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Q&A: Valvoline on Running a Well-Oiled Contact Center

Shawn Siegel

In this interview with Call Center IQ content editor Shawn Siegel, Valvoline’s support center manager Shawn Castle discusses a process for wading through call center data and ways to handle generational differences between customers. At last year’s Call Center Week, Shawn was runner up for the award, "Greatest Job Creating a Culture that Inspires World-Class Excellence."

You will next hear from the award-runner-up at the 14th Annual Call Center Week, taking place in Las Vegas, NV this June.


Shawn Siegel, Call Center IQ Has new technology radically transformed your call center in the last 5 years?

Shawn Castle, Valvoline: Yes, recently, we upgraded our Incident Management system that enabled us to eliminate non-value added work. Our team can function at a higher level of efficiency and can spend more time with internal and external customers instead of performing administrative tasks. Additionally, we enhanced our Computer Telephone Integration software to included chat as an interaction type. This has allowed us to offer additional channels to our customers.

Siegel: Do you find that there’s a generational difference between how customers interact with the call center? What can be done to personalize the experience for this generational difference?

Castle: I absolutely do. Younger customers tend to migrate toward chat, social media, and e-mail versus phone calls. This generation is accustomed to text-message type speed and responses. To personalize the experience, our representatives have adapted their communication skills to include these new channels. Team members are now educated on soft skills that are channel and customer specific.

Siegel: Call centers can be overwhelmed by data and analytics. How do you figure out how to turn the data into actionable ideas?

Castle: We utilize analytics to provide direction on our strengths and our opportunities. It is easy to get lost in the vast majority of data that is available to most organizations. First, we listen to what the data is revealing. We use several sources to verify that the data that we are evaluating is valid. Next, we identify sustainable trends opposed to noise. This allows us to spend our time and efforts on big issues opposed to making knee jerk reactions that are not sustainable. After trends are identified, we choose the item that will yield our biggest return. We may choose our top call driver or something that will significantly reduce customer effort. Once the target is in sight, we assemble the cross-functional team to develop a mitigating strategy. Lastly, we launch the tactics and read the results. It is important to monitor data after our tactics have been implemented. This allows us to address, pro-actively, any new problems.

Siegel: Lastly, what are you looking forward to at Call Center Week in Las Vegas?

Castle: I am looking forward to learning how other call center professionals are delighting their internal and external customers. In addition, I am looking forward to seeing the new tools and strategies that will increase customer and employee satisfaction.