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Give Us Your Toughest Challenge 'Challenge Solved' - A New Monthly Advice Column Only For Contact Center Managers and A Bonus Feature!
Submitted by Ulysses Learning

November 29, 2016

Give Us Your Toughest Challenge  

“Challenge Solved” - A New Monthly Advice Column Only for Contact Center Managers

Each month we will feature a Q & A 
advice column in Call Center Times.
Here’s how it works.
Give us any challenge in your contact center
and Ulysses Learning will seek out experts to share their ideas on how to solve your challenge.  Struggling with first call resolution?  Dealing with a high performer who doesn’t play well with others?  Having a hard time attracting and retaining top quality reps?  Trying to maintain service levels despite a diminishing operating budget?  Losing customer loyalty?  Experiencing an increase in call times and dropped calls?  Getting more than your fair share of escalated calls from unhappy customers? 
Whatever your challenge, take a moment to describe your challenge in an e-Mail to 
NOTE:  Your identity is protected; we will not publish your name or company name. 
Then, remember to read your monthly Call Center Times online newsletter to see if your challenge is featured in that month’s Challenge Solved column!  
Relief is right around the corner. One terrific benefit of this advice column is that readers will get ideas from Ulysses Learning’s team of certified master coaches and consultants, along with experienced, real-world contact center managers PLUS other industry partners who specialize in the featured challenge.  We’re talking about advice from experienced contact center executives and solutions leaders that could truly transform your contact center and make your work life easier. 
Start now.  The only investment you need to make is to put your challenge in an e-Mail and read the monthly Challenge Solved advice column in the Call Center Times online newsletter to see if your challenge is featured.  Again, e-Mail your challenge to
Even if your challenge isn’t featured right away, keep reading the column each month.  We will retain all challenges submitted by Call Center Times readers for future column consideration.  We look forward to sharing some great ideas that will relate to your contact center that you can put into action right away. 
Simply e-Mail your challenge now to:  We think you’ll be glad you did!

How a True Story about Pigeon Droppings Can
Transform Your Contact Center
Dina Vance
Senior Vice President, Managing Director North America
Ulysses Learning
Yes, you read that right - pigeon droppings.  But let me explain.
I just came back from a national meeting for contact center customer service improvement where I got to spend time with people who really inspired me.  I have to share with you one particular experience that, I hope, is as useful to you as it was to me.
One of the speakers shared a true story that perhaps you’ve heard about – the crumbling of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.  Here’s the story as verified through
The Jefferson Memorial was crumbling to the point that it came close to seriously injuring a tourist. The National Park Service convened a committee to look into the issue.
            So they asked the question Why? At first they thought the problem was acid rain so they considered covering the Memorial. A big undertaking since the monument is rather large! However, none of the other monuments were decaying at the same rate and this one was crumbling inside and out. So again they asked Why?
They went to the people who worked at the monument and discovered that they were diligently cleaning it inside and out with a soap solution twice a week. Further investigation revealed that the soap solution reacted with the exhaust from the jet fuel from the airport across the river, causing the erosion.
The first question put to the workers was why are you cleaning it so often? They explained that there were a LOT of pigeons around it and that droppings had be cleaned off to keep the area presentable for the tourists.
The second question was why so many pigeons? They brought in a pigeon expert who explained that the pigeons were attracted to an unusual number of spiders in residence.
The third question was why so many spiders? The spider expert told them that they had so many spiders because between the monument and the river there was a marsh that was home to a particular kind of midge. It seems that midges have a very short reproductive cycle which involves coming out of the ground just at dusk. After a lot of investigating they discovered that at dusk flood lights were turned on to light up the monument which attracted a significant number of the mating midges to the light. They promptly died, falling to the ground all around the building, attracting spiders who eat midges.
So the spiders feasted on the midges, the pigeons ate the spiders and pooped all over the monument, the monument was cleaned twice a week with soap that interacted with the jet exhaust and pieces of the crumbling monolith were falling on tourists.
Solution: While at first glance it appeared that moving the airport would be the only solution (just imagine the expense!), all they had to do was change the timing of the floodlights to allow the midges to do their business and get back into the ground which in turn discouraged the hungry spiders who moved to better feeding grounds and the pigeons flew the coop, leaving the cleaners of the Jefferson Memorial only occasional work.
What business challenge are you experiencing? 
Why do you think the challenge exists?
When you ask “Why” over and over again, you can gain powerful insights that give you an edge as a leader.
Let’s talk.
This story reminded me of how Ulysses Learning’s consultants work with clients to get to the bottom of their performance issues.  Sometimes you have a business challenge that appears to be connected to one set of circumstances, but, in actuality, is the result of a series of decisions or issues.  It can be tough (and sometimes very expensive) to find the best and most practical solution.
Knowing what questions to ask is something we have developed an expertise in doing at Ulysses Learning.  I would love to have an opportunity to guide you through a discovery call where, together, we can ask the right questions to unlock your contact center’s potential, leading to higher levels of performance for you and your business.  And with fewer headaches along the way.
Simply send me an e-Mail at to get started.





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