Sensée recognized as an Honorable Mention in 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Customer Service BPO

Sensée is thrilled to be recognized as an Honorable mention in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Customer Service BPO*.

For further details on the research, visit the Gartner website  http://www.gartner.com

 

 

 

*Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for Customer Service BPO”, Deborah Alvord, Kathy Ross, Mark Dauigoy, Uma Challa, March 28, 2022.

GARTNER and MAGIC QUADRANT are registered trademarks and service marks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

 

Will 2022 Be The Year Of Digital Transformation?

When the pandemic arrived many businesses were faced with a challenge. In some sectors, such as hospitality and non-essential retail, the immediate future looked bleak as government restrictions were closing down their ability to operate normally. In cases like this the companies had to pivot quickly to new services, or the same service delivered in a different way, or they had to calculate if they could afford to just temporarily close the business.

This created a wave of digital transformation that was inspired by the crisis. Companies that had never used e-commerce were suddenly creating stores on Instagram so they could still interact with customers and take orders. The five-star Claridge’s Hotel in London started delivering their famous Claridge’s Fried Chicken to discerning customers. Heinz started sending cans of beans directly to customers to avoid the retail bottleneck. 

Five years of normal e-commerce growth happened inside 2020. Crisis creates a situation where innovation and transformation is possible because the alternative is to watch your business fail.

Contact centres were not allowed to operate normally during the pandemic so there were thousands of British customer service advisers that started working from home (WFH) instead of commuting to their office. The WFH option has now been embraced by the industry. Even though it is now possible to get everyone back to the contact centre, it has not happened.

Why hasn’t there been a return to the old normal?

Because the emergency transformation has demonstrated to both employers and employees that there can be a better way to manage customer service processes.

  • Cloud computing can create virtual contact centres allowing advisers to work from home or from a contact centre – building resilience
  • Collaboration tools now make it easier for teams to work and socialise together, even if they are not all seated in the same location
  • WFH allows companies to hire from anywhere, rather than being restricted to the people who live near to a contact centre 

This transformation has already taken place. It’s clear that WFH is now going to be an integral component of any customer service strategy in future. There is now no reason why WFH cannot be the central core of a customer service strategy – that’s what Sensée has managed for many years now.

But the digital transformation of customer service processes is set to continue. It’s not just that 2022 will be a year of transformation, it is likely that this entire decade will see the relationship between brands and customers dramatically transformed.

  • Artificial Intelligence will find patterns in customer behaviour so brands can get closer to what their customers want and need.
  • Data analytics will allow brands to understand when and why customers buy their products – so they can engage more effectively and create personal offers that encourage more interaction.
  • A focus on relationship, not just transactions, will move contact centres away from the metrics that focus only on calls to exploring the value of a customer over their entire lifetime.
  • Product companies will offer services changing how we interact with our favourite brands – think about companies like Nike allowing customers to design their own shoes, so they receive a completely unique product.
  • Brands inside a lifestyle. Successful brands will insert their service into the lifestyle of the customer. This could be a bank that helps the customer to save for specific targets or direct-to-consumer brand that ensures you never run out of pet food – making life easier will be a requirement for success.

The digital transformation of customer service is already underway and was accelerated by the pandemic. Although today we still think about customer service as a process of taking calls from customers, the future vision will involve dramatically more self-service using smart speakers, automation with chat bots, and a more general focus on the long-term customer relationship – not just the individual transaction.

In 2022 we are already experiencing the early waves of post-pandemic digital transformation – are you ready?

Sensée colleagues shortlisted for 2022 UK National Contact Centre Awards

Massive congratulations to two of our Sensée colleagues for being shortlisted at the 2022 UK National Contact Centre Awards.

– Jo Hodge in the ‘Outsourced CC Manager of the Year’ category
– Emma Gunner in the ‘Rising Star in a Large CC’ category

Amazing achievement and best of luck to both for the upcoming judging.

2022 UK National Contact Centre Awards winners will be announced live on Monday 20 June at a gala awards evening at the fabulous Old Billingsgate in Central London..

(Online Workshop) 5 Strategies to Optimise Hybrid Working

Chair: Sandra Busby, Welsh Contact Centre Forum
Date: Apr 13th 2022
Time: 10.00 to 11.30am

As the world prepares for a full post-Covid re-opening, we look at 5 strategies that could help contact centres get more from hybrid working.  During this session, we will ask:

  • What strategic and tactical plans will best ensure everyone is on the same work mission?
  • What hybrid working model(s) will work best for your organisation?
  • How will you ensure effective ‘team’ working?
  • How will you ensure all team members are treated fairly and enjoy the same career opportunities?
  • How can hybrid working enhance your green credentials?

Sandra Busby will be joined by experts from home and hybrid workplace specialists Sens̩e РService Delivery Manager Josephine Hodge and Homeworking Team Leader Emma Gunner.

We hope you can join us.

Register for the workshop

Did The End Of Covid Restrictions Bring About A Widespread Return To The Office?

Most of the Covid-19 restrictions the UK has endured for the past couple of years are now over. Free testing is about to end and the government is now trying to treat Covid like any other respiratory illness. This even applies to the previous rules on self-isolation – if you have Covid now then it’s advisable to stay at home and not go to work, or travel on public transport, but the government will no longer be taking any action if you do. The message is that we all have to live with Covid.

But one of the biggest changes for most professionals during the pandemic was the requirement to work from home. As the restrictions vanish are companies really returning to the way they were organised in 2019 or has two years of working from home (WFH) changed the expectation of both employers and employees?

Government ministers have urged people to ‘get back to the office’ because collaboration isn’t possible with remote working. But political messages are rarely focused on business alone – there is a political will to move on from the pandemic and the traditional commute is still seen by many as a return to normal.

Office occupancy rates give a better picture of what is really happening. Last month saw the highest levels of office occupancy since the pandemic started with the property analysts Remit Consulting measuring 27.5% occupancy. A look at the Remit data shows that occupancy through most of 2021 was around 10%, increasing at the end of the year, but then dropping to almost zero in January 2022 when the Omicron variant was sweeping the country.

It’s clear that some people are returning to their office, but even those now visiting the office are not at their desk from Monday to Friday as before. This is also clearly visible across the customer service environment where most contact centres remain far from their 2019 levels of occupancy – anecdotal evidence from industry analysts estimates that the major customer service specialists still have over 70% of their teams working from home – even now.

It’s difficult to get precise data on this because companies are naturally wary about sharing their ‘return to normal’ strategy and the situation is also very fluid – companies embracing hybrid WFH options are not returning to a 2019 situation, even if employees can now sometimes be in the office.

Our own data from last year was quoted in the FT – just 4 of 107 contact centre managers and directors predicted that there would ever be a complete return to the office. This situation appears to be playing out in 2022. Only the contact centres in the Philippines appear to be returning to what used to be normal and that’s because of a government mandate telling them that WFH will no longer be allowed from April 1st. How will this affect the industry in the Philippines if the customer service companies are now told how they must operate by a government?

This prediction of 2022, published in January by Contact Center Pipeline gives a stronger sense of where customer service is heading. Every single analyst and executive questioned in this article says that there will never be a complete return to the contact centre. They all talk about getting a WFH strategy under control, building out more flexible workforce management, and accepting that this hybrid working model is now permanent.

There are several clear messages coming from these surveys and analyst reports:

  • Offices still have very low occupancy in March 2022.
  • Employee expectations around flexibility have changed, largely because of the pandemic and the opportunity to experience work without commuting.
  • Employers need to offer more flexibility around WFH if they want to attract talent.
  • Very few contact centres have any plans to return to 100% in-centre employees.

It seems that many of these companies have finally learned what Sens̩e has always understood Рallowing people to work from home can create a more productive and satisfied team. And if you know how to design WFH solutions that enable teams to work together and be engaged, then why maintain an office at all?

Hybrid and Home Working – Is It Good for Us?

Planning on visiting Health and Well Being at Work 2022?

H&WB 2022 is the UK’s largest exhibition and conference dedicated to improving the health, wellbeing, safety, behaviour and culture of today’s workforce.

Sensée CEO Mark Walton will be on hand to discuss any burning issues you have with regards H&WB in work-from-home and hybrid work environments on Tuesday 15th March.

Set up a one-to-one meeting to discuss your organisation’s H&WB concerns in WFH/hybrid environments

Mark will also be delivering a keynote speech ‘Hybrid and Home Working – Is It Good for Us?’ at the National Policy and Future of Work conference stream taking place in the Gallery Suite 16-18, 1st Floor on Tuesday 15th March, 14.30 – 16.00.

Register for the event

 

Speakers