This is where you break down barriers to enhance contact centers

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Contact centers around the world face similar challenges, yet so many continue to work in silos. To tear down the barriers that are preventing you from delivering an exceptional customer experience, you can’t do it alone.

Many contact center leaders have an opportunity to accelerate their success by collaborating with others. When they do, value is returned in shortened learning curves and the ability to make better business decisions.

I witnessed first-hand the power of community when I attended a CCNG networking event at Coca-Cola Consolidated’s contact center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The half-day event was filled with sharing, learning and great idea exchange. The diverse perspectives and common goals were all present and appreciated.

Supporting the programming activities for the event came from the CCNG team, led by long-time contact center industry veteran, and president of CCNG, David Hadobas. After the event, I had an opportunity to chat with David.

Here is an edited transcript of my interview.

Jim Rembach: Hey this is Jim with Fast Leader Show and Call Center Coach and I’m here with David Hadabos of CCNG. For me, when I started with CCNG back in the 1990’s it was actually known as Call Center Network Group then it moved to Contact Center Network Group and now they’ve been around so long it’s just CCNG. But the entire time, for that entire time period, it was David Hadobas that was actually running CCNG. David, glad to have you here.

David Hadobas: Thanks again for being a part of this today. We’ve had Jim involved for like he said the better part of ten years. I think when I first met him he was shorter, I was taller, but things change over time. We spent a day today with fifty contact center leaders, tell me what you see today versus different than maybe five or seven years ago.

Jim Rembach: Well, first of all I want to point out, we’re actually here with these gracious hosts at Coca-Cola Consolidated in Charlotte North Carolina. You can see this vintage sign of Coca-Cola in the back and we want to first of all thank all those people for allowing us to come here.

I think for me, what I really was able to pull a lot out is that the pace of change is accelerating at an ever-accelerating rate. And that we have a lot of people who are now coming into the contact center who maybe don’t have a long tenure that really don’t understand or find it difficult that we kind of don’t know what’s going on if we’ve been here for a long time. And really the reality is because of the rapid pace of that change. What do you think?

David Hadobas: Well it’s very true and I think it’s important having old people like you come to give us a perspective of how we got here. Most of these people have no idea that the genesis of all this was basically the telephone. Telephone, fax and mail and then from there we started growing and we grew channels and it became more challenging. And we’ve heard again and again and again that technology is coming and the phone’s going away – but it isn’t. And a lot of these people are really struggling with dealing with multiple channels in trying to drive successful service.

But, one thing that has changed a lot is better support from inside the organization with chief customer officers, VP of service – they’re really trying to drive a better customer service experience. The multi-channel thing was talked about – it’s a challenge for a lot.

Jim Rembach: And we don’t see that going away. And matter of fact somebody was actually asking about purchasing new platform solutions. And we all really had difficulties in regards to talking about which way should you go. Because things are changing so much with all the different channels that people have to support. So, if you’re in that decision-making process, as far as what should I purchase, and believe me there are a lot of people going through that right now – there’s a lot of transition, a lot of new platforms that people are looking at – you really need to find an expert to help you to do that. Would that be a fair assessment?

David Hadobas: That’s very very true. And you could roll the tape back and so much was discussed today was discussed ten years ago. So, some of it hasn’t changed and then most of it has changed. It does create a good cohesive conversation. Today is all about driving discussions, Jim did a fabulous job talking about training – very innovative. I like the way you did your presentation with your numbers.

It’s all about getting these people to talk about their experience and their story. Coke did a fabulous job telling us where they are. So much so, that everyone could relate to certain elements of it that was very much similar things and challenges that they’re dealing with. I think Joe Rogers talked for about twenty minutes and then fielded about forty-five minutes worth of questions. And that’s exactly what we like to see. We want to see a group get fired up and start asking how do you do this and then that leads into things like a town hall where they can talk about all kinds of topics.

And again, no bumpers on the bowling alley. These people can talk about as much as they want, our job is to stay out of the way, facilitate and bring people like Jim in to help drive conversations around certain areas.

Jim Rembach: I Appreciate that David. And this is what I have to say is that – us as adults, we learn best through communities of practice. It’s by doing that interaction with others that are going through some of the similar struggles and can speak our language and we can kind of connect with and have community with – and one of the best places to be able to do that is through CCNG. So, make sure that you go and try to participate in a CCNG event as soon as you possibly can.

David Hadobas: I appreciate that. And again, thank you for listening and being a part of this today Jim. I really appreciate that very much.

Jim Rembach: We wish you the very best David.

David Hadobas: Thank you.

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