Laying the Groundwork for Excellence


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Groundwork for ExcellenceBegin with the end in mind.”
–Stephen Covey

In his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effec­tive Peo­ple,” Stephen Covey writes the first habit of highly effec­tive peo­ple as hav­ing a clear goal, a direc­tion, a cause that makes suc­cess­ful and effec­tive peo­ple who they are. They are goal dri­ven. They set their sights on a goal, and all plans made and tasks per­formed are aimed at it.

But how does one even begin to set goals? A good place to start is iden­ti­fy­ing what is impor­tant to you. Toward this end, you dig up your VALUES.

It is impor­tant for indi­vid­u­als to be in touch with their val­ues, but even more impor­tant for an orga­ni­za­tion com­posed of indi­vid­u­als with diverse per­son­al­i­ties, work habits and per­sonal goals to be guided by a com­mon cause, a gov­ern­ing con­sti­tu­tion to which every­one is expected to adhere. What is the organization’s rea­son for being? What does it stand for? What dif­fer­en­ti­ates it from other sim­i­lar orga­ni­za­tions? What is its MISSION STATEMENT?

All con­tact cen­ters are ser­vice orga­ni­za­tions: post– sales sup­port and cross-selling are just some of the pri­mary ser­vices they offer. But how they offer them and the val­ues they live by are what set them apart. One big word that we often see in many orga­ni­za­tions, for exam­ple, is EXCELLENCE. That is a core value. And from this core value, a mis­sion state­ment can thus be written:

“We are the con­tact cen­ter OF CHOICE because we go the EXTRA MILE. We do not stop at prob­lem solved. We do not stop when the cus­tomer stops com­plain­ing. We stop when he is DELIGHTED. We do not com­ply. We excel.”

By hav­ing every con­tact cen­ter agent ori­ented to this mis­sion state­ment and core value as early as the pre-hiring stage, an orga­ni­za­tion is already lay­ing the ground­work for goals and what is expected of every sin­gle mem­ber of the team to achieve that goal. This will also be an invalu­able mantra in get­ting every­one involved and in form­ing one cohe­sive team singing the same tune.

Another area where hav­ing a mis­sion state­ment becomes impor­tant is when it is used as a tool – a met­ric – for agent per­for­mance. List down cer­tain actions or tasks related to the core value, and look at agent adher­ence to each, with a cor­re­spond­ing rat­ing assigned to each. Example:



  1. Han­dles calls with proficiency.
  2. Con­sis­tently able to cross sell.
  3. Man­ages dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions with the proper attitude.
  4. Exhibits sin­cer­ity and gen­uine con­cern for customers.
  5. Attends con­tin­u­ous learn­ing programs


  • Rarely or Never
  • Once in a while
  • Sometimes
  • Fairly Often
  • Very fre­quently or Always

Dur­ing agent appraisal or peri­odic per­for­mance assess­ments, these may be valu­able tools in deter­min­ing where agents can improve on, and a good oppor­tu­nity to re-orient them to the whys of what they do and what the orga­ni­za­tion, and the cus­tomers they serve, expect of them.

Per­for­mance in con­tact cen­ters is mea­sur­able, thanks to the var­i­ous met­rics used and widely accepted by the indus­try. But it should not be for­got­ten that it is still all about ser­vice, for peo­ple, by peo­ple, and should pro­ceed with a sense of pur­pose and a clear sense of what’s important.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodi Beuder
We help organizations create a positive connection between customers and brands. We promote synergy through integration as it builds on the decades of collective history of renowned expertise. MHI Global is your comprehensive source for customer-management excellence solutions to compete in today's ever-changing, customer-centric environment.


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