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Carolyn Blunt

Managing Director

Ember Real Results

Multiskilling millennials

Ambitious, wholly at ease with digital and

social channels, willing to learn and prepared

to take responsibility; millennials appear an

ideal fit for the evolving role of contact centre

advisors. So as an employer, how can you

capitalise on this talent pool? Why must sales

through service be part of your contact centre

talent strategy?

Everyone in the customer contact space is

wholly aware that it's evolving: the questions,

increasingly, are how far and how fast? In early

2018, it was suggested that at least two in five

customer interactions are now digital channels,

but the speed of change is such that by the

end of the year, digital will have overtaken

voice. Gartner recently predicted that, by 2020,

the customer will manage 85% of their

relationship with an enterprise without ever

interacting with a human.

The new role for the Contact

Centre

Of course, these broad numbers only tell part

of the story. Most contact centre teams are

already experiencing a further aspect of the

evolution. Instead of purely taking orders,

receiving payments or handling other

straightforward transactions, advisors are

becoming the problem-solvers. They are the

point of escalation when customers can't do

what they want to do digitally or via self-service.

The escalation may come via a voice call, a

web chat or a social channel.

Interactions are typically longer too, rendering

some more established performance metrics

like handle times, redundant, and higher

customer expectations. Advisors are viewed as

the glue that joins the omnichannel experience

for the customer, drawing on information from

multiple sources. Failure to do so effectively

doesn't just hit the Net Promoter Score: it can

lead immediately to negative public comments

that damage the brand. On the other hand, the

best service builds loyalty and trust; customers

feel the advisors care about the issue and are

working constructively to solve it.

In response, many organisations are rapidly

reskilling their advisors resulting in a surging

demand for training in social media skills,

dealing with difficult calls and general customer

care. Achieving a change in workplace culture

is always difficult; it takes time to overcome

natural resistance, particularly amongst those

who have been doing the job 'their' way for a

long time. That applies not only to advisors but

also to managers accustomed to managing

performance along well-defined lines.

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