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Process Management

By specifying individual and organizational responsibilities, process management ensures that support center personnel can be consistently professional when dealing with diverse customers and their wide- ranging issues.

Defining the procedures

In the context of a support center, process management means that a Customer Service Representative (CSR) should have a defined response to an array of customer queries, and that these defined responses can be used repeatedly to deal with customers on an ongoing basis to ensure consistency of service.

Defining the procedures to be followed allows the performance of each CSR to be measured and refinements made. Process management is usually defined in documentation, which specifies the actions that should be taken in certain situations and the people responsible.

For example, a process management document might be entitled “Common Customer Complaints and Recommended Responses.” Such a document would provide guidelines for responding to common customer complaints that the CSR is likely to encounter while on the job.

The CSR implements process management when dealing with a customer by following the steps outlined in such a document. When process management is implemented correctly, it can boost support center performance over both the short and long term. These improvements include:

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Your Energy Cycle

Until you examine how you spend your time now, you can’t plan to save time or manage the time that you have more effectively. The different methods for recording how you spend your time fit into four general categories.

You may choose to use one, or a combination, of the following methods:

  • Time logs — Time logs are used to record the amount of time spent on various activities. If you work on one or several projects and must keep track of the amount of time you spend, then a time log is a good method. For the purposes of recording internal costs, or charging clients, you may use a simple time sheet to log the date, the activity, and the time spent.
  • Calendars — Calendars are used to coordinate the various activities of an individual over a period of time. It is useful for planning ahead, and keeping track of all of your appointments. However, unless you also use it retrospectively to log time spent on each activity, it may not be so useful for helping you to identify how you spend the majority of your time.

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Where Agendas Meet Results

After outlining the purpose and objectives of your meeting and deciding who you want there, you need to create an agenda. A meeting is only as good as its agenda. So what are the ingredients of an effective agenda?

A well-planned agenda includes only items relevant to the meeting objectives, with a realistic amount of time for each one listed in a logical sequence. Typically, an agenda includes the topics, speakers, and schedule.

How do you create the perfect agenda for your meeting?

Decide length of the meeting

First up — decide on the length of the meeting. Think about the main points you want to cover. For example, you’re planning a meeting to discuss your company’s revamped online ordering and billing processes — what’s changed, why, and the intended effects of the changes.

You expect to spend an hour on the first item, and fifteen minutes on each of the next two, including discussion. And so you set aside one and a half hours for the meeting. As you can see, listing the agenda items goes hand in hand with establishing the meeting length.

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Measuring Performance

Suppose you’ve identified and listed all the problems that your team is encountering. And suppose you’ve worked out the priorities among these problems.

Taking the appropriate action

The next question is, how do you know if your team is taking the appropriate action on these priorities? You need to measure your team’s performance on priorities.

An effective system of performance measurement gets your team to focus on the tasks that further your company’s goals, rather than tasks that appear most urgent.

Evaluating your team members improves their decision-making abilities. Without clear data, your team members may make poor choices based on personal opinions. Evaluating their performance, however, will help them to make decisions based on objective criteria.

Measuring performance also creates accountability. Simply put, accountability is responsibility that’s measurable. Measurement is needed if you are to determine whether what’s supposed to have been done has been done.

Measurement is also important because it facilitates feedback. Your team members depend on accurate feedback so they can know whether their efforts are having a positive impact.

By providing objective feedback based on measurement, you can give your team direction so that it stays on track to accomplish its goals.

Measuring performance enables you to pinpoint your team’s strengths and weaknesses. It also allows you to make changes if improvements are necessary.

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