Case Study

“We want staff to see difficult calls as an opportunity”

The Challenge

With its 200-strong customer service team handling a range of inbound and outbound calls, the aim of this large, non-profit organisation was to provide a consistently high level of customer service.

When agents found a conversation challenging, they were advising customers to escalate their concerns to a manager. This delayed resolution, put extra pressure on managers and impacted customer satisfaction.

Difficult calls left the team feeling stressed and demotivated, and agents did not have the tools to deal with those emotions or prevent them from impacting their next call.

This was a diverse team, with young and old, experienced and inexperienced, all of which had an impact on the consistency of the customer service being delivered. Managers lacked the skills and confidence to encourage and support their teams in handling difficult calls.

The client recognised that difficult calls were an opportunity to deliver on their core values. This led to a drive to encourage the agents to take more ownership of resolving customer challenges on first contact, keeping the company’s reputation intact and making customers feel good about the interaction they had had.

This ownership required the teams to be upskilled in managing their own personal response to stress, having a more positive mindset towards calls, and having the skills to build and maintain rapport throughout their calls. It also required the managers to develop their coaching skills and confidence.

The Solution

After a competitive tender process, the client choose to partner with CCF Training to deliver a company-wide customer service training programme, involving all of their customer service agents, from telephone handlers to social/web chat teams to all levels of management.

We started our discovery process, which involved a review of all of their customer service processes and procedures, as well as face-to-face meetings with key members of staff, to provide clarity on how this bespoke programme needed to be shaped in order to achieve the client’s goals.

The Programme included a Company Launch, Managers’ Coaching Workshops running parallel with the agents’ customer service workshops and self-paced virtual learning to deepen the learning experience outside of the classroom.

We knew that the key to success was the managers’ commitment to the programme, which is why we included them in the programme design and held regular check-in webinars where managers shared success stories from their teams, discussed challenges and received tools to overcome those challenges.

Over the course of 3 months, CCF delivered over 26 workshops with an average of 12 delegates attending each session, with a clear learner journey as the foundation of the programme.

The Result

Our world-class discovery process meant that we could measure the success of this programme, and the results were impressive.

The average delegate feedback score across 26 workshops was 9.6, so we knew the delegates were immediately engaged with the learning, with scored questions including:

  •  How willing would you be to recommend this course to a friend or colleague?
  • The Trainer created a positive learning environment
  • The training was relevant to my job role
  • I learnt something useful on this workshop
  • I intend to put this training into action
  • This training session has left me feeling more confident about dealing with difficult customers

Longer term, the client was ecstatic to report that the programme increased customer satisfaction by 1 percentage point in just three months as a result of increased first contact resolution and less calls being escalated to managers.

The client has not looked anywhere else for soft-skills training since, and we have continued to create dynamic, bespoke training programmes as this client’s customer service goes from strength to strength.

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