The Connected Client and Vendor Relationship Brings Success All Around
The client-vendor relationship has shifted in the contact center industry. And it’s definitely for the better.
Ten or 15 years ago, when a contact center was struggling to hit targets, recruitment numbers, or just about anything else, there was a common response from clients: “We’ll fire you if you can’t get your act together. There are dozens of competitors happy to have our business.”
In turn, contact center’s also became emboldened to fire clients that didn’t meet their own profit goals or were outside of the norm.
Both sides seemed more at war than in partnership, which was odd given they had entered into a contract to meet mutually agreed on goals.
Thankfully, a shift in the past decade has taken the relationship sharply in the other direction, with a much tighter partnership formed on respect and cooperation.
The Vendor Side
To understand the shift, it helps to start with the vendor side of the equation. As TLC Associates, we’re naturally best placed to speak to what we’ve done differently and what makes us unique. (We hope other vendors are following suit, for the sake of the customer.)
We’re always boasting about being different from other contact centers because we put our front-line associates first. We’re connected to our people and push for connection across the organization.
Why? It’s simple.
We know what drives the ability to meet targets and sales goals: the customer experience. And what drives the customer experience? The person answering the phone, the chat message, the email, and dialing out to make the sales connection. Our front-line associates own that customer’s experience from top to bottom. As leaders, our job is only to facilitate a system that helps them deliver it.
When it comes to how we treat our clients, it’s also with connection in mind. We avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. We respond to concerns and issues openly. We keep it personal, not transactional, through face-to-face discussions.
The Client Side
On the client side of the equation, the shift is also in the people. Our clients agree our front-line associates are the heart of our success. Clients continually ask how they can provide better training, increase product knowledge, or give positive incentives to help our people reach targets. We feel like they are our true partners.
Gone are the days of threats and reprimands. Instead, weekly check ins focus on building a positive working relationship built on respect and alignment. We share knowledge continually. We are open about shortcomings and improvements we’re making, and in turn clients do the same. We build mutual goals, keeping the customer and the customer experience at the heart of it.
On both sides, we’ve brought humanity into the equation and it’s done everything to build a connection. And in the end, the connection leads to stronger outcomes for everyone.