Every now and again, I get a text from my cousin that lives in Denver that reads, "Hey Powerhouse!". He knows I spend most of my time working and that I always have a dozen things going on. I kind of like the name, though I never told him. I thought it was very cool that he thought of me that way. I'm a Capricorn, and working as therapeutic (sometimes). Intuitively, I knew what it meant to be a powerhouse, but I still looked up the official definition and found that it is defined as a person or thing of great energy, strength or power. So cool to be viewed this way!
I work in customer service and help companies start up or scale customer experience operations. I launched my company with the title The Workforce Pro, because it focuses on how I build for scale based on a practice called Workforce Management, that ultimately saves headcount, and of course money. I thought it was a title that would really stand out, but nope! It just confused the heck out of people. Well, 4 years later, I thought about changing the name of the company, but bad name or not, this is how people know us... so here we are.
What I was willing to do was better describe what we offer and what we can do for our clients. As I was thinking this through, I thought... what does customer experience mean? Again, I know this intuitively, but what's a good universal definition? Customer Experience is defined as the impression your customers have with your brand throughout their journey.
When you combine Powerhouse and Customer Experience, you get a powerful impression left on your customers with your brand throughout their journey. THIS is what we stand for!
We fight for the underdog
Sure, executives hire us, but it's the managers keep us around. We are here for the people who actually do the work. CX managers often feel bullied into pretending they can do it all, when in reality, they need and deserve a team to work with them. For some, they're thrown in so quickly, with no formal training or guidance that they don't know there are roles and positions designed to help them be successful.
There is no shame in asking for help. NONE!
I've often said you find CX managers in two phases of their careers: too naïve to know what they need to be successful, so they take on way more than they should (burn themselves out and run for the hills within a year)... or they're seasoned and know they can't do it all. The latter costs you more, but will help you build a foundation that will be in place when your team doubles.
Our role is to help both leaders with the functions they won't have time to get to: Training, Quality Assurance, Workforce Management (includes scheduling) and CRM Setup (most commonly done with Zendesk). We used to call this offering Contact Center Foundation, but thanks to my cousin, it's now called Powerhouse CX!
What is Powerhouse CX?
Powerhouse CX is a program based on my moving from Fortune 500s to startups. My biggest concerns were budget and resources. To put it simply, startups have champagne taste and beer money. I can recall starting up a CX team that grow from 7 to 130 people in 9 months. It was insane growth and I was overwhelmed most of the time and afraid to ask for what I needed, out of fear it would make me look underqualified. As I was building, I created a wish list of sorts... Here's all the things I wished I'd had at that time.
My Wish List
Help building out the CRM. We know we have the right tool… we’re almost CERTAIN it’s not doing all it should (not optimized)… but realistically, I don’t have the time to dig in. Who can help me with this? But not just from a technical standpoint… from a practical standpoint… Is there anyone out there that can show us what our workflows SHOULD be? I want help from someone who understands the impact of the set up for the people (employees and customers) and our processes (workflows). We now have Powerhouse Customer Engagements.
Help with creating customer service training, so that we can hire as many people as we need to. We’re using a side by side training experience, but literally everyone has learned to do this job differently, and most are not doing it right. How the heck can I get everyone back on the same page? I wish there was a way to create a training program that’s available on demand. I can literally send a link and give people the information they need to learn to do the work. Not only that, I want to teach them what it means to work at our company. Our culture is unique, and we want that to shine first. I want someone who knows the intricacies of developing training. I don’t want them to start in the middle with assumptions, but to start at the beginning so that my team learns without my intervention. Is there anyone who can do that for me? I’m talking about a customized CX training program? We now have Powerhouse Training.
Help monitoring contacts, so that I can know for sure we’re delivering the experience we want to deliver on a consistent basis. With so many contacts coming in, and people learning the job differently, it’s really hard to define what a good contact (call, email, chat) looks like. Sure, I can have leads go through and review emails and calls… and they do, but not nearly enough to tell a good story on how we’re engaging with our customers. Also, the leads are way too close to the team… sometimes they make excuses for poor engagements, because they know the reps personality. How can I get an objective third party who can review the contacts, and just rate them for me? I’d much rather spend my time reviewing results and coaching than I would listening and rating.. Where can I find that? We now have Powerhouse Quality.
Help with hiring plans, so I can budget. Right now, our schedules are in spreadsheets. I’m constantly asked why we can’t leave live chat on during business hours and to be honest, I'm not sure myself! I’ve told my team to stay available, and I think they’re following that recommendation, but the phone won’t stop ringing and we have to cover social as well. I think I need more people, but I really can’t see what people are ACTUALLY doing, even when I ask. It’s so frustrating. Here’s what I’d love to have: a clear idea on how many people I need to work all of these channels (email, phone, live chat and social), when they can work these different channels during the workday… assurance that channels are covered, and heads up if they won’t be covered so I can plan. Oh, and I don’t want to get surprised with a backlog. I want to look into the future, and know that we will have coverage when we need it… also, can someone tell me how many contacts we’ll get and when? We now have Powerhouse Planning.
At the end of the day, Powerhouse CX will get you scalable customer experience operations that will work for as your team grows. It's literally the answer to my prayers. Had I had a company like The Workforce Pro to help when I was working as a direct employee, I might have stayed a few places while longer... instead I ran for the hills!