possibly a takeover? You mentioned that it is a contact center team – and, in which case, have they been burdened with excessive workloads for an extended period of time? If the time frame can be isolated, and then from there isolate a cause of the decline, the senior management team has place to begin…

Call Center Times, January 2nd, 2017
By guest expert Gregg Gregory, Founder, Teamrocks.com and Dina Vance, Senior Vice President, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Should AHT be a key performance indicator at the customer service representative level?

With over 25 years’ experience in running domestic and international contact center environments, average handle time is a misnomer as related to performance or contact center metrics. Organizations that focus on average handle time or even attempt to balance average handle time are missing the point of customer service and relationship management…

Call Center Times, December 1st, 2016
By guest expert Steven Kramer, Senior VP of Operations, Newbridge Telecom Solutions and Dina Vance, Senior VP, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Driving Performance through Reward and Recognition

According to recent studies published by Gallup, only 30% of employees are actively engaged in their job and disengaged workers cost the United States between $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity. In addition, the disengaged workforce is more likely to negatively influence their co-workers, miss workdays, and drive customers away. Given this information, the question becomes what can be done to increase employee engagement and motivation?

Call Center Times, October 25th, 2016
By Dina Vance, Senior Vice President, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Unlocking Emotional Intelligence (EQ) to Improve Judgment at Work

Aristotle once said, “Anyone can become angry - that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way; that is not easy.” Substitute any emotion for the word “angry,” and the same is true. Many have experienced how emotions can get in the way of making good decisions, but may not realize emotional intelligence is the key for individuals and organizations to keep a competitive advantage in order to rapidly respond to change and maintain a motivated and talented workforce.

Call Center Times, September 2016
By Anne Nickerson, Vice President, Client Advocate, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

The Evolution of a Coach: Holding the keys to success

As a leader and coach, you have the ability to make an amazing impact to draw out the talents of your representatives and other coaches that were previously hidden within each individual. The investment of your time, efforts, and expertise are critical to maintain energy within your organization. Over time, however, there's also opportunity and methods for you to evolve your own skills to continue the dynamic process of unceasingly delivering the best possible customer experience.

Call Center Times, August 2016
By Anne Nickerson, Vice President, Client Advocate, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Quality is Never an Accident

Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "Quality means doing it right when no one is looking." Applying this thought to customer contact centers means that quality is woven into the fabric of an organization's culture. This quote also suggests that quality is everyone's responsibility rather than nestled in the QA Department or QA Manager. The challenge is, how do we accomplish this?

Call Center Times, July 2016
By Dina Vance, Senior Vice President, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

The Power of Voice Tone-Conveying the Right Message

Perhaps when you were younger, you knew you were in trouble when your parent said, “Don’t use that tone of voice with me, mister!” In a contact center, voice tone conveys 80% of our message, especially when we don’t have body language to augment our intention or meaning. As important as it is to pay attention to our words, it is how we say it that ultimately conveys our intended message.

Call Center Times, May 2016
By Dina Vance, Senior Vice President, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Feedback Is A Gift - Are You Giving Enough?

Providing feedback is critical to successful communication and employee support for every call center manager. Our research and experience indicates that a balance of feedback, including a combination of monthly one-on-one’s, immediate coaching after a call, quality reviews and silent monitoring encourages employees to grow in their job. There are several important characteristics for feedback to be effective.

Call Center Times, May 2016
By Anne Nickerson, Vice President, Client Advocate Learn More >>

Judgment@Work - Customer Conversations and First Call Resolution

We make judgments every day throughout the day when confronted with caller concerns, all of which impact our customer’s experiences. To ensure First Call Resolution (FCR), using past experiences enables good judgment which is imperative for high quality customer conversations. To make good judgments (decisions) we need to understand WHY we make certain decisions.

Call Center Times, March 2016
By Dina Vance, Senior Vice President, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Contact Center Training - Why E-Learning Works to Build Better Decision Makers

Building competencies in an ever-changing customer-centric organization is a continuous challenge for training personnel, because demanding customers require a heightened level of decision-making from customer service associates.

Call Center Times, February 2016
By Anne Nickerson, Vice President, Client Advocate, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Contact Center Training - Key training insights and practical pointers from the experts

As more organizations turn to customer experience as a competitive differentiator, contact centers must ensure that staff at all levels and functions are fully prepared to drive customer-centric goals.

Contact Center Pipeline Special Report, April 2015
with Dina Vance, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing/Managing Director of North American Operations, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Change Employee Habits Through Better Communication

If we don’t explain why we’re asking employees to make a change and then tell them  how to make the change, it’s likely our organization won’t see the changes we seek.

Dina Vance
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing/Managing Director of North American Operations, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Building an Efficient and High‐Performing Team

When trying to see the forest from the trees, it’s important to remember that the key to call center success is to “hire  them right, train them right and manage them right,” which is a mix of the strategic and tactical.  

Dina Vance
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing/Managing Director of North American Operations, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Yes, FCR continues to be a leading indicator for call center performance in 2013

First call resolution (FCR) continues to be a leading metric to gauge the effectiveness of contact centers and how loyal your customers are to your organization. As you know, FCR is typically defined as the percentage of customer calls that are resolved on the first try.

Dina Vance
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing/Managing Director of North American Operations, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Learn how to build a better workforce in Dina Vance's article that ran in ICMI's Call Center Insider

It comes down to building a better workforce and empowering them to make better decisions through strategic training and coaching. In short, the key to improving customer experience at the contact center-level is the trifecta of better recruiting, training and managing.

Dina Vance
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing/Managing Director of North American Operations, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Managing and Motivating a Multi-Generational Workforce in the Contact Center

Think back to your first job. If you’re a Gen X or older like me, it’s likely that hard work is simply a fact of life.

Dina Vance
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing/Managing Director of North American Operations, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Improving Quality Measurement and the Overall Customer Experience Means Moving Into the Gray

Today, savvy organizations realize that providing a better customer experience is what is going to set them apart and give them the competitive edge. In order to keep improving this customer experience, it has to be monitored, measured and coached, which is the basis for strong quality management.

Larry Willart
Vice President of Performance Development, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Ulysses Learning VP Discusses Role of Smart Grid and Voice of the Customer

The smart grid is one of the most prominent hot topics these days, so much so that the Smart Grid Summit EXPO East 2011 is sure to demonstrate some pretty ingenious developments for the coming year.

Juliana Kenny
TMCnet Web Editor Learn More >>

Doing More with Less in the Contact Center

This is the first in a series of articles exploring key issues focusing on key issues facing contact centers in 2010.

Dina Vance
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing/Managing Director of North American Operations, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Performance Leadership Series: Improving Performance at Harris Bank

A team approach helped change workflow and improve the customer experience! Read all about it here.

Dina Vance
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing/Managing Director of North American Operations, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Seizing the Day in a Down Economy

A panel discussion about how others are surviving - and thriving - in 2009. Today's economy has taken a toll on Contact Centers. This discussion with Contact Center directors from multiple industries highlights what to stay focused on.

Dina Vance
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing/Managing Director of North American Operations, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Working Smarter, Not Harder as a Contact Center Manager: Five Ways to Enhance Your Performance

What distinguishes good contact center managers from great ones? This article provides five ways to ensure success as a contact center leader.

Dina Vance
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing/Managing Director of North American Operations, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

The Changing Face of Training - Doing More with Less

Today's economic conditions are forcing organizations to reduce expenditures in a number of areas. Contact centers are no exception. How do you ensure your training budget is seen by executives as an essential investment in your contact center's success?

Mark W. Brodsky
President & CEO, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Improving the Effectiveness of Call Monitoring

Call centers are expending a tremendous amount of time, effort and money on call recording and monitoring. But what is the best use of that information to create a better customer experience?

Dina Vance
Senior Vice President, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Taking Agent Training Beyond The Classroom

Joe Fleischer, editor of ICMI's Customer Management Insight interviews Ulysses Learning's President & CEO, Mark W. Brodsky about how companies can link training to call center agents' overall professional development to help ensure their top performance over the long-term.

Joe Fleischer
Editor,ICMI's Customer Management Insight Learn More >>

Off-shoring call centers: A huge cost savings or one of the biggest expenses your company will ever face

How to ensure international call center success through best practices in hiring, training and management.

Mark W. Brodsky and Dina Vance
Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

Making Sense of On-Demand Learning in Contact Centers Today

On-Demand Learning holds the promise of improving workforce performance and productivity. Done correctly, it can arm employees with powerful "just in time" skill and knowledge reinforcement. Mark W. Brodsky examines this emerging trend and identifies best practices for leveraging this learning methodology in the contact center environment.

Mark W. Brodsky
President & CEO, Ulysses Learning Learn More >>

How to Exceed Your Contact Center's Annual Financial Goals (Part 3 of 3)

On-Demand Learning holds the promise of improving workforce performance and productivity. Done correctly, it can arm employees with powerful "just in time" skill and knowledge reinforcement. Mark W. Brodsky examines this emerging trend and identifies best practices for leveraging this learning methodology in the contact center environment.

Cheryl O'Donoghue
Learn More >>

How to Exceed Your Contact Center's Annual Financial Goals (Part 2 of 3)

This is the second in a series of three articles focusing on the success of the contact center team at Harris, N.A., a Chicago-based financial services provider ($38.3 billion in assets and part of the BMO Financial Group with $282 billion in assets).The Harris contact center exceeded all its 2006 performance goals early in the fourth quarter using a well conceived and executed performance improvement plan built on a solid foundation of trust. Also in 2006, the Harris team received industry recognition when they were named the “2006 Center of Excellence” in which they were rated #1 against 17 other large, U.S. financial services companies.

Cheryl O'Donoghue
Learn More >>

How to Exceed Your Contact Center's Annual Financial Goals (Part 1 of 3)

I recently had an opportunity to interview Hilde Betts, SVP in charge of the Harris, N.A. contact center operation...and a longtime client of Ulysses Learning, a leading sales, service and coaching training company based outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. Harris, N.A. is a Chicago-based financial services group with $38.3 billion in assets (its parent company is BMO Financial Group with $282 billion in assets).

Cheryl O'Donoghue
Learn More >>

Contact Professional Interviews Ulysses Learning's Dina Vance

Rhonda Proctor
Editor, Contact Professional Magazine Learn More >>

Contact Center Research Report on e-Learning Best Practices

To date, little, if any original research has been conducted on the use of e-Learning to improve contact center performance...until now.

Ulysses Learning
Learn More >>

Case Studies