Have you told the call centre?

Categories Thoughts on business

I was recently asked to be a backup speaker at the Client Experience Management conference in August. I didn’t get a chance to speak, but I did get a bottle of wine from the experience – so that’s nice. I didn’t want my content to go to waste, so I thought I would blog about it. My topic was called “Have you told the call centre?” and it was a challenge to current thinking about partnering with call centres within the organisation. 

The creative process 

  • Brainstorm the idea
  • Brief into an agency 
  • Go back & forth, not telling anyone 
  • Plan internal launches 
  • Tell contact centre 
  • Go live to clients 

There is a mystical place called a call centre within your organisation. Sometimes these call centres sit on the other side of the building or campus, it might even be outsourced to another company. If you are not sure where your contact centre sits, it’s likely that you won’t keep them top of mind when you are launching a new campaign or a making a process change. 

Imagine for a second that you are in a call centre 

You pick up the phone for eight hours a day with regimented breaks and strictly monitored performance metrics. As far as the company hierarchy goes, you are usually one of the lowest paid people in the building. 

You are aware of product/service issues but still you get kakked out constantly. As a result you are sitting on huge amounts client feedback.

Then to top it all off, you are made aware of changes when they go live and you might get a FAQ doc and you are expected to be excited about a new campaign/change. 

So there is an alternative to this whole process, partnering with your contact centre early. Partnering with your contact centre can: 

  • Improve client experience 
  • Help validate decisions 
  • Establish agents for change

Many studies have shown that levels of client experience track parallel to agent happiness. So keep your agents happy to keep your clients happy.

So when do you engage with the contact centre and how do you do it?

Firstly make sure you have data to validate decisions before you start the process. 

It all starts with bringing them in during the planning stages. You don’t need to make a democracy, but pick their brains and make them aware. 

Speak to the person on the phones, not the people managing them. 

Be clear & concise on what you want and what you are looking to get from it. This is easiest to do when you know the data you need to validate your choices. 

How do we keep our agents engaged, hungry & foster a culture of improvement?

Well when agents not only in the loop but help create the loop they are engaged with the whole project, empowered to chat about the co-creation and advocates for the message of the campaign/change and the brand. When they get help scope the message they can amplify it through real conversation. As call centre agents feed into the rest of your business they feed this behaviour of advocacy. 

Ultimately, all of this improves agent experience which leads to client experience and that is the real goal. 

So my final advice:

  • Partner early
  • Partner frequently (not just for campaigns)
  • Use data to make decisions
  • Interactive Feedback from the call center will make your campaign better
  • Your best internal ambassadors are found in the call center