A tongue extended as if reaching for a leaf allowed the Dallas Zoo giraffe sculpture to edge out another statue by six inches to claim title as Texas’ tallest. Although such a calculated effort to earn the title may reinforce the “bigger is better” stereotype often attributed to Texans, long-time Texas resident and VMC Engagement Manager Ken Tebbetts told us why bigger isn’t always better in contact center operations.
“After twenty-some years in the industry, I’ve worked in companies ranging from start-ups to contact centers with 1,000 seats. As I began evaluating the career opportunities that brought me to VMC, I realized that many factors important in considering a new employer were also important to a company considering an outsourced contact center partner. Size was one of those.
What intrigued me about VMC was their more intimate size, which meant an opportunity to focus on niche opportunities, to be part of an organization that embraced the principle of ‘quality over quantity.’ It’s an environment where people are really passionate about coming up with effective custom solutions instead of the cookie cutter or paint-by-number approaches more typical of the giant, volume-oriented contact centers.
I’m not saying a big operation can’t do a good job at offering some custom solutions; but once you reach a critical mass in terms of business size and contact center capacity, bigger isn’t necessarily better. A company does need to have the financial strength to run a sound operation with quality infrastructure and tools. Once they’ve achieved that, though, sometimes becoming too large can detract from the level of attention or quality of work their clients receive.
For example, when a contact center focuses on being a low-cost/high volume provider, that decision influences other strategic and operational dynamics in the company. In the large, volume-based operations, it can show up in a business model and culture built around high agent turnover. I know of one large center that experiences 100% agent turnover every six months. If you walked into their facility in January and went back in July, you wouldn’t see a single familiar agent face. For clients, this means the people responsible for their customers’ experiences never have more than six months of knowledge or experience in addressing and resolving caller needs. That affects CSAT scores and first call resolution rates, which are key drivers for brand reputation and customer loyalty.
Of course, CSAT or customer loyalty isn’t always a client’s primary concern when evaluating potential providers or benchmarking success for their customer care or service desk support. The right solution has to accommodate a number of constraints and priorities.
Even so, it can be easy to get caught up in the idea of ‘bigger is better,’ which, as a Texas resident, I sure do understand. But, whether you’re considering a contact center operation as employer or outsourcing partner, it’s really better to look at whether that company is ‘right sized.’ That is, it isn’t just a question of raw numbers; it’s how size might either influence or reflect their strategic or operational focus – and if or how that focus meshes with your goals and needs from a larger perspective.”
Bigger may not be better…unless it means focusing on the bigger picture to make better business decisions. How ‘right sized’ are your contact center operations for achieving your top customer care or service desk priorities?