For successful business in todays’ unpredictable environment, having an agile mindset when it comes to resourcing is critical. Customer Service teams in particular are under pressure to deliver on expectations and being prepared for flux in demand is essential to maintain their levels of service. We spoke to Customer Service leader Tristan Fardy on a Webinar recently all about how he is able to consistently meet high levels of service, and he admitted his number 1 priority is being able to right-size his team during out of cycle increases.
“During these periods I need to respond quickly to protect both our core employees and our service levels.”
There are a few reasons why Weploy is key to being able to right-size your Customer Service team at the right times....
According to Tristan, utilising contingent staffing solutions is an upfront investment that is offset by the significant costs saved in the long term. Every business is aware of the risks of a disengaged permanent workforce - attrition, burn out and churn of core employees come at a far higher cost than paying the premium costs associated with hiring a temp. Having a temporary talent pool readily available is seen as a luxury for many businesses, but knowing he is able to respond to market demands quickly with high quality support for his customer service team, is priceless for leaders like Tristan. Many temp agencies add extra costs on at certain times of year, or for same day position fills, but the fixed cost mechanism of Weploy enables Customer Service or Business Leaders to be able to employ these resources without the impact of hiked up pricing.
The average time to hire is 23.3 days in Australia according to research by Glassdoor. This would cause serious strain on any team with customer expectations to maintain. But it’s not just Time to Hire -it’s also about reducing the time drained because of team inefficiencies or decreased productivity Tristan points out. Using traditional suppliers can take up to 7-10 days longer than Weploy so that “By the time you’ve waited to respond, the impact is greater, you’ve burnt your customers, and burnt your team members.”
The need for a quick and easy crisis management strategy is critical during seasonal uplifts, or surge periods.
“Being able to locate team members through [Weploy], get them up and running within one to two hours with some preliminary training, and set up within their home or workspace themselves really means that we can respond to the demand, quicker than any recruiter or temping organization has been able to previously.”
The biggest blockers for agility in teams are often the bureaucratic processes and traditional operating procedures of large corporates. For Tristan, “Our previous tech was cumbersome and didn’t provide the level of insight or performance that was required from them” Moving to cloud-based systems has helped the team at Volkswagen streamline on-boarding and enabled them to get down to a 3 hour react time to market demand. Key to this has been aligning the contact centre strategy with the broader IT strategy, ensuring each department is moving together in a way that is strategically logical.
Rising industry regulation and compliance around consumer laws are creating more governance over how and when organizations can interact with customers. Whether you're buying a T-shirt or a luxury car, there are protocols that must be adhered to. The recent Royal Commission into Financial Services and Aged Care paints a perfect picture of the importance of engaging in compliant service delivery methods. Having peace of mind when using a solution like Weploy is worth more to Tristan than the increased cost. Alongside the on-demand access to contingent talent, you’re also gaining the benefit of HR best practice and shifting the risk outside of your business.
Investing front-end in the vetting process, Weploy tests for skill, cognitive capability, attributes and of course legal compliance, so that businesses can enjoy the long-term benefits of increased agility at the times it is needed the most. Recruiting for will and drive is far more important to Tristan than tangible, hard skills.
“It’s harder for me to coach or influence people to have the right attitude and ability. Working with a supplier that goes to a high level of rigour in soft skills screening really shows through in the difference of candidates that we see coming through over other suppliers we’ve used in the past”
However you utilise a contingent workforce - whether it’s tactically, to backfill absent team members or cover periods of absence, the best outcomes for Customer Service leaders like Tristan come from using Weploy strategically. “Instead of looking at contingent workforce as a luxury, it’s actually an investment. I’m measured in the times when I use a contingent workforce - of course I’m required to manage costs and budgets, as well as employing people on a full time basis to help build a solid team, internal culture, for long term mentalities. Contingent is actually here to be invested in at the right time, and the long term efficiencies prove that it’s a worthwhile return on investment. There has to be a bigger picture strategy and using contingent helps us to build that.”
Customer Contact departments today are undergoing an immense shift in their customer operations. For years, contact centres have worked in silo from the wider business operations, focused solely on responding to customer enquiries as quickly and efficiently as possible. But today we’re seeing contact centres evolve and work smarter with a range of departments to become an ultimate new-gen CX Hub.
We live in a world where digital technology is second nature. Options include remote car starters from your phone, doorbell cameras to alert you of your neighbourhood moves, and even virtual doctor visits. These options are easy, quick, and come with the click of a button. But when there is a question or concern, what do we do as consumers? The same digital access that grants us 2-day shipping and zero human interaction may lack the answers a customer needs when a problem arises. So the question at hand is, when it comes to customer service, is human interaction really best?
A calm, quiet and safe space from which to work is a basic right for each and every one of our Weployees, but at the moment we’re having to create these spaces for ourselves, at home.