Published: April 20, 2022 | Comments
Your contact center is different; you can’t see it represented in any information online. Your contact center has unique needs; the organizational business model is innovative. In such a situation, you may feel clueless about how to develop structures or processes for your team. You’re not alone. The rules of the game have changed radically post-pandemic, and many organizations are scrambling to reinvent themselves.
For instance, in Nigeria, we’re seeing an increase in the ecosystem business model, and horizontal and vertical integration strategies. This is a direct effect of the pandemic, with lots of organizations across Africa looking for sustainable growth strategies and leveraging technological platforms for business continuity. And this phenomenon isn’t new, according to EY: “Ecosystem business models are becoming ubiquitous as companies seek to optimize capital and create new forms of value.”
So, how do you as a contact center manager or executive create teams, structures, and/or processes that provide service digitally across different verticals? Do you create individual teams for each vertical? Do you use multi-skilled teams to handle interactions across the verticals?
Simply put, you may find there is no blueprint or how-to-manual for your team. This news isn’t bad; it simply means you have freedom of creativity and invention. Perhaps you’ll be the one to come up with the post-pandemic contact center model others will emulate.
Here are a few suggestions that have worked for me in such a situation, and that may help steer you in the right direction.
You aren’t going to find an official format or template, but you will find good suggestions from different places that you can fit together into a working formula for your team. The composition of different elements will create a unique model and specially tailored tools for your team.
Embrace Trial and Error
Try various tools, structures, and processes until you find what works best for your organization. Start with small tactics and changes and then move to increasingly informed ones, so the chance of success increases with each trial. Please approach this cautiously, as frequent changes within a contact center environment can exacerbate employee discontent, result in higher error rates, and tank overall performance.
Imagination and invention go hand in hand. Embrace the uniqueness of your organization and think outside the box. Look at what conventionally has been said won’t work; maybe it could turn out tol be perfect for your team. For instance, in Nigeria, pre-pandemic organizations vehemently kicked against remote work. Now, with the right tools, it’s a successful model that drives both profitability, growth, and employee engagement.
Modify, change, bend, compromise, and adapt to the ever-evolving post-pandemic world. Learn from mistakes and make quick adjustments. Identify new trends or customer expectations and then make changes fast. Gone are the days of prolonged tests or slow responses to gaps. Take immediate action.
Failure is an option because with every failure comes a valuable lesson: what to not do or what to do better. A lesson that helps improve your strategy and brings you one step closer to success. According to Forbes, failing early, cheaply, and often with an end in mind can mitigate risks when you’re ready to move on to bigger things.
- Fail early: build structures that help you easily recognize when something isn’t working and scrap bad ideas immediately. Don’t stretch out what’s not working.
- Fail cheaply: start small, lean, and cheap. You adjust once you see successes.
- Fail often: think high frequency. Then you’ll find the answer or identify what isn’t the answer faster.
Embrace Employee Engagement
The pandemic has shown us that a vital component to our organizational success is our employees. Our team members drive the team's initiatives, structures, and processes. You need to invest in comprehensively motivating and encouraging your team members. This may involve incorporating gamification tools, incentive programs, or designing a career path within the team.
Patchwork, failure, and creativity are not the usual terms you hear in conjunction with a successful contact center. This new world has shown us it’s not business as usual, and it’s up to your contact center to rise to the occasion and save the organization’s day.