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Explosive Call Center Innovation

Posted: 08/05/2009

In this virtual case study presentation Roy Barnes shows how innovation brought Marriott’s call center to higher ground. Barnes presents a holistic discussion of how innovation can be applied to the call center environment. As the former head of customer experience for the Marriott, he believes that most companies aren’t run by the CEOs, or even Senior management—they’re run by the people who show up every day to push the mission and vision forward.

It is the call center representatives that drive customer satisfaction. It is the human side of company/customer/call center interaction that proves the difference. The call center is a not a cost, but a revenue generating arm of the business and should be treated as such.

The proof ultimately is in the call center metrics. It is in the levels of call center satisfaction and customer engagement that drive financial performance in the long term. At Marriott, Barnes and his team were able to quantitatively prove the value of call center innovation to customer engagement, and in turn, the profitability of the business.

Barnes encourages call center management to balance the short term need for meeting this quarter’s numbers with investing and building the infrastructure for long-term. He sees the biggest mistakes stemming from companies that drive every last nickel out of operational cost at the expense of the call center employees and the customer’s humanity. When this happens, the call center may win in the short term, but it will lose in the long term. Barnes is adamant that no one will want to work at this type of call center, nor will the customer want to leverage the call center.

The traditional focus in business (at least for most publicly-held companies) is on creating short-term financial returns. Having sat in on his fair share of board and shareholder meetings, Barnes understands the necessary realities of this call center, but challenges you to think outside the box. In this case study Barnes references examples of stellar call center customer service and sheds light on the role of innovation in the call center.

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Tags:  Marriott | call center | call center representative | innovation | customer | six sigma

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