Personality in the Contact Center

Just before Covid, my four-year-old had her first dance recital. Ever eager to perform she ran onto the stage far too early, waved at everyone, realised her mistake and then ran back to the wings of the stage. She received one of the biggest cheers of the day. Once the performance began, she was one of the most animated and passionate in the group. By the end, some of the others were looking at her, and following her lead to not be nervous. Those four-year-old kids got the most considerable applause of the afternoon. Now how does that relate to the Contact Center, you ask? In an age of Bots, and scripts, and outsourcing, we are losing the personality in the Contact Center. Those are the individuals that customers in their time of need, remember for the right reasons, but may not always follow the rules. Managers tend to be exasperated by them, but the fact is Contact Centers need them! The managers tell me they don't fit the mould they are looking for, these individuals don't have good stats, talk too long, don't stick to scripts, and achieve results at the expense of the processes designed for the Contact Center. But in the age of the Cloud Contact Center, and the Advanced Analytics available, there is no excuse for this complaint. Modern Contact Centers have the tools that are required to accommodate these free thinkers, and the analytics can prove it. Using what I call Generation 2 metrics, the mood of the call, the words being spoken or typed, and the NPS scores received through survey feedback, linked to data from other systems in the Center, you start to realise; these people are the gem of the Contact Center. There is a reason why these individuals obtain on average higher scores in these areas, while scoring low in some of the older Generation 1 metrics, talk time, calls handled, occupancy. They tend to have higher empathy for the customer, and also understand the limitations of the processes developed, better than most. So YES, they take a bit of understanding. But these individuals will repay the care you take in spades. Using the right tools to both drive the business, and also analyse the activity you will find that, while on the face of it they are the rebels, of the Contact Center, they might also be the star performers. Generation 1 metrics only tell part of the story. In the true Omni-Channel, cloud Contact Centers, there is no excuse not to use Generation 2 ones as well. Without them, you only get 1/2 the story. Remember that Customer Experience driven by significant technological advances is excellent, but add those personalities on the top of that, and give those people the freedom to fly, you will crack the code. Which will bring me to Staff Engagement (My Long-Running Passion) later ...........]