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Modern CX needs more partnerships to succeed

24th Apr 2022
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Earlier in my career I spent eight years in the Royal Navy. I was a Weapons Engineering Artificer, which means that I took responsibility for the electrical and mechanical systems that made the on-board weapons system functional. I was still young, but I was a trusted member of that team with an important role.

During my time in the Royal Navy Weapons Engineering School I was in the rugby team - I made it to the first team of the Royal Navy and also the combined services team. I’m recalling all this personal history because I saw an interesting video about rugby and leadership and shared it recently on LinkedIn. The message in the video really connected with my own experience of being a member of several great teams.

Sir Ian McGeechan - the Scottish former rugby union player better known as ‘Geech’ - was filmed speaking to the 2013 British and Irish Lions squad. He said: “Every Lions tour is unique, because it's different. Actually what it does is it reflects you, your character, your personality. That's why I think the Lions jersey is so personal. To me, that's the uniqueness of being a Lion. You have to say ‘everything I've got, I am prepared to put into that jersey.’ And what you get is a power and a will that actually defines you. The greatest players that have ever played our game wore that jersey.”

That’s a powerful team talk. Imagine hearing that from a legend of the game the day before you have to wear the same jersey that he once wore. Imagine the power of that attitude and mindset applied to every day at work. I know that not everyone is part of an important sports team or participating in a Navy mission, but this spirit of teamwork can be applied to work - no matter what you do.

My role at TTEC is managing partnerships and strategic alliances for the EMEA region. Partnerships have been talked about for years in this industry, but they were really more like loose alliances - companies that helped each other out. Now I believe this has entirely changed and the spirit of the rugby team has to apply to anyone designing a customer experience (CX) process.

Why do I feel this way? Take a look at something the TTEC EMEA director for human capital, Emma Crowe, wrote in The HR Director last year. Emma’s article suggests that working in and around contact centres is one of the most exciting places to be in the 2020s - in contrast to how most business journals represent a career in customer service.

Emma listed some of the skills and expertise needed to make a modern customer service process work… cloud, data security, regulatory compliance, Internet of Things, automation, chatbots, integration to smart tools like Alexa and Siri, biometrics, dozens of different customer languages, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, sales, marketing, work from home systems…

The list could go on, but here is my point. Designing a modern customer service solution is no longer about building a contact centre and figuring out how many calls you need to answer each day. Now when we talk to a client the conversation is all about how to bring the customer closer, how to build a better relationship that will improve over many years. How can we transform customer service?

This needs great people and training - the human element remains vital in this industry, but there is also a wide array of technology and expertise in all these areas that Emma mentioned.

That’s where I step in. I’m working with specialist software suppliers and technology companies that help us build a complete solution that best fits what the client needs. If your customer service supplier says that they can do everything in-house then they are probably lying. Building great CX today needs the orchestration of many skills, services, and tools into a complete solution.

I compare it to building a winning team. Each tool and component of the solution plays a role in delivering a great experience when customers interact with a brand. A rugby team would be useless if you had 15 full backs, but when each team member has complementary skills and experience then the power of the team can be unstoppable - just as Geech described in his team talk.

CX in the 2020s needs partnerships. It needs solutions that are like a team, assembled from all the best players. Modern CX needs alliances and teamwork to succeed.

Let me know what you think about building teams and partnerships. Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.


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