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Our people

As technology continues to advance rapidly, effecting all aspects of modern life, the way our people interact is also adapting, and the boundaries of getting the right team member is also changing.

While contact centre operations change and move to Cloud based operation, the need to think proactively and promote agility rises, and the days of just having a deep technical team deploying a contact centre are well and truly gone.

Since we set up eleven (formerly GEMA Consulting) in 2014, the key reason that customers engage with us is simply down to our people. From the start of the business, we had some great contact centre industry experts work and create the business. Industry knowledge from a technical and sales perspective, were compounded with one of the foremost contact centre consultants and operations principals in the world.

This rounded knowledge across the different areas, helped to get us off the ground, as we were genuinely able to help clients with issues, and make a sizeable difference to business operations starting with understanding the desired business objectives across People, Process and Technology, the three pillars of a contact centre.

However, what happens when we grow, and every one wants a piece of the ‘experts’? We had two options: go and hire some additional ‘experts’ or build a team of ‘doer’s’. Thankfully, we have been able to do both, with our team expanding to include industry experts as well as ‘new entrants’ to the contact centre world.

As the managing director within eleven, I had a lot of fear in taking on the ‘new entrants’… would we get the right people, could we train them, how would they fit into the team, will we have time to bed them in, who will manage them etc. As a company, we weren’t used to dealing with the ‘millennials’ of the world.

Since we started in earnest the hiring process fourteen months ago, the one attribute I looked for and I believed we needed was the ability to work hard for our clients. Not that we are a company that force employees to work long hours, all we want is employees to enjoy work, to be willing to go the extra distance for our clients and enjoy what they are doing.

We have had some of the best ‘young brains’ from college sit in front of us telling of their academic achievements. This alone didn’t wow us. The candidates we took on were the ones who academically were good, but could demonstrate great work ethic, the personality to communicate and the ability to listen.

One person who we employed has always stuck out to me. Not going through the traditional college route, he was working three jobs at the one time and qualified from college in a non-traditional contact centre area. Though coming across shy, it was evident he was very committed to doing things right by his current employers, and his ability to listen and react to what was being said stuck out.

Since then, the team has grown to 37 team mates. The new entrants that have come on board have learnt about contact centres from our team of consultants, and from a technical perspective know a lot more than most even though they are not in technical roles, as their desire to deliver for clients allows them to succeed across all areas.

In turn, they are loved by our customers as they are doers, and will soon be contact centre experts.

In reality, what I am trying to say, is you can create the experts if you have the right people to mould. Academically they may not have gone down the traditional contact centre routes that a solutions integrator would require but once their desire is right, they will be affective for your clients.

Author: Albert Keating

What is going on at Genesys?

The incumbent CEO at Genesys, Paul Segre announced to the world that he is stepping up to a new role in the company as its new chairman.  Paul has spent the last 17 years of his career in the leadership of Genesys and has obviously been a key pivotal ingredient in the stability, focus and determination in its focus on customer experience management.  In those 17 years Paul held down the CTO role, the COO role and over 12 years as the CEO. I think the key internal success of his tenure was navigating the ‘Alcatel Lucent’ era, going into and out of the ‘Applications’ division in Alcatel Lucent and at the same time managing to maintain the Genesys market leading position as the undisputed leader in the contact centre infrastructure space.

Alcatel Lucent wasn’t bad news for Genesys, more the reverse of this.  It brought several key players and approaches into the Genesys DNA, including Tom Eggemeier. Tom initially had an interest in Genesys as a result of his senior leadership roles in Alcatel Lucent, where he was the VP and GM of the North American voice business; eventually leading Global Enterprise Sales as its Senior Vice President. This brought Genesys under his sales remit as part of his markets and when Alcatel Lucent sold Genesys to private equity in the form of Permira in late 2011/early 2012 Tom came with the package.  Tom was a very safe pair of hands for the company, both internally and externally, tackling challenges with high energy and always with a smile.  As Paul Segre announces leaving the CEO position it was also announced that Tom is leaving Genesys to join the team at Permira; the investors that own Genesys.

So, who is the new CEO at Genesys? Someone with 10 years of Contact Centre experience that has worked their way up through the complex engine which is the Genesys software factory?  No, it is Tony Bates, an executive leader in the technical space that brings with him 25+ years of tier 1 software industry leadership in Silicon Valley. Highlights are his SVP and General Manager role at Cisco, then he was CEO at Skype, an Executive Vice President at Microsoft and the President of GoPro.  He is also a current serving board member at eBay and VMWare. That track record is keenly tuned to the software and technical hardware backbone of Silicon Valley.  So, he has no direct experience of the Contact Centre industry itself, but lots of experience in managing large enterprise software houses at the highest levels.

Genesys technology is by far the world leader in customer interaction management.  More than 11,000 companies use its technology at the heart of the contact centres; both on premise and in the cloud via a massive global network of partners, resellers and technology partners.  25 Billion customer interactions are handled each year on Genesys technology, so the industry will be keenly focused on what this change at Genesys might mean in the short, mid and longer term.

My view is that Permira will want to extract the value that it has been backing in Genesys since it acquired the business from Alcatel Lucent.  The best way of helping Permira to do this is to bring someone into their team that truly understands Genesys, its value proposition, its customers and its market. Tom Eggemeier is clearly the best choice for this!  Tom will help Permira to exhibit this value from within. But, who is big enough and has the wallet deep enough to buy Genesys privately as a going concern? Oracle, Microsoft, Google or perhaps even Cisco? Maybe Permira extend their wings even further and pick up Avaya and what is left of Aspect, then sell the resulting giant through a public offer? Paul Segre staying on as the Chairman is a very good thing.  He brings the technical as well as business knowledge necessary to maintain Genesys focus in the short and mid-term.  In this light Genesys has a remarkable track record and one that Paul shouldn’t find too difficult to accomplish. Toms’ new role is very interesting and hints strongly at Permira making moves to leverage their investment. Tony as the new CEO brings a whole new set of Silicon Valley relationships to the table, with the rolodex and connections that are the keys to unlocking the next stage in Genesys’ evolution.

At the end of the day, as an industry, we are most concerned by the dilution of the Genesys value proposition. So much of the best customer experiences in the world are driven by Genesys technology that news like this should not be flippantly dismissed. To that end, my own take on this is that this is all excellent news and bodes well for an even brighter future for Genesys, its people and its technology; most of all, for those of us that add value to the Genesys proposition by consulting, engineering and building solutions with it then we should take this news in a positive light and work even harder in realising its fullest potential.

Author: Dave Tidwell

How to effectively engage your employees in the contact centre

If you’re a contact centre manager or supervisor, you certainly hope your agents provide the greatest customer experiences they possibly can, and that’s exactly what you should be aiming for.

The question is: how are you helping them achieve that?

Contacting with customers on a daily basis can be very demanding, so your agents need to feel comfortable and motivated to keep doing their very best.

There’s a lot you can do to engage your people, prevent turnovers and keep the business on track. The following tips are a good place to start. To better convince you, let us tell you that companies investing in employee experience are very likely to outperform the ones that don’t*.

Allowing Self-management

People are keener to perform their jobs better if they have a good work-life balance, so some flexibility can only do good. Allowing them to choose the shifts they prefer (obviously limited by the needed skillset at a certain time) and letting them work remotely if and when possible are measures that create a lighter environment in the workplace and promote extra motivation!

Professional Development Opportunities

Everyone wants to have a compelling career and feel they can learn and make a difference every day. Technology has provided us with several tools that can be used for that purpose. Whether it is through digital, micro or social learning solutions, information can be a click away and either be curated or self-directed. Also, if you want to introduce some competition, create games and quizzes about what they just learned and reward the winners. And once agents acquire new skills, make sure they put them into practice.

Listening and Coaching Agents

Digital learning doesn’t replace human contact, so you should take time to speak to each team member individually and assess how they’re feeling and what motivates them, in order to create a work environment where they can thrive. Invest in their development, teach them how to find the answers they’re looking for, give real-time, fair and accurate feedback based on performance data, let people know what your plans for the business are and how they fit, ask for opinions… In two words: be involved.

Employee Appreciation

Recognising and rewarding your team’s work is a fantastic way of motivating them and can be done in several ways. Thanking them for the good work by specifying its real impact in the business, sharing their good practice examples with the rest of the team, creating rewards like certificates and trophies, allowing an early finish once in a while or even planning team activities out of the workplace to bring the team close together.

All of the above, in various ways and combinations, can be seen as improving the employee engagement within the organisation, but does this conflict with the overall objectives of the contact centre, to achieve its goals and targets? 

Often perceived as a cost centre, the contact centre can find it difficult to provide diversified days, flexibility and work-life balance options when battling against specific targets and strict shift schedules throughout the day. Yet, these are not conflicting objectives and both can co-exist. Many organisations are providing innovative ways to enable flexibility whilst achieving their goals...

*Jacob Morgan – “The Employee Experience Advantage”

Upskilling & Lifelong Learning

Do you have some down time at work? Maybe you have a long commute and like to browse the internet. Do you work from home and get some extra minutes in bed?

Why not join on online course to learn something new or to improve your understanding of something that could positively impact your career?

There is an array of different course providers available online at present. Ranging from paid and certified to unpaid and uncertified. While this contrast makes it seem as though the uncertified paths are not beneficial, that is absolutely not the case. Quite often, course providers such as edX, Udemy, and Coursera offer great courses – many of which are created and accredited by world-renowned universities including MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley. There are very few differences between auditing a course and enrolling officially in said course. The primary difference is that you won’t receive official certification from the university/accredited entity that is running the course, and the only real other difference (for the most part) is that any assignments that you complete will not be graded. Thus, you rely on self-assessment.

There are so many advantages to upskilling and engaging in lifelong learning. For example, I started with eleven recently and prior to joining my primary programming languages were Python and Java.  However, during my first week a member of our engineering team mentioned that some of our custom development is done in C# - a language I have never done before. I decided that this could be a blocker in the future in terms of communication and helping eleven deliver solutions to clients to meet their Customer Experience expectations when discussing any custom development, so I enrolled in a course on edX. The course is called Algorithms and Data Structures in C# and it is certified by Microsoft. Prior to actually enrolling, I did some background research on the language and its syntax so that I wasn’t going in cold. While you can audit this course and not have any assignments graded, for a situation like this I thought it would be better to have the experience officially accredited given the career path I’ve chosen.

In the instance of not needing professional certification but looking to improve certain skills that could benefit your current job there are many courses that could be of interest. One such course is Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work and is run by Berkeley. If you work as part of a team this could help you improve how you interact with other people on your team to drive collaboration and to provide an overall better experience. There are a huge number of different areas that you can upskill and there is always room for improvement. So, what are you waiting for? Start (or continue) your lifelong learning now!

Author: Neil McKimm

The importance of listening

‘We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.' Now we know that isn’t why we have two ears, but all the same I quite like the analogy!

The art of listening is maybe one of the most important things I have learnt so far in my career. Have I perfected it? Absolutely not! But it’s something that I will always be conscious of and something that I will always strive to get better at.

As humans and professionals, the biggest problem that often occurs in regard to work or personal issues is that we do not listen to understand, we listen to reply. This over sight can lead to a world of problems and means that issues take longer to resolve. Listening and understanding must live under the same roof, combining to create not only meaningful interactions internally within the business, but also when creating something brilliant for a client or potential client.

Listening is the basic rule of communication. Listening allows for deeper and more concise conversation. It’s not as simple as sitting in a meeting attentively and taking notes, it’s about absorbing and genuinely immersing yourself both in the conversation and in the situation at hand. It’s about identifying the past, present and further in order to action the work or address the issue.

The art of listening doesn’t happen overnight and it is something that always needs to be worked on.

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would rather have talked” – Mark Twain

Author: Mark Costelloe

 

Are we really ready for post-digital or have we forgotten something?

Accenture states in their Technology Vision 2019 that 'the post digital era is upon us'. We would all agree that organisations' technology innovation programmes are accelerating at pace. As we are also seeing technology touch increasingly our own personal lives.

Terms such as customer journeys, omni-channels, AI, and automation are still being used in conjunction with digitisation. But, as we are expected to move from 'personalised' to 'individualised' experiences, I feel we still need to look back to understand if we have truly understood our complete end-to-end customer journeys and we haven't missed something...

Connecting the contact centre experience across the channels ensures an omni-channel consistency across the initial customer touch-points but have we linked the Front Office with the Middle and Back Offices?

All too often the journey stops where the contact centre ends. It shouldn't.

Transfers, overlaps, hand-offs along with the measuring of all processing work in the Back Office is so often ignored. All of which has implications upon an organisations headcount. Do we want to fund wastage in areas that have not faced innovation and digitisation because we are not understanding where and how they fit in the journey?

Surely we do not want to use waste as a driver for headcount?

Before jumping into the latest trends identified by the Technology Vision 2019, around DARQ (distributed ledger technology (DLT), artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR) and quantum computing), take a moment to ask whether the truly end-to-end journey(s) have been mapped and understood. Are there not benefits across the organisation to be gained in mapping end-to-end; measuring volumes correctly; understanding where productive work does exist and conversely doesn't; what is the definition of done; how do I avoid duplication; prevent transfers and ultimately get the resulting capacity plan accurate?

Sometimes we need to take the time to check that we haven't forgotten something basic, as we move forward in this amazing digital era in which we exist.

Author: Kim Robertson

Finding Contact Centre Needles in Haystacks

eleven is involved in several very large and complex Genesys Contact Centre deployments around the world.  One of them is particularly interesting. That said, they all have their own quirks and complexities.  This one stands out for me as a highlight over the last few weeks because the ‘issue’ at hand was so difficult to isolate.  In the interests of the parties involved I will not name the affected party, for obvious reasons.

Imagine two very large data centres.  Each one hosting its half of a highly resilient and highly available Genesys Pure Engage installation.  Both feature very large Virtual Machine farms.  The Data centres have both been recently upgraded.  I should add that the client is in the financial services sector so security, hardening and firewalling to Tier 1 standards is a routine thing that they are very good at.

In one of the two Data Centres, let’s call it Data Centre A, we have excellent end-to-end Genesys performance.  The Agent SIP Endpoint and Desktop have 100% data carriage and excellent throughput to the internal Session Border Controllers.  In Data Centre 2 we witnessed between 80% and 100% packet loss for Real Time Protocol, the element of TCP/IP based networking that actually carries the audio element of the agent and customer conversation.  In short, we found it impossible to reliably establish an inbound or outbound call from Data Centre 2.

Where would you start your investigations?  We did all the routine things.  We start at the local agent level computer and work our way up the chain into the managed switches, the VLANs, the stretch VLANS and from there we moved northwards up the equipment chain.  Every single test of every bit of equipment was good.  In the Contact Centre, 50% of agent positions register to Data Centre A, and the other 50% to the bad Data Centre.  So, if anything was wrong in the Contact Centre itself it would have affected all agent positions.  Agents connecting to Data Centre A were fine and it all worked nicely.  Agents connecting to Data Centre B were unable to talk to customers.  So, that ruled out an issue between the contact centre Local Area Network and the Wide Area Network up to the physical Data Centres.

Of course, for a day or two we scratched our heads.  Then the natural ‘escalation’ of business concerns caused more attention on the matter.  Within a week we had a team of 12 people from various elements of IT, IT Delivery, Networking, Switching, Telecoms and the Genesys side of the project on site, crawling around the place.  We ended up on conference calls involving stakeholders all over the world for 15 hours a day.

Some of the best minds in the industry burned almost 2 weeks looking for the root cause.  The great news is we did eventually find it.  The problem was very difficult to find because normal Wireshark trace and other packet analysis could only show us that data was transmitted; but never made it to the other point in the connection.  It was just ‘disappearing’.  No errors, no alarms. 

The issue, in the end, was traced to a brand new ‘Application Centric Infrastructure’ architecture that had been quietly deployed in Data Centre B by a well intentioned data engineer during its build.  This architecture acts like a ‘self-learning engine’ that monitors, shapes and balances traffic on the LAN and WAN using software to define the network topology.  The ACI engine was seeing the Session Border Controller that Genesys was registering to as an invalid destination.  Why?  Because most SBC’s have 2 network MAC addresses.  This allows them to operate in HOT/HOT failover mode and cross register with each other.  The Cisco ACI network thought this was a bad thing and indiscriminately made the decision to quash the packets in mid-flight.  No warnings, no alarms, no bells, no trap destinations.  All packets were zapped.  Whilst a well intentioned piece of networking technology, it did prove out to be a very expensive asset to deploy.  It burned 2 weeks of project deadlines and kept a large team of experts baffled for far too long.  This was all exacerbated by the IT division arguing profusely throughout proceedings that both data centres were physically identical.  Hardware yes, software no.

The good news is we found the problem and removed the ACI software defined network capabilities.  But, this was worse than trying to find a needle in a haystack.  At least when you are doing that you have a fighting chance as you know where the haystack is.  In this case we had to find the haystack and then find the needle.

If you bump into challenges with packet loss in your Genesys Pure Engage platform, please have a look to see if a well intentioned Switch Engineer has tried to help the cause by deploying ACI.  If they have; there’s the haystack!

Author: Dave Tidwell

How to prepare your company to improve customer satisfaction in 3 steps

The customer experience industry has been going through many changes in the past few years to keep up with customer demands and new ways of communicating.

Companies are challenged to deliver excellent customer service when and in the way the customer expects.

How can your company accomplish that?

The following 3 areas are essential, and a great place to get started.

Get to know your customer
It’s important to plan carefully and make sure your actions match what your customers are looking for. Therefore, you need to know who they are and what concerns them, what actions do they take before making a decision, how they feel along the way and what efforts do they make to get to you.
By answering these questions, you will be able to make your company available in the most used channels by the customer, to reduce their effort and personalise their experience.

Organise your team and technology
Your team is delivering your company’s first impression to the customer, so it better be great.
It can be more efficient to organise them by skills instead of channels, as a part of the customer information can be lost between channels and leave the agents unable to solve the issue, leading to unhappy customers. To make this possible, you need a system that connects every channel into one platform, enabling access to all customer touch points.

Measure the right indicators
Our final advice is for you to choose the right way to measure your success.
Make sure you’re measuring indicators that you can act on, are easy to understand, and come from defined and trustworthy sources.
A good KPI to focus on would be FCR (First Contact Resolution), as it can be a real indicator of customer satisfaction.


Are you ready to transform your business?
Get in touch through info@makeiteleven.com.

Get your contact centre ready to handle the digital era

As we all know, we are a more connected society than ever, but is your contact centre as customer-centric as it needs to be against the backdrop of a somewhat uncertain and ever-changing environment? Customer engagement outside the parameters of the traditional ‘call centre’ is growing exponentially and, in many ways, contact centres need to keep up. We in eleven have looked at this under four areas:

Unification - A growing number of progressive businesses, particularly the online ones, have realised contact centres have to be integrated to stand a chance of delivering a consistently good customer experience. Often this means taking a joint approach to voice, digital agent assisted, and self-service channels under one organisational structure.  Customers already have the expectation that businesses will have full visibility of their online and offline activity, and thus are able to resolve issues quickly. Anything less will result in frustration and churn, impacting on the bottom line.

Social channels - Indeed the Deloitte Global Contact Centre Survey for 2017 encourages contact centres to “think social” as it predicts that social media will likely emerge as the mainstream medium for customer service expanding from just 4% of contact centre interactions to 9% by 2019. However customers don’t think in terms of channels – they think in terms of finding an answer to their question or a solution to their problem. They may reach out via voice, the web or over a social media channel like Twitter.

Omni-channel - Customer expectation needs to be serviced by a contact centre capable of bridging the gap between online and offline channels offering an omni-channel customer experience, in a consistent and unified approach. For contact centre agents, an omni-channel system can provide complete context of every interaction a customer has had with each touch point in a business, which has the potential to greatly enhance the overall customer journey and boost retention.

Customer experience - At eleven, we view customer experience as a priority and often make recommendations on projects based on this perspective. We work with our clients to identify pain points causing critical strain on the business, and deploy initiatives and strategy across organisational silos that will have the most benefit to the customer while also driving efficiencies - transforming ‘voice only’ departments into customer engagement hubs.

The modern day contact centre is one that needs to have the digital engagement ability to be agile and adapt to future demands. It’s time for contact centres to take a customer focused digital-first approach and empower their agents to deliver those consistent customer experiences.  

Is your contact centre truly fit for future purpose?

Author: Albert Keating

eleven's top tips on how to create and maintain a positive culture in the workplace


At eleven we do our upmost to provide a positive culture in the workplace, so we put together some tips to help you do the same within your business.

If you want to have a happy and motivated team, keep on reading!

We specialise in contact centres, but the truth is these tips are great for any professional activity, as they focus both on technology and the human side of the business.

This is easier said than done, but you can build it slowly and improve a little bit every day.
You will definitely get good results!

Check out our eleven top tips:

  1. Get the technology in place – some applications you just can’t live without
  2. Invest in good systems and keep it simple - it’s frustrating to work with a complicated system, or several…
  3. Adopt an all-in-one interface that gathers the necessary features – we can help with that!
  4. Create some gamification (competitions, team challenges) to engage your team
  5. Tell your team exactly what is expected from them – it puts them in the right direction
  6. Ask what’s important to your team and what frustrates them, then and act on it
  7. Give as specific feedback as possible and demonstrate trust in people
  8. Offer some variety to stimulate all the senses (new tasks, new office layout, etc.)
  9. Establish the same rules for everybody – be fair
  10. Value people’s opinion – they have more to say than you may realise
  11. Celebrate their professional and personal victories – let them know you value them as people, not only as professionals


If you would like to see your business get to next level, let us know through info@makeiteleven.com.

Let’s go beyond.

People. Process. Technology. One cannot exist without the other and together all three aspects can create something very special

Introduction to Mark’s approach - customer experience at eleven

 

eleven focuses on your business, what drives it, what helps it tick and what the company’s goals are. This intertwined approach to working means goals are achieved with both short, medium and long-term results in mind.

As a business analyst with eleven, my role is to delve into different companies’ worlds, immerse myself, understand what creates the magic and identify the areas where we can add value. My primary focus is the deployment of our solutions and consultancy, both disciplines require a strategic and hands on approach. I feel from my time thus far in eleven the more involved and immersed we are within our client’s business the better results we achieve, doors open and different areas of the business can be explored further.

We hear it all the time ‘customer experience is everything’ but sometimes this can get lost and not fully understood. eleven makes sure this message is not only understood but achieved. Once a full understanding of the business is achieved and analysed I help in delivering feedback or matching the business needs with our solution.

For example, from a solutions perspective, a business requirements document and a technical requirements document is created tailored to our customers’ needs, this in turn lays the foundation for building out our telephony platform. This structured approach means that nothing gets left behind and the solution can be deployed quickly and efficiently.

Author: Mark Costelloe

Emotions in Customer Experience


This subject has been getting a lot of attention lately and last Thursday’s CXPA event in Dublin Airport was no exception. Peter Dorrington, Director of Customer Insights at TTEC was the invited speaker and started his presentation by asking the audience “How many of you are using emotion analytics?”.
The audience went silent. Nobody was actually considering customer emotions.  
And why should we?

The importance of emotions
Why is it so important to take emotions into account when it comes to customer experience?
Is it just trendy or is there a strong reason?

In fact, studies reveal that 95% of our purchase decisions are unconscious (source: Prof. Gerald Zaltman). Also, it comes out that satisfaction, after all, is not that of a strong indicator of loyalty, because “People’s satisfaction doesn’t prevent what they’re going to do next”. On the other hand, emotionally connected customers are 52% more valuable to a brand than the highly satisfied ones, according to Harvard Business Review, and that is the indicator we should be looking forward to measuring.  

Emotions and experiences
“Experiences are subjective." They are judged by both logic and feelings and do not report to what happened, but to our perception of what happened, so what influences our next decision is our memory.

According to the ‘peak-end rule’, we remember the strongest emotion the experience made us feel and the last one, meaning it is all about how it makes us feel instead of what we've been told. We base our decisions on emotions, and afterwards we try to rationalise the choice. We believe we are buying out of quality, price and convenience, when we are just attracted to how this purchase will make us feel in the future.
Emotions are individual, situational, fleeting and unpredictable, and behaviour can be influenced by several criteria, such as internal and external influences, emotional variations, functional factors (price, availability, convenience…), the context and, most of all, prior experience. They are complex and get mixed together very easily, so much that we lose self-awareness when someone asks us to describe our feelings.  

Emotionally connected customers
Companies are struggling to get customer attention and loyalty even after having strongly invested in staff training and new systems, and why is that? Because emotions are missing.

Remote contact sets people apart by nature, but there are some techniques you can rely on change that.
Start by setting your company’s vision, then the goals, establish the necessary capabilities to achieve them, design a plan and take action, so that afterwards you can reverse the order and work from the bottom towards the vision. This vision should be communicated to every employee as they are the ones delivering it to the customer.
Also, employees themselves need to be engaged in the business. They need to have a good experience to be able to provide one. Listen to them, get them to participate in business decisions and be value for their work. This will make them happier and more likely to see and treat customers as humans looking forward to being understood and solving their issues.
Lastly, in what regards measuring customer experience, instead of asking customers to classify it numerically, a better way to obtain more accurate results is to ask them to describe the experience, for you to have factual and more detailed information.

And, once you have the feedback, act on it. Prove that you're listening.

GEMA becomes eleven

GEMA becomes eleven: Our transformation and what it means for our customers

For GEMA, 2017 has been a year of transformation, no less so than in our own brand and identity.

From the beginning, we built GEMA around understanding our clients and connecting them with the solutions they need to achieve their operational goals. We have seen exciting growth since forming in 2014, across service areas such as change management, business transformation and contact centre redesign.

But like technology, our own business is ever evolving to meet the needs of customers, whether that’s through our service offering or the skills and experience we pull in to the business through our staff.

It gave us the opportunity to take stock of the work we’ve carried out over the past three years and to reflect on how we’ve gone through our own transformation. This led us to the decision to take GEMA in a new direction, with a complete brand overhaul and new identity that we felt was authentic, meaningful and relevant both to us and our client base.

We knew that you wanted a service that was 10/10, so we thought we’d make it eleven.

So what’s changed?

Well it’s not so much what’s changed as what will remain the same. Our customers will still benefit from our decades of experience in contact centres. Our understanding of the industry challenges. Our knowledge base of current and future technologies capable of elevating your business to the next level and our personable approach that makes us your go to consultants for contact centre solutions. After all people ultimately chose to do business with people they like, trust and value.

To our current and prospective clients, we appreciate your business and are proud to be a resource for you. As we move forward with eleven, we eagerly await to see what the future holds and look for new opportunities to enhance your business and, as always, we encourage you to call us to draw on our extensive experience in the contact centre industry.

Thank you to all our customers for inspiring the important change!

Go digital or ........


The modern day contact centre
We are a more connected society than ever, but is your contact centre as customer-centric as it needs to be against the backdrop of a somewhat uncertain and ever-changing environment? Customer engagement outside the parameters of the traditional ‘call centre’ is growing exponentially and, in many ways, contact centres need to keep up…

Integration
A growing number of progressive businesses, particularly the online ones, have realised contact centres have to be integrated to stand a chance of delivering a consistently good customer experience. Often this means taking a joint approach to voice, digital agent assisted, and self-service channels under one organisational structure. Customers already have the expectation that businesses will have full visibility of their online and offline activity, and thus are able to resolve issues quickly. Anything less will result in frustration and churn, impacting on the bottom line.

Social media
Indeed the Deloitte Global Contact Centre Survey for 2017 encourages contact centres to “think social” as it predicts that social media will likely emerge as the mainstream medium for customer service expanding from just 4% of contact centre interactions to 9% by 2019. However customers don’t think in terms of channels – they think in terms of finding an answer to their question or a solution to their problem. They may reach out via voice, the web or over a social media channel like Twitter.

Omnichannel
Customer expectation needs to be serviced by a contact centre capable of bridging the gap between online and offline channels offering an omni-channel customer experience. For contact centre agents, an omnichannel system can provide complete context of every interaction a customer has had with each touch point in a business, which has the potential to greatly enhance the overall customer journey and boost retention.

Customer experience
At eleven, we view customer experience as a priority and often make recommendations on projects based on this perspective. We work with our clients to identify pain points causing critical strain on the business, and deploy initiatives and strategy across organisational silos that will have the most benefit to the customer while also driving efficiencies - transforming ‘voice only’ departments into customer engagement hubs. The modern day contact centre is one that has the digital infrastructure to be able to ability to be agile and adapt to future demands. It’s time for contact centres to take a digital-first approach and empower their agents to deliver those consistent customer experiences. Is your contact centre truly fit for future purpose?