Coaching Millennials in the Contact Center

Are you getting excited about the upcoming inContact Users’ Conference?  With less than a month to go, speakers like me are putting the finishing touches on the content.  I’m involved in two sessions at ICUC this year, one in the Aspire Track (targeted at senior and executive leaders) and the other in the Create Track, designed for contact center and operational staff.

For the Create session, I’m thrilled to be joined by three inContact customers to discuss the challenges and rewards of working with Millennials.  Nick Cooper, Workforce Management Analyst with Great Wolf Resorts, Ed Hoyer, Director of National Customer Support for Konica Minolta Business Solutions and Kim Wertz, Director Contact Center Operations for Arrowhead Promotion & Fulfillment Company and I have already met to discuss the topics to discuss that will be of interest to the broad audience expected at ICUC.  Let me give you a little preview of what we’ve come up with.

Who are the Millennials and why do we care?  Usually defined as those born between 1980 and 2000, Millennials – also referred to as Generation Y - are today’s 18-30 year olds.  They form a huge chunk of the current contact center agent pool.  But there are also a fair percentage of Baby Boomers and Generation Xs (born 1964-1980) still in the workforce.  So the first topic we’ll address is the challenges and benefits the mixing of generations in a contact center can bring.

Retention is an ongoing challenge for most contact centers.  My panelists will answer the following question from the perspective of their business:  Do today’s Millennial workers require different strategies to foster high retention?  They’ll discus the programs they have found to be successful to address retention for different generations of contact center agents and supervisors.

Some of the issues important to Millennials include work-life balance, flexible scheduling, rewards for results, and options to work from home.  Each of the panelists will discuss whether they have implemented specific kinds of programs to improve their organizations’ ability to recruit Millennials based on these shifting priorities.

Next we’ll take up the question of the type of agent best suited to handle multi-channel interactions, such as email, web chat or social media.  Intuitively, one might think that Millennials would be a better group to handle multichannel.  Nick, Ed and Kim will discuss whether they have found that to be the case in their contact centers.

We’ve mapped out some additional topics to discuss but I don’t want to give all our plans away.  I do, however, encourage you to join us to not only hear what our panel has to say but to s­­­­­hare your thoughts on what has worked for you in your center when it comes to managing Millennials.  ICUC is about sharing and I look forward to seeing you not only at this session but at the many great sessions planned.  See you in Las Vegas!

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