Cxceed was first developed as an in-house solution to improve our customer experience. We went on a long journey to get to the stage it is at today, but it was worth it to have the application it has become. Its unique approach to evaluation helps lower agents' resistance to change and improves the service they deliver. Happy staff, happy customers.
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The Story Behind Cxceed
Trading since 1998, one of the businesses we operate is a recruitment agency specialising in supplying nursing staff to care homes and hospitals. We have two call centers, one in the UK and one overseas. Over the years as we expanded and took on more staff, the service we provided to customers became inconsistent. Although most of our calls were excellent, a portion of them were not good enough. Eventually, after years of frustration and consideration about shutting our overseas call centre, we set up a team to search for a solution which:
> Could integrate with our telephone system.
> Allowed us to listen to and review calls easily.
> Enabled us to set best practices and call structures.
> Identified problematic and inconsistent call agents.
> Gave these agents a push in the right direction.
> Increased call agent engagement.
> Reduced staff turnover.
> Improved the way we provide feedback to our staff.
We tried implementing some of the existing quality monitoring software packages available, but they didn't meet our needs.
Let's Create Our Own Solution!
After this long search, we realised there wasn't a perfect solution, and the only way to fix our problems was to create our own in-house software. We had some experienced software developers in our team, but it was harder than we expected. The road to where we are today was bumpy, and there were many setbacks. We made mistakes, focusing on the wrong things such as how long an agent was on a call or even worse, how long they spent on the toilet. This over-control caused our agents to regard our efforts with suspicion, and they fought the changes we were trying to implement. We kept on adapting, testing and listening to the managers', supervisors' and call agents' comments and ideas.
The Idea Was Born!
The idea of how the software could work was born in our Director's head after some dodgy dad dancing. We're not joking, and we'll let him tell the story:
It was my Parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary, so to celebrate, we had a family get-together. It was a good night, we had a few beers, and enjoyed talking to family and friends, reminiscing and dancing to our favourite songs. In the morning the inevitable happened.
'Dad, you're a terrible dancer!'
'What, how can you say that? I'm a great dancer; those were some of my best moves!'
'No, Dad, you embarrassed yourself' (kids are never kind).
Of course, I wasn't having any of it. I knew the kids were trying to wind me up and I wasn't going to fall for it. I was never John Travolta, but I was sure my dancing was okay - but then something I couldn't argue with happened.
'We filmed you!'
The evidence was undeniable. There I was, dad dancing, and of course, they were right. I was terrible, wooden and out of sync.
A Poor Night's Sleep
I had a restless night thinking about my problems at work, and the fact that although I had thought I was a good dancer, I was in fact, terrible. Both were churning over in my mind; then the idea appeared in my head at two in the morning. I hadn't accepted the fact that my dancing wasn't perfect until I viewed the video myself.
So, I got to thinking: if we get agents to listen to their calls, they will realise they are not perfect and accept that their handling skills need improving. Because agents would have discovered the problem themselves, they would be more receptive to fixing it.
Self-Evaluation to the Rescue
Unfortunately, I was not there yet. Something was missing. The agents were not objective; they consistently gave themselves high marks (usually 100%) even if the call was only average. We kept on refining things and eventually we stumbled on the answer. It was obvious really, but like most apparent things it took us a long time to figure out. The answer was self-evaluation.
Did it Help?
Put shortly, yes. Our staff turnover plummeted, agents changed their attitudes and embraced the change. Our results improved and our call handling was consistently better than before thanks to the happier agents. Finally, our way to improve the call centre customer service showed results.
This is Good, Now What?
Our results were so good that we decided to make it available to other companies and launch it as a stand-alone SaaS (Software as a Service) product, after adding more features and improving the product further.
I hope that by sharing the real-life struggles we faced, and our experience, we can help you to avoid some of the battles we had. We also hope that you will try out Cxceed.
This opportunity wasn't available to us when we were struggling with our problems. If it had been, we would have solved them a lot faster and saved ourselves a lot of grief in the process. We can't turn back time, but hopefully, by making Cxceed available, it will save you from making as many mistakes as we did.