Contact Centres or call centres are diverse and highly complex organisations made up of many functions but fundamentally they are all the same – they are part of an organisation in which incoming and outgoing communications from both new and existing customers are handled by teams of contact centre agents.
A simple way of explaining the make-up of an organisation, such as a contact centre is the commonly used term, ‘People, Process and Technology’
People themselves do the work.
Process helps people do the work better.
Technology helps people do faster, more innovative work.
People do the work but how they do that work is crucial. There’s lots of talk at the moment about how AI etc will impact the role of humans, but people are, at least for now, still required for governing the output.
Processes help people do their work better. They help define and standardise work, preventing people from having to re-invent the wheel all the time.
Technology helps people do faster and more innovative work. It helps free up our time to be more creative.
You can’t stand still!
Change is key to the ongoing success of any business; standing still does not breed success especially in contact centres where customers are demanding faster and simpler ways to communicate with them.
People utilising processes allow businesses to scale and this is where growth is accelerated; one person utilising a great process can be the same as ten people utilising a poor process.
People interacting with technology allows us to innovate. We start by creating new ways of doing the things we’ve always done, but then we open our minds to new ways of doing new things.
Processes that interact with technology allow us to automate. Machines execute things far faster than people can.
When businesses successfully manage all these three interactions, they grow and they see success.
Consider these questions:
Do you understand who your customers are, what journey they have to follow to communicate with you and how they would like to communicate with you?
Do you understand how efficient you are as a business in supporting your customers and are you creating value?
Are you providing your customers with the best service you can and are you doing it better than your competitors?
The answer to questions like these allows businesses to start to understand if and where change is required. However, one key ingredient is missing; a strategy. If an organisation doesn’t have a strategy, how can it answer these questions?
Just as People, Process and Technology come in 3’s, so does Strategy:
Strategy is why we make the decisions we make.
Tactics are what choices we’ll make to achieve those decisions.
Execution is how we’ll implement our choices.
Businesses need to be able to answer the question of why in order to answer the subsequent questions of what and how.
So where is your business?
Businesses have to continually assess everything about their business and their customers as standing still means your going backwards.
Your business will always need great people supported by streamline processes and the right technology, but without a strategy you’ve no idea where you are trying to get to and whether you’re going in the right direction.