In today’s episode I’m taking you behind the scenes of Rutz Consulting - and in fact of any operation that I have led in the past! You all know by now, that my contact centre career has taken me to BIG names such as Hertz, PayPal, Sitel, Ralph Lauren, Santander… the list goes on.
I hear very often – there is no entrepreneurial spirit in the corporate world. And this might be true for a lot of firms. But not for all of them! It’s down to you as the boss of your contact centre unit to create the business you want it to be. Plus…. Any manager I know, who treats their unit as their own business enjoys so much more fun, sees productivity soar and subsequently their career moving forward… pretty fast.
Today I’m taking you through 7 reasons / 7 areas of focus that you want to consider when running your unit:
1. Know your Finances and Growth
It is absolutely paramount that you keep the financials for your area in your peripheral vision at all times. You might say – well that’s not for me, I’ve got a Finance Department for this. Far from the truth! You are creating costs! You are “spending” money, you can make a profit.
Cost Factors are: Attrition, Absence, poor learning journey, poor product knowledge resulting in poor NPS scoring. Profit Factors are: Exceeding contractual Service Levels, High NPS score, high quality scores. Some firms calculate the cost per contact. If you don’t know what this is – go and find out! If you don’t know how much attrition costs – go and find out what your recruitment department spends on advertising, pre-screening applicants, potentially personality testing, Find out how much overtime hours cost! And try to evaluate what the loss of knowledge is costing your operation! And you will very quickly notice – Financials are important.
Another question you want to ask, especially in outsourced contact centres – what is the forecasted Gross Margin! From there you want to know the Net Margin (after cost) and subsequently the EBITA contribution (Earnings before Interest, Taxes and Amortisation). Now this figure may vary by industry! But do go and ask your Finance Director what this number would be!
2. Marketing & Visibility are everything – but…
I hear you! You are probably saying “I have nothing to do with Marketing”
Think again. Anything you produce for a business review meeting, maybe for a breakfast meeting or for a client quarterly review meeting creates visibility of you, your firm and your team! So be clear on your powerpoint presentations! No typo’s, no silly jokes that might upset others. Always ask yourself – who could see this piece of work! Think the boss of your boss! That’s two tiers above you!
Also – if you have an online profile on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn – you want to be mindful that this is a public platform potentially referencing to your employer. Yes – you can get fired for posting on Social Media. You can get fired for
> leaking companies news
> Pretending to be in a deadly terrorist group (yes – it happened)
> Tweeting about lifestyle and drug possession – especially if you are a teacher
> Racist tweets (happened to British politicians)
> Posts about how much you hate your role or / and your employer
> Posts that insult your companies customers
And the list goes on.
Do employers do social media background testing? I can tell you – yes they absolutely do!
3. Scaling – adding human capital to your Unit – do it with purpose and know your WHY!
Very often a department starts small. It’s not uncommon that an outsourcing contract for a language account starts off with 10 agents and 1 Team Manager! However – you need to think about where this department is going! In other words – it is not very effective nor efficient to employ one Operations Manager for 10 Agents and 1 Team Manager!
Your offering needs to grow, add additional human capital under this ONE Ops Manager! Scaling is growing!
Growing is knowing where to let go of things.You see – not everything you do is adding value to your operation, your business! So think! Trim the fat! Implement changes in processes, Skill set requirements etc. This leads nicely to point number 4.
4. Operational Efficiencies make you profitable!
Only your ops manual will show where you can gain operational efficiencies! We have an entire Podcast dedicated to your Ops Manual – have a listen to episode number 28! Please do download our very simple workbook. It cuts the elephant in pieces. And we – at rutz consulting – are here to help you make it happen. Get in touch via the contact form on our website.
5. Innovation is king!
In many firms – innovation and automation are value add’s and do sit outside the operational day to day delivery of your service. However…. The best ideas come from your frontline team members! They identify very quickly what could be done better.
Albert Einstein said: You can’t solve a problem on the same level it was created. You have to raise above it – to the next level!
May I make a suggestion? The best way to do this in your own teams is taking a group of agents off the phone and inviting them to brainstorm the problem! You will not only get various angles of the one problem but you will get ideas how to solve the problem. Or at least where to start looking for solutions! This doesn’t cost a lot of money – and it goes a long way in employee engagement.
6. Customer Experience makes or breaks your business!
We all know – CX is the buzzword in our industry. Everybody talks about it – nobody does anything for it! What would happen if you started to care about your internal customers? For example: What if recruitment really cared about operations? And treated Operations as their customer? You got it…. The recruitment department would be consistently feeding your pipeline, so that you always had a bank of potential new colleagues to fall back on to.
What if Operations really cared about Learning and Development? Your knowledge base would be up to date, because you would feedback to your L&D what is changing.
We do have an amazing episode with Daniel Ord in our podcasting series! Episode 19. Dan is also a guest expert in our LEAP Academy – the Academy for contact centre professionals. If you want to learn more about LEAP – check out the website LEAP Academy International. 7.
7. Invest in personal growth – and believe it happens for you and for you only!
In my entire career I took care of my own personal growth. By that I mean – I kept learning, and I am still learning! Not necessarily technical, job related skills – but gaining knowledge in areas of interest to me. For example I started to study applied occupational psychology a few years ago. Simply because I was always interested in “what makes somebody tick to come to work”.
I’m a big fan of personality testing. Whether this is a Disc Assessment, Strengths-finder, Thomson International or my absolute favourite the Kolbe A Index – I sit down and study the result, in an effort to understand myself better and help others to work / live with me.
I am part of an amazing mastermind group and more recently I lead a Think Tank – the PeerCircle – where we discuss contact centre and personal issues in a Chatham House like environment. The group is by invitation only – but in 2021 I will open a handful of spaces. Please get in touch if you would like to be considered!
Last – but not least – I enrolled a coach / mentor. My very first mentor was Gregor Finlay. He was my guest in Episode 11! You can listen to how he helped me through a steep career path in my beloved contact centre career.I would love to hear what resonated with you from today. Let me know where we can help you and your contact centre to strive in 2021!
ResourcesYes - you can get fired for Social Media posts!
Ops Manual: Episode 28
Clash of the Forces - Episode 19
My Podcast is produced by Unavoided Media