I recently attended my first ICMI Contact Center Expo.

Held at the beautiful Diplomat Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Expo Hall seemed to go on forever. Simple booths showing off surprisingly sophisticated tools, to elaborate displays with multiple TV screens and signs that reached the ceiling. Overwhelming would be an understatement.

Since being founded in 1985, ICMI (International Customer Management Institute) has built a reputation for keeping business leaders informed of the latest trends in hiring, company culture and other best practices surrounding the customer experience. With access to today’s most knowledgeable experts, ICMI’s annual Contact Center Expo is also a great place to connect with other professionals who share common goals and challenges.

At this year’s conference, three key themes stood out.

Drive Customer Experience

It used to be called Customer Service. A company would hire a few people to respond to trouble-shooting calls from their clients. Customer service was passive, reactive and detached. The new buzz is Customer Experience or Client Success. These dynamic teams are not only focused on meeting an immediate need, but also walking their client through a long-term relationship with the business, emphasizing the company-client partnership and capitalizing on customer loyalty. Not a small shift – and one that requires a fresh look at hiring strategies.

Elevate Your Leadership

What are the best practices of industry frontrunners that can help lead your team to success? A key to creating a safe, respectful, and productive workplace largely rests on the effectiveness of your leadership team. And no role is more critical in implementing your company goals and vision than team leaders. That’s why top-performing companies rely on new technologies to accurately identify leadership potential. These tools not only predict leadership performance, but also outline personalized development plans for each new leader. With the right leadership in place, you can be confident your teams have a clear path to success.

Maximize Productivity and Retention

Think cross training is only for athletes? Think again! Introducing the Blended Agent: a contact center rep that handles both placing and receiving calls as demand and strategy dictate. Combining automatic call distribution for incoming calls with predictive dialing for outbound increases efficiency as each agent can handle the overflow of the other. Other key practices like building clearly-defined processes for your business and developing employee roadmaps for career development create systems for success and set your employees up to win. To quote John “Hannibal” Smith of the A-Team, I love it when a plan comes together!


Deepest Industry Expertise

You might say contact centers are in our DNA. There’s no industry we know better . . . and there’s no industry where we’ve had more impact. In fact, for more than three decades, we’ve been helping contact centers attract, hire, and retain the absolute best talent.

If you’re looking to elevate your hiring strategies, energize your company culture, and revitalize your customer experience, let’s talk!