Contact Center Fundamentals
3-days  in-person or 5 virtual half-days training course - $2,495
On-site delivery available


This course was designed specifically for the business person entering or transferring to a contact center, executives that oversee or set performance goals for the contact center, and those responsible for set-up, design or restructuring of a contact center. Contact Center Fundamentals presents the 'big picture" and introduces attendees to the component parts and performance factors that make up today's world-class call center. You will learn what underlies call center readiness to handle customers' demands for service, what drives call center efficiency and how to manage and improve efficiency, strategic uses for productivity metrics, and how effectiveness is gauged. You will learn exactly how to prepare, step-by-step, a customized balanced scorecard of metrics that will guide decision-making, simplify managing contact center performance, and report the call center's contribution to organizational goals.

After attending this course you will be able to "talk the talk". More importantly, you will have a renewed vision for the future of your call center and how to get there.

What You Will Learn:

  • Organizational structure, job roles, and business functions in a contact center, and how contact centers and other company departments interact
  • Contact center configurations and business models to consider, from a simple centralized center, to remote agents, home workers, and outsourcing solutions
  • Decide whether to geographically centralize or decentralize your center, or adopt a virtual cloud-based model, and the performance impacts of each
  • Inbound, outbound, and blended call center business models and how metrics for evaluating the performance of each differ
  • Onshore, offshore, and nearshore call center locations, captive vs.outsourced
  • Communication channels in call centers and the omnichannel approach
  • The role of self-service options in call centers
  • Challenges of managing a remote call center workforce
  • How call center success is measured, metrics are used, KPIs are established, and performance is improved.
  • The relationships between call center efficiency, handle time (AHT), and first contact resolution (FCR) metrics  how they relate to customer satisfaction
  • Assessing and adapting to changing customer expectations
  • Service level targets and scores - what they are, what they mean, and how to meet them
  • The differences between efficiency and effectiveness, productivity and utilization, metrics and KPI's, and what you need to know about all of these performance measurements
  • How to assess and report agent and overall call center performance
  • Building a useful metric scorecard for your center
  • Creating a performance scorecard that front-line professionals can use for self-management
  • Responsibilities of a call center managers and the most difficult challenges they face
  • Technologies in a contact center operation, such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR), the Automatic Call Distributor (ACD), queues and routing, Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), and workforce management tools
  • Why people leave, what it costs, and how to improve agent retention and reduce turnover
  • The causes of burnout, stress, turnover, and agent churn
  • Calculating the financial cost of turnover and what to do to reduce it
  • Workforce management in call centers, how future call volumes are forecasted, and how agent schedules are created.
  • The Quality Assurance (QA) function, call monitoring, and the role data analytics play in continuous quality improvement
  • Maintaining consistent service quality using best practice Standard Operating Procedures and processes

Course Chapters

  • Chapter 1 - Contact Center Mission and Business Models
  • Chapter 2 - Contact Center Dynamics and Metric Performance Evaluation
  • Chapter 3 - Contact Center Structure and Job Roles
  • Chapter 4 - Call Arrival and Delivery Technologies
  • Chapter 5 - Contact Center Agent Utilization
  • Chapter 6 - Creating and Maintaining Standard Operating Procedures
  • Chapter 7 - How Quality is Managed
  • Chapter 8 - Selecting the Correct Performance Metrics

Who Should Participate

Contact Center Fundamentals is ideal for:

  • Newcomers to the contact center profession
  • Executives with contact center oversight (also see Call Center Executive Management Boot Camp)
  • IT, human resources, marketing, and other professionals that support or interface with the company call center or help desk
  • Consultants and sales professionals with contact center clients and prospects
  • Leaders charged with forming a call center department or business
  • Outsourcing entrepreneurs
  • Financial analysts and directors

Important: Professionals with any level of call center work experience should not take this course.  If you have spent significant time working in a call center, please attend the appropriate core certification course:


There are no prerequisites for this course.



  • Overview of the Contact Center Fundamentals course
  • Goals and learning objectives for the Contact Center Fundamentals course

Chapter 1 - Contact Center Mission and Business Models

  • Attributes of a contact center
  • Types of contact centers differentiated, pros, cons, and considerations
    • Internal vs.external vs. public user bases, cost and access ramifications
    • Structural models
      • Centralized centers
      • Decentralize centers and WFM scheduling options
      • Virtual models
      • In-office, work at home, and hybrid work locations, advantages and challenges
      • Outsourced
      • Work at home lessons learned:
        • Hiring, training and coaching
        • Technology and IT support
        • Scheduling, absenteeism and adherence to schedule
        • Engagement challenges
        • Attrition and retention
    • Geographic location and proximity
      • Local
      • Domestic
      • Offshore
      • Nearshore
      • Follow the Sun
    • Communication sources
      • Inbound
      • Outbound
      • Blended
    • Contact center communication channels
      • Phone
      • Web chat
      • Text
      • Email
      • Technology-based self help
      • Deferred vs. non-deferrable communications and appropriate metrics for each
    • Types of contact center services, similarities and differences
      • Customer/member service
      • Technical  support and field support
      • Appointment scheduling
      • Information and referral
      • Collections
      • Telesales
      • Answering services
      • Language interpretation
      • Market research
  • Contact center contributions to the organization
    • Profit centers
    • Cost centers
    • When the contact center is the core business
    • Contact center return on investment
    • Proving the contact center's value

Chapter 2 - Contact Center Dynamics and Metric Performance Evaluation

  • Contact resolution process flow
    • The caller experience
    • How contact centers monitor stages of the caller experience
    • Quality vs. Customer Satisfaction
    • Top customer expectations
    • Monitoring customer expectations and satisfaction
    • Expressing customer expectations as performance targets
    • Methods for managing customer expectations
  • Contact center capacity: metrics that measure customer ease of access, and the relative importance of each
    • Blocked calls
    • Wait time
    • Average speed of answer
    • Self-service usage rate
    • Abandonment rate
      • Good abandons vs. bad abandons
      • Analyzing causes of abandonments and bails, why it happens and how to fix it
    • Service level, service level score and the built-in SL blind spot
  • Contact center efficiency: metrics that measure speed of the resolution process; relative importance of each
    • Efficiency defined
    • Mapping and measuring the contact resolution process
    • Talk time and how to increase talk time efficiency
    • Hold time, hold of the hold, and best practice methods for reducing hold time
    • After call work
      • The ACD's timed ACW feature and how to use it correctly
      • Use of an AUX code to track ACW
    • Handle time
    • Appropriate metrics for tracking deferrable service workload (e.g. email responses)
  • Contact center effectiveness metrics that measure results
    • First contact resolution
    • Quality score
    • Customer satisfaction
    • Conversion rate
    • Documentation rate
    • Error rate
  • Contact center productivity metrics that measure contact center throughput
    • Contacts per agent
    • Why it is not a fair measure of agent efficiency
    • Emails per agent
    • Closed contacts
    • Escalation rate and methods for reducing escalations
    • Transfer rate and methods for reducing misrouted calls

Chapter 3 - Contact Center Structure and Job Roles

  • Organization charts for large and for small call centers
  • Contact center job roles defined and explained
  • Service delivery
    • Agent, Customer Service Representative (CSR), Tech Support Analyst
    • Team Lead
    • Subject Matter Expert
    • Supervisor
  • Leadership
    • Contact Center Operations Manager
    • Contact Center Director
    • Vice President, Customer Service
    • Financial Analyst
  • Internal or shared supporting functions
    • Quality
      • Quality Manager
      • Quality Assurance Analyst/Monitor
      • Coach
    • Workforce Management and Staffing Optimization
      • Workforce Manager
      • Workforce Forecaster/Planner
      • Workforce Scheduler
    • Technology and Telephony
      • Contact Center IT/Telecom Manager
      • Telecom Engineer
      • IT Analyst
    • Training
      • Contact Center Training Manager
      • Training Instructor
      • Content Developer
      • SOP author
    • Human Resources, Recruiting and Hiring
      • Call Center HR Manager
      • Call Center Recruiter
    • Cooperative interdepartmental relationships and agreements

Chapter 4 - Call Arrival and Delivery Technologies

  • Technology acronyms, features and functions, and how they impact speed of service
    • IP PBX - Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange
    • IVR - Interactive Voice Response
    • ACD - Automatic Call Distributor
    • CTI - Computer Telephony Integration
    • Automatic Callback/Virtual Hold
    • Queue messaging

Chapter 5 - Contact Center Agent Utilization

  • Growing the call center staff: recruiting and hiring
    • Performing an agent skills analysis
    • Aligning hiring criteria with required skills, knowledge and abilities
    • Creating the telephone pre-screening interview form and process
    • Conducting candidate testing and assessments
    • Designing simulation and observation procedures
    • Instituting an employee referral program
  • Growing intellectual capital in the agent ranks
    • The four successive phases of agent training
  • Losses of agent capacity
    • Turnover (Attrition)
      • Top drivers of early agent turnover
      • Calculating the high costs of turnover
    • Absenteeism
      • Causes of absenteeism
      • Methods for minimizing absenteeism
  • Agent stress self-management in the contact center
    • Top causes of agent stress and mental exhaustion
    • Methods for addressing stress
      • During calls
      • Between calls
      • Between shifts
      • On busy days
      • During busy season
  • Cultivating motivation and retention
  • Workforce management: matching the workforce to the workload
    • Forecasting future workload and modeling staffing schedules
    • Forecasting accuracy metric
    • Scheduling efficiency metric
  • Effects of overstaffing and under staffing
  • Understanding call center dynamics
  • Utilization metrics
    • Schedule Adherence Rate
    • Auxiliary time
    • Available Rate
    • Idle Rate
    • Occupancy Rate

Chapter 6 - Creating and Maintaining Standard Operating Procedures

  • Examples of call center standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • One SOP, three uses: training, quality assurance, and knowledge base content
  • Operational; and performance benefits of SOPs
  • Sample SOP table of contents
  • Why SOP Maintenance is so challenging
  • Common causes of ineffective SOPs
  • Process for developing SOPs
    • The SOP author
    • The SOP style guide
    • SOP workshops
    • Review, vetting, and approval processes
    • A aged SOP review and maintenance
  • Anatomy of a best practice SOP
  • SOP publication and release best practices
  • Draft a standard operating procedure

Chapter 7 - How Quality is Managed

  • Quality assurance mission, goals, and standards
  • Quality assurance program best practice development steps
  • Defining quality goals and objectives
  • Quality vs. customer satisfaction
  • Steps in creating a quality monitoring form
  • Three QA monitoring form structures
  • Pros and cons of alternative scoring methods
    • Checklist scoring
    • Sliding performance scale scoring
    • Weighting factors
  • The continuous quality improvement cycle
  • Alternative monitoring methods
  • Who can/should monitor calls

Chapter 8 - Selecting the Correct Performance Metrics

  • Based on strategic goals, there is no industry standard
  • Metrics vs. key performance indicators
  • Perform a strategic analysis using SWOT
  • How to create a strategic metric scorecard with key performance indicators
  • Example scorecard to monitor metric performance variances over time

Registration Fees

The per student registration fee for this training program is $2,495 and includes:

  • 3-day instructor-led training or 5-day virtual training
  • All training materials
  • Course certificate of completion
  • USB-based Toolkit including articles, software tools, references, checklists, planning tools, and templates

Class begins at 9:00 AM and ends at 5:00 PM each day. Business casual attire is appropriate. No jeans or sneakers please.

Virtual sessions run Monday-Friday in one week for a total 17.5 hours. Attendees may be assigned daily homework assignments for completion outside of class. Morning virtual sessions begin at 9:00 AM CST and end at 1:00 PM CST each day. Afternoon sessions run 2:00 PM CST to 6:00 PM CST each day.

Register securely online with confidence or call (708) 246-0320.

Seminar Schedule
Apr 1-5, 2024 5 virtual sessions
Apr 1-5
9:00 AM CST - 1:00 PM CST
May 29-31, 2024 Chicago, IL Schaumburg Centennial Center
July 1-3, 2024 Chicago, IL Schaumburg Centennial Center

In-House Training Option

In-house, on-site training offers the added benefits of facilitated team interaction; a confidential environment where plans, processes, and policies can be openly discussed; minimized travel costs; and little or no travel time.  For support centers with a number of attendees, on-site training can maximize your training investment.

Pricing for an on-site course delivered at your location is determined based on a "base fee" for up to four attendees, and a per person fee for each attendee thereafter.  On-site fees are all inclusive:

  • Base fee for up to 4 participants - $11,995 includes:
    • 3-day instructor-led training course
    • All training materials and shipping
    • Certificates of completion
    • USB-based Toolkit including articles, software tools, references, checklists, planning tools, and templates
    • Shipping
    • Instructor's travel and lodging expenses
  • Additional participants - $895 each

Additional travel surcharges will be charged for travel outside of the continental USA and for seminars scheduled within three weeks, or paid for within three weeks, of the on-site delivery date.

The customer site must provide suitable meeting space, any desired meals or refreshments, and the following presentation supplies:

  • Easel with flipchart paper and markers
  • Screen for Powerpoint slide shows and software demos

Register securely online with confidence or please call (708) 246-0320. The RCCSP registrar will contact you to discuss preferred dates for the training.

Request In-House Training

Contact Center Fundamentals On-Site Training, up to 4 participants, $11,995
Additional Attendees, $895 each                            

More Training and Certification Courses

See the complete calendar of RCCSP Professional Education Alliance Contact Center Training dates and locations.

For more IT, technical and field support training course options, see the RCCSP Help Desk, ITIL, and Support Center Calendar.

Dates, Locations and Registration

What some past attendees say...

"This course was well worth the investment.  It was an excellent overview for both experienced, non experienced and newcomers to the call center environment.   -- Nancy Robitaille, Operations Manager, Olympus NDT, Quebec

"Great foundations course.  All my questions were answered and I learned a lot of new material." -- Juliana Maldonado, Call Center Outsourcing Services

"The opportunity for individual attention was key to this learning experience, as well as the instructor's ability to understand our current environment and adapt conversations accordingly." -- Vice President Operations, Centris Group

"Good speakers, great instructors, very knowledgeable. Our organization expects to realize a return on this investment in education with better methods to handle support centers and uniformity amongst support centers." -- Partner Manager, ACT, Inc.

"It exceeded my expectations.  I would absolutely attend another RCCSP training or certification program." -- Director, Help Desk and Corporate Services, Centris Group

Learn From the Industry's Leading Authorities
Recommended Follow-on Courses:
Call Center Supervisor Certification

Call Center Management Certification

Fundamentals of Workforce Management

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Terms & Conditions

Seminar agenda and assigned instructors are subject to change.

Payment is due prior to the seminar.

Public seminar cancellation policy.  Registrants may cancel up to fourteen days in advance of the seminar start date for a full refund, less administrative fees of $400.  Or, you may transfer your registration to another date or member of your company at no additional charge.  Please notify us as soon as possible. Registrants cancelling within fourteen days of the seminar will receive credit, less administrative fees of $400, toward any other Resource Center seminar.

On-site training scheduling and cancellation policy.  On-site training fees must be paid to reserve a training date.  Additional travel surcharges will be charged for travel to training locations outside of the continental USA and for training courses scheduled within three weeks, or paid for within three weeks, of the on-site delivery date.Organizations may cancel up to 21 days in advance of the seminar delivery date for a full refund, less administrative fees of 25% of the base fee.

If for any reason you are unsatisfied with the training, please notify the instructor by the end of the first day. If you decide to cancel the remainder of the training program, the instructor will collect all training materials.  Fees paid, less a prorata one-day on-site training base fee plus any travel surcharges, will be refunded.

Cancellation by provider. In the unlikely event that a seminar must be cancelled by seminar provider due to unavoidable circumstances, you will be notified at least two weeks prior to the seminar date, and your payment will be refunded.

Seminar provider is not responsible for losses due to cancellation including losses and penalties on advanced or non-refundable airfares.

In all circumstances, seminar provider's liability shall be limited to fees received.

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