Basia has a long-standing relationship with CXM and Awards International, both as a contributor and judge. Whilst she was also nominated this year for CX Stars, she is watching from the sidelines and is very excited to see who comes out on top! Basia wrote to us from her home office and talked about the current CX climate as she sees it, and about what she hopes to see become a permanent feature in all customer engagements: empathy!

I’ve got that Friday feeling today! I am writing this on a sunny morning in London; I have a full day’s work ahead of me that includes meeting new clients and a bit of onboarding with the new company I have recently joined. And on top of that, we have no homeschooling for two whole days.

Wow! What a week it’s been and it’s only the second week back after Christmas. I have been weaving between onboarding in my new role, and “Mum, please help me write a report about the Soweto Riots in South Africa…” (my Year Six’s work) to algebra and understanding phonemes and graphemes.

The CX Stars event is happening again, and I was eager to see who had been nominated this year. I have been a Chair Judge at various CX awards for many years; a role I enjoy so much and get so much out of. I can’t wait to see how this year’s awards unfold.

Anyway, let’s get back to the topic at hand – Customer Experience – the reason I am writing this and, hopefully, the reason you are reading this.

Pandemic aside, there are still very many companies that are excelling. But there are also those who are still, quite frankly, using the pandemic as an excuse for bad customer service.

As much as working-from-home and schooling-from-home are all blending into the same monotonous day, so are the ways in which we conduct business.

The pandemic has meant that businesses have had to pivot 360 degrees over night to provide the same services as before. And consumers, like us, have hopefully provided businesses with the opportunity to accelerate their foray into the latest digital adoptions.  

Let’s face it, all we really need right now is good customer service. We are all busy and time poor, stretched to our limits; and all we need is the ability to have our queries dealt with as “first-call-resolution” – and if we are lucky enough, to get that resolution with a happy agent on the other end of the line!

Now, that brings me to my next observation: all these people we are speaking to in call centres are now working from home, maybe from their kitchen tables – like most of us! And dare I say it? That image scares me as much as online home learning does!  

The Contact Centre: the heart and pulse of any business, whether its B2B or B2C, was always of strategic importance, but the significance of it in previous years has fallen on deaf ears in the boardroom.

The contact centre and the people who work in them will have an increasingly important role to play in 2021 and beyond.

During this year the call centre has never been more important, and the focused lens on this heart of the business is finally showing its true worth! This year has shown the value and importance of the work completed by those that work in these call centres.

This year has, without doubt, shone a light on the importance of good customer service therefore in turn, resulting in a good customer experience.

Empathy! We know what this means, right? We have seen the length of calls increase in time due to call centre agents having empathy. I am hopeful this continues for us as things start to improve and we return to a new normal, post-Covid. We are seeing a rise in “being human”, in the way work gets done; dogs barking, children requiring help with their online schooling, deliveries – all during our relentless Zoom calls and online calls, and I do hope it stays that way. We are all human, afterall.  

Employee wellness has also never been more of a focus. Happy, empowered agents surely provide better customer service?

All this talk of customer experience leads me to welcoming the CX Stars of 2021, powered by CXM.

I have seen first-hand how they have turned around their Awards functions from face-to-face extravaganzas to online events. It’s certainly not lost its momentum and certainly not lost its focus on Customer Experience. The CX Stars 2021 is now open for voting (click here to vote for your top five influencers and top five professionals) and the entrants encompass a multitude of customer service warriors, all fighting from their own corners to create better customer experiences. We have had many companies enter, together with many technology companies, all bringing innovative solutions to help businesses in their quest of creating a loyal customer base. Empowered, happy employees are essentially a profitable business to its shareholders, all fuelled by wanting to improve that customer experience.

Good Luck to all the CX Stars this year, I look forward to the finals.

Yours in CX,

Basia

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