Off Center
This week being the one-year anniversary of the launch of my ebook, Full Contact, I thought it would be fun to share the book’s Introduction, which is far too well-written to only be enjoyed by the six people who have actually purchased Full Contact.

(Don't miss the special offer at the end of this post. It's especially special.)

In high school, I was voted “Most likely to write a top-selling ebook on contact center best practices”. It was a peculiar honor, especially since I graduated high school years before either ebooks or the term “contact center” had even been invented. My senior class was a prophetic lot.

Of course, such a lofty and obscure prediction places a lot of pressure on a person. Throughout college I wondered if I would ever live up to the expectations of my peers. At my university there were no classes or study groups on contact center practices; no dean of Customer Management. I tried to engage my college friends in contact center-related conversations, but they all felt that frat parties and frisbee were more important than first-call resolution.

Feeling that college ill-prepared me to fulfill my ebook destiny, I took a job as an agent for an insurance contact center right after graduating in 1991. However, I soon found that having to adhere to schedule in a cramped cubicle nine hours a day left little time for me to discover best practices or to write.

Things started to look more promising when I secured a job as an editorial assistant with ICMI in June of 1994. The fact that I didn’t have much contact center experience or knowledge didn’t bother ICMI founder Gordon MacPherson; he had been looking for somebody with good writing skills and a fiery ambition whom he could shape and mold. When he read on my resume that I had been voted “Most likely to write a top-selling ebook on contact center best practices” back in high school, he knew that I had what it took to become a top-notch editor for their pioneering publication of the time, Service Level Newsletter.

I learned a ton in my editorial position at ICMI. Gordon – and later, Brad Cleveland – enthusiastically taught me the key principles of contact center management. I got to interview top experts the world over and write articles and research reports on the most pressing issues, biggest challenges and hottest trends facing contact center professionals. Over my 16 years at ICMI I learned about and witnessed first-hand the most effective practices with regard to workforce management, metric selection, quality monitoring, customer satisfaction measurement, customer relationship management, agent hiring and retention, email/chat management, IVR and web-self service, outsourcing, home agents, and a lot more. I learned how to say key contact center management terms like “shrinkage” and “Erlang” without giggling, and was able to memorize over 700 industry acronyms without the aid of performance enhancing drugs.  You name it, I wrote about it, conducted research on it, and – eventually – spoke about it at industry events.

But what I didn’t do while at ICMI is make my high school classmates’ prognostication become a reality. True, I have written well over 200 feature articles, nearly the same number of case studies, dozens of research reports and countless industry-related blurbs and bytes, but I have never written an ebook on contact center best practices.

Until now.

Full Contact is a composite of the most effective and innovative practices, processes, approaches, applications, strategies and initiatives – in what I consider to be the most critical areas of contact center management – that I have uncovered in my nearly two full decades as a researcher and journalist in the industry. The book contains not my opinions (though, yes, I do have a penchant for speaking my mind); rather it contains proven practices and tactics – those that separate the world-class contact center operations from those that merely get by, or don’t.

I realize that just because I have finally written an ebook doesn’t mean that I have lived up to my high school classmates’ expectations. After all, I wasn’t voted “Most likely to write an ebook on contact center best practices”; rather I was voted “Most likely to write a top-selling ebook on contact center best practices”.

Thus, I strongly encourage all of you to purchase multiple copies, and to persuade your colleagues to do the same. Rave about this ebook online. Tweet and blog about it. Give it as a gift for birthdays and holidays, or simply to show that special somebody in your life that you care enough to want to help them learn how to accurately forecast contact volume and schedule accordingly to achieve a strategically chosen service level objective. That’s love.  

Then and only then will I be able to attend my upcoming 25th high school reunion with my head held high.

Warm Regards,
Greg Levin

Get Full Contact at Half Price. From now until next Friday (Nov. 11), I’m offering Full Contact at 50% off the regular price. The discount code is fc1111 – be sure to use it when you stop by the gift shop on the way out:

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