Setting Business Priorities
Our theme in The Huddle this month is Priority and our Facebook Live this month was all about setting priorities and keeping goals in mind during your business’ busiest time of the year.
I interviewed RedBalloon’s very own Customer Experience Manager, Tim Drury, who manages the very busy contact centre. We had a great conversation about prioritisation, tackling tough customer conversations and training teams.
Christmas time in the RedBalloon contact centre is rather busy, however, consistency of brand voice is so important whether we are busy, or not — every customer is important. On that note, there’s a RedBalloon promo code at the bottom of this post…
Here’s a written excerpt from our interview or if you prefer video you can also watch the recording here.
How do you set priorities and decide what’s important in the moment?
“When a task comes in, I run it through the ‘does this add value filter?’ I look at the goals of the business, my team’s goals and my personal goals. Once something comes in I run it against that filter and that will dictate where it sits on the priority list.”
For Tim, as with many other managers, planning is crucial to perform his daily duties and to ensure his administrative ‘must do’s’ get done.
But for Tim, his team is his priority as they are the ones servicing the customers. He works to keep his team engaged and motivated to ensure they have a great, fun and supportive environment. Because at RedBalloon we all understand that in the end, our customers are always our priority.
How do you ensure consistency of brand voice on the phones, especially with temporary staff being brought in for our busiest times?
“It is challenging, especially with a limited time frame to train our casuals to the same level that the full-timers are at. For training, it actually begins with onboarding and recruiting. When we are recruiting we are looking for people we’re looking just as much for personality as we are for skill. We look for people who will live and breathe our brand message. From there, the onboarding and subsequent training needs to reflect the message that we want them to be passing onto our customers”.
In listening to customers how can you tell what is a ‘real’ issue vs a ‘perceived’ issue?
“Whether the issue is real or perceived, that issue is real for that customer. There is only one of me, I can’t always be available to deal with every escalation in that moment. It comes down to my team setting expectations with the caller so that they understand their issue is important to us, and that we get back to them in the right time frame — and that may not be immediately.”
What I have found since starting RedBalloon is that when speaking with customers, I have found that acknowledging the time that it has taken the customer to actually give us that feedback is just as important.
Tim, let’s talk about mentoring — you have a lot of young people in your team, how do you tackle training?
“We use a range of different techniques to train our newcomers. We either listen to the call live and sit with the consultant, or alternatively, some other people prefer to listen to their call afterward. Often the consultant doesn’t realise how they sound until they hear themselves speaking, so it gives them a whole different perspective of their conversations with our customer.”
I love it when Tim invites me into his team and we do ‘call listening and coaching’. This is where Tim asks his team to bring their toughest customer conversations, and they ask me how I would handle it — it is always good fun.
In summary, what are your 3 recommendations for setting priorities in business?
- “Have a plan – and have the discipline to stick to it where you can.
- Employees first – you really need to take care of your people because they are the ones who are helping your business achieve its goals.
- Value filter – every time you go to spend time on a task, think about how it is contributing to the big picture.”
What a fountain of knowledge Tim is, it is such a delight having him on our team at RedBalloon!
Still not finished your Christmas shopping?
Here’s a RedBalloon promo code for you!
As mentioned in the video if you’re still hunting around for Christmas gifts in these last few days, here is a special promo code for you to use on RedBalloon: RBFRIEND30 — this will give you $30 off when you spend $129!
And don’t forget you can always check out RedBalloon’s interactive gift guide, or phone our call centre elves on 1300875500 who will help you out with your own personal shopping experience to find the perfect gift!
Happy Christmas everyone.
Also published on Medium.