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Contact Centre Planning Leadership

Leading a planning team isn’t like leading other parts of a contact centre operation. It requires the personal skills and attributes typical of the operational centre but with particular additional technical and persuasive abilities.

Often, the pressures associated with contact centre planning can be of a different order and complexity than other operational areas – so the person leading the planning team must be carefully chosen and well supported in the business.

a career in planning?

What kind of person?  Good with numbers; but comfortable with uncertainty.



Stakeholder management

Need 2 tables

Standard stakeholder table: influence vs. alignment ® plan required

Approach table:  plan required vs. intelligence (clever ® stupid, where stupid is in their relation to understanding of call centres, and not of Sales, accounting, etc)

Sales people:  Although not universally true it is often true that Sales people think only about Sales: call centre stuff is boring and second-class.  Things like service levels, scheduling efficiencies, etc are all just boring stuff – what really matters is getting sales!  There are two points to note here:

  • An abandoned call is like someone walking out of your shop without talking to a salesperson or viewing your products
  • No salesperson would open up a high-street shop and start trying to sell without first understanding what the retail sector is all about.  Likewise, it would be foolish to start trying to sell through a call centre without understand what call centres are about.  Sales people must respect and understand their chosen medium.  How you choose to communicate this fact to them is up to you…

Accountants:  They only ever look at numbers.  There is a view that every year when you put a budget together you should be a bit more productive, and build in productivity improvements through the year too.  The problem with this is that they forget that you have to replace your entire workforce every 3 years or so.