Everyone knows how much the Contact Centre community enjoys a good night out, especially when attending the various sector awards events that take place every year. The Carpeo team is no different and we were eager to bring out our best frocks and dinner suits for the recent South West Contact Centre Awards held in Bristol.
The event is always well organised and the atmosphere is friendly, especially around the bar area until the early hours of the morning! This year we had even more reason to celebrate, as we came out winners of the prestigious Best Large Contact Centre Award. The team felt a huge sense of pride in winning the award which is a testament to all the hard work everyone has put in over the years.
It was also a moment of reflection on how far we’ve come recently in terms of our growth as a business. Over the past few years we were entered in the Small/Medium Contact Centre category, so to enter and then win the award for the next level up, made us all realise the journey we’ve been on to arrive where we are today.
Our challenge, and one facing any business, is to maintain the culture and ethos which is so important in a small business, while at the same time adapting and developing to compete as a bigger business. The trap most businesses fall into as they grow, is they lose the X Factor which made them successful. They become top heavy, inflexible and lose the connection with staff and customers. There are certain pre-requisites in order to compete at a higher level. Things like ISO and PCI accreditation become more important and a more structured approach to HR and governance needs to be adhered to. The opportunity to bid for RFPs becomes more frequent, which in turn leads to more rules and practices which are not common in a smaller business.
However, the main attributes of a new business are the lack of rules. Being flexible and reactive to customers’ needs relies heavily on staff who connect on an emotional level with the business. Often a job description doesn’t exist and people become a jack of all trades. We can recall seeing our IT manager helping to build desks when we had an urgent request to ramp up! That kind of teamwork and culture is what builds a great business. We bet the founders of Google and Microsoft still talk about the good old days when they had a small office and took it in turns to make the tea.
At Carpeo, we’ve built a reputation for being good to deal with, we’re flexible, responsive and always ask “how high” when people ask if we can jump. Not too long ago we received a call from a CEO who was on a speaker phone with his team in the room. “One question, when can you be ready to start?” he asked. “When would you like us to start?”, we responded. “In a week”, came the reply. “OK”, we said.
He put the phone down, we then made the call to Swindon to tell them my promise. The proper answer should have been four weeks, but to secure the business we knew time was of the essence, and so did the team. They didn’t bat an eye lid but instead spent the next seven days working all hours to recruit, set up PCs, train and get ready to meet my deadline. We made it and two years later we still have the client.
So we’ll keep growing and picking up awards, but we’ll also keep an eye on maintaining the elements that made us large in the first place.