I was recently tasked with considering the possible challenges of creating a large-scale customer service centre.
I looked at how to combat these challenges and ensure a healthy balance between a traditional call centre and a start-up operation.
The ideal workplace
In my experience, having had the opportunity to have worked with both big corporations and start-ups, I would like to mention some of the characteristics that good start-up environments have in common
• Trust-based environment
• Open communication, a culture of collaboration
• Innovation – promotes creativity
• Contributions have impact
• Casual yet energetic atmosphere
• Flexible hours
• Benefits and modern facilities
These points sound great, but this is not just how the environment is at a start-up – this is also the environment people would really like to have at any workplace. Who wouldn’t like to feel that their job has a great impact in the business?
Who doesn’t want the opportunity to learn new things every day, or to have the chance to own the process and be able to modify it as you see fit? Therefore, the challenge is not to maintain a start-up environment; the challenge is to create a work environment where people still want to be part of after a big scale-up.
Scaling is a big challenge that needs structure and organisation. The main challenge is to mitigate risks, and the faster the operations grow, the more challenging the risks will be. When we talk about risk, we refer to the risks of deteriorating the quality of service; the risks of the collapse of the infrastructure; the risk of burning out your team faster.
To mitigate these risks, it is important to create internal scalable strategy. Here are some recommendations:
1. Make sure you have the right tools
Helpdesk systems provide you with ticketing systems, support articles, reports, statistics, and so on. Do thorough research and tailor the helpdesk to your needs, and make sure you test it properly before you agree on a contract.
2. Define your metrics and get to know your customer more
The KPIs will be the navigator through this journey. Make sure you have a mix of KPIs that measure the performance of the group, the quality of the service, and the satisfaction of the customer.
To have the situation visibility that has already been mentioned, you need to have at least one of these three types of KPIs.
3. Make sure you have the right people
Once you have started the path of growth, you need to make sure that every addition to the team it is the right one. This will save the company so much time and money. Partner up with your talent acquisition team and go through the requirements and they will support you as you select the new talent. Make sure this person has the right mind-set, the right attitude, and lives by the same value standards as the company.
4. Documentation and automation
It is very important to have everything documented properly. This will not only work as a knowledge base for the future, but it will help develop so many other processes. The documentation needs to be accessible but should only be managed by a small group of people. It must be simple, precise, and well-structured.
5. The onboarding process must be well structured.
One of the most important processes that must be well thought out and able to be scaled is the onboarding of new talent. By the end of the onboarding, the agent should be ready to be as independent as possible.
A well-thought onboarding plan should include:
a. An extensive review of all the relevant documentation. Training.
b. A shadowing session with 1-2 different people to expose them to different styles.
c. A review of the Quality Program
d. A review of the company culture
e. A practice session
f. A coaching session with the Team Leader
g. A quiz/test to validate the learning.
h. Re-educate if necessary. Follow-coaching session.