Ahead of the inaugural Future Contact Centres Sydney event, we caught up with Michelle Shiers, Complex Customer Care Lead, Telstra to discuss their contact centre vision, their biggest takeaways from building a successful contact centre, as well as how they secure investment and support from senior executives and much much more!
1, To set the scene, what is your contact centre ‘vision’?
My vision would be to have a ‘no’ contact centre – where our services & products just work; and our services & products are delivered on time every time! Where, everything is predictive and digitised; if a customer needs to make contact they get to the right person first time who can solve the query at first contact.
2. What are the key outcomes you are hoping to achieve, and by when?
We are digitising our customers experience – we start rolling out new products and plans from the beginning of July 2019, this will continue to roll out over the next 18 months, so we are at the beginning of our change journey.
3. What have been the biggest challenges for you in improving your contact centre and how have you overcome these?
At this stage, it is about taking our people through this disruptive change journey, ensuring we get our people aligned quickly, keep the right people engaged and move the people that are not engaged on from our business.
4. What have the 5 key learnings/takeaways been for you?
My response to this question has been about our AGILE journey:
- We are at the beginning of an Agile journey – we are still learning and adapting our new way of working in ‘real time’.
- We are learning to accept we will not get it right every time – failure is OK, but do it FAST! Experiment; understand why you have not met your objectives; pivot and then keep moving.
- We have found it is so easy to slip back into the old ways of working, so we need to keep holding each other to account! We know the only way we will succeed is to believe we can actually do it!!!!
- As leaders we are learning to: Remove the roadblocks and create a clear path for our people to succeed – we must own this!
- Make room for our people to shine - we must ‘unshackle’ the minds of our people from: being told what to do next and how to do it; to being a free thinker with strong independent thought leadership
5. How are you improving the speed and accuracy of resolutions?
We have flattened our L1/L2 and L3 structure by merging these teams into the one team, we call the teams: swarms – where we have L1, L2, L3 and Billing people into a group where they problem solve as a group.
6. How have you gone about securing investment and further support from senior executives?
Our transformation has been driven from our CEO and executive team down through the organisation. They have mandated and announced our T22 strategy to the market and have started with a top down restructure of our business, including a flattening of our organisation, a change of operational focus and the driving of a new culture, moving from: command and control to: an Agile, Dev Ops, LEAN and Design Systems Thinking organisation that can adapt as quickly as technology is evolving.
Complex Customer Care Lead, Telstra