At SVL, we’re incredibly proud to lead the way with digital transformation and cloud utilisation in contact centres.

Our Head of Business Transformation and Development, Richard Abdy has played a huge part in shaping our success since he joined us in 2019.

Having recently celebrated five fantastic years with SVL, we sat down with Richard to find out what drew him to the industry, what he’s learned and what’s changed.

What made you want to work in the contact centre industry?

I’m based in the North East and as I was starting my career call centres were taking off in this area. Compared to the traditional jobs on offer, they offered something different and I enjoyed the environment.

I quickly found my niche, resourcing and workforce planning. In the early days this was nothing more than an excel spreadsheet and in my 20 plus years in the industry I’ve seen things change massively.

I was involved in setting up one of the biggest workforce management tools, which is now known as NICE and it’s come full circle as SVL supports our clients to implement NICE solutions now.

What’ve you enjoyed most about the last 5 years at SVL?

It’s definitely been the speed of change. I thrive when things are changing because every day feels exciting.

Reflecting on the last few years in particular, the pandemic sped up decision making about switching to cloud technology.

People always had excuses on why they weren’t ready to move to the cloud, even though their technology wasn’t fit for purpose.

The pandemic meant they had to move past this and leave their concerns behind.

SVL has changed too, we were known as workforce engagement management specialists who agnostically offered call recording in addition to the advanced applications of Workforce Management, Interaction Analytics and Quality Management solutions.

Now we offer so much more, including the latest marketing-leading contact centre operations technology that helps our customers thrive.

What’s a lesson you’ve learned over the last five years?

Be mindful of people and pay close attention to who you’re taking along on the journey.

Sometimes people are resistant to change and that can mean things take longer and people are left unhappy or anxious which isn’t going to work.

One of my mantras is that ‘in business nobody likes a surprise’. People want to be involved and know what to expect so it’s important to communicate clearly, set expectations and get everyone involved.

My experience is that, when you do this people will  elevate ideas, technology and work to places you never even thought of.

Are there any key moments you’d like to highlight from the last five years?

Landing the first contact centre as a service customer, Dialect Communications, and providing omni channel solutions was a huge highlight.

We forged a brilliant partnership and started a journey together. The team trusted us, allowed us to build our confidence and we didn’t let them down.

Our work with Dialect was the first stepping stone as it paved the way for SVL to offer contact centre as a service through NICE CXone and Amazon Connect to more customers.

Looking inward, my highlights are making change happen with such a brilliant team who’ve fully embraced the journey.

5 years ago the some of the newer Contact Centre as a Service solutions we offer and the clients we work with were in their infancy, now we are truly established with a wealth of experience and everyone has played a vital part.

I’ve always tried to bring enthusiasm to my role and create a safe place to let people grow, learn and try new things. I feel like the team have embraced this approach and delivered some amazing results for our customers and in return for SVL.

Another huge highlight has been working with North East contact centres and sponsoring the North East Contact Centre Awards. I’m very proud of being from the North East, the contact centre industry here has played such a huge part in my life and overall career.

What’s next for SVL?

We’re always looking for the next big thing and always horizon scanning. It’s important to be a step ahead and we’re going to continue to learn and grow as an organisation.

Some key topics at the moment are AI, automation and digital transformation.  Our job is to keep up with the industry, remain agnostic and impartial so we can be trusted partners and advisors for our customers, and offer them the latest guidance through an ever-changing landscape of technologies.

Do you have any advice for others working in your industry?

Be true to yourself, do things that make you happy and inspire you.

You spend more time at work, than you do at home, so you definitely need to be happy in your workplace. If you’re happy in your job, it’ll reflect in the work that you do.

Take the next step in your digital transformation journey

If you’d like to find out more about large language models, AI, cloud technology, Contact Centre as a Service or WEM feel free to get in touch.