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Webinar: 14th SEptember 2023

Scaling Voice Support at a Fast Growing Organisation

Webinar featuring Luba Chudnovets (Cordless), Lucy Bott (Fertifa, ex-RateSetter) and Rebecca Vanstone (Second Nature)
Want the TL;DR? Skip to the conclusion for the key take-away points.


In this webinar, Luba Chudnovets from Cordless, Rebecca Vanstone from Second Nature and Lucy Bott from Fertifa got together to chat about their experiences and thoughts in scaling voice support at fast growing organisations.

More of a reader than a watcher? Or just looking for the highlights? Don't worry, we've got you covered with a concise blog post that captures all the key takeaways.

More Than a Cost Centre

Many people see phone support as the priciest way to help customers, but its value can be off the charts. Rebecca (Becks), Head of People and Operations at Second Nature, suggests that we think of phone support as a potential revenue generator, not a cost sink. Why? Well, phone interactions often lead to higher average transaction values (ATV) than online shopping. Plus, it's easier to offer a personalised touch over the phone than through a screen.

On top of that, phone support shines when it comes to tackling emotional or complicated issues. For some sectors, like fintech, it's even a regulatory must-have. And let's not forget, phones are user-friendly for people of all ages and tech skill levels, making this channel both accessible and inclusive for everyone.

Setting Up a Phone Team for Success

Lucy emphasised how crucial good training and onboarding are for handling customer phone calls effectively. She suggested a practical approach: have the team go through training and then, about a week later, recap what they've learned to the manager. It's a great way to make sure everyone really gets it.

Rebecca added another layer by bringing up the tech angle. She mentioned "call whispering," a feature that allows a coach to give real-time advice to an agent during a call. It's particularly helpful for boosting the confidence of newer team members.

Lucy also talked about the importance of supporting new hires. She advocates for a buddy system, where newbies are matched with more experienced colleagues. This mentorship not only helps with on-the-job learning but also provides a reliable point of contact for any questions or concerns. So, it's not just about initial training; it's about ongoing support too.

The Battle for Consistency: Scripted vs. Spontaneous

Becks and Lucy both stressed the importance of genuine, unscripted interactions in customer support. Becks argued that scripts often remove the authenticity of the conversation and make it difficult for the agent to genuinely engage with the customer. She believes that scripted responses can actually make agents more nervous because they're afraid of deviating from the script.

Lucy agreed, pointing out that scripts may be useful in regulated industries for specific prompts but should be minimised. Both emphasised the value of ongoing training and sharing best practices within the team to ensure consistency and quality in customer interactions.

Lucy also touched on the importance of quality assurance and spotting trends in customer interactions. She highlighted the need for systems that can tag or categorise calls, helping to identify common issues that might be automated. This also plays a role in coaching, as performance reviews can reveal gaps in knowledge or skills that need to be addressed. Both Rebecca and Lucy advocate for a balanced approach, where recorded calls serve as examples for training—showing both what to do and what not to do. This helps not just in maintaining consistency but also in continuously improving the quality of customer support.
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Metrics for Measurement

Rebecca pointed out that sticking to just the usual call metrics may not give us the full picture. She emphasised that aligning customer support with broader business objectives is crucial to avoid isolating the team from the rest of the organisation.

Sure, the metrics you focus on will differ from one company to another. A good starting point is to dive into your business strategy and figure out how call centre metrics can actually fuel your company's aims and objectives.

That said, there's one universal metric you shouldn't overlook: the job satisfaction of your customer support agents. When your team members feel valued and fulfilled, they naturally perform better, boosting customer satisfaction in the process.

The Role of AI in Phone Support

We couldn't have a conversation about customer support without diving into the role of AI, right? Ultimately, all three speakers were on the same page: AI isn't a job killer, it's a game-changer for support teams. Lucy highlighted the potential of using text analysis for call transcripts and automating the dull, repetitive stuff. That way, humans can focus on the trickier issues.

Becks chimed in with how AI could be a game-changer in outbound calls, especially for collecting basic customer data. For instance, Second Nature could use it to catch up with customers on their weight-loss progress. The goal? Freeing up customer support agents from mundane tasks, so they can up their skills and really shine in their roles.

Luba also touched on the efficiency and deep insights AI can offer, like detecting recurring themes and sentiment analysis. Looking ahead, she sees potential for AI to offer real-time coaching for agents during challenging calls.

The bottom line? AI's not here to take our jobs; it's here to make us better at them.

Conclusion: Key Take-Aways

  • More Than a Cost Centre: Phone support should not be viewed simply as an expensive necessity but as a potential revenue generator. It offers advantages like higher average transaction values, personalised service, and is essential for handling complex or emotional issues.

  • Setting Up a Phone Team for Success: Effective training and onboarding are key to a successful phone team. Technologies like "call whispering" and support systems like a buddy system can help new team members become confident and effective more quickly.

  • The Battle for Consistency: Scripted Vs Spontaneous: Unscripted interactions offer more authentic and engaging customer experiences. Ongoing training and quality assurance are crucial for maintaining consistency and improving customer support quality.

  • Metrics for Measurement: Traditional call metrics are not enough. Aligning customer support metrics with broader business objectives is essential. Also, don't overlook the job satisfaction of your customer support agents as a metric.

  • The Role of AI in Phone Support: AI is not a threat but a game-changer for customer support. It can handle repetitive tasks, analyse calls for insights, and even provide real-time coaching, allowing human agents to focus on more complex tasks.
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Luba Chudnovets
Co-Founder and CEO