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Thanks Dan but do you have the Contact Center metrics for BPOs?

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments


I’ll never forget it.

After a quality coaching class with a group of Team Leaders in the shared services group of a bank, one of the Participants sent me this email –

“Dan, I loved the course. I learned how to better coach my people. And I appreciated that you shared the high level metrics we can use to track progress. 

But as you know, I work in a BPO setting. So those metrics don’t work for us.

Can you send me the metrics for BPOs?”

But there aren’t different metrics for BPOs


There aren’t different metrics for BPOs than for an in-house Center.

A Contact Center is a Contact Center.  Whether BPO or in-house.

Even those places that still don’t want to call themselves a Contact Center – but actually often are.

The pool of operational Contact Center metrics is well understood.

What differs from Center to Center are the decisions around which metrics are selected, prioritized and pursued.

  • In some Centers, the metric set choices are tangibly more Customer Experience oriented.
  • In some Centres, the metric set choices are tangibly more cost or efficiency oriented.  (And to say that the BPO Participants in this particular workshop were pummeled into efficiency wouldn’t be an exaggeration.)
  • In some Centers, there are metrics choices that are just plain wrong from an operational standpoint. Even today when the Contact Center ecosystem is well understood.

But whatever these metric choices are – recognize that they represent one of the single most important decisions you will ever make.

As shared by a Customer Experience thinker some years back, people do what is measured, incentivized and celebrated.

And when you’re talking about Agents, Team Leaders & Team Managers, metrics are very top of mind.

These metrics – the ones that have been selected, prioritized and pursued – dramatically influence the mindset & performance of the people in your Center.

To the point where they – including the Participant who emailed me – believe that the way your Center works is just how it is across the entire Contact Center industry.

That the way you do things in your Center is the industry standard.

Without realizing that the Center down the road or three floors up in the same office tower, has different strategies & priorities than you do.

And, as a result, has chosen a different metrics set.


You have to know what your doing

People don’t go to school to become professionals in the Contact Center or Customer Experience industry.

Many learn on the job – from people who also learned on the job.

What I’ve personally seen over and over is when a new ‘big boss’ comes in and realizes that the level of strategic Contact Center know-how in the current Team isn’t sufficient to achieve organizational business objectives.

So they set about to change that.

The choices around metrics takes know-how, thought and contextualization to your Customer & Business ecosystem.

  • Don’t just copy what someone else is doing.
  • Don’t rely on non-existent or irrelevant industry standards.
  • Don’t pursue the same things year after year without stopping to ask yourself why and if what you’re doing makes sense.

When I teach Operations Management work through all the metrics in easy to understand categories.

From there we begin to pull together the interrelationships that exist between metrics in the Center and even metrics for the Organization.

And perhaps my favorite part is when the Participants get together in groups and talk about how and why they’d design their Center metrics system. Based on everything they’ve learned up to this point.

The selection of metric sets for your Center is one of the most decisions you’ll ever make.

Because your choices have far reaching impact on the business results you will achieve.

And on the lives of the Employees & Customers that you serve.

It can’t get more important than that.


Thank you for reading!

Thank you for taking the time to read this today.

If you’d like to stay up to date on our articles, activities and offers just drop us your email address or add it to the contact form on our website.

Daniel Ord

[email protected] / www.omnitouchinternational.com


The DACH Customer Excellence Awards – a superb event!

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

No matter who you are, what you do or where you work, being recognized matters

I watched the Oscar Awards this year.

And there on the stage are some of the most successful people on the planet.  And yet when they win the Oscar they kind of lose it – in a good way.

Tears, joy, expressions of gratitude.

And those emotions aren’t limited to televised stages in Los Angeles or New York.

No matter where I’ve attended any great Awards event the emotions are real and deep.

Because people work so hard.

And to have a chance to show that, talk about what they’re proud of and perhaps be recognized in a formal way – is very powerful.

Which is just one of the reasons I’m proud that my company sponsors the DACH Customer Excellence Awards.

These awards celebrate meaningful Customer Excellence initiatives by organizations that are based in, operate in or serve the DACH Region – comprised of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The 4th year of the DACH Customer Excellence Awards & Summit was held on 13th October 2023 in Wiesbaden Germany and here’s what I saw that reinforced my pride and commitment to this event.


The Quality of the Finalists

The quality of the Finalist entries is the absolute fundamental mark of a credible and effective Awards program.

So when the Judges across the board tell us how impressed they’ve been with the quality of the Finalists it matters.

Here are just a few quotes from this year’s Judges:

“One of my entries even showed some great numbers that prove the impact and showed how employee satisfaction is driving customer satisfaction, loyalty, renewal and up-selling. That’s the evidence we need to ensure necessary investments into EX and CX are signed off by senior management and show some real ROI.”  Judge’s comment

“Couldn’t have said it better,  it was a great event with impressive cases.”  .”  Judge’s comment

Brilliant entry! I loved the innovation! The drive to make life easy for the customers and employees alike!” Judge’s comment

“I fully support your summary of the DACH Customer Excellence Awards. And like to add the importance of Customer Centric Culture and the MAGIC the Italian Team showed us.” Judge’s comment


The Quality of the Judges

And interestingly, Judges tell us that it matters to them who else is judging and the level of conversation that naturally takes place among the Judges themselves.

“The level of the conversations I had with the other Judges was remarkable. During the judging process and afterwards at the coffee breaks and at the Gala dinner.”  Judge’s comment


The Quality of the Event

These people make a commitment in time and money to participate.

So what they have to say about their experience including what they learned, who they got to meet and how much fun they had is the cornerstone of how we move forward year on year.

Here are just a few quotes from this year’s Winners, Finalists & Judges:

“A fantastic day made even better by the outstanding keynote speakers and the wealth of knowledge & passion shared by all participants!”   Judge’s comment

“Extra shout out to Marcus von Kloeden for the perfect organisation and the opera singers during the Awards dinner that were the icing on the cake of a successful event.”   Judge’s comment

Congratulations – Marcus, Daniel, and team – on yet another amazing award celebration, recognizing the whole CX industry. The contribution you are making cannot be overestimated and is testament to both of your passion for customer centricity! Thank you for all the effort you put into this event!  Partner, Customer Institute


Experience and a commitment to the industry

The Founder of the DACH Customer Excellence Awards, Marcus von Kloeden, has years of experience organizing events including training programs, conference events and even art gallery receptions.

And that experience showed in everything from how the event was structured – including lots of time for people to meet, chat and relax – to having opera singers roam the floor throughout the cocktail reception & gala dinner event.

And in the spirit of think globally and act locally, the suppliers and providers for the Event ranging from the florists to the crafters of the handmade Awards trophies, are all local small businesses.


The Mission of the Awards

Not all Awards programs are created equal.  Anyone who’s been around the Customer industry for a while knows this.

With some Awards, it seems like there’s an army of salespeople who descend to hound people into joining.

Or Customer Excellence isn’t the main focus of the Awards program – but a slight add on to other categories of Awards that are all kind of jumbled together into one event.

The mission of the DACH Customer Excellence Awards is different. Here it is:

By CX Experts, with CX Experts, for CX Experts

That’s not just a tagline – it’s a way of working. A touchstone.

Everyone involved in creating, organizing and running the DACH Customer Excellence Awards are ‘Customer people’ themselves.

So there’s a deep & innate understanding about what Customer people deserve when they invest their time & resources into such an event.

In last year’s event one of our Judges flew in from Amman Jordan, with many others coming in from Switzerland, the Netherlands and from all over Germany.

It’s a real commitment – and we honor that.


Thank you for reading!

To see the Winners for last year’s and previous year’s Awards and to learn more simply visit the DACH Customer Excellence Awards site at www.dach-cxa.com

The 2024 DACH Customer Excellence Awards is now open for participation & entry!

If you’d like to keep up to date with our posts and other information just send over your email address or update it in the contact form on our website.

Daniel Ord

[email protected]





Don’t make a bad decision in the name of a good outcome

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

Making a bad decision in the name of a good outcome – is still a bad decision

Read the following statements and see if you can identify the pattern:

“I know that transaction surveys should be short and sweet but this is a chance for our Marketing group to build relationship with Customers so we’re adding more questions.”

“I know that transactional NPS isn’t a good metric to use for individual Agents but I think it helps with Agent Engagement to share the good comments.”

“I know that measuring Agents on number of calls handled isn’t mathematically ideal but I think it helps us be cost efficient.”

Take a moment now to describe what you see in each of these examples.


Here’s how I describe it

In each example shared a good outcome was used to defend a bad decision.

Or put another way, a bad decision was forgiven in the name of a good outcome.

It helps with cost efficiency (the good outcome) to measure Agents on number of calls handled (the bad decision).

And invariably, the person who uses this approach will start off with, “I know that…”.

Which in a way makes it worse.


Notice how the conversation gets shut down

Notice how this kind of statement shuts the conversation down.

When someone says, “…because it will make us cost efficient.” it puts the Listener in a difficult position.

I mean who’s going to argue against cost efficiency? Or Agent engagement?  Or Customer relationship?  These are all good and important outcomes.

It can feel awkward to feel that you’re debating against a good outcome. Especially if this statement comes from the boss. Or an authority figure.

But you know it’s a bad decision.  So its worth digging in and exploring.


Here’s how I do it

Is the bad decision being put forward – the too long transaction survey, the transactional NPS question, the metric on # of Calls Handled – a significant lever that drives that good outcome?

You can’t just have an opinion.  Show me.

Use a Scatter diagram, an Ishikawa diagram, financial modelling. Basically use whatever tool or method fits the purpose.

But  show me how that bad decision truly contributes significant impact on that good outcome.

And if there’s a well document practice or principle that we’re not planning to follow tell me why it doesn’t apply to us.

For example # of Calls Handled as an Agent performance metric turns out not to be a big contributor to Cost Efficiency.

In fact that metric can potentially increase overall costs.



And what about the impacts on the ecosystem?

Now let’s turn our lens to the impacts on the ecosystem. Because the decisions we make don’t operate in isolation.

There are always impacts on other parts of the ecosystem.

And I’ve always thought of professionals working in Customer Experience & Service as ‘Custodians of the Customer Ecosystem’.

What are the ecosystem impacts of using # of Calls Handled as an Agent metric?

Well when you sit down and study it, Agents who are targeted on # of Calls Handled invariably shortchange Customers on Quality.

Either in the style or completeness of their response or both.

Is that a good thing?  Most Organizations would say no.

A shortchange in Quality is going to potentially increase our unnecessary repeat contacts figure.  Which in turn increases cost and reduces Service Level.

And it also hits our Customer Satisfaction outcomes which can result in more complaints to handle and an increase in Customer defections.

And let’s remember that Agents who are targeted on quantity often lose the chance to develop their quality.  To develop those powerful communication skills that can serve them throughout their lives.

The ecosystem impacts are significant – and need to be considered as part of the decision making process.




It can seem that I’m talking about a small thing here

Even I can see how this might be seen as nitpicking.  Or that it’s just a small thing.

But step back and consider.

It only takes only a few such decisions of the “I know it’s not good/right/great to do X but we do it to get Y” variety to ripple through the ecosystem and potentially do more harm than good.


Thank you for reading!

Thank you for the time you took to read this today!

If you’d like to stay up to date on our articles and other information just send over your email address or add it to the contact form on our website.

Daniel Ord

[email protected]


Cover photo by Happy Lee on Unsplash

How the Ruby Slippers and Contact Center Metrics intersect – a lesson from the Wizard of Oz

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments


I read a post recently, from a Contact Centre expert, that went like this: “In this new era are some of our Contact Center metrics outdated? Is it time to change our metrics to better reflect the new era?”

From there, the author went on to talk about the usual suspects – Average Handling Time, Customer Satisfaction, Employee Engagement and the like.

But what had specifically gotten my attention was the lead-in to the post. That we were somehow in a new era.

Which means that, by default, we had left an old era.

I’m not so sure that’s true.


Remember Dorothy and her Ruby Slippers in the ‘Wizard of Oz’?

Towards the end of that wonderful 1939 film, Glinda the Good Witch of the North tells Dorothy that she always had the power to go home.

All Dorothy ever had to do was tap her magical Ruby Slippers together three times and she’d be right back in Kansas.

If you’re wondering how that has anything to do with Contact Centres here’s my answer.

There is no old era or new era. We’ve always had the power to set the ‘right’ metrics.

Doing right by your Customers, Employees & Organization isn’t a new era idea.

Clients we’ve worked with had these discussions back in 2003, 2007, 2012…you get the point.

The understanding and ability to do the right thing for your Stakeholders has always been there.  It just hasn’t always been in fashion.

Or the people in charge at the time didn’t have the credibility or know-how to make the change.

These are different issues. Ones that aren’t driven by the era we’re in.


Do you have a Glinda Good Witch of the North on your Team?  I hope so.

Because what I’ve seen over and over is that the calibre of the Center – and by extension the calibre of organizational Customer Experience – is driven by the calibre of the leadership in charge.

People who bring ability, know-how and commitment. And where needed, credibility to make change.

So if you can, work for those people. Work where they work. Join their Team.

Because in the same way Dorothy could always have gone home, we can always do the right things for people.

And it sure makes life a lot better for everyone.


Thank you for reading!

I appreciate the time you took to read this today!

If you’d like to stay up to date on our articles and other information just send me your email address or input it into the contact form on our website.

Daniel Ord

[email protected]


Cover photo by Paulina Milde-Jachowska on Unsplash

Dear Trainers – engagement shouldn’t be the goal

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

Everywhere you go Trainers and the people that employ them talk about engagement.  But engagement shouldn’t be the goal.  Here’s why…

Engagement. It’s a word that you’ll hear Trainers, would be Trainers and Clients looking for Trainers all use.

Engage our people.

But when we’re talking about training, I think sometimes the bus stops too soon.

Engagement isn’t the goal.  It’s not the final destination.

Sure, it’s an integral part of the journey. It’s important.

But it’s not the goal.


Changing business results is the goal of (most) training

If it’s Customer Service training, then decide what your goal is.  Should repeat calls go down? Should Customer satisfaction go up?  Should Employee Attrition go down?

If it’s Contact Center management training, should Service Level improve? Should leadership reallocate where they spend time? Should metrics be redesigned?

If it’s Customer Experience Management training, should we help people pass a certification exam?  Should new listening posts be identified?  Should new rituals be designed?

One of my best work moments was when I was watching a global Customer Service Director share with their Team how their Organization’s business results had improved over the last year.

How X measurement had gone up, how Y measurement had gone down, and how the work of the people in that room had contributed to that success.

His opening was a superb lead in to the workshop that I was about to conduct. Because he specifically addressed business results.

He brought up engagement as well in his workshop introduction.  He told the group, “And believe me you’ll have fun with Dan.  I know because I was in this course before.”

And that was fine too.  It was a lovely compliment.

Engagement matters.  It’s just not the end goal.


Don’t think about engagement as the final destination. Engagement is expected.

If you as a Trainer struggle to bring a group of people to life, your opportunity to deliver business results will be negatively impacted.

No matter how valid or good your content is.

On the other hand, if you think that getting a room of people hyped up and excited without any meaningful change in behaviour and outcomes is ok, well that’s a different problem.

We’ve all seen those trainings where lots of people jump up and down. A few may even cry.

But the following week they’re all back at work doing everything exactly the same way they did before.

Nothing’s changed.

I’ve always called that hoo-ha training.

And the term is not not meant to be complimentary.

And finally, there are some training programs – such as CPR or life saving – that may not have a specific business result in mind – but which are considered important too.  It’s good to understand when that’s the case.


Engagement matters. But it’s expected.

If you’re a pianist, you can play with feeling.  If you’re a lawyer, you can articulate the merits of your case.

If you’re a Trainer, you can engage groups of people.  It’s expected.

Remember that your end goal is one of impact.  To change those business results.

Because that’s what really matters.


Thank you for reading!

I appreciate the time you took to read this today.

If you’d like to keep up to date with our articles and other information just leave your email address in the contact form on our website.  Or send it to me by email.

Daniel Ord

[email protected]



The London Tube Map and CX Strategy – a story

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this article I share the story of how a strategy session went off track, even amongst CX experts, and an approach that works better.

“This photo of the London Tube Map is so cool.” 

“It sure is, I think it would be a great guide to our work.”

“I think so too.  We can design our strategy in a way that fits into the map.”

I had been invited to sit in with a group of CX experts to design a learning curriculum for CX practitioners.

And after the introductions, that’s almost word for word how the conversation amongst the experts had kicked off.

There had been an earlier meeting that I’d missed and it was during that earlier meeting that the group had landed on the map of the London Tube system.

And had chosen it as their North Star to design a CX learning curriculum


But this was the wrong starting point

By falling in love with a clever image – and I’m sure we’re all guilty of this at some point in our career – the entire project had been derailed.

Because rather than an open, structured and embracing approach to strategy, the discussions became tethered to whether they fit into the London Tube map – or not.

And those discussions were going to miss out on the questions that mattered more.


I teach a lot of CX and Customer Service strategy and here’s a better approach

I teach a lot of strategy in our various CX and Customer Service workshops and here’s some content that my Participants have told me helped.

This is wisdom from USAA, recognized as one of the world’s most Customer-focused organizations.

And it’s a company I have personal experience with as I’m the child of a military family and a USAA Member since the age of 16.

Greg Marion, the VP of Enterprise Strategy at USAA, shared that there are 4 parts to a business strategy:

His 4 elements are remarkably clear:

  1. What is our Vision?
  2. Who do we serve? (The Who)
  3. How will we serve them? (The How)
  4. How will we track our progress along the way?  (The Metrics)

Of course there are lots of things going on within each element, but my intention here isn’t to dive down into a strategy workshop.

It’s to introduce a framework that ‘starts at the top’. Which is what I think the group of CX experts I was sitting with had not yet done.

So using the 4-element model I introduced a question  – what’s the vision for the learning and development curriculum you’re putting together for the industry?  If all your dreams come true what will that look like?

And before we get into the nitty gritties of courses and outlines, who do we serve?  Who are we writing this curriculum for?

Ok – now we know what our vision is and we know who we’re serving.  How will we serve them?  What’s our product?  What will the delivery or distribution mechanism be?  Are we serving folks the way they want to be served?

And finally, how will we know we’re successful?  Or that we’re on the right track and can adjust/readjust as needed?  That’s where metrics come in.

I’m a big fan of determining the metrics up front before we start the initiative.  Because then there’s real world alignment to our work.  As well as accountability for our work.


This approach can help 

Not only is this approach more structured.  It’s more ‘outside-in’.

Because we’re looking out to who we’re serving, how we plan to serve them and metrics of success that keep us accountable and on track.

Or put another way, we discussed the problem we solve and how we’re going to solve it for real people in the real world.

Imagine how much differently the conversation would have gone if the group of CX experts had used a strategic framework to guide the development of the learning and development curriculum.

As compared to designing around a pretty picture.


Thank you for reading!

If you’d like to keep up with our articles and other information just leave your email address in our contact form or visit me on LinkedIn!

Daniel Ord

[email protected]



Why Fortune Cookie Wisdom frustrates me and what you can do about it

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

Fortune Cookie Wisdom dilutes the impact you want to make when you present to an audience. Here’s what to do it about it.

When I was a kid we loved fortune cookies

When I was a kid growing up in Southern California, my parents would take us out to try all sorts of cuisine.

Perhaps a foreshadowing of my future life in Asia, I always enjoyed going out for Asian food.  And at the end of the meal, in many Chinese restaurants, we’d get tea and fortune cookies.

And we all loved the fortune cookies.  Less to eat I’d say, and more because of the fun in cracking the cookie open and reading what the future held.

If I got a particularly good fortune, I might fold it up and stick it in my wallet.

Like a little good luck charm.


But the fortune inside a Fortune Cookie isn’t all that useful

The fortunes that come inside the cookies are packed with buzzwords.

Fate, riches, longevity, health, love, career.  Maybe a word or two on lucky numbers or colours.

But what those fortunes aren’t is useful.

I mean how much practical advice can a fortune cookie hold?

Not much.


Fortune Cookie Wisdom

Years ago I was moderating a panel session at a big CX Event in Asia.

Hundreds of people were out in the audience. Eager to learn, to be entertained or, ideally, both.

One of the Panellists in our session grabbed his mic tightly and began to spout every single buzzword going at the time.

His share is still a blur in my mind.

But if I had to mimic what he said to the audience it sounded like this:

“We need to connect to our purpose and remember that CX = EX.  Only then can our vision accelerate and digitalization will reinvent our core culture. Unleashed, ROI will rise up and create tangible benefits for all Stakeholders with less friction and more delight.”

And on and on.

I wasn’t sure if he was running for office.  Or if his big bosses were seated somewhere out in the audience and it was important to make his company look good.

But I was sure that no one in that audience was learning anything from what was being said.

The share was so generic and so 5,000 feet in the air that it lacked any practicality or useful lessons.

And right there, on that stage, a new term struck me.

Fortune Cookie Wisdom!

Information. Not insight.


Your talk is supposed to be about your audience

I am convinced that the folks who take the time and effort to attend conferences, webinars and events crave practicality.  And I’m convinced that they crave honesty & vulnerability too.

If they could have easily googled what you told them then they’re probably not getting what they hoped for or needed.

My favourite Presenters, on any topic, share their experience on what worked and what didn’t work.

What they got right and what they got wrong.

What they did and what they would do differently if given the chance.

Presenters like these don’t just demonstrate depth.  They serve our human need to hear stories and learn from them.


There’s lots of Fortune Cookie Wisdom out there

As a Trainer, Speaker and Emcee, I spend a lot of time at events.  And there’s still a lot of Fortune Cookie Wisdom out there.

Lots of buzzwords, statistics that anyone can google (1 in 5 people will neve come back!) and case studies about places like Amazon, Southwest Airlines and the Ritz Carlton though the Presenter hasn’t personally worked with or for any of those brands.

Information not insight.

Insight drawn from personal stories, lessons learned, mistakes made, successes achieved, what to do (or what not to do) and why.

All the things I think an audience member deserves.

It doesn’t matter if you’re speaking for the the local Lions Club or you’re on a massive stage in a big city beamed to thousands.

When you’re invited to present to an audience you’ve been asked to take a position of authority.

And with that authority I think we have a responsibility to do better than Fortune Cookie Wisdom.


We can always bring it down to Earth

I love the line, ‘be distinct or go home’.  I bet you want to make an impact.

I know I do.

So bring that topic from 5,000 feet in the air down to earth, make it personal, make it practical and help people benefit from what you what you’ve been through.

No one has your narrative but you.

I am sure they will appreciate it.

Thank you for reading!

I appreciate the time you took to read this today!

If you’d like to see more of our articles just share your email address with us in the contact form on our website or send me an email!

Daniel Ord

[email protected]


Why years of experience is not the best predictor of Contact Centre success

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

Why years of experience is not the best predictor of Contact Centre success

You’ve heard it, you’ve read it and you’ve seen it.

The years of experience line.

Whether it’s a conference speaker, a LinkedIn blogger or someone where you work.

Where they tell you some variation of “I have over 5, 15, 35 years of experience in the industry.”

But years of experience on its own has never been a reliable predictor of success in the Contact Centre profession.

Or arguably any profession.


Why not?  You’ve heard some of these too.

One of my favorite sayings is this one.

Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent.

It refers to the idea that people can end up doing the same things in pretty much the same way, over and over.

To the point it becomes habitual and engrained.

The way they write their emails. The way they measure quality. The way they calculate productivity.

Sure, when you look at a calendar a number of years have gone by, let’s say five years.

But a closer look reveals that sometimes its been the same single year of experience that’s been largely repeated over and over for five years.

What’s ultimately important is the quality of experience you earn over time. Not just the duration of that experience.

Here are a few factors we see that influence that quality of experience.


Who’s your Boss?

We know that ‘who’ you work for makes a tremendous difference in the quality of experience that you earn over time.

Some bosses have a talent and zest for developing people.  For pushing them out of their comfort zone and into new possibilities.

The best career booster of all time is to hitch your wagon to a boss with high expectations – even when working for them can’t always be described as easy.

Other bosses are more hands off. It’s just their style.

Or perhaps they just don’t have the depth of their own that enables them to successfully grow other people.

“You can’t pour from any empty cup” is an expression used to talk about self-care.


But I think it can be repurposed to describe the depth required inside ourselves to grow the people around you.

Not all the bosses out there are ready or able to grow people – they don’t have that depth – or not yet.


Who is your Employer?

Years of experience working for a superb Employer beats years of experience working for an average Employer every time.

Sometimes when I’m asked for advice on how to grow in the industry I’ll suggest working for the very best organization you can.

Because they very often do things differently.

That Contact Centre across the street from you?  Or the one a few floors up from you in your office block?

They could be doing a much better job, simply because of who that company is and how much they actually believe in the value of Customers and Employees.

There are very real gaps between average, good and great Employers.


Delivering positive impact does not require years of experience

I regularly meet Contact Centre Leaders who are literally brand new to the industry.

The mission for these new Leaders?

To put it bluntly – to fix and/or reinvigorate the Contact Centre. To bring it back to life.

Typically these people bring real-world commercial success from another department, an open & questioning mind and the ability to reimagine and redefine Contact Centre success.

I think they (often) succeed, in part, because they don’t carry the baggage of years of experience.  And the hard coded beliefs that can come with that.

They don’t have to unlearn and relearn. They can just learn.

And then consider apply what they learn to the context and culture of their Organization.


Most people don’t go to school for this kind of work

There’s no question that experience matters.

Being in the trenches gives one an understanding of the job, the context and the culture that can’t be achieved by studying for an exam.

But the value of experience shouldn’t be used to denigrate or diminish the value of know-how.

What about the essential dynamics, principles & practices that have been examined, tested and used successfully in the Customer industry?

Know-how has its role too.

Surgeons aren’t expected to learn on the job.

You wouldn’t want your appendix removed by someone who wasn’t, in some way, formally qualified to do so.

Nor would you want someone to do your taxes just because they have a ‘passion’ for taxes. Yikes.

Yet in Customer Service and the Contact Centre industry this is often the reality. Because many people end up in the Contact Centre profession by accident.

They didn’t go to school to be in the industry. They end up learning on the job.  Which as you’d imagine can be very hit or miss.


It takes leadership, not just caretaking

Some level of caretaking will always exist.

Once a robust process has been designed and implemented it should be nurtured and protected.

So that it can grow, develop and become a natural part of how you work around around.

I think of mature Voice of Customer programs when I think of this aspect. Or I think of how Interaction Quality is defined and implemented.

But at a higher level, it’s always amazing when folks in leadership roles take a big step back and ask:

Why do we do the things we do around here?

Are there things we can do better than we are right now?

Has what has made this Organization successful up to this point going to make us successful headed into the future?

Because to make things better we almost always be dissatisfied with the status quo.

Otherwise why would we change?

What’s the better formula for success?

(Know-How + Experience) x Regular intervals of reconsideration

When you’ve got mastery level Know-Howof your Customer ecosystem, you avoid wasting time and effort on topics that were solved long ago and by others.

You don’t make rookie mistakes that can have lasting damage.

Experience gives you the context and culture within which your industry knowledge needs to be applied.

No two Organizations apply the same know-how in the same way – they contextualize it. That’s as it should be and it’s so impressive in practice.

And Regular intervals of reconsideration simply means that we don’t sit back and let the years go by without reconsidering what we’re doing.

To make sure that what has made us successful up to this point still makes sense for us to keep doing- or not.

The best Contact Centre folks recognize the management of the Customer ecosystem as a business discipline. No different than finance or engineering.

And rather than talking about how many ‘years of experience’ they have, they talk about the impact they’ve made for stakeholders across Customers, Employees and the Organization at large.

And that’s a cool thing.



Thank you for reading!

Thank you for reading and if you’d like read more simply send me your email address or add it to the contact form on our website!

Daniel Ord

[email protected]


Cover Photo by Ben Moreland on Unsplash

What lessons can Contact Centre folks learn from CX folks?

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

What lessons can Contact Centre folks can learn from CX folks?

I’ve written about lessons CX folks can learn from Contact Centre folks.

Here’s a link to my earlier article:

CX lessons we can learn from the Contact Centre industry

Today I flip the perspective and ask – what lessons can Contact Centre folks learn from CX folks?

Because the nature of the work between the roles is different – no matter how much Contact Center folks rebrand themselves as Customer Experience.

And there are so many lessons Contact Centre folks can learn from their CX Colleagues.

Here goes!


Is the work done in CX and in Contact Centres really so different? Yes it is. The Customer Experience and Contact Centre Big Top

When people ask me about what it takes to run a successful Contact Centre, I like to use the analogy of a circus tent.

Imagine a traditional red & white striped circus tent up ahead of you. Lots of things are going on inside that big top.

As you enter the tent you’ve got the high-wire acrobats up overhead, the lion tamers over there and the clowns driving around in funny cars in the ring by the entrance.

There’s a lot going on in that tent. And it all matters.  The Fortune Teller has her role. The Weightlifters have their role.

You get the idea.

Now imagine that your big top tent is your Contact Centre. There’s a lot going on inside the Contact Centre big top too.

When you walk inside you’d find Quality Assurance – that’s a specialized role.

And as we look around we’d find Workforce Management, Training, IT, Human Resources, Finance.  They’re all specialized roles too.

They’re all contributing to Contact Centre success.

And of course you’d have all the people that get the work in and out each day – the Agents, the Team Leaders, the Directors.

In a great Contact Centre all these disparate roles work in harmony together to achieve results. Everyone knows what everyone else does and has a basic understanding of each other’s contribution to success.

All under the direction of a skilled & knowledgeable Contact Centre Head.

But the Contact Centre tent isn’t the same as the CX tent.


So what’s inside the CX tent?

Like the Contact Centre tent, there’s a lot going on inside the CX tent too.

Let’s walk over to the CX big top.

I teach Customer Experience Management and help people earn their CCXP Certification.  And competencies that I cover in our training would be found in the CX tent including:

· Customer Experience Strategy

· Voice of Customer & Customer Research Know-How

· Experience Design

· Metrics, Measurement & ROI

· Culture & Change Management


And each of these are big topics.

Just consider Voice of Customer & Customer Research Know-How.

By the time you factor in qualitative & quantitative research methods, triangulation, prioritization, data analytics and reporting & actioning of results you’ve covered a tremendous amount of ground.

And just like in the Contact Centre, the disparate CX roles work in harmony under the direction of a skilled & knowledgeable CX Head.

With the added complexity that CX is at play across the entire organization.  All functions, all departments, all Employees, all Partners, all Vendors.

Everyone in the Customer ecosystem.

When I listen to people talk about their work I ask myself – are they talking about the work that falls within a function or department – like Customer Service?

Or are they talking about work that spans the organization – such as lifecycle and journey analysis, rollout of listening posts and organization wide culture change.

How they describe their work provides input into whether they work in Customer Service/Contact Centre or they work in Customer Experience.



Ok, the tents are different. You made your point.  So what can lessons can Contact Centre folks learn from CX professionals?

CX Leader of the Year Awards Judge

I continue to be inspired by the level and maturity of CX work being done out there in the real world.

And the lessons Contact Center professionals can learn from CX professionals are powerful. Lessons they can use to make their Contact Centres better.

For this article I’ve selected five lessons that stand out for me.


1.   How to craft a CX Vision

I am endlessly blown away by the work that CX professional put into crafting a powerful CX Vision.

We teach the process and quite a few Clients have shared the outcome of their process with us.  It’s intensive and can take months.

Because it involves aligning to business strategy, brand values and Customer expectations.

And then blending all of these into a powerful statement that defines – specifically – what kind of experience we deliver around here.

It’s so much more than asking ‘what’s the industry standard for this or that’ – which seems to be a trap some Contact Center folks fall into.

Strategy flows from Vision – so getting that Vision right – and taking the time & effort to craft one that’s meaningful is something CX people do – and do well.

If your Organization already has a robust CX Vision, that’s wonderful. You can use that to help you guide and inspire the Service folks that work for you.

If not, then you have the golden opportunity to be strategic – and craft your own Customer Service Vision.


2.   Tie strategy to business results

Even after more than two decades years of teaching in the industry, you’re still hearing consultants & practitioners debating whether Contact Centres are cost centers or profit centers.

I know it’s an important discussion – I’ve been in a few myself. I’m not minimizing the importance.

But really? 20+ years? Why hasn’t more progress been made here? (and likely a topic for another article).

What the best CX folks are getting right these days is aligning the CX strategy they come up with to the overall business strategy and key measures of success.

And showing senior management and their peers in other functions how and where CX can improve the business.

Not at the expense of Customers (that’s not CX).  Or pushing or tricking Customers into doing what we want them to do.

But in that wonderful intersection where it’s good for the Customer and good for the Organization.

It would be superb to hear more Contact Centre folks talk about their alignment with business strategy and key measures of success.  And great CX people can help a lot here – even if they aren’t Contact Centre experts per se.


3.   Start thinking in Customer journeys and not just in touchpoints

Contact Centres, by the nature of the work they do, are focused on what happens within the context of a Customer interaction.

On that call, email or chat, did we show empathy, did we solve the problem, did we use time well.

And mastering the Contact Centre touchpoint and delivering great conversations with Customers takes a lot of know-how and skill.

There’s no diminishing the power of getting this right.

But that means that in the Contact Centre, we tend to think in touchpoints and not in the totality of the Customer journey.

Which means that we’re missing the big picture.  And the opportunity to make Customer lives better.

It’s proven that Customers think in journeys.  And that Organizations that study and improve at the journey level do better than those that focus at the touchpoint level.

So in addition to mastering that ‘touch’ the Customer has with us – that chat or email – it helps for Contact Centre to consider what I call the Journey perspective.

When I teach Customer Service for Frontline folks, I often ask them to think about these questions:

1.    Where did that Customer come from – and what motivated them to reach out to us? (the before)

2.   What does this Customer need from me right now in this touch? (the during)

3.  Where will the Customer likely go or need to go next – and how can I help them with the next steps on the way to their goal? (the after)

I like to cover this when I teach Frontline Customer Service because I think it’s important to use a broader journey oriented ‘lens’ to consider what Customers are going through.

Over and above dealing with a single ‘touch’.


4.    Understand Voice of Customer Research practices & principles better

I was taken on a Centre tour a few years ago where the Director was so proud that the individual NPS scores given by Customers at the end of their calls were instantly flashed on large TV screens posted throughout the Centre.

All showing the Agent Names and the scores they had received so far that day.

Oh dear.  So demotivating and so wrong.  And a classic example of just because you can do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

Here’s another example.

When I ask Contact Centre folks the last time they invited in a small panel of Customers, bought them lunch and asked them questions about what they like or don’t like about Contact Centre service, they sometimes look at me like I’m completely nuts.

Bring in a real Customer to the Contact Centre? I’m not exactly sure why that would sound so outlandish. Just imagine how much you could learn.

What kind of Customer experience does your Contact Center deliver?

To be fair, VOC is a highly specialized area.

But having an essential understanding of qualitative, quantitative methodologies, principles and practices can help Centres perform better.

To make better decisions on how they use the data & insights that come out of VOC work.

And avoid poor practices like posting up individual NPS scores.


5.    Build cross-functional support

When you listen to CX professionals share their work experience, a common narrative often appears.

It sounds like this:

“I was the first person in my company to take on the CX role – it was brand new. I had to create my own job, determine my own priorities and consider how to achieve both short term and long terms results.

And in all these I had to align myself with other stakeholders in other departments, heads of functions, senior leadership, finance, the COO.

And now – 2, 3, 4 years later I’ve been successful. You know how I know?  It’s not just that our Team size has increased – though it has a bit. 

And it’s not just that we’ve achieved some cool results – though we have.

It’s that people in the company are starting to come to us – the CX Team. To ask for help. To get our opinion on how to handle something better.  To help them solve a business problem.

That’s been the real sign of our success in building the CX practice in our organization.”

Don’t you love that?  I know I do.

Contact Centres can only achieve their vision & purpose when they also build and sustain powerful cross-functional relationships too.

Not just to get the basics like forecasting done.

But to promote how the Contact Centre can support the efforts of other departments and solve business problems.

Thank you for reading!

I appreciate the time you took today to read this!

If you’d like to be kept up to date on our articles and other information just leave your email address in the contact form on our website.  Or send it over to me by email.

Daniel Ord

[email protected]








My 6 Keynote Speech Topics for 2020

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short post I share my 6 Keynote Speech topics for 2020.

Every year I write new Keynote Speeches

Last year I delivered 4 Keynote Speeches at industry events.  Three in London (what a city) and 1 in Hungary (my very first time in Hungary which was cool).

And each was super fun to deliver and very well received.

As a Speaker, there’s a big difference between facilitating a 2 or 3 day workshop program and delivering a Keynote Speech.

In a workshop – the facilitation is what matters.  Because when a workshop is well facilitated, most of the actual talking is done by Participants.  Not by the Workshop Leader.

In a Keynote Speech, the scenario is obviously different.  You have perhaps 20 minutes – 40 minutes with hundreds of folks in attendance.

And the constraint on time drives creativity.  More stories, better stories – and stories that get to the heart of what it is you want people to remember about their time with you.

And of course humor matters a lot.  Because who likes sitting through a boring presentation?

My 6 Keynote Speech topics for 2020

Much of the work I do is customized for the Client or the Audience.

But when a Conference Organizer or Client contacts me, it helps to have a set of Keynote speeches on selected topics already written and ready to go.

So in no particular order, here are my Keynote Speech topics for 2020.

How is your approach to Customer Empathy?  Well done or Lucky Draw?

Great empathy doesn’t help if you can’t express it to the Customer.  Because ‘being’ empathetic and expressing empathy are two different things.

In this practical and humorous session you’ll get a chance to practice your own ability to express empathy.

And in the process, perhaps you’ll better understand why so many organizations struggle to deliver empathy in their Customer communications – especially in their Customer Service & Contact Centre functions.

Customer Service Lessons you can’t live without

While it’s true that Customer Service is a subset of Customer Experience – it’s an important subset for some and a critical subset for others.

After 20 years of teaching Customer Service, I’ve found that there’s a short list of lessons that every Frontliner – and their Managers – love learning.

From my fun but practical approach to Transactional Analysis through to how to Say No – this one’s for Customer Service heros and the folks that support them.

What we learned conducting CX-based Mystery Shopper on Chatbots

We combined our know-how around CX with our expertise in Mystery Shopper to deliver (to date) 4 Chatbot Mystery Shopper research programs for Clients.

In this Keynote Speech we share the drivers around the research, the parameters we used for the research and what we found out about Chatbots – from the Customer point of view.

What we’ve learned about conducting Mystery Shopper Research on Chatbots

5 Motivational Quotes and what they mean in real life

I had always been leery of motivational quotes in the past.

That was until I found my Mother’s notebook of handwritten motivational quotes in her desk drawer.  Shortly after she had passed away and we were cleaning out her house.

Thanks to a Client in Singapore, I developed this ‘motivational’ talk to help & inspire people to harness the power of motivational quotes.

While understanding that not every quote will resonate every time – and why that’s so.

One of my favorites – and for designed for all Participants.

What I’ve learned about Motivational Quotes

How to Improve Contact Centre Agent Productivity

This Keynote Speech topic – developed for a webinar that I delivered last year – addresses both the obvious choices that improve Agent productivity in Contact Centres and the not so obvious choices.

Because a lot of practices out there in the Contact Centre industry are outdated – and increasingly harmful to the Agent & Customer experience.

So we consider Agent KPIs – of course – but move on quickly to the key Management decisions that impact contact volume, channel usage and Customer satisfaction.

What kind of Experience does your Contact Centre deliver?

Yes – this is a topic from 2019 – and one of our most popular.  That’s why I’ve decided to keep it on the roster for 2020.

Drawing on case studies from our extensive Mystery Shopper research experience, I share specifically how some Contact Centres are getting quality right.  And how others have gone down a dark and sad road – both for Agents & Customers.

And of course I get to do my Kung Fu Panda impression which is always fun.

I’ll be presenting my Keynote speech at the Customer & User Experience Expo in London

If we can be of help on Keynote Speech topics

Do any of these sound good for your event?  Would you like to have something written specifically for your event?

We’re experts in Contact Centres, Customer Service & Customer Experience – so chances are we’ve got a topic that will resonate with your audience.

And it helps to know that we deliver audience feedback results that have Organizers invite us back over and over.

Thank you for reading!


[email protected]