18 Ways to Reboot Your Contact Centre Operations From Fasthosts

Fasthosts Site Visit image
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Looking to boost your NPS score? See how Fasthosts has been improving its employee and customer experience to achieve an NPS of 78 in the contact centre.

Our Editor, Megan Jones, shares 18 ideas we heard at Fasthosts HQ in Gloucester:

1. Recognize Agents for Every 5* Trustpilot Review That Mentions Their Name

A great way to showcase Trustpilot reviews is to celebrate every 5* review that mentions an agent by name.

For example, you can print these off and display them on the contact centre floor, as well as share them via any communication and collaboration tools (such as Slack or Teams) to celebrate.

Fasthosts Fact File
Contact Volumes
Annual Inbound Calls  109k
Annual Outbound Calls  Around 1k
Annual Emails  28k
Annual Chat 27k
Onboarding survey feedback <500 (fairly new)
Social (Twitter, Facebook support) 3k
Contact Centre Size
Number of Seats 17 in UK and 34 in Cebu
Number of Full-Time Agents 17 in UK and 34 in Cebu
Outsourced support Technically Cebu are outsourced as they work for our parent company and we are cross-charged. However, they are not seen as this and are integral members of the team that work on a different site.
Technology
ACD Alcatel (moving to Genesys in 2024)
CRM Oracle Service Cloud (RightNow)
Headsets Jabra
WFM Alcatel CCS/spreadsheets (moving to Genesys in 2024)
Wallboards Plex
Call Recording Omni PCX – (moving to Genesys in 2024)
Call Scoring Bespoke method
Any other tech

We use Google Tools, Drive, sheets, mail and chat. Chat is a particularly used tool for us as we communicate frequently during the day.

In addition, we use Menti to gather specific feedback, or to get a pulse check if there are call spikes.

2. Be Honest If the Initial Response Is “I Don’t Know”

Don’t encourage agents to pretend to have all the answers immediately in front of them. It doesn’t always work that way.

Instead, train agents that’s it’s OK to switch channels, for example to say, “I’ll come back to you in an email on this”, or “I don’t know, but I’m happy to try and figure that out for you” and then loop back to the customer when they’ve got a solution that will work.

3. Show Someone How to Do Something – Don’t Just Do It For Them

Make a habit of teaching people how to do things, as Amy Pope, Senior Technical Support Advisor at Fasthosts, comments:

“If someone doesn’t know how to do something and asks for help, don’t just do it for them and walk away. Instead, help them learn HOW to do it for themselves.

“This creates ongoing improvements for employee knowledge and boosts First Contact Resolution, so everyone benefits.”


Spotlight on Jabra

Josh at Fasthosts wearing a jabra headset

“I like my Jabra headset and find it comfy to wear. Even when the team were recently offered new headsets, I chose to keep this one.”

Josh at Fasthosts


4. Play NPS Snakes and Ladders

Here’s a new game to try. Every time an agent receives a 9 or 10 Net Promoter Score (NPS), they get to roll a dice and take their turn in playing Snakes and Ladders.

The first person to reach 100 wins! Recent prizes for the Fasthosts team have included a new keyboard for their desks – a useful prize that helps to make their workspace even better.

5. Have a Dedicated Channel to Discuss Service Level Recovery

Setting up a dedicated channel for service level recovery can really help improve communication and speed to success, as Jon Dainton, Head of Customer Service Operations at Fasthosts, comments:

“Our ‘Service Level Recovery’ chat allows us to deal with unpredictable events – such as staff calling in sick or technical issues – in a timely manner.

Through the channel, issues and solutions can be discussed quickly and openly with all stakeholders. All helping to get everything back to normal as soon as possible. This approach also helps us to keep in touch with our colleagues in the Philippines office too.”

6. Be Honest About Delays When Agents Are Handling Multiple Chats

When handling multiple chats, it pays for agents to be honest with customers if they query why their chat isn’t being answered immediately.

They find it’s better to be honest and explain that they are handling multiple chats and to bear with them – especially at peak times – than to pretend otherwise.

Fasthosts site visit image nps snakes and ladders
Play NPS Snakes and Ladders

7. Let Agents Work Remotely for Unsociable Shifts

Fasthosts lean into hybrid working. The balance that works for their teams is to have everyone in the office for daytime shifts (9-5) but to encourage agents to work from home when covering evenings and weekends.

8. Use an Employee Focus Group to Feedback Ideas to HR

Fasthosts runs a monthly Employee Focus Group. This allows representatives from multiple departments to share any ideas and concerns with HR.

Everything from wanting a better mix of employee perks to tweaking the choice of canned drinks on offer is up for discussion. Ideas are then fed back to the leadership team to help drive continuous improvement.

9. Spend Time In-Person With Your Overseas Support Teams

Members of the Gloucester-based team have also visited the Cebu operation in the Philippines to help strengthen ties with the teams there, as Tom Lozynskyj, Head of Customer Operations at Fasthosts, comments:

“This has helped us to make sure that we’re working together as one team – instead of just utilizing an overseas service that feels very disconnected from our UK operation.”

10. Do a Pulse Check Survey to Better Understand Emerging Issues

Fasthosts site visit image of reviews on floor
Print and Display Reviews

Fasthosts use software called Menti to run pulse-check surveys. This allows managers to instantly ask their team a question such as “what issue are you currently dealing with on your call?” and get a snapshot of responses back.

This can give early insight into the scale of any problem, as well as empower the team to deliver proactive customer service by setting up IVR messages and status pages to start managing any issue at the earliest point.

11. Share Calendars and More With Your Overseas Operations

With shared calendars accessible between both their Gloucester (UK) colleagues and those located in Cebu (the Philippines), Fasthosts ensure everyone can have a clear picture what’s happening and when – even when working thousands of miles apart.

They also use chat functions daily to keep conversation flowing, with key questions including:

  • What’s going on today?
  • What trends are you seeing?
  • Do you need any help?

These regular communications sit at the heart of this successful collaboration.

This is especially beneficial as, despite the time difference with colleagues in the Philippines, their teams work in UK-time, with a culture that lends itself to working in the evenings and being more sociable with their friends and family during the day. This working pattern makes communication even easier.

12. Schedule Time for Agents to Shadow the Sales Team

In quieter periods, schedule time for your customer service agents to shadow the sales team.

This can help to improve their sales skills and ability to upsell new products to customers.

13. Use the Team Noticeboard to Record and Support Your Team’s Goals

Fasthosts site visit image

A great way to keep track of any goals is to make it a team activity and then write them down on the team noticeboard – whether that’s to learn a new skill, finish a qualification, or more.

This helps to give focus as well as celebrate success when these goals are achieved. You could even kick-start this every January as a New Year’s Resolution exercise.

Note, if they achieve the goal before the end of the year, make sure to celebrate and then give them the option to add a new goal in its place.

14. Run a ‘Back to the Voucher’ Competition

‘Back to the Voucher’ is a great theme for any target-based competition – adding a ‘Back to the Future’ theme for a different twist on the traditional leaderboard.

Instead of collecting points, agents go back in time one year for each “point” they have. The winner is the one who makes it the furthest back in time. You can then add to the theme by having prizes relating to the ‘Back to the Future’ movies, such as a DeLorean Lego set.

15. Switch Agents Between Channels to Keep Their Skills Fresh

When scheduling agents for the week ahead, it helps to keep things varied and switch between different channels.

This also helps everyone to keep their skills sharp too, so it’s much easier to cover their colleagues’ work during periods of annual leave.

The added benefit is exposure to different types of customer problem too, which helps to build up knowledge, as customers tend to use different channels for different issues.

When all agents are ultimately trained to handle all matters across all channels, if one team is struggling with high demand, those customers can be redirected to another team.

Particularly as, when an intricate IT issue needs explaining, it’s easier for customers to type it out in a LiveChat or email.

This approach also helps customers to get the fastest possible service. This is because, when all agents are ultimately trained to handle all matters across all channels, if one team is struggling with high demand, those customers can be redirected to another team.

16. Focus on Delivering a Thorough Service – Not Rushing Customers off the Phones

Customer conversations at Fasthosts can take up to an hour, due to their complex nature – but agents aren’t penalized for this. Instead, they are encouraged to resolve each problem thoroughly and even stay on the line while the customer acts on their advice.

This approach stops customers from having to call back multiple times and speak to multiple agents to get their issue resolved. It is also well received by customers, who feel well supported in getting the help they need.

That being said, they do keep an eye on Average Handling Time and use the data to identify where some additional training might help agents solve common problems faster.

Watch this Fasthosts video to meet the support team:

17. Take Competition Winners Out for Lunch

Fasthosts run regular competitions where the winning agent’s prize is to be taken out for lunch by a member of the Senior Leadership Team – all expenses paid.

18. Run a Weekly “Pub Quiz”

As a fun end to the week, why not run a Friday Pub Quiz?

Instead of an official prize, buy a funny trophy and pass it from winner to winner each week as a badge of honour for agents to place on their desks.

For more best practices and other fun tips from other contact centres that we have visited, read our articles:

Author: Robyn Coppell
Reviewed by: Megan Jones

Published On: 4th Oct 2023 - Last modified: 6th Apr 2024
Read more about - Call Centre Life, , , , , ,

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