Best Practices

As you explore this site you will notice a common theme to our view of call centres. We see the call centre operation as a series of processes that need to work in harmony with each other. While any process can work in any given centre, it is the functionality and characteristics of a best practice (process) that can significantly improve the operations of a contact centre. Our goal in this section is to describe all aspects of the call centre business to our readers and provide a quick learning about processes that make the call centres work.

This section contains a description of each process and describes the characteristics of a best practice. In addition, to strengthen call centre business insights the relationship of each process to other call centre processes is described. Typically, the strongest relationships are to the other processes within the same contact centre pillar (see below).

To add value to your visit each process topic ends with “What’s in it for me?”

Core Best Practices

These best practices are the basic processes required if one is to be in the call centre business. The goals of each best practice are operational excellence, maximizing process efficiency and effectiveness to a benchmark level. These goals align with the call centre strategy developed by PAG.

Value Add Best Practices

These best practices are the processes that leverage the unique position of a call centre so that it becomes a strategic asset. The goal of each best practice is to contribute in ways that add value to the company. This goal aligns with the call centre strategy developed by PAG.

Companies value contributions to:

  • Customer loyalty that drives profitability
  • Company learning that leads to innovation and growth
  • Professional partnerships that build strong relationships within the company

Call Centre Pillars

It is easier to understand call centre processes when they are grouped into logical entities referred to as pillars. Within a pillar, each process contributes to a common theme. Grouping gives context and aids comprehension of an individual process. These pillars remain consistent in both the “core” and “value add” best practice groups.

At PAG, we have identified 5 call centre pillars:

  • Business Processes deal with tasks executed by call centres to achieve business unit goals
  • Technology deals with automation of call centre activities from a user perspective
  • Human Processes deal with the capabilities and accountability of employees in the call centre
  • Strategy provides a sense of purpose for the call centre
  • Structure deals with the framework of the call centre

Where do Best Practices come from?

Best practices are discovered through investigation of processes behind superior results. Therefore, it is imperative to have confidence in the source of the best practice information before adopting the practice. At Pearl Advisory Group Inc, best practices have been developed by converging knowledge from multiple sources:

  • Operational expertise of PAG partners and call centre professionals.
    Processes were described by a group of professionals with over 100 years of combined call centre and customer care experience. Special attention was paid to “what worked” and “what didn’t”.
  • Best practices observed by PAG partners during call centre benchmarking studies.
    PAG partners have worked with prestigious benchmarking study partners such as USA Federal Government’s National Performance Review, IBM Canada, Lands’ End, Chemical Bank, Polaroid Corporation, MCI, Chase Manhattan Bank, Wisconsin Gas, Roger’s Communication, Royal Bank and Bell Canada.
  • Secondary research of best practice case studies in customer care.
    PAG partners continually review books, articles, benchmarking studies and web sites for new insights into the call centre business.
  • Continuous learning from PAG clients.
    What can we say? We learn a lot from our clients.