Eduardo was recently interviewed in the lead-up to 1st Conference, which is being held in Melbourne on 2-3 March, 2017.
“I would encourage people to open their minds and be open to these new ways of working and be change agents in their organisations if this new mindset resonates with them.”
In July 2015, and after three amazing years at the REA Group, I started my own business called “The Agile Contact Centre”. A business consultancy focused on supporting brave leaders and organisations in transforming their Contact Centre operations. I wanted to share all the knowledge and experience in Agile, Lean and System Thinking practices that I had acquired at REA with as many organisations that I could.
Bringing agile practices and methodologies to the world of Contact Centres was a bold move. Contact Centres are traditionally run through Command and Control methodologies where team members are often treated with little trust and where call metrics seem to be more important than customer satisfaction.
Spoiler Alert! The answer is an emphatic 100% – yes. Yes, they can.
I have recently spent two days locked in a room with 11 HR BPs & Eduardo, challenging my own pre-conceptions that HR are too regulated by legal and privacy requirements to embrace an Agile way of working. I distributed the post-it notes and sharpies and braced for impact.
Having worked with Agile for a few years now, I’m ashamed I had any doubts to begin with.
HR Business Partners at their very core, in their nature are already coaches and people champions. I’ve been lucky to have worked with some great HR teams in my time as a People Leader and they have never failed to have my back, to give me guidance and to challenge a direction I was taking if it needed challenging. When you hear about the Agile Mindset being made up of 5 key behaviours (Respect, Communication, Trust, Transparency and Collaboration) – can you think of any other department in an organisation that lives and breathes these behaviours more than an HR team?
A question teams and organisations often ask themselves is: how can we become more “agile”? I think what they are really asking is: how can we be more adaptive to our increasingly ever-changing environment?
In my view, becoming more agile is not about adopting agile tools, frameworks or rituals. Sure, if used properly a good set of agile practices will help embed a culture of collaboration and fast decision making across the company; but they won’t give you organizational agility if you don’t also have these three key ingredients:
Practices vs. Mindsets
AGILE started in the world of software development. Luckily, today we see more and more teams adopting agile practices outside of IT to transform the way their teams work. I’ve had great success adopting these practices in Customer Service and Contact Centre teams; but I’ve also supported HR, Finance, Marketing and Sales teams in working the agile way.
The good news is, that agile practices are easy to implement. You don’t need to wait for budget approval or expensive IT systems; the only thing you need is a trip to your stationary cupboard or to your local shop to buy some blu tack and index cards.
In my previous blog, I talked about the Customer Satisfaction score as the main metric for service organisations and contact centres; but, what other metrics should a service organisation really be focusing on?
Understand what your customers contact you about
In my view, the single most important metric a service organisation can measure is Customer Demand; that is, gain a deep understanding of why your customers are making contact in the first place. There are many reasons contact is made, but they can be categorised in two ways: they can be either Value Demand or Failure Demand. To really level up your customer experience you need to be very clear on how many enquires you receive from your customers because something went wrong (failure demand) and how many enquiries you receive that your customer service team was built to handle (value demand)1.
A question that I get asked sometimes is, “What is the best metric to measure Customer Satisfaction in a Contact Centre? Is it NPS (Net Promoter Score), Customer Effort Score or CSAT (Customer Satisfaction)?”
And the answer that I always give is, it doesn’t matter which metric you use; but how you use it.
If you use the Net Promoter Score (the number of customers that would recommend your company minus the ones that wouldn’t) or Customer Effort Score (the score your customers give to how easy it is to do business with you), you’ll get a metric that reflects the end-to-end experience of the customer with the entire company. I like the second one better by the way.
On the other hand, if you use the Customer Satisfaction Score, you will get a more targeted view on how the Contact Centre is performing.