Rules to Live By…

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On CBS’s wildly popular television series NCIS, Leroy Jethro Gibbs (portrayed by Mark Harmon) leads the NCIS Major Case Response Team.  As an ex-marine sniper with a distinguished career, Gibbs has a series of “rules” that he lives his life by and often takes the opportunity to teach his team to follow the same rules.  For example rule #6 is "Never apologize, it's a sign of weakness".  

Though I doubt Gibb's rule #6 would work in your center, here are some rules for running a call center (head slaps not included).

  1. The customer isn’t always right but most of the time they are.
  2. Call center agents are smart. Let them do their jobs.
  3. No one knows your customers better than your agents.
  4. People first, technology second.
  5. Adaptability first, optimization second.
  6. Technology cannot solve everything.
  7. Don’t over-automate, the world changes too fast.
  8. Never let anyone tell you how to do your job but take advice willingly.
  9. Don’t ever forget the bottom line.
  10. Always have a backup plan.
  11. Measure what you want to improve.
  12. Ask for feedback, and act on it.
  13. Sweat the small stuff.
  14. You don’t have to be responsive to all of your customers, only the ones you want to keep.
  15. Some customers are simply not worth it.

I will continue to refine these rules and I welcome any comments or suggestions.