In this series we will look at some of the common mistakes made by contact centre managers, as seen by our work in the Australian contact centre industry. They are not presented in any particular order.
This article is the seventh of nine articles in the series.
Work With The Business
Contact centres often operate in isolation, with little or no interaction with other departments in the business – even if their performance has a direct impact on the other department.
Contact centre staff should meet regularly with all other parts of the greater business that are impacted by the performance of the contact centre – after all, those other parts of the business are customers of the contact centre too.
In order to be truly effective a contact centre manager must know what other departments expect of them, and must also show other areas how their work impacts the contact centre. For example, if Accounts send out inaccurate invoices, or Marketing put an ambiguous statement on the web site, contact centre volumes will increase, which has a real and measurable cost to the business. By demonstrating that cost (or even re-charging it internally), it will encourage the other departments to consider the impact of their actions in the future.
This frequently occurs when a customer calls the contact centre to request something (maybe a new service or a fault repair), but the contact centre can’t resolve the issue immediately and has to pass the issue to another department. If the other department doesn’t resolve the issue quickly the customer will call the contact centre back thus increasing workload. In extreme cases they will become frustrated with the contact centre and its staff, which can adversely impact staff morale – even though the contact centre can’t do anything to resolve the problem.
While regular meetings are the most common way of interacting with other parts of the business, there are other strategies that can be employed, including:
- Encouraging management from other departments to visit the contact centre and see how it works – even listen to some calls.
- Creating a staff exchange program so call centre staff and staff from other areas that interface with the contact centre can “swap jobs” to experience each other’s challenges and successes.
Providing customer service is not the responsibility of a single department, even though a single department maybe the interface to the customer. Customer service is the responsibility of everyone in the organisation, and everyone needs to work together to provide that service.
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All previous articles are available on our web site – www.ccaction.com.au
Next article – Communicate Effectively.