How is the in-store retail customer experience evolving?
American retailers appear to be facing a crisis. Brands like JC Penney, American Apparel, and Sears are all closing stores and customers there...
As we continue to grow as a business, I am fully focused on how our people will continue to improve on, and deliver, best in class customer experience. Along with our in-house specialised HR team we are committed to doing more than ever before to attract the right kind of talent into the business in the right role, right first time, who we can be sure will deliver the very best in customer service for our clients.
With this interdepartmental teamwork, we have addressed how we should approach the labour market going forward. Looking more closely at our clients requirements by analysing data, we have a clearer picture of what types of people skills we want, how we asses their talents and behaviours, and then once we have those people; how we keep them for the long term.
To accomplish all of this we need to do a number of things differently. Historically, the call centre arena is rife with high levels of attrition and low levels of retention and by definition there’s a strong argument there to say the whole industry is commoditised. However, we wanted to move away from that and by sourcing the right talent and then growing and retaining that talent means we deliver a far better standard of staff excellence to benefit our clients.
We’ve developed a highly structured People Plan, which fully supports the strategic imperatives of the business and is resulting in cutting edge industry scores which are already benefitting our client base.
It has defined paths of progression, designed to show prospective employees just how far their career journey they can take them.
To give an example, in operations, there is a route from advisor level to a Deputy Team Leader then to a Team Leader, moving on to a Deputy Operations Manager to Operations Manager to Senior Operations Manager and eventually Business Manager together with possible spin offs into other functions within the business.
This industry used to think along the lines of ‘bums on seats’ because it was so volume driven and commoditised, and we hated that sort of language. Our view is that this is an outmoded adage and it needs to be brains on seats. We get much, much more out of our people by valuing the whole and not the part. Our people get job satisfaction and respect knowing we are willing to hear their viewpoints, opinions and their invaluable ideas about how we continue to grow the business.
There is a great deal of skill involved in becoming an advisor, and even more so in becoming a successful team leader, and not everyone can be successful in those roles. But by creating a very powerful and engaging workplace culture where likeminded people are drawn to us, we believe that employing people with the right behaviours is the only way for us to ensure we are able to deliver consistently superior standards of customer satisfaction for our client’s and their customers.