Are you a Contact Centre?

By Lucián Jurko

In the past few years, the image of a contact centre has changed. While “phone” is what comes to mind first, modern contact centres are far from the call centre days. They are a hub of your customers’ queries, interests, issue resolution, and a bottomless source for improving the customer experience, product, and service design. The contact methods have naturally shifted as well and while the voice channel is the most natural human interaction, chat, email, and AI-driven virtual bots are making their mark and getting better every day.

Most organizations only think of establishing a contact centre only when the physical front desk of their business becomes unmanageable. That is certainly a natural progression to satisfy contact needs as they appear. However, there is a difference between always catching up and having a plan for growth and executing against it when the demand pushes you to the next stage.

If you have a business where customers need advice and your front desk just keeps answering the same question over and over and you never log those queries, where they come from, and what are their interests, you are losing out. If your sales and product teams work only on anecdotal feedback, or worse, in isolation from the customer service desk, you will spend considerable effort trying to ask and answer questions, which your front desk answered and asked several times that very day.

Afterall, isn’t Google is a giant contact centre?! It catalogues every query, every answer, seeks feedback, and draws people back as it gets better at it. You don’t have to be a giant, though. You can start a small contact centre with only a handful of employees, or you can even outsource that service with many available providers. As you focus on growing your business, creating telephony, chat, or omni-channel support is a powerful brand differentiator and creator. Many reviews online show that support and service win the day time and time again.

So, can you really afford to not have a contact strategy and your own contact centre?

If you don’t know where to start or don’t even know your needs, it’s always helpful to have someone to ask. The members of Contact Centre Nova Scotia run contact centre operations that range from small to large scale. In recent years, and accelerated by the pandemic, many members also run fully distributed models without a physical location. Feel free to reach out for advice as well as to enrich our collective knowledge of the challenges you face and let’s resolve them together. To get an idea of what we do, please see our latest member newsletter below outlining the many activities of the Contact Centre Nova Scotia.

You may not be a contact centre today but plan to be the best one for your customers tomorrow.

CCNS Member Newsletter

Contact Center Nova Scotia

Message from the President

On behalf of the Contact Center Nova Scotia (CCNS) board, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. In November 2020, I took on the role of President, and oh what an adventurous ride these past few months have been. My goal was to bring a sense of freshness and energy back to the organization and re-build a central place where members of our industry could come together and share best practices while learning and developing from each other.

Our mission statement is, “To be Nova Scotia’s central resource for the Contact Centre industry with a focus on advocacy, education, and networking.” and this has been the backbone of our growth and way forward.

CCNS has focused on growing our exposure by increasing and enhancing our digital footprint through our social media presence. We have made some amazing changes to our website, and if you have not joined, or liked our events and blog articles through Facebook and LinkedIn, then you are missing out.

In addition to our main goal, we aimed to revitalize the practice of lunch and learns, offering a place to share, discuss and network with others in the industry. Many of you have attended these bi-weekly sessions and have added value to our discussions and hopefully walked away with some value of your own.

Historically, our Annual Awards of Excellence Gala has been a tremendous success and we want to make sure we continue this tradition. This event highlights our mutual triumphs and accomplishments, and we certainly have an abundance to celebrate when we look back over these unprecedented last few years. Our theme this year is, “Contact Centre Nova Scotia’s Got Talent”, which will be your opportunity to appreciate and thank your employees for all the hard work that they do each and every day.

In closing, I would like to thank the members of the Board for their dedication and support. Their ongoing contributions have revitalized CCNS and are keeping this amazing organization alive. They are a group of like-minded volunteers, from various organizations, who come together to champion and support the industry that we love. They give their time and effort, knowledge, and experience, tirelessly because we share the passion of wanting our industry to thrive. I truly look forward to our future successes.

Membership spotlight

Our member spotlight this month features Admiral Insurance, a UK-based provider of insurance and financial services, who employ over 11,000 people across 11 countries, including 400 staff at the company’s only Canadian location in Halifax, NS. Opened in 2007, the Halifax site supports its UK counterparts with quality assurance and the sale and renewal of insurance policies for Admiral’s 5 million British customers.

Admiral Insurance

Admiral Insurance has done an amazing job of championing its people and is diligent in its efforts to offer exceptional work/life balance with progressive policies and programs that have created an award-winning workplace.

A few of these programs are:

  • 5 weeks of vacation for all employees
  • Interest-free loans to support important staff life events
  • $500 personal spending account through Blue Cross
  • Company purchased stock program

Admiral is often recognized as an employer of choice, earning one of the top spots on Atlantic Canada’s Top Employers list for the past 7 consecutive years, and one of their company mantras “People Who Like What They Do, Do It Better” which is reflected in Admiral’s approach to building a workplace centered on equality, reward, and recognition.

Admiral deserves to be celebrated here, the way they celebrate their team! Kudos Admiral Insurance.

Accomplishments

Lunch and Learns

  • How contact centers can train and onboard remotely - Micah Peterson
  • Employee resilience – Darren Steeves and Derek Fitzgerald
  • Hiring remote employees - Jen Warrington
  • How to attract, hire and retain remote employees – Jen Warrington
  • Diversity and inclusion at Admiral Insurance – Erin Storer
  • Manage your inbox and take back your time - Tonya Lundrigan
  • Remote training best practices – Micah Peterson
  • Bringing people back to the brick-and-mortar sites – Marco Colaiacovo
  • Hiring transferable skillsets in the Contact Centre Space– Jen Warrington
  • Ergonomics: The Best Way to Organize Your Workstation – Shawn Budden

Some of our other accomplishments:

Plans for the remainder of 2021

  • Continued bi-weekly lunch and learns
  • Oct 28 – Contact Centre Nova Scotia got Talent and Gala Awards Banquet (SAVE THE DATE)

Call to action

Many of us grew up in the Contact Center world and call this industry HOME. If YOU are passionate about our industry and looking for a place to make a difference, we would love to welcome you on BOARD! Check out how you can get involved.

If you have any questions for the CCNS Board, please reach out or reply to this email.

Sincerely,

Carla White, President
Contact Centre Nova Scotia
info@contactcentrenovascotia.com
www.contactcentrenovascotia.com​​

About Contact Centre Nova Scotia

Contact Centre Nova Scotia (CCNS) is a non-profit organization that was established in 1996 and serves as Nova Scotia’s central resource for industry information, educational opportunities, as well as advocacy, and networking. CCNS' vision is to build respected, professional careers and enhance the evolving contact centre industry in Nova Scotia. For more information on CCNS visit www.contactcentrenovascotia.com.

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​PO Box 70043 Cobequid Rd Lawtons PO, Lower Sackville, NS B4C 0B1


 

February 2021 – CCNS Blog

Before applying for my first contact center role, I remember thinking “Do I really want to listen to Americans complain about their cell phone bills all day?”  The honest answer…

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