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Report Explores Impact of Work Culture on Call Centers


July 2003

Managers and staff in successful call centers tend to share values, beliefs and other elements that make up definable work cultures according to a study of call center work cultures by LIMRA International. The first scientific examination of its kind, the Contact Center Work Culture Study report identifies eight core call center work cultures and the impact of culture on business success measures such as customer satisfaction, one-contact resolution rates, agent turnover rates, and perceived overall success. The findings are drawn from more than 200 centers across 11 industry segments.

"People who share values create unity and common cause within the organization," says Malcolm McCulloch, Ph.D., senior research consultant at LIMRA International, project director and author of the report. "This unity leads to work satisfaction and commitment to the center.

"Conversely," he notes, "a fragmented culture and individual misfits lead to interpersonal conflict, disenfranchisement and disunity within the center. Ultimately, these negative factors disrupt smooth business operations and hinder success."

McCulloch said the study is the first to take a quantitative approach to call center culture research, moving beyond anecdotal case studies of "star" call centers that are difficult to duplicate. "The report offers insights that can be readily applied to the call center industry and specific centers," he said.

By developing call center culture classifications, the study provides clear benchmarks against which readers can compare their work cultures and success levels. For example, service center directors can compare their cultures - and their successes - against the Fast and Friendly, Concierge Level, Frenzied, Quick and Slick, and Stuck in Low Gear service center profiles. Sales center directors can compare their operations to the Mother Goose, Speed Dialing for Dollars, and Pressure Cooker sales center cultures. Are their cultures highly opportunistic, achievement-oriented, urgent, rule-oriented, stable, warm, and customer-oriented - or not? How does that affect their business success profile? The report shows that work culture has a powerful influence on call center personnel and business operations. The study encourages readers to examine and enhance their centers' work culture, hire people who fit into that culture, and address work culture during consolidation and mergers.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Location :: c_corporate/news