Back from a couple of days at Customer Contact Expo, the self proclaimed “UK’s premier event for Customer contact solutions, workshops and connections”, where thousands of industry professionals gathered to hear about trends, see the latest technology and gain a vision of what the contact centres of the future will look like.
As anticipated there were lots of solution providers and discussions around the usual Contact Centre hot topics of Omni-Channel, process improvement and Customer Engagement with “Cloud Based” appearing to be the buzz phrase at the event.
What was refreshing to hear was the increased focus on two areas that I believe are vital to contact centres and business success; employee engagement and the increasing sphere of influence of quality in organisations.
In a highly interesting talk by David Macleod from the Employee Engagement Taskforce, the understanding, backed up by compelling evidence, that positively engaging your team can have dramatic impact on all of your business metrics was persuasively delivered. I encourage you to look at the Engaging for Success website where there are specific publications showing the weight of evidence of how positively engaging employees impacts profitability and service outcomes.
From personal experience, I have always believed that the engagement and development of team members with the same level of rigor used in measuring and managing customer engagement and experience can deliver exceptional dividends.
We are all aware of the drive towards reducing customer effort, satisfying customers and in encouraging customers to promote our products and services, indeed most businesses have robust processes for measuring these areas; CES, CSAT, NPS. Can the same be said for our employee practices?
Do we spend an equal amount of time tracking and measuring our employee effort, how easy it is to work for us, our employee satisfaction and our employee promotion scores, given the impact our people can have on our business and customers?
From a customer perspective, we measure the customer journey; from promotion to acquisition, utilization, satisfaction and retention, with teams looking at understanding and enhancing all touch points for consistency, simplification, cost optimisation and enhanced experience. We undertake detailed root cause analysis, process improvement, quality measurement and invest heavily in technology to ensure we are meeting business and customer needs.
In my opinion, a compelling case can be made for undertaking the same detailed approach to the employee journey from values, culture, skills, competencies, advertising, recruitment, on-boarding, induction, personal development, communication; in short all employee touch points. By identifying what excellence looks like in each of these areas, there can then be a drive and culture within the organisation for continuous improvement and enhancement.
With technology increasingly providing solutions for less complex interactions, the ability of our teams to handle higher value, more complex interactions across multiple channels will grow. Having a highly skilled and engaged workforce will enable us to better meet the future challenges, and is going to be an increasingly important area of focus in the Customer Service and the Contact Centre industry in the years ahead.
The second area; the increasing sphere of influence of quality in organisations, I will cover in my next article.
Written by: Andrew Mutch, Chief Customer Officer, BPA Quality UK Research Center