August 30, 2019
Article was written by Simon Shaw, Customer Service Director
Having worked in and on contact centers for the last 20+ years, I have witnessed firsthand how people and culture are the most important drivers for transforming them. In the pursuit of a customer service transformation, organisations are often hyper-focused on the technology itself and this is becoming increasingly apparent with companies introducing new digital channels and chatbots without a thoughtful strategy and plan to support them. However, service is fundamentally a people-oriented function. Employee experience, maybe even more so than customer experience, should be at the heart of an organisation’s contact centre transformation - how a company enables agents to deliver an exceptional level of customer service is a reflection of the brand’s values. Technology can be an enabler of transformation, but it’s the people who must be the driving force.
One trend that I’ve seen in the workplace is contact centres agents being left out of the conversation when an organization begins to prioritise its business goals and deliver value. But when these same companies are looking at misaligned connections and broken processes, it’s these same links that were deprioritised earlier that often lead to valuable insights. A contact centre’s agents are on the front line and are able to identify exactly what’s working and what’s not–those insights should be guiding the priorities of a transformation. Both your top-performers and less experienced agents should be a part of the discovery phase and ongoing project to prevent misalignment and improve employee adoption.
More and more we are seeing organisations recognize that customer service needs to be a business priority in the larger organisation. Particularly in Europe, call centres are attracting more graduates from strong educational backgrounds as prospective employees discover that it allows them to showcase their technical abilities, multilingual skill sets, and opens the door to other internal departments. Europe has been very progressive with their contact centre mindset, in ways where I have yet to see other regions embrace.
Customers are increasingly engaging with digital and self-service channels, like communities and chatbots. When there is an opportunity for customers to engage with a contact centre agent, it is essential to provide a positive experience for both the agent and customer fueled by proper training, skill sets, and technology.
Learn how employee experience factors into the future state of contact centers in our webinar, Building The Contact Centre of The Future.