If your customer service reps (CSRs) must respond to customers' e-mails, screen them not just for their phone manners, but also for their writing ability, notes Liz Kislik, president of Liz Kislik Associates, a Rockville Centre, N.Y.-based management consultancy. During the interview process, give CSR candidates an actual customer e-mail (deleting the customer's name and contact information, of course), and ask candidates to respond to it as best they can. Look for candidates who can write grammatically correct and professional-sounding sentences, says Kislik. "Bear in mind, you may actually have to hire e-mail-only CSRs, especially if your current phone CSRs can't write well,"

Devise a compensation program that galvanizes your contact center reps By Donna Loyle As the economy improves, labor markets no doubt will begin to open up in some regions, and turnover may become an issue in some catalogers' contact centers. "Many customer service reps feel they're undercompensated for the value of the job they do, that is, in relation to the energy they exert on the job and the stress they encounter in dealing with customers all day," recounts Liz Kislik, president of Liz Kislik Associates, a management consultancy based in Rockville Centre, N.Y. "If they think they can get slightly higher

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