Member Resources

Enjoy a trusted place where you can easily find solutions, explore the full Forum archive


Partner News: Sensée named Small/Medium Outsourced Contact Centre of the Year at the 2020 Contact Centre Network Northern Ireland Awards

Sensée named Small/Medium Outsourced Contact Centre of the Year at the 2020 Contact Centre Network Northern Ireland Awards

Partner Article: AI – Enabled Contact Centre Analytics for Dummies

How much do you really know about AI-powered analytics? Have you really tapped into your Contact Centre Interactions, and the wealth of information they hold?

Partner Article: Watch On-Demand! Webinar - Enabling Flexible Working Practices

As organisations change their “Target Operating Models” post Covid, many are looking to challenge their current scheduling methodology (and advisor contracts) as they integrate some form of homeworking strategy into their business. 

Watch on-demand David Vernon’s presentation from The Forum’s National Conference - Enabling Flexible Working Practices.

Turn Customers into Fans with help from a CX Rockstar

The pandemic has changed how contact centres operate. Agents working from home and changes in customer expectations are just two of the challenges that organisations face. Ed Creasey of Calabrio discusses how successful Customer Service Managers can boost their skills to deliver exceptional customer experience (CX) in extraordinary times.

Benchmarking: The benefits and the total lack of drawbacks

Have you thought about the awesome power of benchmarking? If not, maybe you should.

Partner Article: Sensée announces 200 new UK work-at-home contact centre jobs

Homeworking specialist Sensée is recruiting immediately for 200 new work-from-home roles.  

Partner Article: Remote Workforce Management – from survive to thrive in 3 easy steps

Richard Pinnington of Calabrio discusses how workforce management means so much more in challenging times. 

Leadership Discussion Part 3: Technology

What technology is required and what is currently missing to support the future working environment?

Partner Article: Is collecting debt in large volumes on the horizon?

Is collecting debt in large volumes on the horizon?  Aspect is a leader in the outbound dialer market with contact capabilities that power automated, compliant campaigns, that help you send the right message at the right time – which helps improve collection activities.  

Partner Article: Wave Goodbye to 2020: What’s in store for 2021?

As we say farewell to 2020 there are plenty of positives to take from this year of change and challenges. Magnus Geverts at Calabrio sums up the lessons learned and reveals his top 3 predictions for 2021.  

2021 Best Practice Programme

We have now launched our programme of activity for 2021, combining the very best of virtual and face-to-face to offer you a variety of ways of maximising your membership.

The forced virtual environment of 2020 has given us a huge learning opportunity to understand how we can grow our community, make more events easier to access whilst still ensuring value. 

These can be accessed through your membership, or pay-as-you-go.

Redefining the role and responsibility of Planning; Creating the right team to deliver value

Regenerating, rejuvenating or just reviewing your role and responsibilities is a great way to continuously improve. 2020 has been a year to rethink and reflect on how we used to do things, how we need to respond now and to consider what the future could bring. There may have always been problems which have never been addressed, and the response to handling COVID-19 has exacerbated the problems; you may be under difficult cost challenges and need to adapt; or, you want to stay ahead of the game and look for new opportunities. It doesn’t matter why, what does matter is that you are willing to challenge your current state and think about positive change. Redefining the Planning team is a healthy way of re-engaging with stakeholders and the wider business, so everyone is clear on their role and responsibility.

Partner Article: Look forward not back: 4 ways to future-proof your contact centre

Heightened customer expectations are here to stay and are having a huge impact on technology in contact centres. Ed Creasey at Calabrio shares a forward-looking plan for the “new normal”. 

Planning for field operations: optimising routing & regions

Field planning is changing, with huge benefit by softening regional borders or increasing flexibility, from both an efficiency and engagement perspective, and some organisations more supply-led in the way they set appointments

Partner Article: Calabrio Unveils New Platform for a New Era of Workforce and Customer Engagement

First-ever virtual Calabrio customer conference showcases cloud-based WEM platform designed for the modern, agile contact centre

Virtually Everything!

Bringing people together is at the heart of The Forum’s vision and values. It was not that many years ago that virtually everything we did was face-to-face, onsite in venues and hotels, now virtually everything we do is virtual. This has been a huge learning opportunity for us, and as we look to create our best practice programme for 2021 and plan our next face-to-face events, I thought it would be good to share our journey during 2020.

Partner News: How to Calculate Contact Centre Spin

Read how Call Centre Helper investigate the mysterious metric of contact centre spin and explain why it can be such a headache for contact centre planners.

Why it pays to add AI to the shopping list

When it comes to sustainability, consumers are clamouring for change and driving the corporate agenda. Henry Jinman of EBI.AI shows 3 ways ethical retailers are using the power of Artificial Intelligence to create a sustainable shopper experience. 

2020 Forum Heroes

For 10 years our Forum Hero Awards have spotlighted role models for each community of best practice - individuals who stand out for how they learn and share. For 2020, we recognise 3 further Forum Heroes

Partner News: Aspect Announces General Availability of Aspect Via® 20, Its World-Class Enterprise Cloud Contact Center Solution

The only fully-featured enterprise cloud contact center solution designed to meet the demands of large enterprises.

2020 Vision: what skills help the modern analyst stand out clearly?

The role of an Insight Analyst has evolved significantly over the last 20 years. Simply being good at Excel is no longer enough. So, take a look at the seven top skills we see developing among successful analysts, setting them up to produce great insight for the next 20 years.

Planning for COVID-19 Series Takeaways

Just as lockdown was announced we launched our Planning for COVID-19 series of learning module webinars. Starting back on 24th March the first module covered forecasting, followed by sessions on homeworking, scheduling, real-time, mental health and creating future business continuity. These free webinars were designed to provide supporting knowledge to help Planners during this unprecedented time. The additional Networking session brought together the group to discuss and share their experiences. The last in the series looked at capturing learning and using COVID-19 as a catalyst to shape the strategy and build for the future.

Jeopardy management: real-time in field, branch or back office

The very best teams are adding insight, are agile and able to react quickly to changes. They feed learning from the day into the Planning Cycle, to inform future decisions, and have operational playbooks or incident management plans in place, helping build stakeholder trust.

How can choosing the right metrics bring your strategy to life?

Do we present people with more information than they can realistically act upon? It could be insightful, but insight without action delivers no value. What happens, instead, if people look at information and immediately do something with it? They love it and want more!

The Learning Academy: invest in yourself and your people

With a major expansion of our learning materials in the last 12 months, see how members are creating personal development pathways for their own needs, as individuals or organisations. Learning is accessible virtually or face-to-face and can lead to professional accreditation

How can we release the value of partners in transforming our business?

Great partnerships have this in common, both teams become increasingly in demand. With technology transformation a key challenge for business leaders, see how these brilliant award finalists brought learning from the outside that deliver on key organisational objectives.

Target Typology: how are your measures & targets understood?

Are your key metrics understood? What behaviours are your targets driving? Learn about different types of targets and the misconceptions that surround them. Why not look afresh at what happens today in your organisation and how you might move forward?

Creating great online journeys and the role of face-to-face service

Is face-to-face part of a wider omni-channel strategy? What is a great online journey? Paul Smedley highlights ways to update yourself with new developments and create a workforce strategy and operating model that can be sustained, for both organisational ethos and costs.

COVID-19: learning how to plan for the unexpected

If ever there was a time for good planning, this is it. This pandemic has been without doubt ‘disruptive’. Not only do we need to respond ‘in the moment’, but it can also be a positive catalyst for rethinking our operating model and strategic objectives.

Digital challenge: why do data-driven organisations perform better?

Data matters, because it’s helping us grow new opportunities, offer new services and drive huge efficiency. So, what does this mean for analysts and business leaders? How do we seize this opportunity for our organisation? Read about the emerging trends and learn from great case studies.

Explore the new best practice framework for quality & improvement

The purpose of quality and improvement teams is to continually review and improve. Success comes when we have a defined role and purpose in the business and our work cycle powers change, acting like a heartbeat in an empowering, customer-centred performance culture.

2020 Vision: planning teams as the beating heart of a business

The 2020 Team Awards demonstrate how Planning has become central, supporting transformation, influencing change and shaping the business strategy. Look for new ideas and continuous improvement, by learning from the best and seeing approaches used elsewhere.

Planning cycle: resource allocation & training in field planning

This stage of the planning cycle is key for Field Operations and there is much to learn from best practice elsewhere, as our Field network grows, we launch our first Field Planning workshop programme and kick-off a cohort in standards benchmarking for field.

Calling planning pioneers: it’s time to plan end-to-end for customers

See how pioneering analysts are learning to optimise capacity and resource across customer journeys (end-to-end) and business siloes (side-to-side or front-to-back). Everything needs to be planned in a joined-up way, driving your workforce strategy. How do you want to become part of this?

Driving improvement in end-to-end processes and back office capacity

Best practice in back office planning offers many of the disciplines that are key to the new digital world as much as the old, as the growth of digital channels creates new tasks and processes. Understand how best practice can be shared and evolved. Find out more.

Wellbeing: build a workforce strategy and grow a culture to support this

Workplace wellbeing and wellness may be high profile, but how do we ensure we are not paying lip- service or ticking boxes? Do you have a fully costed and embedded long-term workforce strategy? Is it embedded in your culture, ‘how we do things here’?

BOTs, Apps & Chat: what makes a great online journey for customers?

How do we blend the personal touch with AI & automation? What’s our role as analysts, planners or quality teams? From in-app or web chat to asynchronous messaging, Paul Smedley looks at the latest thinking and shares some examples of ‘omni-channel’ in practice.
Read more

Categories: Library

The Planning Cycle: implementing strategy & budget planning

A clear target operating model and budget flows into benefits downstream in the planning cycle. Learn what the best-in-class looks like and find out who has been pioneering strategic planning in our recent Standards Benchmarking Accreditations and the 2020 Innovation Awards.

How can predictive analysis be powered by analytics & AI?

See how combining the skills of forecasters & analysts can unlock potential in your organisation and your career. Predictive analysis is like forecasting, but not just for planners, and, if you have access to joined up data, analytics or machine learning are powerful tools.

Releasing Potential: collaboration, empowerment and shared purpose

We share success stories and uncover what releases untapped potential in our organisations and the people who work in them. What sets us free to give of our very best? What makes professionals stand out, in striving for excellence and improvement?

The pyramid principle for strategic planning and removing siloes

The strategy pyramid can give direction and drive co-operation. Looking through four different lenses, you can align strategies to common goals, and connect metrics. See how this helps us map out what drives performance and predict the impact of changes and unforeseen events.

2020 Vision: clarity and focus, crystallising your knowledge

Twenty years of raising standards has been made possible by the growth of a vibrant professional community, where we continue to share and learn. From the original vision to now, we look at how this shared knowledge has shaped best practice and look ahead to what the future may bring.

Necessity is the mother of invention

In 1970 Edwin Starr said “War, huh. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing; listen to me”. However, there is one exception. History does show us that at times of war we do see a significant acceleration in technological advancement. 

There are things we know we know

In some ways it’s great to be in the middle of an unknown unknown situation. To see the world react in the way it has, to see how experts are predicting and explaining their judgement, to read the views of ‘non-experts’ (shall we say) and work our way through myths and misinformation. For many years The Forum has adapted the famous (once infamous) Known Knowns and Unknown Unknowns model, looking at our knowledge of impact and certainty of time. This exercise always resulted in us knowing more than we thought. Even now when there is a lot of uncertainty, it’s surprising what we do know.

Planning for wellness: The importance of Shrinkage

It is vital that you are looking at your shrinkage levels at all stages of the WFM planning cycle. Often, we talk about getting shrinkage lower, but we need to remember that it is more that sickness and holidays.

TARGET TAXONOMY

Targets – we all have them.  In the world of Contact Centres, there are lots of them.  A lot of time is spent collating information for reports about certain ‘key’ performance indicators and even more time is spent looking to change or enhance performance in one area, often to the detriment of performance against another.

Standards benchmarking: how the best get better every year!

Peer review is a unique feature of our standards benchmarking and accreditation at The Forum. In effect, we now have a bespoke benchmarking group of planning pioneers that helps ‘the best get better every year’, as one member put it. I’ve been lucky enough last month to lead two superb Standards Benchmarking Days. This is what people were talking about – take a look.

Using rule-based thinking and automation to transform performance real-time

What is the best method for managing the real-time operations in your centre? We asked our members to discuss different methods and think about pros and cons of each. Is rules-based thinking the way to go?

Taking the Focus off Lateness

A lot of time and effort in Contact Centre Real Time Management is spent focussing on schedule adherence.  A resource-heavy occupation, the focus is on making sure that people are doing what they should be doing, when they should be doing it.  Real Time Adherence Monitoring is a key function for Contact Centres all over the country.
 

Starts Monday!

How many times have you been doing the Friday big-shop and thrown in a multipack of Jammy Wagon Wheels, because its on offer, and thought diet starts Monday? On one hand its very easy to put “things” off to the following week, on the other hand Monday’s provide a great “line-the-sand” for us to start again.

About us

As an independent association established since 2000, we offer a trusted space for professionals in contact centre, field service, back office or retail operation. Benchmark against the best in class and learn from innovators and pioneers.

Learning Academy

On-demand modules

We have a wide range of virtual modules that you can view at your own pace.

Covid-19 Series

You have a community of support at The Forum. See the series of free webinars to help you through this unusual situation.

Conferences

National Conferences 2020
30th Nov to 10th Dec
Annual conferences dedicated to the needs of their communities.

Customer Strategy & Planning 2020
Catch up on the highlights
Learn first-hand from practitioners and business leaders who are delivering successful change.

Get in touch
The Forum,
67 Europa Business Park,
Birdhall Lane,
Stockport, SK3 0XA

Copyright © 2021 - All Rights Reserved - theforum.social