Last week I spent some time judging entries for the European Contact Centre & Customer Service (ECCCSA) awards, and it was great to see the ECCCSAs living up to their name, with so many strong European entries appearing on the final shortlist.
Without revealing any details about specific shortlisted entries, it was clear from a number of ECCCSA nominees that a growing gulf is emerging between those organisations that are setting the industry best practice in their specific categories – and those who are simply getting by, innovating when they can.
While that might seem a little depressing for those seemingly consigned to a long-term catch-up mode, it’s worth noting that what defined the leading ECCCSA candidates wasn’t so much a specific process capability improvement or an advanced technology deployment, but rather their real commitment to embracing change. Instead of just deciding to invest in a particular area of their customer contact operations, the organisations setting the pace were instead building innovation – and their determination to deliver it – right into their business strategy.
So, for example, instead of hoping that customers might transition to more cost-effective self-service channels, we found that some organisations were systematically designing and refining their business processes to make this the most likely outcome. Contrast this with a less design-led approach where the digital offering and knowledge base might be strong, but there still might be a rogue Contact Us number still on the website – so customers can just call you anyway!
However, with a strategy that’s aggressively focused on making digital engagement as attractive as possible, those kind of customer journey disconnects would be engineered out as part of the design process.
It’s this quality of focus that makes ECCCSA judging so fascinating – and why I’m looking forward to the ECCCSA awards dinner in London in November, where I’m hoping to catch up with the different award winners and find out more about what differentiates their customer experience.
Sabio is again proud to be an ECCCSA sponsor. In the run-up to the awards we’re hosting our own ‘The Art of CX Conference’ at the Blue Fin Venue on London’s Southbank on the 12th October.