Ensuring High Performance in the Contact Centre

By Andy Cranshaw

“High performance” could mean a lot of things to a lot of people. It can also be measured in different ways: in the contact centre setting, is high performance the friendliness of the agent responding to a call, the accuracy of the answer provided or the resolution of a call involving a very disgruntled caller?

COPC standards, to which Datacom contact centres adhere, define high performance in the contact centre as the ability to deliver benchmark levels of quality and service whilst at the same time continually driving efficiencies to reduce cost. Service is directly related to speed, which involves answering an enquiry in an efficient period of time, but it doesn’t overlook the quality of the solution delivered in favour of quickness. Quality is usually measured in terms of the correctness of the answer provided and whether or not it was the best solution for the customer.

I’ve found in my experience in the contact centre industry and in taking the COPC registered coordinator training course that achieving high performance in this outsourced environment involves a multi-layered approach. All the different disciplines and knowledge sets you need to guarantee high performance in the contact centre are interlinked and part of the same engine. Like any engine, if one small part isn’t working to the peak of its performance, the whole engine may run badly or not at all.

For instance, proper coaching of contact centre staff is crucial, but it’s only half the story. Alton Martin, a mentor of mine and the CEO of SPOT Consulting, says, “There are no bad people, only bad processes”. Having the right people is necessary, but so is having the right systems in place so those staff members succeed. Good outsourcing companies operating call centres will also analyse the data they get from their telephony and CRM systems, from aggregating the results of their quality monitoring and from their customer satisfaction surveys and really use that to find the root cause of an issue.

For instance, Datacom consistently monitors quantified performance by investigating at the operational management level to ensure we meet our targets and go through a formal process for any missed metrics. We also regularly audit all program performance through our internal team of COPC-registered coordinators who conduct full reviews against the requirements of the COPC standard bi-annually. On top of that, we also have our external COPC audits.

Datacom has seen quantified performance increase everywhere and the impact is reinforced by the great end-user satisfaction scores that we see as a result of adopting the COPC practices. We’ve also been able to offer many of our clients real reductions in total cost of ownership as a result of our ability to drive costs down without compromising service and quality. As a reduction in TCO while maintaining or bolstering brand reputation is a chief aim of many organisations looking to outsource, guiding high performance through COPC remains the industry standard.

Andy Cranshaw is a senior contact centre operations manager and performance improvement consultant with nearly 30 years of experience in the customer contact industry. He serves as the GM of Professional Services for Datacom BPO in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he has resided since 1997.

Andy started his career in 1983 as a telemarketing representative and graduated through various roles in contact centre operations in the UK, including team leader, data analyst, ops manager and head of training, before moving to the client-facing side of the business in 1993. A well-respected educator in customer contact and CRM, Andy regularly speaks at South East Asian conferences and has delivered numerous training courses for contact centre managers in Asia, Australia, the US and the UK.

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