Those of us in the business of business partnerships have seen our world change dramatically over the past few years. As the age of customer experience takes over, outsourcing partners are being asked to change their roles to fit the new expectations placed on the brands with which they work. More clients are adding revenue generation, or sales, to their contact center offerings to go along with the traditional customer support services. Tenured staff who have worked in the industry for a number of years are finding that they must now be well-rounded in both customer service and sales. A strong sales skill set is now mandatory and all companies must ensure that they are investing in proper sales training to maintain a workforce capable of meeting client expectations. The most successful business partners will find that they are always growing and adapting their employee skill sets to meet the shifting demands of the modern age. How do we do this?
It’s quite simple really: staff must now be able to engage with customers while also educating clients on the importance of either upselling or retaining their current services. Positive member experiences are no longer the primary outcomes clients seek. As client expectations change, so must the skill sets but. most importantly, so must the mindset of tenured staff. The customer experience is no longer simply about post-purchase service; rather it encapsulates every interaction with a brand, starting with the initial purchase.
Like anything in life, we must always be improving; never has this been more prevalent in our line of work as it is now. If customers understand the value and need of the service being provided, they will be increasingly likely to retain those services and become more open to additional services that meet their needs. Value is the ROI customers seek.
Changing tenured employee mindsets is not the only need, however. Maintaining a workforce capable of meeting these changing industry demands must also include changes within hiring profiles used by hiring managers. They must be able to define and identify the behaviors that correlate not only to the highest Voice of the Customer experience but also those behaviors which will yield the highest return on investment through exceptional sales performance. This is a process that involves constant post-training performance evaluation. We must benchmark results in order to achieve continuous improvement. A simple thought to remember:knowledge is trainable, but soft skills are more difficult to change. In a nutshell, we must ensure our hiring profiles evolve with the ever-changing needs of our clients.
As my colleague Charlotte Fauser explained in an earlier blog post, true partnerships require effort and insight from both sides. However, as client expectations shift in the modern business climate, those who add new approaches to their offerings will build stronger and longer business partnerships.
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