Once you pass the shiny glass cabinet in reception which is brimming with certificates and trophies, the first thing you see when you enter the contact centre floor is the wall emblazoned ‘Welcome to Home Group’s Award Winning Customer Contact Centre’. There is no doubting how proud everyone at Home Group feels about their achievements in their first six years.
In a series of interviews with the winners of last year’s North East Contact Centre Awards, Julie Mordue, Client Relationship Manager at NRG met with Chris Roberts, Head of Customer Service Centre to talk about their award winning journey.
Home Group’s role is to provide general needs housing, supported housing services and home ownership options targeted towards helping some of society’s most vulnerable people allowing them to take control of their own lives.
Home Group’s Newcastle based customer contact centre opened in 2011. The leadership team brought with them a wealth of industry experience and very early on knew that they had created something special and have since gone on to win ‘Contact Centre of the Year’ under 250 seats three times.
NECCA 2016 also saw Home Group win their first individual award when Thom Hurst scooped the award for ‘Multi-Channel’ Contact Centre Advisor of the Year.
Thom Hurst ‘Multi-Channel Advisor’ NECCA16
Thom was involved in the concept, research, design and implementation of live chat across Home Group’s social media channels. Thom worked with customers to understand their needs and analyse feedback. He then upskilled a number of colleagues enabling them to handle this emerging channel which has now seen traffic increase by 200%.
Chris believes their award winning success is underpinned by customer involvement. Our customers and clients include the most vulnerable or excluded in society and one of our fundamental principles is to ensure openness and transparency with our customers and clients in the way we work.
“We have various customer focus groups and ask for participation to help us improve our customer experience and demonstrate value for money. Involving our customers in our awards journey is no different, we invite them into the contact centre to meet and chat freely to the judges when they visit” says Chris. He adds “It would be easy to ask the CEO and leadership team to deliver a professional presentation to the judges, but our customers love the involvement, and their face to face recommendations are far more powerful than a faceless testimonial”.
When asked about the North East Contact Centre Awards 2017 Chris comments ‘NECCA is a great opportunity to recognise the contribution our colleagues make in building our customer centric organisation. We are going through a period of transformational change to transform the services we provide so shall be looking to enter more individual categories this year whilst we embed the changes to further improve outcomes for customers and colleagues”.