The Australian market for contact (or call) centre and customer experience (CX) consulting has so many players, the choice can be bamboozling. But sourcing a consultant from a search engine or directory is risky without time-consuming due diligence, as anyone can set themselves up as a “consultant”. Now, through Matchboard, you can enter your specific consulting needs, and get connected with highly rated consultants who meet your brief in no time. You can specify type of work, location, timeline, industry and even whether you prefer an individual consultant or a boutique firm. Here are some of the top areas consultants in the Matchboard community can help you with.
Customer experience (CX) consulting
10 years ago, “customer experience” was not even part of our lingo, but now it’s a buzzword in every boardroom. Executives see customer experience as a more successful competitive differentiator than the traditional war zones of product and price. Customer experience consultants are therefore in high demand and, as with any new discipline, the good ones are in short supply. The best customer service consultants have a cross-disciplinary understanding of sales, marketing, customer service and back office consulting and how all these silos can be stitched together to create seamless, satisfying customer journeys. They will understand the metrics to measure and manage customer experience, such as Customer Effort Score (CES), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score, Net Promoter Score (NPS) and First Contact Resolution (FCR).
Customer journey mapping is an outside-in process that consultants can typically be very helpful with, bringing together stakeholders from a variety of business units to provide cohesive guidance, minus the internal politics, to optimise the end-to-end customer experience. Knowledge of customer feedback platforms and technologies is also highly desirable.
Just as we all go – or should go – to the doctor for check-ups, sales and service operations can also benefit from a periodic “health check” – more formally referred to as an operational diagnostic. These diagnostics typically take weeks not months, when conducted by an experienced consultant with a tried and tested methodology. With a fresh pair of eyes, the consultant will examine and benchmark the existing approach to the people, process and technology dimensions of an operation. This includes a review of the people and performance management framework, data and security, workforce management, quality and compliance, reporting, and an evaluation of systems and software used to achieve business goals.
Unless everything is “perfect”, the consultant will highlight opportunities and improvements with a roadmap to achieve them – some quick fixes, and others programs of work requiring budget approval or new vendor engagement.
Contact/Call centre consulting
If your current technology doesn’t seem to be doing the job, a contact centre consultant can help you evaluate the options. If upgrading the existing system is not sufficient, then the call centre consultant can support a procurement process to source what you need. This may include designing a tender document or RFP, as well as the vendor scoring matrix and shortlisting approach. Of utmost importance is that the consultant should be vendor-agnostic and independent. If all you need is a shortlist of technology vendors to meet a clear and defined need, then Matchboard can provide that via a complimentary consulting session, or you can enter your needs in our self-service wizard.
Workforce management (WFM) consulting
In any front or back office operation, efficient and flexible workforce management is central to productivity. Given the fully loaded “per FTE” cost to the business can be as much as $100,000, the cost of getting WFM even slightly wrong can be a massive blight on the P&L. Furthermore, under-resourcing has an impact on customer experience and sales – long waits in queue, or delays in getting applications processed can mean customers go elsewhere or vent their frustrations on social media. The benefits of strong WFM practices are quantifiable and well-evidenced, meaning that the business case for engaging a WFM consultant is often straightforward. If you’d like to get a consultant’s thoughts on a WFM review, restructure, or WFM technology procurement, enter your needs in our quick consulting questionnaire.
How do consultants charge?
The most common way consultants charge is a fixed price per project, followed by day rates. There is also a trend towards “outcome consulting” where consultants put some skin in the game in terms of the outcomes their recommendations deliver.