Saturday, July 6, 2013

It's all about the context

Part of what I do is around engaging our front line – sharing product messages with our customer facing teams and taking their feedback and doing something with it to improve our products.

I've always said it's the best part of what I do, making many friends along the way including all the great people I met earlier this year on our first ever product roadshows in our contact centres in Manila and India.

It may sound obvious, but the teams offshore don't live in the UK.  This means they don't get exposed to all the marketing going on in our industry on a daily basis and don't have the context as to how the public uses our products and services.

The key word there is 'context' – something that our offshore teams always say to us that they could use more help with.

For example – consider that the price of a month's broadband in the UK can cost the same as a packet of cigarettes, but yet if the same cost was converted into Pesos in the Philippines it's actually very expensive by local standards, whereas cigarettes are not.

The point of this is the value decision that a UK consumer is making when selecting their broadband provider can at times not be as daunting (from a price perspective) as someone who lives in India or the Philippines might think.

Along with all the training, coaching and mentoring of our teams offshore that we do, the specific challenge of helping the team out more with the context of the UK market and how our customers use our products and services led me to develop the idea of some films for our front line teams (offshore and on shore) to help out with these challenges and as an engaging way to share product news.

Welcome to Hot Wire.
Hot Wire is a regular series of product engagement films we have kicked off that are distributed via the method of DVD (makes it easier for teams to see in meeting rooms and if they have any challenges with bandwidth offshore), the first of which was hosted by our Executive Director of Customer Contact Mark Davidson and takes the viewer through the context of how our products and services are used and how important connectivity is to the UK public:

Viewers may spot a few themes throughout the films as we develop the series along with our colleagues in Internal Communications, Customer Contact, Sales and the other product teams.

One of these is that they're filmed around different regions (the various accents you hear here can be a challenge to some of our offshore teams, especially for newer agents).  Also, we always relate things back to the public themselves and how they use our products and services and what is important to them.

The delivery method of films offers much flexibility to develop a 'magazine' style show format and have lots of fun along the way, as can be seen in film two as we take the teams through some of the features and benefits of TiVo® and what our London Underground WiFi service is like as well as answer some of the questions we captured on the roadshows:

We've now launched the films with our offshore teams, the below being the IBM team in Pune – and it's great to see our friends Vinay, Amit and Amit looking as keen as they were when we visited:
This week we've had some of the stars from our offshore teams in the UK as a result of amazing results they've achieved in making our customers happy, and we sent along a film crew too for the next Hot Wire film to capture their visit and what they learnt.

We're finding Hot Wire to be an engaging way of helping our teams offshore and informative for our on shore teams.

I must admit to being a little sad at handing it over to our Internal Communications team to run from here on in as I move on to the next challenge, but it's in great hands with them and the team from Taylor Made Media who we have been working with on the films and have been brilliant.


  1. Or VM could just use UK call-centres and then that would solve the problem :-)

    (Yes, I know. Never gonna happen!)

  2. Hi Carl - we use both on shore and off shore contact centres and both deliver great customer service. Thanks and have a good evening!