At Premier, we’re all about helping organisations find the right systems and solutions for transforming their Contact Centre models, from functional silos into integrated and responsive Customer Experience Hubs.
But we know what it’s like in the real world. Sometimes, Contact Centre Managers (and aspiring CX leaders) need more than just good systems and training to give their teams the edge. They need support from senior and C-Suite management – something that comes only when they understand the value this cultural evolution will bring to the business as a whole.
Regardless of where you are in the organisational hierarchy, being a leader is about more than inspiring your team. It’s also about being able to influence your own leadership and management teams.
A recent article published by market research organisation Forrester revealed that businesses are sluggish, at best, in shifting towards more customer-oriented business models. In their 2019 study of 260 brands across 16 industries in the US, overall customer experience ratings showed a barely noticeable increase on previous years – just 0.4 points. In the breakdown, some ratings rose, while others fell, but 81% of those simply “stagnated”.
As CX professionals, we see firsthand how a consistently good customer experience can boost loyalty and promote growth. And in a world where customers’ expectations – and their capacity to influence others – are rising, creating a positive experience counts more than ever. So why are so many businesses failing to make any headway?
According to Forrester, it comes down to a lack of CX leadership. Those who want to “break away from the pack” need to focus on the feeling customers are left with after interacting with a brand and its people. We need to do more than provide responsive systems and tools like chatbots – we need to demonstrate emotional intelligence, and empathy for our customers.
Leading the leaders: building the case for change
The systems and processes you use help your team deliver this experience, but it’s the culture of your Centre, and your organisation, that supports the people in your team.
For more and more businesses, the Contact Centre is the only point of engagement with external customers, managing all online channels as well as voice support. In an organisation with a transaction-focused mindset, the Contact Centre’s influence can be underestimated. Team morale suffers, and the end customer bears the brunt. It’s not a pretty picture from a CX standpoint.
But there’s a positive side. Your team will likely be highly attuned to your customers’ needs, as they deal with them every day. By inspiring a culture of customer-centricity in your own team, and encouraging their input and ideas into how to better serve customers – be it through a shift in process or policy, or better systems integrations – you’ll be able to build a clear picture of just how much of a difference good CX can make. You may even decide to include tangible measures, through staff and customer surveys, to help you garner support for broader organisational change.
As well as working with your team, and inspiring change at the coal face, here’s what else you can do:
- Work with your own managers and leaders, to help them understand what you’re trying to achieve and why.
- Ask for their help in working with or generating support from other departments, and with senior leadership in turn.
- Listen to their feedback and look for solutions together that could inspire and influence others to see the CX light.
A truly customer-centred organisation nurtures all its relationships, and is driven by a genuine desire to serve all its customers to the best of its ability. A well-functioning Contact Centre with a positive culture is as important as a solid sales and marketing team. Yes, you read that right. And we believe it 100%, because all the brilliant work of your sales and marketing team goes to waste if your customers don’t feel valued and respected once they’re onboard.
Now is the time to be a leader, and make a stand for customer experience and a customer-centric culture. (Before all those other businesses wake up and smell the coffee, and start catching up!)