CX, Contact Centers and Mind-Reading Chameleons

Author Bio

Author Bio

What’s the toughest job in the world? There are probably a lot of answers that spring to mind, but chances are “contact center agent” isn’t on your immediate list. However, this was Claire Sporton’s suggestion as she kicked off proceedings at Confirmit’s “Voice of the Customer in Contact Centers” event in London last week.

In fact, based on the number of nodding heads around the room, I think it’s safe to say that Claire wasn’t alone in her assertion. Her point was that agents are now expected to understand customers, and their business, to a much higher level than at any time in the past. Not only do they need to make interactions easy, they also need to be empathetic, engaging and have exceptional product knowledge. In short they must become a bridge between the customer and the company, changing their behavior for each conversation they have.

So, in fact, we’re asking them to become mind-reading chameleons…which may be the hardest job in the world.

Our line-up featured much more thought-provoking content, of course. We also heard from James Elliott at Bupa Global who described how using transactional surveys in the contact center had been an eye-opening experience for the healthcare provider. As a business that hadn’t seem themselves as a contact center, and they soon found that they were getting some simple things very wrong. However, the Voice of the Customer has given them the insight to make huge improvements very quickly.

One of the great pieces of guidance that James provided was about identifying talented people as customer champions. These people are empowered to come up with change ideas and given the support to build out those ideas and create a solid business case to present them. At Confirmit, we’re always talking about the role of employee engagement in the customer experience, so it’s fantastic to see this taking place in a company like Bupa Global.

As well as some exciting views on the role of technology on empowering contact center agents to do the right thing from our own Terry Lawlor, we also heard from Anne-Marie Forsyth of CCA. There were three things that really stuck with me from her presentation.

1)      Fake News: Are we sticking with a metric that tells a nice, positive story to our exec team, but that we know, deep down, doesn’t reflect the truth?

2)      Are we climbing the right mountain? We’re all busy doing things, but when did we last stop to check that we are doing the right things?

3)      Every board needs a 22 year old geek! Exec-level thinking often needs a shake up by someone who isn’t bogged down in legacy and “the way we’ve always done things”. Bringing different people into the conversation can give us a whole new perspective and approach.

It was a packed agenda with a lot to think about, but fortunately there was plenty of time to talk over the issues in the bar afterwards. Our attendees joined Confirmit staff for fizz and nibbles and, as is always the way of things at Confirmit events, the really great conversations happened in this informal environment.

We have many more events like this coming up, so if you’d like to learn more about the burning issues in the industry, pick up some best practices and then chat about them over drinks – take a look at our events page to see what’s coming up.