Five traits enable RCDA Consultants to drive desired contact center results

Hand-Rich-174By Rich Hand, RCDA Consultant

In contact centers, we strive to provide our clients and their employees and customers with an excellent experience. Our recent NPS score by a client affirms our methods work. The phrase “customer experience” is bantered around in board rooms, conference rooms and blogs. No organization worth a grain of salt isn’t committed to providing an excellent customer experience. But what does providing an excellent customer experience look like in our world at Robert C. Davis and Associates (RCDA)?

At RCDA, customer experience takes on many meanings. When we are working with a client, we provide the expertise and coaching needed for leadership and the agents representing the client’s product or service to deliver an excellent customer experience across the board for their customers. This takes specific skills and experience members of the RCDA team possess.

  • Great communication skills – In a way similar to how we staff contact centers with agents who can communicate effectively, we look for people who are masters of the language. Words mean things, and the way we say those words can make the difference when it comes to winning a sale, retaining a customer and driving an excellent customer experience. Inflection, tonality and the right words at the right time are what make the best agents the best at what they do. We believe if you are a master of the language, the experience is in sync with the people you are working with. It is not only he spoken word but also the written word. Contact center channels are diverse and require the ability to communicate effectively with customers via chat and e-mail. When we are working with clients, we are expected to deliver reports, analysis and information our clients need to make changes to their operations. If communication isn’t clear, it loses value and reflects negatively on the quality of work delivered. We all want to deliver excellence to our customers.
  • Active listener – We have a saying at RCDA. “When you’re listening, you’re learning.” We must learn about a contact center operations quickly to provide the right strategy and programs for our clients. By observing, asking questions and being experts at situational awareness, our speed to efficiency is lightning fast and allows our team to make recommendations almost immediately during a site visit. Often a client’s representative knows the general areas in need of improvement, and we have been 100% on target with our recommendations due to our experience, but it is more important that we listen rather than assume. Our team spends most of the time listening and asking questions. It is no surprise we are experts at getting agents, supervisors and operations managers to do the same in their roles. The results are amazing when we listen to our clients and ask them questions to learn more about the situation.
  • Ability to influence others – It makes no difference to anyone if you know what needs to be changed but can’t make the change. Changing behavior is critical to the success in a contact center. If an agent is doing the same thing on the phone over and over and the results are poor, what is needed to improve the results? The answer is a behavior change. In our roles, the task is often to make big cultural changes. If you don’t understand how to influence people to change, how can you be effective? Being able to influence change comes from a deep-seeded desire to genuinely help people be better at what they do. To help people be better at what they do, you need to demonstrate the behaviors you want to promote. We influence change by modeling the behaviors needed to be more effective. The RCDA team gets on the production floor and demonstrates the behaviors – one supervisor at a time, one operations manager at a time and one agent at a time if that’s what it takes. But nine times out of 10, the change becomes a wave of activity that generates a vision of what great looks like. And in our experience, everyone wants to be part of great!
  • Persistence with a purpose – The easiest thing to do is to give up. If agents try a new behavior once and it doesn’t work, they often give up. When supervisors coach agents, we often hear them say, “I have told them I want them to sell more.” The first question is always, “How many times have you demonstrated and coached the agent on the behaviors needed to be a better sales person?” You can guess the answer. Once is never enough when we are talking about behavioral change in the contact center. We coach the client’s teams to create a plan that schedules coaching and focuses on a development plan consistently and permanently. Getting site leaders to stay on plan is a challenge, as most contact centers thrive on chaos. RCDA changes that “addiction” to a proactive approach toward coaching and a floor management strategy. We couldn’t accomplish this without team members who are persistent.
  • Being empathetic – The most effective leaders understand the importance of putting themselves in the other person’s shoes. The agent’s ability to empathize with customers is often the difference between saving and losing them. Knowing what the client is up against and understanding how frustrating making changes can be is a critical quality at RCDA. Our team members have been in the shoes of the agent, supervisors and managers. However, empathy should not be confused with sympathy or excuses. Change is difficult. Knowing it is hard is one thing. Knowing change must happen leads to being able to create the vision of where to go and how to get there. Understanding a client’s frustration helps us develop the plan that can work for their specific organization. When we work with agents, we share our experience and empathize with the difficulty of changing behavior, leading to credibility and positive change.

Many characteristics are important to our organization (honesty, adaptability, a positive attitude and critical thinking for example). These are desired characteristics in your contact center as well.

Being able to provide an excellent customer experience is what drives the team at RCDA. It is the genuine desire to help others to do what they know they should be doing. By modeling the behaviors that create a great culture in the call center environment, our team members practice what they preach. We challenge each other consistently to keep our skills sharp. We spend little time in a conference room. Our culture centers upon integrating with the floor leaders, rolling our sleeves up and modeling, coaching and repeating.

To learn more about the RCDA team, please visit