Mark Harrop Business Development Manager

May 09

Lack of brand understanding could spell trouble for contact centre prosperity

As increasing numbers of big businesses embrace brand personality, strategists at contact centre technology integrator, Aquarium Software, are warning that while some are already reaping the benefits, many contact centres risk losing significant business if they cannot reflect these changes as a key component in services they offer.

The warning comes in the wake of recent news that BT was hiring new staff in a move to bring call centres home from India, in a bid to boost customer service and satisfaction. Other big businesses from Waterstones to major airlines like Monarch and BMI have all embraced brand personality to deliver an authentic experience when engaging with customers and have transformed their approach accordingly. Visual transformation on the high street is one thing, but consistently achieving this over a multitude of communication channels is another story. With the right contact centre technology platforms in place, this is not an insurmountable challenge, according to Aquarium.

“The thinking behind brand personality is simple,” said Ed Shropshire, Managing Director at Aquarium Software. “You need to ‘live’ and ‘become’ your brand as opposed to simply ‘deploying’ it. This is easier to achieve in customer facing situations but, while more difficult for call centres, major telecoms players like Virgin and BT have proved these concepts can be applied to the contact centre sector too. The ongoing challenge for contact centres is to deliver consistent brand personality across multiple media platforms, with multiple inbound customers and an extremely dynamic communications flow. Intuitive technology is key to getting this right,” Ed added.

Today’s savvy consumers are not fooled by traditional branding or clever scripting. It takes more than a script and a crib sheet about British life to deliver a rapport with callers. Staff need something that will put them on message with the individual business they are representing and flexible software coupled with the right brand personality training is essential.

Warterstones transformed its recommended book notices, having authors write them and encouraging staff to jettison jargon in favour of personality and an authentic tone of voice.

Differentiation based on brand personality is a significant investment area as companies adopt distinct ‘brand languages’. Brand personality training is nothing new. Following its implementation in 2014, BT claimed it saw a 15% drop in repeat complaints and 15% shorter phone calls, which equated to savings of £1m a year.

“The news from BT is not just another contact centre scare story, it is a wake-up call,” added Shropshire. BT felt so strongly about the reputational risk to its brand, it abandoned a 13 year commitment to overseas contact centres. Get brand personality wrong and we risk the end of the call centre business as we know it, get it right and the future looks very exciting indeed.”