Local Love: The Impact of Serving Customers Within Communities Through New CX Business Models
Some say it is better to be understood than loved, but we say it is best to be understood AND loved. Great listeners make great Customer Experience (CX) Ambassadors, and when those listeners happen to live in the same city, county, state or region and can converse in warm and sensitive ways, magic happens.
At Activus Connect, we are turning traditional “contact center” approaches upside down, and instead of investing in “warehousing” agents in small cubicles in massive facilities to force old economies of scale to work, we are investing in hiring great people who truly enjoy helping others, and in innovative communications and coaching technologies that bring those great people together as a flexible, powerful workforce.
We are passionate about the new world of opportunities connected platforms are opening up in many industries, platforms which support high quality jobs that do not require individuals to spend hours away from their families commuting, spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a month on fuel, parking, meals, work clothes and more, by allowing them to work from home while still feeling connected to our culture of diversity and inclusion.
While there are many positive aspects of our new model, which goes way beyond the early “work at home” customer service approaches that have evolved over the last fifteen years given the Activus Connect platform we have built using software, cloud, big data analytics and better broadband, one of the most positive is the ability to localize.
What does this mean?
We shape experiences for our brand clients by matching brand Ambassadors to local customers, literally serving with a deep knowledge of and sensitivity to the community within, let’s say, a fifty-mile radius.
This includes local accents!
When a call comes in, our system recognizes that it is local (depending on the policies we set up for our clients) and that call is directed to an available Ambassador who answers with a friendly voice that instantly conveys familiarity.
This is part of our Smart Virtual™ platform.
We are making possible high-quality jobs for exceptionally smart and kind people complementing the brand’s desire to deliver everything from coffee to ride shares, from mobile services to home security systems in hyper-local ways.
This pays off every day when both the customer and the Ambassador enjoy their conversations, as Ambassadors are empowered with instantaneous information and support to resolve problems faster, and to leave the customer more in love with the brand products and services than before they called in.
Our breakthrough approach has even greater payoffs when there is a community-wide incident that drives customers to contact energy companies, for example, during a power outage, or cable companies when programming changes are made.
When there is a natural disaster – a blizzard, flood, earthquake – being local means being aware of the context in the community, bonding customers and ambassadors in a shared sense of urgency and understanding, as well as well-organized responses driven by data that runs almost invisibly in the background but helps Ambassadors know exactly what they can offer to get a service back up and running, and more.
By more we mean going above and beyond traditional “scripts” and providing Ambassadors information about local organizations, for example, offering food and shelter to customers who may be directly impacted by an outage.
Let’s say a customer whose parents have a home security system in place which also has fall detection is sent a text message regarding a possible fall, and clicks on the link to reach the contact center for the related service; having a compassionate, voice on the conversation who has been highly trained to respond is literally priceless to that child.
Those of us who are veterans in this industry have seen the pendulum swing; as large “BPO” models continue to often fail, with the “cost savings” benefits generated through mass outsourcing are offset by customers switching to competitors whose CX is much better, organizations are eager to try new models, and we believe “smart virtual love” is one of the best of those new models.
While we believe technology (including scripts, compliance, call-time measurement, scheduling, flex hours, real time training, coaching and more) should be 100% transparent to the customer, we also know that providing a hyperlocal, community-based, sophisticated “matching” system would never have been possible without software and big data analytics.
In fact, we are proving that with more technology, intuitively delivered, our Ambassadors have more time to be fully human and confident in engaging as empowered helpers, combining careful listening with compassionate speaking, addressing problems with expertise and talent, with information at their fingertips – even as they are at home with their families, working virtually for Activus Connect, and fully cheered on by coaches in the background.
While all politics may or may not be local, we believe all service can be and will be over the years to come, which means happier interactions, better service, and job creation supporting local economies as a rising tide which in fact lifts all boats.
Contact us to learn more about how we can bring this new kind of economy to your community!