Wednesday, February 7, 2018

"Follow the Leader", Featuring Sarah Stealey Reed

How does inclusion in the contact center improve customer service? 

I love this question, not just because it's something near and dear to me, but because diversity and inclusion in the contact center genuinely makes a positive difference.

Let's break it down a bit: chances are you have a diverse customer base. If you're a global company, or doing business predominately online, you definitely have customer diversity and you probably don't even know the breakdown. A diverse customer support organization helps bridge gaps that technology and analytics can't. Your diverse contact center team will naturally break down cultural barriers and help the whole become more effective at relating with customers. Homogeny leaves your customer support open to more cultural mistakes, ones that can be detrimental.

Diverse teams are also shown to be more productive and creative, two things any support organization clamors for. There's a direct correlation to better customer service.

Inclusion takes diversity a step further, as your leadership intentions become less about celebrating differences and more about celebrating acceptance. Inclusion in the contact center means that everyone is able to come to work as their true self. Let's face it, in every organization I've worked for, the contact center has the most diverse workforce. By being a welcoming and celebratory leader, you inspire others in the team, others in the company, and others external to your organization to behave in kind. Employees who feel that genuine inclusiveness are going to be happier, more loyal, and more willing to work harder. That equates to better customer service. That equates to true customer service.

I am a Customer Experience and Contact Center Operations executive with over 19 years of global expertise in operations, offshore outsourcing, customer experience, and contact center management. I transitioned from actively leading contact centers and customer service teams to writing, speaking, and teaching about customer experience.

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