Call centres and contact centres form an important and rapidly growing part of today's business world. They present a range of management challenges, from strategic decisions about how to develop a customer strategy, business planning, through to detailed considerations of staffing levels and appropriate technology. This new handbook, the first of its kind, provides a unique insight giving expert opinions on how to get the most out of your contact centre operations. Natalie Calvert, a specialist in the field, has brought together a team of 35 experienced practitioners who provide invaluable knowledge, share their experiences and draw on real-life examples to suggest practical solutions on a wide range of topics. This handbook is an indispensible guide and reference for call and contact centre managers, HR specialists and senior executives responsible for marketing, sales or customer services. The handbook is divided into six parts: I The business plan II The people factor III Contact centre technology IV Standards, processes, and outsourcing V Building profitable customer relationships VI The future.
Natalie Calvert is one of the leading authorities on call and contact centre operations, with more than 20 years' pioneering experience. She is the founder and Managing Director of Calcom Group Ltd, a training consultancy organization specializing in the area, with clients that include LEGO, Royal Mail, Wanadoo, Orange, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Natalie regularly lectures both in the UK and internationally and is a frequent contributor to articles and industry forums. As well as founder and fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing, she has been UK Ambassador for the European Contact Centre Qualifications, Chair of London First Call Centre Task Force, Vice Chair of the Direct Marketing Association's Telecommerce Board, verifier on the Contact Centre Management Masters degree, and currently serves on Call Centre Association Standards Advisory Council. In 2004 she launched the Calcom Contact Centre Academy, which is a total training solution for call and contact centres.
'The Institute of Customer Service can recommend this handbook as a very readable guide to managers either managing an existing call centre or involved in setting one up. Customers are at the core of every successful contact centre but it is often difficult to know how to take the first steps in creating and managing a centre that is efficient, cost effective and delivers the required results to both customers and the bottom line. This handbook is particularly effective in the way it marshalls the individual experience and knowledge of more than 30 experts and distils many man years of call centre development and management into one readable book that is an excellent source of ideas, experience and practical know-how written by people who have actually carried out the roles and projects described. At the heart of the all the management skills, strategies tools and technologies described is the customer and the customer experience - these drive the bottom line. Research published by the Institute of Customer Service shows that there is a positive correlation between the provision of excellent customer service and profit. 'It is a book that can be read from start to finish or dipped into for specific guidance and knowledge. It is inspirational and motivational, making the connection between satisfied, fulfilled staff and satisfied customers yet the advice is down to earth and practical ranging from topics such as operator desk arrangements to coaching the reader through the finer points of budget setting and management and statistical analysis of customer feedback. The book covers all aspects of call centre management but it is also a useful and relevant resource for managers covering or directing other areas of business - the chapters on people management, the business plan and building profitable customer relationships are full of useful practical transferable advice, ideas and knowledge.' Sarah Kellett, Services Development Director, Institute of Customer Service. 'For Handbook of Call and Contact Centre Management, Natalie Calvert has drawn on some of the biggest and brightest names to advise on one of the UK's largest growth sectors. Combining consultancy with peer-to-peer guidance, Handbook of Call and Contact Centre Management offers readers the best of both worlds: expert tuition and straight-talking recommendations based on first-hand experience.' Alex Coxon, Editor, Call Centre Focus magazine 'This book will not collect dust on my shelf and I will be reticent to lend it to anyone.' Call Centre Focus 'This is definitely not 'Call Centres for Dummies' - but is an intelligent, forward-thinking tool for the relatively or newly experienced professional who wants to optimize contact centre performance and efficiency. If you only purchase one contact centre book this year, then I would suggest this would be a front runner. The Gower Handbook is a practical, no-nonsense, unpretentious and quality-focused guide on contact centre management, now and in the future.' Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice 'A good alternative title for this book would be "Everything you needed to know about call centres but were afraid to ask". It is an accessible and comprehensive guide to the key aspects of call centre management.' Alison Copus, Marketing Director, Virgin Atlantic Airways.