Keeping Teams Motivated

In this full interview with Lee Cottle, General Manager, Europe, from Playvox, we discuss the importance of team motivation, how to keep them motivated, engaged, and find performance in what has recently been a challenging environment.

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Interview Transcript

0:02
So hi, everyone. I’m here with Lee Cottle today. He’s the director in general manager for for Europe for playvox. And they’re in the workforce engagement space. So Lee, thanks very much for joining me. It’s great. Great to have you

0:14
here. Pleasure, Chris, good to get to see you. Again,

0:17
I want to start off by asking a little bit about as far as workforce management and remote management, I mean, obviously, we’re going through this, like tremendous change, what was the pandemic, the last 18 months or two years or so, in terms of like how people are working, it’d be good to sort of see a little bit about what you’ve seen with your clients and sort of do you think that the industry is kind of changing from from the wait has been sort of historically? Yeah,

0:39
there’s been a huge move in that whole industry, I think it was starting pre that pandemic, but then, of course, everything accelerated, where he suddenly found yourself at home, the new list of vocabulary, you know, self isolation, and a whole bunch of stuff. But that’s when one of the real big drivers is that, you know, the pendant was forced companies to change. I mean, if you look at some of the large companies, you know, they had to put huge orders in for laptops and stuff to get people working from home where they didn’t, you know, didn’t have it originally. Because obviously, couldn’t be in the same space, or within two metres of somebody. And typically, within a contact centre, that just doesn’t work, you know, for the space. So there’s that that’s been a huge driver, for sure. And, and that brings a whole host of new challenges is to manage their workforce per day days, when you could walk through an office, sit down beside somebody to suddenly not be able to do that anymore, which is strange.

1:39
And I suppose this, this is a shuttling part of that, as always makes the said scheduling problem a little bit more complicated to be able to solve it, right, because you got people in different locations, different times, thinking even now you’re going to have buildings, I mean, some of them are saying, well, at some part of our workforce is now going to be remote, which means I’m going to have less real estate space. So now I need to think about well, who’s in the office when and that becomes a scheduling problem as well. Right? I mean, is that is that is that is it? These are challenges we’re going to have to have to face do you think, you know, Workforce Management buffers can kind of help with most things schedule?

2:10
Yeah, I think. So workforce management has been around for a long time. And companies have been, you know, managing their workforce from spreadsheets and what have you. And I’d say it’s problems really been there. But I think working, working from home brings up the challenges though forgetting, forced together. And so, you know, we obviously provide a workforce management solution, which is great, you can schedule your staff, you can work around their lifestyle, which is really important, because lifestyles are changed quite a lot. But that’s certainly one of the problems that you’ve really got. And one of the big issues I think, is around how you engage with your workforce is now their remote. And then they’re not having the same level of contact, and you’ve probably felt it yourself. I know, I did, you know, Cabin Fever, I’m now no longer in an office and can’t see people, I can’t walk up to the coffee machine and have a chat, and find out how things are going. So I think some of those other really Base Human requirements have been really highlighted from this whole pandemic.

3:19
Yeah. But didn’t you notice when you then went back to like a conference or a meeting and like, it was almost like it was like, it was like drinking from the firehose rather than water cooler, because it was like, there was so much information. And it was fantastic, right? You just sort of you remember your money, do all the things you missed.

3:32
Yeah. But but the other side, which is you miss that conversation as you’re walking down the corridor, or to the canteen, perhaps, you know, or to lift to delete the notes, and having that those side conversations, which are where people often feel more more relaxed, and can talk about other things that going on things that probably really, you know, the back of their mind or an issue that needs to be addressed. And you missed a lot of that, I think, and I think people got better they got used to being on video conferencing, and, and talking through, you know, challenges, but definitely the very beginning it was very stilted and not

4:14
not natural. And do you think do you think as a society we sort of almost like undervalued those, it’s those little chats, right? It’s the it’s the, it’s the things you don’t realise they’re important that you’ve got probably a little bit more important than we thought. Do you think we undervalue it? Because we’re very focused on meetings and productivity and those kind of things rather than, you know, actually, some of the value comes from some of the softer softer skills or the softer kind of interactions?

4:37
I think, I think we, we just assumed it was there. It was just it was almost a throwaway item. Because it was just commonplace, and then suddenly you take it away, and people realise how important it is. And if you think about the wider thing to get in contact centre in the continental world, to get engagement, you need to have a really motivated workforce. So you need to get to give good customer experience. And if you don’t have that personal, touchy feely thing, in case and I so I think it’s really important that in that particular industry, that you have that social contact, because without it, we’re nothing without those, those individual things that you give in conversation or through a chat session with with a customer that just completely lost. So I think we’re all struggling

5:38
for that. I mean, how do you think it’s going to evolve? And then what do we need to put in place to make sure we given that we know that we need to retain some of these things,

5:46
I think what what one thing that’s really going to happen, it’s gonna be a combination of all of those things, hybrid, you’re gonna, you’re gonna have people that prefer working in an office with other people, because at home, they really had the space to be able to do that. So they’ll be they’ll be an element of people that would love to go back to an office, there’ll be others that will say, actually, I really enjoy working from my home environment, it gives me a lot of flexibility around my family, my home life. So and then a combination of people that will say, I do want a bit of both, I do want occasionally to go in and almost just absorb this energy of being with people, and then go away. So I think there’ll be, there’ll be no, I don’t think it’d be any common rule for it. I think one of the things that the panic, Tomic has proven is that you can work remotely securely with customer information. And that’s a that was one of the big fears for a lot of companies. So that problem will, that that that problem has gone away, and there’s a lot more confidence, where people working remotely. But the engagement piece is is something that we need to work out what engagement needs for at an individual level. Because everybody needs different things. You know, let’s say, for example, you’re slightly as Burgess, you’re probably happier with your own company, and being with other people, whereas there be other people that are introverts and one of you know, are extroverts that want to one different thing, different shapes? So I don’t think there’s any real right answer.

7:20
And do you think it is a danger that we just sort of revert, I suppose almost like the loudest voice in the room in terms of because it sounds like it’s a, it’s a much more complex situation we’re going to be in which is looking at individual to assess individual treatment or individual sort of situations, but there is a danger and a bit of a move to sort of everyone sort of like swinging back to the way it was before which then, you know, some of those people are not gonna be happy. I mean, what what how do you how do we make sure, as an industry I suppose we try and keep that balance? And particularly what the tools and techniques do you think you’ve got to try and make sure you can satisfy all those needs?

7:53
I think there’s there’s lots of things going on in in, in the world. Generally, I think the one of the most important things is that people have determined now, what’s most important to them? And, and they’re saying, well, actually, I want to work, but I want to work on my own terms. And also, there’s a skill gap of trying to get people as well. So I think there’s, as employers, there gonna be a lot more flexibility around giving a more fuller employee package, which will be flexibility around working real flexibility around working hours around us, and more time to actually take care of mental health. That was kind of you know, it’s been a, it’s been the elephant in the room for many, many years. And now this is brought that Ted. So I think there’s a lot of challenges that this doesn’t have any way to give the perfect kind of environment for an employee to be successful. So there’s lots of strategies around how you how you handle that, for sure.

8:59
And what about what about, I suppose the engagement, particularly your remote working, and we talked a bit about, like, how you engage the workforce? How do you keep some of that sort of water cooler chatter as sort of being said, I mean, so like, particularly if you’ve got a mixed mixed employee base, right. So you’ve got some that are working remote, some of them are hybrid, some of that in the office and like, all this sort of complexity, I mean, other things that we can we can do to try and keep people engaged and keep the interaction going.

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9:26
Yeah, I think there are, I mean, you know, motivation, is that top of mind, I think for every every organisation and how do you create that sense of community for people to interact? So you know, well, you know, we have a motivation suite within our within our solution portfolio, and it allows individuals to engage and recognise top talent within the group, but also allows peer recognition so I could reward you for doing a great job or helping me with customer interaction. And and on the back of that People can get rewards, you know, we have, like a point system, we call it karma points. And you can redeem these for prizes. But that whole motivation, you can see what’s going on with your peers. You can, you know, give them badges and gamification type thing. And, and that’s really engaging the employees and they can have chat sessions. And that’s a really good way of kind of keeping it more personal, not just about the business and reward boundary. So I think, strategy a lot that are going to be important strategies around, actually recognising people, both privately and publicly within companies, it’s got to be important. And it has to be because you’re not physically there, it can point somebody out in the office. So there’s got to be other means of doing that. And not so much on a monthly basis almost needs to be a bit bit more a bit more every day, to make people feel that they’re part of it a bit like people, some people can’t put their Facebook page down, right, they’re always looking to see what’s on there next. So

11:09
that’s what I was just, I was just thinking about that in terms of like Facebook, and we’ve sort of seen this move of, I suppose, with things like Slack and teams, and you know, a, like Facebook Business and sort of that that sort of, like social sort of interaction is sort of starting to almost like lead into the, into the business world. I mean, it’s already started before the pandemic, but you can sort of like see that sort of increasing this and I start having fun, isn’t it? Online, I mean, trying to do that and trying to engender the the engagement, I think

11:37
one of our values is enjoy the little things as a company. And I think you have to because life’s too short, you know, we’re on this planet, for a fleeting moment. Let’s try and have fun while we have to do the real stuff. And so take time out, just enjoy and, and relish those, those moments. And it’s really important, really,

11:58
one of the other themes I’ve seen is, I suppose, and just, particularly the UK is a real theme. So I suppose around, we’ve got this new consumer duty that’s coming up, there’s sort of like things that are going on sort of financial services and stuff like that some of that links back into, like, suppose quality of interaction on the customer side as well. I mean, what have you been seeing them in that it feels like, certainly as if, you know, skills and skills training, and those kind of things are making sure that that people have got that right kind of interaction sort of Top of Mind, at least from a regulatory point of view, and you just sort of seen that, that goes into it into the business as

12:30
well. That’s, that’s a, that’s a, that’s something we see a great deal of. So, you know, we week, we have a learning solution, which is used for helping on board staff, you know, got an awful lot of FinTech clients. And the learning product is really to help them with their education, to get that ready to be able to start that engagement with the customer. But moreover, make sure that their content continuously have their own personal development, ongoing training, because you think about, particularly financial products they change. And, you know, you need to be on top of that, and make sure that you’ve got good up to date education, but you also need a way of tracking how successful that training was, you know, isn’t that that’s now really ready to take those kind of interactions? Or do we put them in a pool of other agents taken other transactions, because they’re not ready for that. And so that’s key. But you know, coming back to quality, which he mentioned, the ability to kind of look at those customer interactions, and being able to evaluate how well they win, you know, how well the interaction between the employee and the customer win, is, it’s not just about identifying problems. It’s about it’s opportunities to have really intelligent interventions, coaching interventions that say, Hey, next time you have this scenario, you know, I suggest you to try the take this approach, or our policies changed here. And this, this sort of coaching, you know, is important to with that quality, because if you review something, you want to make sure that you’re really helping the employee, take the next the right decision next time, so that you’ve reduced your, you know, the repeat contact into the into the contact centre, the huge cost, and a huge cause of frustration for customers. So, being on top of that education, looking at the overall quality, and then looking at how you coached because people don’t do bad things, I think, you know, they don’t get the way to do their things. We’ve just got to continue to coach and educate because things change and life changes. So, so they’re important elements of that contact centre interaction which which is clearly needs to be addressed. And more personal as well.

14:56
Yeah. And I suppose if you get into room about working hybrid working, or if you’ve got a large call centre, if you’ve got distributed call centres, then I suppose it’s like, how do you get the data to be able to do that, because it’s one thing when you got a small centre, and you sort of put your arm around people, and you sort of say, well, you got to look after this, and you sort of you build that community. But I suppose it’s trying to do that on a on a wider basis. And I suppose that’s where that’s where data comes in, I imagine.

15:20
Exactly, and that data is at the root of all the things we do, because without that data, you cannot, you know, you could, for example, without some historical data, you can’t predict what sort of staffing levels you need to handle the next, the next day of interactions, your customer base. And, and I guess one of the things that we’ve seen a lot for that pandemic is, more and more organisations are going totally digital, because their throughput, volume is just phenomenal. So they look at using automation where they can, but ultimately, when, when the rubber hits the road, there’s a real problem you’re gonna interact with, with a human at some level, whether that’s, you know, over a chat over a series of emails or telephone call, that really doesn’t matter. And you want to be able to answer them timely with the right information, and make them feel good about that, that interaction, you can only really do that with data, you know, what was the last time that person that that customer contacted about? Is it related to it? Okay, where what was those? How do we resolve that last time? You know, what’s the status of a trouble ticket. So having that data is crucial. And, you know, we pull some of that we pull out some of that data from the CRM system. And obviously, when we’re getting quality reviews, and we can pick out things that don’t, aren’t going terribly well identify areas of improvement process. But that’s, that’s something that’s continually evolving. And the more data you have the better. Which, which comes into, you know, how do you really uncover why our customers are at a repeat call that contact? Yeah, so that’s, that’s, that’s the that’s the, you know, the, the panacea is to, you know, always answer that query, as the answer. And the customer not ever called come back again, without that same query. It’s never ever going to be quite perfect. But with data, you can improve things in.

17:30
Do you think that like having extra data, and I suppose we just got so much data now, and so she also got new mathematical techniques to be able to analyse that in terms of like going back? And then, you know, look at the much more complex problem in terms like, where were the root causes? I mean, is that is that I mean, that’s probably more possible now than it was historically, when you sort of like you’re doing the tracing of individual, you know, customer journeys, going back trying to find it looking for correlations, almost like on a manual basis now, that now do you think we can sort of, can we start to sort of look at the data and then almost, like, look at statistically about what the problems might be, by drawing those into interlinkages?

18:06
Yeah, you can, it’s interesting, because if the lots of companies been going out there approaching this, this same problem, right, you know, what’s the perfect customer journey. And the customer journey is more, far more complex they are because you might start your customer journey, and a chat session, and then follow up with an email, and then, and then another chat session. And it’s quite, you almost, it’s not so disjointed. And if you go back to the day, they go back into the 1980s, your your interaction will be on one medium phone conversation. And now it’s not like that, you know, you got a whole multitude of different medium to interact. And, but the great thing is, there are you know, we made an acquisition earlier this year, to look at how we can really analyse those insights and make really intelligent decisions around actually, what are the customer what what, you know, what did the customer contact us? What was the feedback, you know, some sentiment Earth, how well did they feel that they would dealt with in our organisation, and that gives you that uncovers amazing insights and by analysing pitching say, actually, I’ve got a problem over here. And it might be the way that you’ve presented the product on the website, or some product information. It could be a process problem. And with that, those insights, then you can make huge changes to your organisation to improve those customer journeys. If it’s a thing, maybe it’s an education thing, maybe, you know, we’ve launched something and it’s a bit ambiguous and the staff don’t really know how to answer that. And maybe it’s a training education issue. So yeah, I think You know, definitely an all well, because we cover all of these components, it’s great because to give both the the best the best out of your employees, you need to give them tools, and you need to give them insights. And you need to give them ongoing coaching and personal development, because that’s crucial. And you need to show love as well, which is really important.

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20:24
You know, as humans, we’re sort of quite used to having a source like, you know, if I pull this lever, something happens over here. And that’s sort of quite an easy relationship we seem to have, but I suppose if I pull this lever, and something else happens over there, and something there and something’s happened, you know, three weeks ago, yeah, how that’s then impacting my customer experiences, that’s quite hard for humans to sort of process me have to read this whole study, but I suppose the data can sort of get to do some of those more like complex relationships that we probably never got to before I would thought, yeah,

20:53
exactly. And I think, you know, you often start with solving the big, the big problems, the repeatable things first. And then you start saying, well, actually, now I can respond my service, I can start to really weed out, you know, your, I can take my 30%, fix that, right, I’m going to nail down to my, my 5% of problems on trying to weasel out because there’s, there’s been a cost to us as an organisation, or whatever it is. And you can go on that journey to improve the whole process. Now with this data, which is, which is phenomenal. If you think where we were before to get to that, you know, someone would have have to go through a whole bunch of transactions, and then come up with, you know, synopsis of why they think, happening, and it might be an unrelated thing. But now we’ve got all this data that supports actually true action. And when data, you know, you can you can look at what’s the cost to implement the change? What’s my priority now as a business? And you can you can lay that data out, say, right, I need to fix this. And it might be my website, for example, I need that. And so I think this is really positive. Also for consumers as well, because incredibly frustrating, as customers, you know, and you don’t get the experience you’re expecting.

22:08
He raised a really interesting point, I suppose around, it’s not just problems as well. It’s also around the reverse that is like, Well, what do customers want? And how did they want it differently? And some of those might not be intuitive as well. So rather than saying, This is my process, take it or leave it, but I’m going to fix any problems you have for my process. It’s almost like, well, let’s design the process around what you want and use the data to do that. So and it comes back in a conversation as having the other day around, sort of the growth mindset is in terms of like, even from an agent point of view. It’s like not what have I done badly, but what have I done well, and then how do I then use the data to then work out how I can get better, and it’s so like, changing the way we think about our, our work life to certain extent,

22:48
I think you’re right, I think the days of people being told that was really bad, or, you know, a different and I think, our approaches, we know, psychologically, that people don’t respond well to that. So you have to say, well, actually, he did a great job here, here’s some areas of growth improvement, and you focus on that, and it and then you get more out of them the other team because you’re being respectful, and I think that’s another thing that’s been you know, we’ve checked, we’ve changed, you know, a lot if you go for the very beginning of time, particularly in contact centres, you know, people were stuffed together for really strict processes, normally in a big binder. And that’s all electronic. And, you know, if you think that the the cognitive load on an agent is a lot going on, you know, applications are trying to deal with the customer problem, find knowledge to better deal with it, log the data, there’s, there’s so much going on in their world. You know, there’s a responsibility, I think, for any organisation to make that environment better, easier, more intuitive for them as well. And the great thing is a lot of cloud compute type solutions that are out a lot SAS products are definitely making it more intuitive. And they started to give standards around how people now interact with solution which makes it makes definitely makes it a lot better. Still a long way to go.

24:15
I find it fascinating looking at different industries and how they sort of like you can learn from them. And so I think about flying an aeroplane, right, which is one of the things that’s that always find interesting, like cognitive load is a big, big thing when you’re flying an aeroplane, you don’t have too much inflammation going on because they can cause you to make the wrong decision. I suppose the same is true for exactly the same true for call centre agents as well, right? Like how do you focus on the job at hand, which is creating a great customer interaction rather than all this other stuff that’s kind of going on? Exactly.

24:43
And there’s a lot of noise and yesterday’s trying to dial out the noise for the agent so that they just got what they need to be in a handle that that that interaction at that moment in time and so there’s a lot we can do that there I think generally in the market to make that better. But I think, moreover, going back to the piece you just mentioned here about the motivation of those that make them feel good about what they’ve done reward them and and provide the coaching interventions, when then you know, when they’re appropriate. Tell them on that look, that learning path. Yeah. Because I think we think that you don’t want it back, you say, actually, the contact centre, they are the frontline support your brand. So if they are enthusiastic, happy to be there, it’s going to come across on the phone. And even if you are a little distressed by something, you’re going to actually feel this person’s going to really own my problem. Because enthusiast it so it’s now long overdue to pump a lot more energy into, into the well being of that team.

25:54
So we were chatting a little bit before we started about about the environment since the start of the year. And I know we’ve been kind of sheduled this this chat for the longest time, right in terms of because we’ve been it’s been busy. I think it’s I think it’s fair to say it’s been been super busy at the end of last year and in tissue. Do you think? Do you think the environments changed in terms of what you’re seeing from a market point of view in terms of investment, and there’s only what’s driving the the busyness because we’re seeing it in lots of places,

26:18
I think. Yeah, I don’t I don’t know, if I’ve got one singular answer, why what’s driving the business we are run off our feet, which is great. And it’s because organisations are looking to solve different problems. And, you know, one of the things is churn is is still an issue. And so that’s a problem keeps presented itself. And then I think probably one of the biggest things at the moment that we have is trying to optimise the workforce. So a lot of lot of clients that we’re talking to, at the moment have been trying to model how they start their contact centre with with spreadsheets, and that only goes so far. And so that becomes an interesting conversation, because when we go through that process with them, we realised that they perhaps even overstaffed, their contact centre, when they start using, you know, our technology, because we’re, you know, we’re using real time data as well as historic data to kind of model using artificial intelligence, when, and where they need those when and what skill set they need to be to handle those, those those interactions. And so there’s some huge savings there. By using that kind of technology, but there’s also really great opportunity as well, because you’re now starting to get some benefits back to employees. So if you go into contact centre today, you want to take time off, you put a request into your supervisor, supervisor will check it against a schedule, and then go back to your manager. And eventually, you know, you either get it approved or declined. Well, what if you could just do that on an app, when I actually want to move my shift here, or I want to take a holiday off or even want to do Shift swap. So those things we do automatically within the solution it gives, it frees up so much more time. And, and that time, then can be used to lay look at better processes, look at how we can make it more enjoyable place to that for the agents to work. So that’s one of the things that we’re doing, which is kind of helping free up time, but also give benefits to employees around how they can work their life, you know, work, work, work around their lifestyle, which is really important. And so that’s that’s a trend that we’re seeing, because these organisations want to make it a better environment for their employees to be.

28:49
And I suppose it comes back to that original conversation around flexibility, right? remote working flexibility. People wanted to have work around that or blending in much more than life, which is kind of suppose what you’ve done the last few years and like, how do you carry that on? I suppose?

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29:04
Well, I think this was the one thing is given flexibility. Time management is key, right? So if we can manage time, and I it’s flexible enough so that businesses get what they need, but also the employee gets a win win scenario. If you think about, yeah, you might have a young family. So you’ll want to be there to borrow them in the evening and do those fun things and have tea with them. And then you have to jump back on for another hour or so later. And likewise, you’ll get people that were actually evens are really a no no for me. I’ve got you know, dance class or whatever. Yeah. So they can do that. And I think this is where tools like this, except, you know, really important for businesses because you can make sure you’ve got the right level of staffing to handle your business, you meet your KPIs but you’re having that flexibility to two employees, which wasn’t wasn’t there before. So I mean, that’s great. But then you need to take it a step further and say, well, actually, so now I’ve worked out how I can schedule people to work around their lifestyle. Now, what about the qualities or qualities still there? How well, the qualities of those interactions? Okay, well, it is this area of improvement, let’s get some coaching. And, and then, of course, the other thing is, how do you get these people on boarded quickly? is another problem. In fact, we’re seeing that a lot. So we’ve, we’ve signed some some pretty significant organisations recently that, you know, they’ve had a lot of money invested in and they’re growing exponentially. So they are bringing all, you know, 50 new staff every month, to staff every month. And so how do you get them through to a point where they can be effective quickly, is, is really important. So I think this, this whole thing about workforce engagement? Is something where you’ve got to say, well, actually, how do you? How do you? How do you make engagement, right, and then getting right to the individual, for the customer, and for the employer. And so all of these components are necessary to do that.

31:17
And it’s almost like I can see, it’s almost like you’re taking people on a journey, it’s almost like, well, you know, you got to have the right people or at the right time, you’ve got to sort of work out from Workforce Management. But then you got to how do you get people on? How do you make sure that they’re measuring the quality and those kind of things? So it’s sort of like it sort of lays out, I suppose, to a certain extent,

31:33
yeah, exactly what you said earlier, you know, what sort of problems? Will we get some that presented with that, that problem, which is, you know, on a spreadsheet, how do I come away from this and get my life back, because I spend hours just looking at numbers in a spreadsheet, whereas they could just look browse across the screen to art, that’s the answer. So that that takes away a lot of pain for them. But the other presented issue we get is clients are saying, Look, you know, we’re growing so quickly, we’re really worried about the quality. And so how can we effectively do quality checks of the team, but also provide them with the coaching level, to help them be successful help, you know, so, so that there’s another challenge that you’ve got with growth is that you know, you want to maintain that quality, all the way through, and it’s very different when you found that a business to suddenly, you know, you got 150 employees, 1000 employees, it’s just the dynamics change.

32:34
But it’s interesting, what you’re saying that, that it’s also about, we’ve had the pandemic, we’ve, you know, we’ve been working in a hybrid kind of way, we know that we’ve got to look around things like quality and shedding those things. But it’s also the collateral effects of, of what happens as well. So the new hire piece, and the fact that there is a lot of churn of employees in the market among people shifting around, but it does present a new hire problem, right, which you wouldn’t naturally think about first off, but actually, it’s a problem that’s gonna have to be sold for. And so it’s like, it’s interesting how the effects sort of like knock on effects and things, sometimes you don’t actually think about, I’m sure you, you guys thought about it, but everything’s kind of linked.

33:11
It is. And it all comes back to, you know, particularly in this, this, this the world we live in, is making sure people feel connected. And so, you know, having a way for staff to interact with each other share knowledge, recognise peers is so important. And not only being able to reward them is is important. And so, and I think companies get that. And I think they really do because the cost of churn is so high, you then the Find someone higher than it might cost you eight to 10,000 pounds, to get somebody, hire them, get them for the education programme, you’ve got to be effective. So a lot of investment, and that’s continually going, let’s let’s pause for it. How can we make this working Byron better give them flexibility, how they work times they work, reward them for doing a great job, given the ability to interact with their peers, and to recognise their peers and suddenly start to build a community. That is a community is so much stronger. Then then a company in some respects, if you think about this, the company Brexit the people that make a company, so let’s let’s get them motivated and provide them and listen to them.

34:30
Yeah. As to the cost the cost of churn and trying to keep into people and then so I suppose being thing sensitive their needs. What do you think the future is? We talked a bit about where we are today. And I suppose to finish off on like, where do you think we’re going to go? I mean, how do you think it’s going to evolve from where we are now in terms of what we’re seeing? I mean, are we in this environment for long term or do you think it’s gonna sort of trend to something else?

34:53
I don’t know if it’s gonna, I think we’re kind of at the point of realisation and the real Some point is that goes back to this flexibility of working, I think people have a taste for it, some people like it, some people don’t like it, I think one of the things that will come out of this is that individuals themselves will know what works for them. And so when they’re looking for change, or to move job, they’re going to go, actually, I want this kind of environment, because it’s important to me. So if you play that back, and, you know, look at organisations that want to employ, they will actually need to have this flexibility. So I think that’s the first thing. I think there’ll be a continual growth of artificial intelligence technologies being used like conversational AI, which will be used to, you know, automate interactions with doing customers. That’s been a trend it’s been going on for a while. But I think the realisation is that there’s a big cost. So, you know, we need to take some of that low hanging fruit and address that through through technology. Reality is, there still going to be this huge need for, for people. And I think we’re starting to see that trends where these people start to get rewarded more jobs, they do. And they, you know, they perhaps do today, because of the value they provide to companies. So I think they’re kind of the things I’m seeing at least in the in the midterm. That’s going to happen in the industry.

36:25
And as far as like the the digitalization of the process automation is almost like takes out the stuff that’s probably less valuable from a human point of view, and makes what we do as humans probably more valuable, which by then meant you spend more time doing what humans are good at. But it probably expands spans the world, rather than it being sort of a negative thing, because it means we can do more with the same resource.

36:47
Exactly right. I think I think this, this pandemic is really showing something that we need that human interaction, and whether it’s over a chat session, and, and people aren’t DAF they know when they’ve got a bot versus when they got human. So I think people know that, and then they want and they need that at certain points. And so if it’s something quick, and you can get the answer, great, you know, we’re all for getting resolution, okay, I know, I’m pretty impatient. I’m pretty no different than many. But there are times where something needs to be explained, it’s a bit more complex, I don’t understand that your product, can we go for it, you know, for example. And so there is that need to have that human contact. And when you have that, you have to have the ability to show empathy, understand it, and you need to be really enthusiastic about the brand you’re representing. So. So I think that that’s, you know, that these are many things in this world that that are important in this industry. And I do

37:51
think it’s a bit of an inflection point and say, it’s fascinating to see sort of how it’s gradually evolving even over the last the last 12 months or so, it’s been fascinating. So lately, thank you very much for making the time I really appreciate it. It’s fascinating as always, and you know, we’re gonna we’re gonna watch that space and sort of certainly flexibility and thinking about the, you know, that the the end experience is definitely something that I’ve taken away. As Chris

38:14
has been an absolute pleasure, keep in touch. Thanks very much.


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