Draft Agenda
2019 QATC Annual Conference
September 17-19, 2019

Monday, September 16 

2:00-5:00 p.m. – Registration

1:30-4:30 p.m. – Pre-conference Workshops (Separate registration and fee required)

1)  Quality Form and Program Design. 

Pre-conference attendees will have an opportunity to have their quality form and program reviewed by an expert and come away with actionable takeaways that can be put to immediate use. The pre-conference session is a deep dive into quality program design, which is sure to enhance your overall conference experience.

We begin with a process blueprint to either analyze the effectiveness of your existing call standards or use to develop your center’s QM evaluation form from scratch. You’ll learn the essentials in every step of the process of quality form design and program implementation:  call flow mapping, skill grouping, behavior-based standards, section weighting, scoring, definitions document, form validation, roll-out, and more!

Pre-conference participants receive a Quality Form and Program Design Workbookthat includes a step-by-step quality process and implementation guide, best practices, and activities to take back and share with their center’s quality team.

Workshop Facilitator:  Deelee Freeman, Call Center Training Associates

OR

2)  Let's Get Engaged! Developing Your New Hire Training Program to Maximize Learning and Engagement.

So you've hired the newbies that are going to set the world on fire with their skills and talents.  How do we ensure that our training gives them the best learning experience and keeps them engaged and motivated going forward into the center?  This workshop looks at the essential components of a "Best in Class" training program that will keep our new folks energized, engaged, and learning after the handover to Operations and their next journey.  We'll delve into topics like: Training Competencies, Agendas, Feedback Mechanisms, The "Power of One," and Return on Investment.  Participants will come away with an actionable framework for building or re-tooling their training programs so they maximize the experience and enhance the outcomes.

This workshop is recommended for Training Supervisors, Managers, and Directors of Contact Center Operations.

Workshop Facilitator:  Todd Gladden, PlanMen

OR

3)  Survey Questionnaire Design Workshop

The most critical part of a survey project is the questionnaire.  With a poorly designed questionnaire the project won’t deliver good data for business decisions.  Worse yet, you may not know that the questionnaire is poorly designed, delivering misleading data.  A sound design process is essential to designing a valid questionnaire that answers the survey project’s objectives.   But question wording is the biggest challenge.  Poorly phrased questions lead to bad data.

This intensive workshop will improve the attendees’ skills when designing their questionnaires.  Topics covered include:  the questionnaire design process – how to figure out what questions to ask; common question writing mistakes that create “instrumentation bias;” elements of a well-designed questionnaire; types of questions used in most surveys, and question formats – and their critical design concerns.

Workshop Facilitator: Fred Van Bennekom, Great Brook Consulting

2:30-3:30 p.m. – Complimentary Pre-conference Session

Roadmap to the QATC Annual Conference.  New to the QATC conference?  Come to this fun and interactive session to hear how to make the most of your time at this event.  Review the agenda and learn how these key topics will give you specific takeaways for your organization and help you with business decisions down the road. – Speakers:  Christine Gorder, Wells Fargo, Penny Tootle, Utilligent, Chaunte Johnson, Cox Automotive Group, & Barb Bleiler, WPS Health Solutions

3:30-4:30 p.m. – Complimentary Pre-conference Session

Speed Networking.  Everyone has heard of Speed Dating.  Attend this session for a variation that will help you start off the conference with a bunch of new friends!  In our Speed Networking session, you will spend just a few minutes getting to know some of your fellow attendees, and exchange business cards so that you can talk more over the next few days and keep in touch after the conference is over.  – Facilitators:  Debbie Short, Cokebury, Christine Gorder, Wells Fargo, & Hope Gay, Sentry Insurance

Tuesday, September 17

8:00-9:00 a.m. – Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00-10:15 a.m. – Welcome & Keynote Address  

Your Leadership Voice. The pendulum of leadership swings from one extreme to another and with just a century of study behind the discipline of leadership, only one thing is certain, One Size Does Not Fit All! Not for those leading and certainly not for those following. Our quest for just a brief moment is to hone in on your strength as a leader and unleash the power of your unique leadership voice.  –  Speaker:  Penny Tootle, Utilligent

10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Workshops

Call Coaching:  Delivering Meaningful Feedback and Positive Reinforcement to Motivate and Shape Performance.  You can have the most advanced quality recording technology, evaluation, and analytical tools, but if you are not delivering impactful call coaching, you will continue to fall short in providing consistent and reliable high-quality service to your customers.  This session provides practical suggestions to 1) create a coaching plan; 2) engage your agents while delivering feedback; and 3) provide continued support post-call coaching.  You will learn three specific approaches to call coaching aimed to motivate, train, and develop behaviors required to meet process requirements and create a satisfying, memorable customer experience. – Speaker:  Deelee Freeman, Call Center Training Associates

Bloom with your Learning Channels: A Basic on Adult Learning Theory.  Have you ever sat in a class with content that should have been good but seemed just a little off? Have you felt talked down to in training? These things can happen in adult training and corporate learning because some trainers base their material on their learning experiences in primary and secondary education and college. Adults learn differently! No one session will cover all of learning theory and instructional design, but this one will cover the basics of applying Blooms Taxonomy of Learning in the context of adult multi-channel learning. Come prepared to shed some old habits and adventure into some new territory as we rediscover the fun that can be learning.  – Speaker: Marshall Lee, Ttec

Who’s Training the Trainer?  Developing an Effective Instructor Competency Program and Observation Form.  In many instances, our Training Instructors are brought into the organization because of their high level of job-specific, content knowledge. Many are left to hone their delivery and leadership skills on the platform in the classroom, which can have dangerous implications to your workforce and training ROI.  Developing basic Standards of Instructor Competency and Quality lays the foundation for excellence in learning in the classroom. How do you assess the effectiveness of your training interventions?  Shouldn’t we be assessing the effectiveness of the individuals “leading” the students to learning?  A simple Instructor Observation form can be developed to allow consistency and calibration of observations, as well as documentation for their performance management. – Speaker:  Todd Gladden, Planmen

Making your WFM, Training,& QA Teams Your Company's Heroes.  Come to this session to hear how an innovative Midwestern bank combined its WFM, training, and QA teams and uses multiple tools for the benefit of the organization and its customers. In this best practices session, you’ll learn a variety of tips and tricks includingoptimizing schedules and reducing cost via voluntary time off, shift alternatives, leveraging QA/training interactions across functions, creating group accountability, and gaining staff buy-in.  You’ll walk away from this session with a wealth of practical tips & lessons learned to take back to your own implementation. – Speakers:  Gary Haworth, Commerce Bank, & Andressa Marlan, Verint

One to the “You” Power. The equation is simply expressed 1you– that is all it takes to move your organization forward by leaps and bounds. That is all it takes to save a life. That is all it takes to inspire a movement.  That is all it takes to achieve impossible goals, overcome incredible challenges, and motivate exceptionalism.  Your potential is limitless when you take the time to think of all that you have already accomplished.  1you is all we need!   -- Speaker:  Penny Tootle, Utilligent

Meet the QATC Board.  Join the QATC Board of Advisors in the format of one of our regional meetings, as they present issues and solutions in today’s call center. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to network with your peers and discuss your toughest QA and Training problems. It’s also a great time to meet the Board members and find out more about this group of industry leaders that directs QATC’s activities and programs.  – Panelists: Hope Gay, Sentry Insurance, Debbie Short, Cokesbury, Christine Gorder, Wells Fargo, Chaunte Johnson, Cox Automotive Group, Erick Sawyer, Amtrust Financial, Katia Goodhart, KG Consulting, Barb Bleiler, WPS Health Solutions, Pam Bode, BC BS of Michigan, & Craig Brasington

12:00-1:30 p.m. – Luncheon & Call Center Jeopardy

1:30-2:45 p.m. – Workshops

What Works Best: Quality Evaluation Form Design Discussion Forum.  If you want to learn how other call centers have designed their quality forms, this session is for you! Participants will be placed in small groups and given quality form-related topics to discuss and share what has worked best in their centers.  Next, the group as a whole will create a master list of best practices. Some of the topics will include: Form layout (i.e., number of attributes and categories), scoring, use of auto-fail, bonus points, and how to make quality more objective.  – Moderator:  Deelee Freeman – Facilitators:  Christine Gorder, Wells Fargo, Hope Gay, Sentry Insurance, Debbie Short, Cokesbury, & Katia Goodhart, KG Consulting

How Using Instructional Design Helps to Make Your Programs Successful.  In the classroom or online learning, it is important to consider the instructional design side of the presentation. Join this session to understand the importance behind the use of strong instructional design methodology, and how this can accelerate skill transfer and allow your training events to be more successful.  Learn the process and the different ways to accomplish design success by reviewing the importance behind the design and development models and discussing how the use of these design models can allow you to develop creative and engaging training events.  – Speaker: Fred Volkman, WPS Health Solutions

Best Practices in Developing and Delivering Web-Based Training.  In this session we will explore the benefits of online training, best practices for creating and delivering web-based training, and technology/tools that can help an organization transition its training into an online environment. Attendees will come away with actionable techniques and tools they can use to infuse web-based training into their programs, both new hire and continuous training events. – Speaker: Sara Simmons, UBM

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Using Analytics to Transform Your QM Program.  In the last couple of years, Machine Learning and other big data technology has fostered the use of analytics-driven coaching as a fast, scalable and near real-time alternative to the traditional manual approach.  The difference that analytics-driven quality makes is that it moves away from listening to sampled calls to a new paradigm of listening to and scoring 100% of all your interaction data. With a robust analytics engine, you can now create automated rubrics and analyze aggregated behavioral patterns from your data to improve the quality of your agents and contact center as a whole. Using technology to do much of the heavy lifting, contact centers have seen dramatic reductions in time taken to coach and this has allowed supervisors, coaches, and auditors to quickly find coachable moments across millions of interactions. This talk will walk through a process to launch and implement an analytics-driven quality measurement program. – Speakers: Shorit Ghosh & Keegan Brenneman, Clarabridge

Self-Care in The Service Center.  What actions are you taking to encourage, educate, and engage your staff in the important art of stress management? We all know that the pace and frequency of changes in our industry can lead to increased stress levels. That stress can then negatively impact productivity, professional interactions, and our ability to maintain work/life balance. In this session, we will explore ways to increase awareness of self-care, walk through practical actions that can be taken, learn about the benefits of cognitive reframing and brainstorm on additional ideas to consider. – Speaker:  Kimberly Pugh, Mailchimp

Use Gamification, Microlearning and Real-Time Feedback to Make Your Agents Shine.  Few things will have as much impact on your business as employees’ day-to-day behaviors and knowledge. Join this session to learn how you can drive agents to adopt desired behaviors, build proficiencies, and become enthusiastic about your brand and services. Best of all, you will learn how to do this sustainably and at scale, across different sites, units and channels. In this session we will review tools like gamification, automated feedback, and adaptive microlearning. We will discuss how these tools are implemented today with great success in leading contact centers worldwide and how you can do it to. This will be an interactive session where you will be encouraged to participate, ask questions, and apply what you learn in practice. – Speaker:  Dee Nilles, Gameffective

2:45-3:45 p.m. – Afternoon Break

3:45-5:00 p.m. – Workshops

Quality Monitoring: Ensuring Consistency and Accuracy in the Quality Control Process.    Come to this session to hear how Centerfirst uses the Quality Monitoring process to gather data from customer interactions and deliver insights that inspire decisions of healthcare leaders. Learn how they implemented an initiative to further align their consistency and accuracy in the quality control process of scoring contact center monitoring forms. Join us for this interactive session with polling questions and Q&A. -- Speakers:  Jessica Rhodes & Kathy Pickering, Centerfirst 

Consider Going Creative with eLearning.  Is your small- to middle-sized training team looking for a way to creatively expand their training platform?  Looking at alternative ways to share your training message versus just having a training session?   Do you find your team limited in what tools they have or how to use those tools?  Then come find out about the creative ways you can use eLearning to help spread your information in the best way possible.    Find out how easy it is to turn a “blah” lesson into a really interesting experience for the learner, ensuring better learning results by using eLearning platforms.  – Speaker:  Fred Volkman, WPS Health Solutions

Your Best Frienemie: Workforce Management.  Training sessions, coachings, and meetings that are cancelled. New hire classes that double out of nowhere. Service level is sometimes king, and you are never sure what the workforce wizards are doing behind the curtain. Come to this session for tips and pointers on how to turn the Workforce Management team into your most valuable ally in the contact center, and how to partner with this team to make your life easier without everyday frustration. – Speakers:  Todd Gladden, PlanMen, & Marshall Lee, Ttec

Listen Up! Handling Difficult Callers.Dealing with an angry caller is never an easy task. Unfortunately, our agents have to do it every day. While the stress and anxiety of handling these situations fade as reps learn the ropes, the importance of handling difficult customers well never fades.  We’ll listen to some difficult calls, and as a group, discuss ways in which the agent can turn these calls around to a more positive experience for the caller. – Panelists:  Pam Bode, BC BS of Michigan, Craig Brasington, & Katia Goodhart, KG Consulting

Reimagine Your Quality Monitoring Strategies.  A 2019 ICMI quality management benchmark survey reveals that 65% of quality programs remain highly manual and there is a lack of resources to impact contact center performance. In this session, learn about some of the other benchmark findings and how to reformulate your quality program with strategies will provide better efficiencies and alignment with contact center goals. – Speaker:  Lauren Maschio, NICE

Open Forum Discussion – Call Calibration.  Bring your questions, answers, issues, and ideas to this lively interactive discussion. Learn from your peers and share your own knowledge and experience related to this topic.  – Facilitators:  Debbie Short, Cokesbury, & Christine Gorder, Wells Fargo

5:00-7:00 p.m. – Networking Reception

Wednesday, September 18

7:45-9:15 a.m. – Breakfast & Roundtables

8:00-9:00 a.m. – Behind Closed Doors with the Sponsors. Want some time to hear from your software vendor? Some of the QATC Sponsors will be holding group customer sessions to provide the latest information about upgrades, new releases, and new products. Meet other users in this group session led by your vendor.

9:15-10:30 a.m. – Workshops

Call Calibration: Achieving Quality Scoring Consistency.  You can have the most advanced call recording technology, evaluation tools, and a dedicated quality staff but without consistency in scoring, the integrity of your entire quality program will be compromised. Call calibration is vital to the health of your quality program, but so many find their calibration sessions frustrating and not necessarily helpful in taking consistency to the next level.   This session provides everything you need to know about setting up an effective Call Calibration Program, how to measure calibration, and most importantly how to run a successful calibration session where participants are engaged and committed to the consistent application of quality standards to call behaviors.  – Speaker:  Deelee FreemanCall Center Training Associates

Training Business Partner: The Role You Didn’t Know You Needed!  The alignment of business goals with training outcomes is becoming more critical within a business. Join us as we discuss the evolution of a “Training Business Partner” role at WPS and how the role creates a “pro-active” environment that executes our vision to become a strategic partner with our operational units.  -- Speakers:  Paul Kern & Leanne Foster, WPS Health Solutions

“The Power of One” Training Activity Session.  You've probably heard of "The Power of One" concept that helps agents, supervisors, and leadership understand how call center work "flows," the significance of schedule adherence, and how important one individual is to the center.  But how do you get these points across in a fun and interactive way?   This unique training session utilizes a wading pool, tennis balls, and a bucket from your favorite fried chicken joint! Come to this session to learn how to train and present these activities and learn the concepts behind these proven techniques to show agents how important they are – that one person really does make a difference!  – Speaker: Todd Gladden, PlanMen

An NPS Survey or a CES Survey?  Which Should We Do? We hear people saying that customer service organizations should be doing Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys while others pitch Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys.  Confused?  Join the crowd.  These terms get bandied with exhaustive hype.  We’ll try to make sense of all this in this session.  First, we’ll define what NPS and CES surveys are, hopefully dispelling some of the hype.  Next, we’ll talk about what makes sense from a customer feedback perspective.  What should you be measuring and how should you be measuring?  Finally, we’ll address some keys to good feedback collection, and address questions people have about their survey and feedback programs. – Speaker:  Fred Van Bennekom, Greatbrook Consulting

Reimagining Quality in Customer Service; Redesigning the Front Office.  One of the benefits of being a part of the QATC annual conference is the shared experiences across a variety of businesses. Come hear how FirstEnergy Corp launched an initiative they call the “Big Q,” that is poised to transform their quality program. From their foundational benchmarks to their plans for a global quality view, FE will shed some light on the lessons learned, many phases, and marked successes already realized with this initiative. Whether you are looking for a few “good ideas” or find yourself in lockstep with them blazing a quality trail within your organization, transforming quality to extend beyond the traditional call center touch point is an adventure worth sharing. – Speaker:  Jessica Price, FirstEnergy Corp

The Power of Community Learning.  The way we learn as humans has changed very little over the past 5,000 years.  What has dramatically changed, however, is our ability to understand various learning techniques and to implement them in meaningful ways.  One of the most powerful of these “learning levers” is our desire to learn inside of community.  The reality is that we learn better and faster as part of a group that we trust.  Learn how to establish your own learning cohorts and take your training program to the next level.  Key takeaways include: how to align training to the intrinsic motivators of relationship and meaningful work; a simple framework for community learning; and how to include customers into your community learning process for an enhanced Customer Experience.  – Speaker:  Nate Brown & Susan Murphy, UL

10:30-10:45 a.m. – Break

10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Workshops

QA is Performance Management.   Come to this session for a discussion on designing your quality monitoring form as a tool for performance. Learn how to take QA to the next level and ensure QA evaluation forms are providing an individualized approach to coaching/performance management. This session will include a demonstration on how to leverage your QA Monitoring tool to create a process to drive efficiencies, team member performance, and training insights to improve the customer experience. – Speaker:  Chaunte Johnson, Cox Automotive Group

Home Alone: Training without Trainers.  Are you a team of one without a dedicated training team? Are you a trainer but you have far more students than a proper ratio will support? Do you have seasonal ramps that require far more training resources than you have today? This session will help you understand the basics of how to develop and deploy an Subject Matter Expert (SME) supported training model. The aim of this session is to help answer the question how can I train with fewer trainers, when SMEs are not always good at instruction? Come to this session as we journey through how to support an SME model. – Speaker:  Marshall Lee, Ttec

The Great Debate – To Score or Not to Score.  One of the hot topics in quality assurance is how to score the quality form.  There are so many ways to handle this, and so many voices to be heard as you decide.  Come to this session to hear how other organizations handle scoring – or don’t score at all!  –Facilitators:  Pam Bode, BC BS of Michigan, Craig Brasington, Shelly Garyet, ProAssurance, & Ijlal Muhammad, National Debt Relief

Maximizing the ROI of Your Training Program.  We're rolling along, training new hires and existing agents, pushing them out to the contact center, and basking in the glory of our "smiley face" evaluation sheets, but are we really doing justice to our trainees, and optimizing our training ROI? In this session we'll look at the most common mistakes training groups and contact center operations make, and hear the best practice methods for avoiding these pitfalls. Come hear from an industry veteran about the obstacles to effective training programs, and real methods for overcoming them to the benefit of your organization.  – Speaker:  Todd Gladden, PlanMen

Ask The Expert.  This session is your chance to ask our panel of experts anything QA! This interactive panel will answer questions submitted and chosen by conference attendees. If you have a question or an issue that has been a challenge to your team, bring your question to this session! The audience will also get a chance to give some input. This session will be dynamic and informative, but the topics covered will be chosen by you and your peers at the event.

Answers to the Top 5 Quality Questions Being Asked Today.  Don’t miss this session with industry leaders BPA Quality, who return for the fourth year, sharing their expertise and providing answers to the top five questions being asked in Quality today.  BPA Quality listens to more than a million customer interactions each year, allowing them to speak from a highly informed position.  President David Blackwell and Vice President Stephanie Taylor will share advice, technological updates, best practices, and industry direction for these five questions:  Can speech analytics really be worth the investment?  How do you effectively measure quality for the wildly popular Chat/SMS/E-mail channels?  Why are my NPS/CSAT scores not reflecting the agent’s great efforts?  What are the best practices in maintaining excellence in all consumer channels?  Are there effective shortcuts to coaching?  This session guarantees practical industry insight and time allowed for your questions.  Join us and follow in our footsteps to improved quality. – Speakers: David Blackwell & Stephanie Taylor, BPA Quality

12:00-1:30 p.m. – Luncheon & Keynote

Saving The Customer Experience, One Contact Center At A Time.  We've all been waiting patiently for the Customer Experience revolution to reach its spectacular pinnacle.  It was widely predicted that 89% of businesses would be competing on the basis of CX by now.  The reality is that a tremendous percentage of Customer Experience initiatives are failing.  The time has arrived to look critically at our current approach and to seek out a new path.  Could it be that one of the greatest keys to unlocking customer success lies in the Contact Center?

Learn how great Customer Experiences begin in the contact center and inspire the entire organization!  In this session, we will:

  • Ignite design thinking in the contact center to move from reactive to proactive
  • Share tips for inspiring the business through Voice of Customer to honor customers as the greatest asset
  • Receive insight on how to look critically at the skills and existing strategy of a CX function to maximize success
  • Hear best practices for developing meaningful work to awaken a customer-centric mentality across the larger organization

Speaker:  Nate Brown, UL

1:30-2:45 p.m. – Workshops

Quality Control:  Quality Evaluator Accountability.  How is your quality assurance team being accountable to the organization?  Are they doing audits on themselves?  Are they identifying critical trends and communicating them upwards to the business to help identify/mitigate risk? Is your team struggling with how to hold your agents accountable for poor quality assurance marks or even for great quality assurance marks? This panel discussion will open up the conversation to see what has been successful in some organizations and also what has been unsuccessful and help provide ideas of what might work for your call center as you continue to strive for growth within your QA program. – Panelists:  Barb Bleiler, WPS Health Solutions, & Pam Bode, BC BS of Michigan

Trainer Evaluations: Taming the Beast.  Come to this session to explore the task of determining key components for an organization to evaluate the skills of facilitation. Hear the development process utilized by WPS to create a formal evaluation, discuss challenges, and offer time for each participant to begin outlining a key facilitator evaluation component to start their own journey into this process. -- Speakers:  Paul Kern & Christy Beatty, WPS Health Solutions

Whose Class is it Anyway? Improv for Trainers. This popular session is back by demand, but is always unique, because improv is never the same – just like training. This session is designed to help you learn to break free of your rut and script and be more free in your presentation. Come prepared to participate, move, laugh, and learn about learning! This session is geared for trainers but may apply to coaches as well. This will benefit anyone who has to get up and present in front of people on demand.  –Speaker:  Marshall Lee, Ttec

Making It Happen: Stakeholder Management Essentials.  Pleasing every stakeholder can be challenging and an exhausting quest for quality and training professionals.  However, understanding the unique needs and expectations of your stakeholders is a critical element in managing successful training and QA initiatives.  Balancing the level of interest each stakeholder brings to the project will ultimately drive success for your team and project goals.  This session will outline the benefits of stakeholder engagement, tactics to identify key players while controlling input, communicating for success, and navigating stakeholder issues.  If you have an executive that requires daily updates or a key leader that never responds to your requests, you will gain practical tools to drive the right level of stakeholder engagement in your training and quality programs. – Presenter:  Erick Sawyer, AmTrust Financial, Inc.

How Do Your Call Center Supervisors Measure Up?  Perhaps the single most important ingredient in the success of your call center is the effectiveness of your frontline leaders.  But, it’s also an area where many organizations have some serious shortcomings. There are three essential ingredients for assembling a “dream team” of supervisory staff in today’s call center – job fit, essential skills, and ongoing support.  This workshop will focus on the ten essential competencies of today’s frontline leaders, along with ways to test the critical knowledge and skills to make sure they have the specialized knowledge they need to ensure the team’s performance. – Speakers: Jim Rembach, Call Center Coach, & Penny Reynolds

Open Forum Discussion – Quality Form.  Bring your questions, answers, issues, and ideas to this lively interactive discussion. Learn from your peers and share your own knowledge and experience related to this topic.  – Facilitators:  Debbie Short, Cokesbury, & Christine Gorder, Wells Fargo

2:45-3:45 p.m. – Ice Cream Social with the Sponsors

3:45-5:00 p.m. – Workshops

Moving Disputes into Coaching Discussions.  It doesn’t always have to be a “he said, she said” issue when disputes arise from quality monitoring.  Come to this session for a spirited conversation about how to move from a finger-pointing perspective between the business unit and the quality team to being a collaborative “discussion” process that incorporates support, accountability, and transparency in the quality and feedback process that leads to coaching moments.  – Speaker:  Barb Bleiler, WPS Health Solutions

Roleplay: The Crucial Part of Training.  A look at why role-play is an essential, yet often overlooked, part of the learning process. Anything that we do well in life has come from practicing it, and that is where role-play becomes a powerful teaching tool. It allows trainers to simulate real situations, providing team members with the opportunity to practice what they are learning without the weight that accompanies actual situations. Role-play allows the trainer to create a safe learning environment where team members can focus on the material and retain what they learn.  – Speaker:  Ammon Davis, AvantGuard Monitoring

Building a Team of Quality Ninjas.  If you think your customers' loyalty is up for grabs, competition for great customer service assets is just as fierce. And, as fast as contact channels and the technologies to better monitor and collect customer feedback evolve, our quality reviewers and analysts need to build their technical and analytical skills to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of the role. Designing a skill building program strategy for your associates is just as critical as having an innovations strategy for your Quality and Performance Management Program. This session will identify key areas of job performance where ever increasing skills are required and lay out a process for designing an effective program for training your staff to meet the challenges ahead while boosting job satisfaction and staff retention. – Speaker: Kendra King, Sears Holdings

Quality and Training Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly.  Quality and Training are two incredibly important departments in any organization, specifically, call centers. This session will review the impact of forming strong partnerships between these two departments, as well as how to form that partnership and continue to improve the overall Quality and Customer Satisfaction for your organization. Through trial and error, hear how one organization has learned best practices on how to build this alliance and the steps for how to implement them within your own organization. -- Speakers: Michael Harrigan & Lucas Glover, Postmates

Who Does the Coaching?  Coaching is the quintessential skill builder in any quality-conscious service delivery program. The question customer service leaders continue to wrestle with is where does this role really belong? Our time together will explore some excellent examples of successful team structures that offer a variety of creative and common coaching structures. This session will also share lessons learned to avoid the pitfalls of “we’ve always done it this way.”  Panelists:  Craig Brasington, Deloitte, Penny Tootle, Utilligent, Armando Bolivar, Los Angeles Water & Power, & Katia Goodhart, KG Consulting

40/20 Ideas in 60 Minutes – Coaching, Rewards, and Recognition.  Yes, you read it correctly! 40 ideas will come from the panel and 20 ideas will come from you, the participants, instead of all 60 ideas coming from the panel. Plan to learn what others are doing and to share what you are doing.  Come prepared to share your success stories or even things you tried that didn’t work.  – Moderator:  Penny Reynolds – Panelists:  Chaunte Johnson, Cox Automotive Group, Shelly Garyet, ProAssurance, & Hope Gay, Sentry Insurance

6:15 p.m. – Depart for Evening Event

6:30-9:30 p.m. – Evening Event at BB King’s Blues Club

Thursday, September 19

7:45-8:45 a.m. – Breakfast & Roundtables

8:45-10:00 a.m. – Workshops

Improving Call Soft Skills with Quality Monitoring. With every customer contact there are essentially two dimensions:  the technical components and the softer communication elements.  The hard truth is soft skills most often have more influence on a customer’s satisfaction with the call outcome.  Customers who encounter agents who are compassionate, concerned, and show a sincere desire to help and resolve their issues are the ones who remain loyal. This session tackles the challenge of identifying objective soft skill behaviors and offers ways to measure them with quality monitoring.  – Speaker:  Deelee FreemanCall Center Training Associates

60 Ideas in 60 Minutes – Topic: Training.  This fast-paced session will have you writing furiously as you try to capture an idea a minute on paper! This format will give you some great tips to take home and implement immediately in your training program – if you can catch them all! – Moderator:  Penny Reynolds – Panelists:  Hope Gay, Sentry Insurance, Paul Kern, WPS Health Solutions, Christine Gorder, Wells Fargo, Maggie Klenke, Shorit Gosh, Clarabridge,& Ashley Kalcic, The Call Center School

Managing Change Before Change Manages You.  Many of today's contact centers offer a crash course in change management that often leads to more crashing than driving positive change. But, as technologies and service channels evolve, and the role of the customer experience heightens in importance, it's critical for contact center leaders to have the tools, knowledge, and resources to manage change effectively. In this panel, you'll hear from leaders who've led a variety of change initiatives and have led their team to positive results. – Panelists:  Penny Tootle, Utilligent, Erick Sawyer, AmTrust Financial, Inc., Pam Bode, BC BS of Michigan, & Barb Bleiler, WPS Health Solutions

Open Forum Discussion – Coaching Best Practices.  Bring your questions, answers, issues, and ideas to this lively interactive discussion. Learn from your peers and share your own knowledge and experience related to this topic.  – Facilitator:  Debbie Short, Cokesbury

10:00-10:15 a.m. – Break

10:15-11:30 a.m. – Workshops

60 Ideas in 60 Minutes – Topic:  Quality Assurance.  This fast-paced session will have you writing furiously as you try to capture an idea a minute on paper! This format will give you some great tips to take home and implement in your QA program immediately – if you can catch them all!  Moderator:  Penny Reynolds – Panelists:  Kim Steele, NICE, Barb Bleiler, WPS Health Solutions, Shorit Gosh, Clarabridge,

Extending Quality Programs to Written Channels.Applying the exact same processes as a traditional contact center may not be the correct way to drive value and quality from written channels. This panel session will have speakers from different organizations share best practices in monitoring and evaluating customer interactions across e-mail, chat, and social media contacts.   We will highlight the most effective ways to monitor and evaluate written interactions, and will answer questions from attendees.  – Panelists:  Craig Brasington & Jeremy Watkin

Utilizing Training Data to Drive Business Results. Join us for this session to explore the “data” journey started by the WPS Operational Training team in determining training impact on business goals. Learn the history of where they started, the process to move beyond these basics, and the unique synergies that have developed to help drive results.  -- Speakers:  Paul Kern & Christy Beatty, WPS Health Solutions

How Should Training & Quality Assurance Be Aligned in an Organization?The Training and Quality Assurance groups work together hand-in-hand – trainers must be preparing agents to take calls and fulfill the mission of the organization, and QA is ensuring that the agents are doing the job.  There should be continuous dialogue and strong bonds between these two groups. But what organizational structure works best?  Hear from the panelists how their teams are aligned, and the pros and cons of QA and Training being together and apart from both a scoring and customer experience perspective. – Panelists:  Pam Bode, BC BS of Michigan, Erick Sawyer, AmTrust Financial, & Shelly Garyet, ProAssurance

Open Forum Discussion – Training Methods.  Bring your questions, answers, issues, and ideas to this lively interactive discussion. Learn from your peers and share your own knowledge and experience related to this topic. – Facilitator:  Debbie Short, Cokesbury

11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Closing General Session

12:00 p.m. – 2019 QATC Annual Conference ends