At Skybridge Americas, we have long believed that, when our customer care agents know and love your brand, their enthusiasm shines through on every call.
It’s that brand passion that, in turn, fosters greater customer brand loyalty. That philosophy is at the heart of our SkyAgents program, a staffing practice that focuses on hiring home-based agents from across North America. Through SkyAgents, we’re proven that, without the traditional geographic limitations we’re able to recruit highly talented agents based on their brand affiliations as well as their skills and experience. And we’ve proven that these agents consistently deliver superior experiences.
So I enjoyed finding this recent Forbes article by Micah Solomon that, once again, validated our hiring approach. In it, Solomon interviews Jessica White, VP for Global Contact Centers and Guest Experience at Hyatt. Their conversation focuses on the thinking – and execution – behind Hyatt’s recent call center revamp. This includes creating opportunities for many of their agents to personally experience the Hyatt brand for themselves, as well as expanding career paths, and switching up their performance metrics to tie more directly to customer experience.
You can read the entire article below.
When you’re ready to find out how Skybridge Americas can help you deliver superior customer experience, please reach out. We would love to talk!
Customer Service Lessons From Hyatt’s Dramatic Call Center Overhaul
-By Micah Solomon
Whether your business is a mom and pop operation (or “pop and pop” or “mom and mom”) with just you and your partner handling the phones, or it’s a larger operation with hundreds of agents at the ready, the contact center (call center) is a key element in building and sustaining your company’s relationship with customers.
So there’s always value in taking a fresh look at how you’re handling these customer relationships, on the phones and via the other channels. Consider, for example, these questions you can ask yourself:
- Does the way your contact center agents work–how they spend their day, how they interact with customers on each call–actually support your company purpose, or has it gotten off track, perhaps by becoming too transactional?
- Are you using the right metrics: are you focusing on what matters, the measurements that can give you the clearest view of how you’re doing and the chances you have to improve?
- Are you providing opportunities for advancement and specialization for your agents?
- Are there ways your contact center agents could expand their knowledge in order to improve what I call their “situational empathy” that is so important when talking with customers?
While the contact center challenges of a massive organization like Hyatt are likely amplified beyond what you’re facing yourself, the way that company has gone about overhauling its contact centers recently is unusually instructive. Below is a discussion I had with Jessica White, who is Hyatt’s VP for Global Contact Centers and Guest Experience.
Micah Solomon, Senior Contributor, Forbes.com: What was a key challenge you identified when you started at Hyatt?
Jessica White, VP for Global Contact Centers and Guest Experience, Hyatt: I knew my GCC (Global Contact Center) team believed in Hyatt’s organizational purpose: “to care for people so they can be their best.” Yet the way things were structured when I came aboard didn’t entirely support our colleagues to be their best at work. The structure at that time fostered generalists rather than specialists. This wasn’t optimal for business performance, nor was it satisfying for colleagues.
Solomon: Tell me about the change you made to address this.
White: We restructured the organization to allow for multiple career paths. Under the old system, a colleague’s day might be split between the phones and Twitter, or emails and Facebook. But that came with a downside: There was no option to specialize in social media, or to solely handle phone calls. There was no chance to focus just on sales, or handle only cases. Moving from a generalist model to a specialist model allowed our colleagues to decide what type of work interested them the most. Colleagues can now choose their area of specialty and advance within that area; if someone is less excited by phone calls, they can focus exclusively on email, or vice-versa.
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
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