Three Ways to Promote Transparency and Trust in the Contact Center (Part 1)

Posted by Rodney Kuhn

9/9/16 1:00 PM

Trust.jpgWe’ve all heard the age-old saying, “Honesty is the best policy.” We live in a world, however, where the truth is that honesty isn’t always promoted. Just consider the U.S. presidential candidates this election season. FBI director James Comey deemed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton “extremely careless” in the way she handled classified information on a private email server as secretary of state. Meanwhile, Republican candidate Donald Trump has yet to release his tax returns to the general public.

Similarly, customers don’t always have full transparency into business processes and policies. Unfortunately, it’s more likely today that a customer won’t be informed upfront about the details of a contractual agreement, having to then go through hoops to learn the truth about what was discussed. Overall, many business leaders seem to have missed the memo that honesty is what unlocks unlimited business potential.

Being truthful and transparent with your customers and employees is vital for business continuity and profitability. Consider that 81 percent of employees would rather work for a company that values open communication than one that offers exclusive perks; meanwhile, nearly one-third cite a lack of transparency from their direct reports.

Of course, customers also want transparency from the companies they work with—especially when it comes to the way their sensitive data is handled. For instance, a 2014 survey conducted by Intent HQ found that nearly 80 percent of customers have more respect for an honest brand that gathers and presents data in a straightforward way, verses invasive methods.

We’ve seen a number of innovative ways that brands advocate transparency organization-wide. For example, social media management company Buffer operates on a fully transparent email system, meaning there are no private email servers. Any employee can read any email at any time. Meanwhile, Square, a Silicon Valley-based payments company, has a corporate policy that any meeting involving two or more people must have notes taken down. This way, those notes can be shared with all employees to spark new ideas and opportunities for improvement.

So, how can contact center managers do their part to promote a culture of transparency and trust? In this three-part series, we’ll explore unique ways that contact centers can embrace transparency and, in turn, improve the customer and employee experience. Let’s kick things off by exploring quality monitoring best practices.

Is Your Quality Program Run in a Culture of Transparency and Trust?

Quality monitoring is fundamental for managers to identify problems, maintain quality standards, improve the customer experience and enhance overall performance. Most customers are familiar with being told, “This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes,” but do they really know how their recordings are being used? In other words, are you being fully transparent with customers about your quality monitoring strategy?

Are you being open with customers, for example, about the ways you use conversations and data to achieve specific goals? Are you honing in on internal operational efforts? External benchmarking? The customer experience? Employee training? These are all stellar initiatives, and it’s important that you communicate them with your customers.

Your customers know that support and training are fundamental. More importantly, they’re trusting you to record them and preserve sensitive data including account numbers and contact information. Contact center transparency means educating customers on your quality monitoring program and initiatives. Doing so will improve customers’ perceptions of your brand and will likely increase loyalty and spending.

Coming up: In Part 2 of this series, we’ll take a look at how a culture of transparency and trust produces inside out benefits by redefining employee engagement and satisfaction.