Aligning development and the real world

Aligning development and the real world

Thoughts from a developer

Last week I went to The Forum’s “Quality and Customer Experience Conference” in Hinckley.

A member of the software development team who spends a lot of time working in the office, it was a great opportunity to listen and talk to a large number of customers and potential customers of our PerformanceDNA solutions, and to see how what we are doing fits with how things are in the real world. My time was not wasted!

The key note session served as an excellent reminder about different ways that performance can be improved – and the importance of looking at things from a different viewpoint or taking a different approach. This applies in many areas – and it’s something I will reinforce with the development team, as well as consider for users of the software.

It was very interesting and inspiring to hear from triple award winners Simply Business. Although they are not currently users of our PerformanceDNA, there were many things which they do which PerformanceDNA is designed to help with.  For example:

  • Treating each agent individually, and getting to know their specific development needs and strengths
  • Not just managing in line with KPIs, but using information about how people are performing to inform your discussions and gain insight into how to help them improve
  • Developing people and helping take actions to grow themselves – effectively helping them take ownership of their own development

One of the other award winners was Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Sarah Brown painted a brilliant picture of the stresses and challenges of working in an environment where taking a call could really be a life or death matter. Again, the main themes which emerged included the need for agents to receive comprehensive training, and the value of giving recognition to people of their successes.

It was also good to speak to other people in the round table discussions and to understand that although most people agree that they know what they want to offer to their team, but that organisations are at very different stages toward achieving that.

Two afternoon speakers talked about the importance of making time for learning – including for customer service professionals. Nicola Callan spoke about moving from “Training is Nowhere” to “Training is Now Here” and Mark Davis, from the Environment Agency, used an interesting environmental analogy to make the point that time spent preparing and getting ready usually leads to better results overall.

While this is a mindset, it can be facilitated by technology. Certainly, PerformanceDNA’s Planning functionality can add value.

Overall, it was really interesting and illuminating for me to step outside of the office, spend time with some of the best practitioners for quality and customer experience, and learn more about their day to day reality. I know that I can take some of that learning back with me and try to make sure that our solutions are even better positioned to support best practices in the contact centre.

I look forward to the next event!

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