Off Center
Some of the most interesting news in the contact center industry often goes unreported. Below are a few recent stories you probably haven’t heard about – and not because I completely made them up. Customer care is far too important to ever joke about.

Manager Braves Twister to Save Customer Relationships

A contact center manager for the 8th National Bank of Kansas received the Congressional Medal of Honor for her bravery when a destructive tornado ripped through her contact center last week.

While all the center’s agents and supervisors sought shelter under workstations and ACD reports, Ann Belnick – facing winds of 80 mph without regard for her own safety or the skirt she was wearing – proceeded to take customer calls until she emptied the queue. She answered 152 calls in 20 minutes with a quick yet informative message: “Really windy! Can’t talk now! Try again later!”

When asked about her unheralded act of courage, Belnick, who still seemed a bit bewildered when interviewed, simply clicked her heels and said, “There’s no place like home,” and then took a long nap. While she is being viewed as a hero by most, some agents in her contact center feel that her “fearless” actions were just a ploy to dramatically reduce the center’s Average Handle Time results.  

Study Shows Color Choice in Contact Centers Can Spell the Difference Between Relaxation and Violent Assault

A study conducted by Brown University has revealed that certain colors can have a calming effect on contact center employees. The study revealed that such colors as pink, yellow and burgundy can reduce stress in the contact center, provided they are not worn together in an outfit.

Other colors were found to cause aggression. For example, agents working in a sky blue contact center were overheard saying such things as, “The mutiny is near!” and “Monitor THIS!” while throwing sharpened pencils at pictures of their supervisors.

According to the study, colors such as green and orange seemed to have no measurable effect on employees, as agents working in centers featuring these colors proceeded with their normal behavior – answering calls, logging customer complaints, and cutting themselves with straightened paper clips.

Dr. Susan Moody of Brown University led the study, but when asked to comment on the findings she simply growled, “I hate your navy blue blazer!” and punched the reporter in the neck.

Agent Inmates at Prison Contact Center Get Unruly

Yesterday in Cheyenne, Wyoming, prison inmates who handle calls for a travel company rioted for six hours, claiming it was cruel and unusual punishment to make incarcerated individuals help people make vacation plans.

One inmate agent complained, “It’s (expletive deleted) torture being stuck behind these (expletive deleted) bars, answering 70 (expletive deleted) phone calls a day from (expletive deleted) people whose biggest concern is whether their hotel in Paris or Rome offers free wi-fi.”

Prison guards were able to subdue the inmates before any serious damage or injuries occurred; however, the warden reported that call abandonment skyrocketed while the inmate agents were storming the front gate. 

If you would like to read more news stories like these… what’s wrong with you? Wouldn’t your time be better spent reading my ebook on best practices in contact center management?