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Unlocking Contact Centre Excellence: Engagement in a Hybrid World

As contact centre leaders navigate the ever-evolving landscape of customer service, it’s crucial to adapt to new challenges and embrace innovative strategies. At MaxContact’s ‘Afterwork’ community event, organisational psychologist Danny Wareham delivered a thought-provoking talk on unlocking contact centre excellence through engagement in a hybrid world.

Embracing the Hybrid Reality

Wareham emphasised that the hybrid work model is here to stay, and contact centres must adapt to this reality. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of employees have changed roles due to a lack of flexible working options. Ignoring this shift or attempting to revert to pre-pandemic norms could lead to disengaged employees and high turnover rates.

Trust and Social Capital in Remote Work

One of the key challenges in a hybrid environment is maintaining trust and social capital among team members. Physical distance can affect trust, as people are more likely to trust those in close proximity. However, Wareham argues that culture and engagement are not solely dependent on physical presence. By fostering a strong sense of purpose, clear communication, and inclusive practices, contact centres can build trust and social capital in a hybrid setting.

Watch the full talk from Danny Wareham:

The Importance of Vision and Clarity

In a hybrid world, where context and nuance can be lost in virtual interactions, it is paramount for contact centres to have a clear vision and purpose. Employees need to understand why the organisation exists, where it is heading, and how they contribute to its success. This vision should be woven into every aspect of the organisation, communicated frequently, and translated into actionable goals for each team member.

Reinventing the Future of Work

Wareham encourages contact centre leaders to reimagine the future of work rather than simply replicating old practices in a virtual environment. He cites examples of companies like Automattic and SF Recruitment, which have successfully adapted their processes to align with their core values and objectives. By rethinking talent acquisition, job descriptions, and succession planning, contact centres can tap into the full potential of their employees and create a more agile, collaborative workforce.

Creating a Shared Future

To create a shared future in a hybrid contact centre, Wareham suggests focusing on three key areas: recognition, technology, and education. Recognising behaviours that align with the organisation’s vision, rather than solely focusing on results, can encourage employees to adopt the right mindset. Leveraging technology as an enabler, rather than a mere substitute for in-person interactions, can unlock new possibilities for collaboration and engagement. Finally, prioritising education over training can help employees develop a broader understanding of their role and contribute to the organisation’s success in innovative ways.

Embracing the Opportunities of Hybrid Work

As contact centre leaders navigate the challenges of a hybrid world, it is essential to embrace the opportunities that come with it. By fostering a strong sense of purpose, adapting processes to align with core values, and empowering employees to contribute their full range of skills, contact centres can unlock excellence and create a thriving, engaged workforce.

To hear more insights on hybrid working and similar topics relating to the contact centre, join the MaxContact Community to be notified about similar future events.

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