Resolutions to Actually Stick to

January’s not looking…relax…he’s gone.

This is a safe space where we can be real about our new years’ resolutions.

Did we start those Spanish lessons, download the ‘Couch to 5k’ app or finish that massive novel in a fortnight?

Over here we learned ‘una cerveza por favor’, re-laced our trainers in front of the telly, read the blurb on the cover – twice.

At Adexchange we say it’s okay not to have sussed every strategy by the end of January. Oversetting unmanageable goals has become an easy ‘new year new you’ trap, both on a personal level and as contact centre managers. The important thing is that we learn to prioritise well for the rest of this year, so we can smash our chosen projects out of the park.

In other words…

Which projects are we actually going to tackle in the next 11 months, and which ideas were a January fling? 

As big advocates of quality over quantity, at Adexchange we understand how overwhelming a single project can be. So, in case you’re quibbling over which to focus on, here’s our run-down of the projects we could all benefit from picking in 2022. Pluck any one of these, and it’ll be a good choice:

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1. Going digital

The good news: If we’re all running businesses and reading blogs like this in 2022, the chances are that we’re already operating our businesses in a digital space. Which means we aren’t nervously starting from scratch by taking on this goal for 2022, but confidently continuing our journeys of digital transformation.

The things to work on this year: 

  • Our best bet is to review which parts of our contact centres could go digital and become more effective than they currently are.
  • Is there virtue in responding to our customers via social media, rather than on the phone, for instance? How else can we craft an omnichannel experience for them?
  • Maybe we could showcase our products via online photography and virtual tours, rather than asking our customers to rely on a degree of guesswork or having to see things IRL?
  • Have we made sure our customers can easily follow our digital offerings? Have we made our new website compatible with snug smartphone screens? Are the customer journeys intuitive? If we’ve developed a new app, do our customers know about it? If not, are we offering an incentive for them to try it?

That’s a lot of questions, but if the answer is no to any of them, we immediately know where to shine our laser focus, and where to look for help within our digital universe.

2. Self-serve mechanisms

The good news: This is a project which will undeniably save us, our customers, and our agents time in the long-run, and so immediately justifies a bit of investment. In general customers are willing to self-serve; according to Harvard Business Review, 81% of customers will try to sort an issue themselves before reaching out to a live agent. This concept doesn’t need any selling, it’s just a matter of doing.

The things to work on this year:

  • We should always keep an eye out for processes in our customer-interactions which could become self-serve mechanisms. These could include anything from our customers managing their own data, such as address changes and new payment cards, to co-ordinating logistical operations such as booking appointments, tracking deliveries, managing refunds or checking our stock levels.
  • To identify the processes we want to prioritise, we can focus on what self-serve options could give our customers the most control over the speed of a process, thereby improving their ease of experience and, as a consequence, their trust in our business.

The fact that these mechanisms will then free up our agent’s time is testament to how  symbiotic and worthwhile self-serve projects are. (Self-serve might just be our favourite project for 2022 – as it encompasses digital transformation too…)

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3. Improving knowledge banks

The good news: Even if it’s a rusty FAQ page in the backwaters of our website, most of our contact centres will already have a knowledge bank to build from. If so, this project is mostly a case of consolidating, which is totally doable. Think of it as a final, rather than a first, draft of something.

The things to work on this year: 

  • Initially, bringing our knowledge banks back to the basics of what we, and our customers, really need to know. Aka, frequently asked questions about regular processes.
  • Cluttered, overwhelming and unnecessary information can go straight out of the window.
  • Once we’ve stripped back to the bare bones of ‘need to know’ content, we can work out what information is missing from our knowledge banks (answers to common queries).
  • Next, it’s a matter of communicating the necessary information in a compelling way, so that our content gets consumed like chocolate cake.
  • This way, people aren’t left with nagging questions on how to find solutions to their problems but feel empowered to take on tasks such as self-serving. (Not sure if you’ve noticed, but we really love self-serving).

4. Tone of Voice

The good news: Even if ‘tone of voice’ feels abstract, we all already have one. In our daily phonecalls, social media communications, and email correspondences, our contact centres use tone of voice with customers. A ToV project is about reaching a more in depth understanding of how it can best represent us and connect with our customers.

The things to work on this year: 

  • Clearly identifying our tone of voice.
  • Check that it’s positively reaching our customers and helping them engage with us.
  • Make sure our tone of voice is uniform across all our channels.
  • This includes consistency across the various language-speakers we reach, and the subtle localisations their cultures require.

5. Data

The good news: The whole point of focusing on data as contact centres is to resist getting overwhelmed by it. This isn’t about looking at more numbers, or making things more complicated for ourselves. It’s about choosing which numbers to listen to, and what they ACTUALLY mean.

The things to work on this year:

  • Identify which numbers we can influence and change as contact centres, and forget the rest. Average ‘wait times’, ‘handling times’ and ‘reasons for calling’ are generally good figures to look at.
  • Check these numbers are as accurate as possible. And don’t be scared to ask for help from data specialists who can take the time-consuming element out of this process, and streamline our data collection.
  • Be very clear what we want to know about our numbers, before we look at those spreadsheets and start actioning change.
  • Once we do, action positive change to get nicer numbers! (Often this can involve…you guessed it…enabling customers to self-serve.)

Giving TLC to just one of these initiatives would be a game-changer for any contact centre this year. But here at Adexchange we know these projects can all feel like a daunting addition to the day job of running a business. As specialists in each of these areas of optimisation, we dedicate our days to this stuff and would love to do so for you. We don’t care if it’s February already – crack that resolution and give us a call.

Picture of Megan Brownrigg

Megan Brownrigg

Picture of Megan Brownrigg

Megan Brownrigg