Anne Holmes, our Account Director, talks about the importance of building long-term relationships in the complex world of Contact Centre Software.
Software is a complex and fast-moving commodity. The speed of upgrades and new releases can be head-spinning. As a result, a ‘sell and run’ sales ethos can be all too visible in this industry. Sales people can come and go with no accountability for what happens next.
That’s not me. For over 18 years I have worked with my clients, many of whom I am pleased to call friends, through the good and the bad.
What is a real joy is when you meet a person at a new location who you knew from years gone by in a similar role in another contact centre. It really can seem like a small world.
I started in SVL, or Sinclair Voicenet as it was, running the Internal Sales team. Our role was prospecting, setting up meetings for sales staff and capturing the data that filled our CRM database.
I loved that job, but as time passed the opportunity to get more closely involved with clients was too good to miss.
I moved into a more advanced role, working with organisations like Kwik-Fit (now Ageas) and the Student Loans Company (both of whom I can proudly say I still work with to this day) where I found that building up good relationships based on trust was the best sales tool in the business.
Most client relationships with SVL started initially through the sale and installation of a call recording solution, a relatively new concept back in ‘the day’, where huge effort was placed on just recording calls for mitigating risk and resolving disputes but not really for monitoring quality or for legal purposes.
As time went on, SVL continued to build our business on a new idea, which met a real need for lots of our customers. Rather than just recording calls, we were then also providing automated Quality Management software, which delivered great benefit to organisations in terms of efficiency, agent and customer satisfaction. Over the years, this has accelerated to move into the world of even more advanced software applications including Interaction Analytics, Workforce Management and Optimisation, Voice Biometrics, and now even Robotic Process Automation, all of which are very widely discussed in terms of the future of contact centres.
What a journey! The wider range of software we now offer requires even better consultative account management and support. The more sophisticated the software, the more complicated it can appear to the customer and that is a fear I strive to help with.
Recently, to gain a deeper knowledge of a specific area, I have started to specialise in Workforce Management and Employee Engagement. I get to work with great products and people, working in conjunction with our 2 great partners, NICE and Teleopti. These solutions focus on improving productivity and efficiency in the workplace, saving contact centres time and money whilst also empowering staff to participate in their own scheduling creating a better work/life balance.
It is still a joy to work in this business and in this industry and to work with some brilliant people and software solutions, but mostly to continue to work with some great clients with whom I’ve built great relationships over the years. In this ever-changing landscape and despite the ongoing challenges, I will never sell a customer a solution I don’t believe in and will continue to be there for the ups and downs of the journey.
It’s all about people.