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Contact centres hold invaluable insights into changing expectations, pain points, and can empower growth through service innovations that drive long-term satisfaction and loyalty.

It’s 3:00 am, and Sarah’s phone is ringing. As a late-night customer service agent for Xprime Innovation, she knows that this call likely won’t be an easy one. The graveyard shift tends to bring out the most frustrated customers, and Sarah takes a deep breath before answering.

“Thank you for calling Xprime Innovation, this is Sarah. How can I help you tonight?”

The voice on the other end explodes with anger about a defective product, unhelpful daytime representatives, and overly complicated return policies. Sarah listens with empathy and apologises for the difficulties. After calmly working through solutions, she uncovers the real issue – this customer feels disrespected and let down. Sarah reassures him that his voice matters. She collects details about his experience and submits a report to the Head of Customer Service titled: ‘How we fail our most loyal customers.

By morning, executives are embroiled in emergency meetings about the scathing review. Sarah’s candid insights quickly percolate through the organisation, sparking frank discussions at every level. Her first-hand account lends urgency to revamping defective policies that had somehow escaped notice. Although fictitious, this scene illustrates the immense, but often untapped, power contact centres have to shape business transformations.

The transformative power of frontline agents

As the first line of communication, frontline contact centre agents hold unique insights into customer frustrations and changing expectations. But their voices can often go unheard by executive teams that are laser-focused on quantitative metrics.  

TSA Group Chief Customer Officer Blaine Slater says opening direct channels for qualitative feedback from contact centre agents can profoundly impact an organisation’s transformation strategy. 

“The best companies recognise that contact centres give them a direct feed of how their customers feel, the issues that they’re experiencing, and how they want to be supported,” Mr Slater says. 

“So, if you want to transform the business, you need the data and insights, and that flows through a contact centre every day. You can look at demand, you can look at sentiment, you can look at NPS (Net Promotor Score) figures, and that’s going to give you access to data and information that can inform and guide your strategy. 

“From a business transformation perspective, you can really improve the quality and likelihood of success if you tap into that contact centre data.”

Integrating insights to inform strategic change

Mr Slater says contact centre agents also often have a unique understanding of how a business is perceived in the market. During calls, he says representatives directly observe customer frustrations, changing expectations, and can identify pain points. But according to Mr Slater, many organisations fail to meaningfully integrate these frontline perspectives into strategy. 

“A lot of people look at contact centres and think they just want to use them to make things more efficient and cost less,” Mr Slater says.

But Mr Slater says for an organisation to fully embrace the contact centre’s role in optimising its operations, there must be an understanding of their expertise.

“If you look at a telco company, for example, they are experts in telecommunications, infrastructure, mobile phone connectivity, but they’re not necessarily experts in contact centres,” he says.

“Contact centres can be complex, and they have varying challenges and opportunities that need to be managed every day.

That’s the role that we play, we’re experts in all those things – how to source great talent, how to drive great operational performance, how to move some of those metrics and manage multiple metrics that are important – they are all critical functions.

“The good companies realise it’s not just a contact centre, it’s actually a gateway to your customers and understanding how they feel.”

Overcoming operational obstacles

While contact centre insights hold great strategic value, Mr Slater says several obstacles can prevent their integration. These include information silos, which keep feedback within centres rather than reaching decision makers, while a focus on metrics leads executives to rely more on quantitative data, like average handling times.  

Mr Slater says another key challenge for the contact centre’s role as an agent of change is the fact that it also has to continue to operate.

“That’s a constant, it will continue to operate, and it has to be there because no longer do people go into stores to seek support, it’s the contact centres where most businesses offer support to customers. 

“Where things are now transitioning, and what’s interesting about the role a contact centre plays in business transformation, is a lot of business transformation is actually focused on automation and removing that workload out of the call centre. But the way in which that’s done and the way in which they understand how customers want to be supported, comes from the experience they have in the call centre.” 

Overall, Mr Slater says contact centres hold immense untapped potential as change agents guiding transformations. By soliciting qualitative insights and unifying behind customer excellence, organisations can accelerate growth through service innovations that exceed expectations. This requires breaking down silos, embracing agent perspectives, and nurturing change agent skills.  

With their privileged customer experience view, contact centres can act as transformation catalysts that power strategic breakthroughs. 




TSA are Australia’s market leading specialists in CX Consultancy and Contact Centre Services. We are passionate about revolutionising the way brands connect with Australians. How? By combining our local expertise with the most sophisticated customer experience technology on earth, and delivering with an expert team of customer service consultants who know exactly how to help brands care for their customers.

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