We’re in – are you? – Trust Partner Services Ltd

https://www.trustpartnerservices.com/trust-joins-the-chamber/

Trust partners with the Herts Chamber

Having watched from the sidelines for some time, we decided it was time to roll up our sleeves and join the fray.

We are now officially members of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and it is our intention to be a fully active member of this illustrious group.

Our WHY for this is a strong desire to be a supportive local business for other local business and to investigate further ways of acting more local. For as long as I can remember, our approach has been international, and that will remain, but we would like to become way more active locally. This is therefore, the first step into understanding the local landscape. We want to listen and learn and support where we can, as we understand our role.

Looking forward to meeting other chamber members and learning about our local business eco-systems


© 2022 Trust Partner Services Ltd Trust Partner Services LTD

Failing is essential.

I grew up thinking that failure was a really bad thing.

It was ingrained in me. I was genuinely scared to be a failure.I’m certain it’s been to my detriment, but I guess I’ll never really know.

Worrying about failure is a really bad use of brain time and curtails trying stuff. I am certain that it holds you back.

As I’ve grown older and wiser I’ve shifted my thinking and reframed stuff to allow more freedom to think, to dream to dare. To dare to fail or succeed and always to learn.

I am definitely bolder as well as balder🤣😜, and I’d also say more creative and flexible.

I have learnt that:

👍🏻It’s ok to be wrong

👍🏻It’s ok to fail

👍🏻It’s ok if others disagree with me

I know who my supporters and detractors are, and I am really careful about the thoughts I allow space and time in my head

I am better today than yesterday, and not as good as I’ll be tomorrow.

Photo by Sebastian Arie Voortman on Pexels.com

Not quite a public service announcement

What’s a great piece of tech, or app that you’ve discovered and can’t believe everybody isn’t using it?

what3words /// The simplest way to talk about location

w3w

There are so many great use cases for this mapping technology, especially in remote or busy locations. A great use case example for me was a recent weekend break in a very rural location on a sprawling farm with no signs and several different holiday cottages.

We had ordered a takeaway and provided an address (of sorts), which, with the best will in the world was still vague at best.

Enter “what three words” and we were able to provide a pinpoint accurate location that didn’t rely on a vague postcode or mapping address.

I reckon it’s a bit of a game changer even if perhaps could be considered a bit niche.

I have no doubt that there’s a whole world of other technology/applications that I’ve never even seen or used yet that could be a game changer for me or indeed for you.

Why don’t you share your game-changing tech story so that we too can benefit from the experiences that you’ve been having?

Change is afoot. Are you good with change, or more of a “if it ain’t broke” sort?

I can’t be precise about when but I do know that there was a time and the deep dark past where I probably didn’t like change too much. I always felt content with the way things were.

But I can tell you right here and now that I’m a real change catalyst, and if things are not changing fast enough, I put my shoulder to the door to push harder, and then I look hard for new things.

I think it’s fair to say that some changes, can perhaps be somewhat of a deflection or distraction, but pragmatically I tend to ride the wave. Other stuff I’m definitely responsible or partly so, for making the change.

(edit) My good friend Dave Brown commented on Twitter that “If it ain’t broke, then fix it before it is”

There’s some new stuff coming just over the other side so watch out – more information, and VERY SOON

The big contact centre disconnect

We’ve all got our opinions and we all feel that we’re sometimes experts in fields that we might appear to know little about. However, we are all customers of someone. That probably places us as expert customers?

So why is it we’re increasingly seeing declining customer service satisfaction, and increasing numbers of customer complaints?

Is it because we have more opportunity to be more vocal and by publicly complaining via social channels. And given that they are emotional experiences, often it moves other people to join in and stoke the fires with their own similar hideous experiences?

It’s all about expectation.

We are rapidly accelerating into a society of immediate gratification, reducing our levels of patience, such that even microwaves appear slow these days.

Pair this up with businesses constantly looking to do more with less, and it’s a ticking time bomb.

This need not be the case, with a higher degree of awareness within the servicing company, in understanding exactly what the customer experience is for their customers. Additionally, we’re an increasingly digital population and many businesses still struggle on their journey to a blend of digital and analogue services.

So what is the answer?

You might be surprised to hear me say that this is not necessarily about technology! However, it’s more to do with how the technology is brought into play and in what scenarios. But ultimately it’s about the people and process and creating much more personalised experiences for your customers.

I’m here to help, so let me know if this resonates and I can help you and drop me a line ⬇️

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be

I recently came across some photos and as is often the way, it sparked a bit of retrospection. Thinking back to the experiences I was afforded in a role I held previously when I was employed at global telecoms vendor Avaya – and there were many. These experiences were for the most part shared with the folks working in our channel partners and most of whom I have personally known for more than 30 years. This is going to shock the reader because I know what you’re thinking – you simply do not look old enough Graham! 😉

Anyhoo, back to my reminiscing. The photos that I came across were from a trip we had to the Kruger National Park, followed by a few days in Mozambique. I am going to share these on Linkydink and Twitter for my good companions and friends to join me in the (hopefully fond) retrospection. So no people tags here, but if you are reading and reminiscing too – enjoy

How does trust impact openness and collaboration?

Friend or foe

I am naturally open and have a leaning towards trust as a default, until of course I’m bitten or receive some other signal that I’m being used.

I have been reading a lot of books and other content about this broader topic, but not as a central theme. The themes were much more about ideas and sharing and how magical things can happen. The topic of trust and its impact doesn’t seem to figure highly, but I do wonder whether this can limit collaboration if there’s an unsaid trust question somewhere in the “group”

Is the elephant in the room?


Can ideas truly flow unencumbered, if there are (unsaid) issues within a group, whereby the trust question is not addressed?

Will all group members really bring their collaboration and sharing “A” game I wonder?

Does it matter if some are open in spite of this?

Personally, I’d postulate that it’s not optimal if you’re not all equally invested and some are holding back.
So is the answer that all parties sign some kind of NDA? Does this work in practice, or is an NDA now so default in business discussions, that they’re all too easily signed and filed without real attention and commitment?

All these questions bubble to the surface often for me, as the topic has huge significance to the work that I undertake. So all of this relies on a high degree of trust.

Making progress (and quickly) is rather tricky without it

Physical exhibition events are back it seems

Very recently (well about 7 weeks ago to be more precise), we participated in the annual Channel Live expo, held at the NEC in Birmingham.

We have exhibited there a few times with our partners and had some decent engagement, and this time was no exception. In fact, I would chalk this one down as one of the most successful, in terms of actual potential partnership opportunities for our current vendor partner Inovo Telecom.

AI and Automation

My business partner and I had been asked to participate this year, as presenters for a couple of the theatre topics – “AI and Automation”; and “Creating Sticky Customers”.

Despite it being quite some time since presenting to an audience like this, I was really excited and as a result hugely enjoyed my session, which is a topic I have a particular passion for anyway (thankfully)

Both sessions can be viewed below or via our Youtube channel (QR code connects)

QR code to Trust Business Partners Youtube channel

Presentation recordings here

Enjoy

Why the shift to #Digital is great for humans

If you think this through, it does make absolute sense doesn’t it?

It’s a bit like a multi lane motorway which in theory gives 3 times the road space, and greater capacity for traffic. If there’s a hold up and 2 lanes are closed then huge queues are the result. As the lanes reopen, then traffic stats to flow again.

In a customer contact centre where there are just calls, then there will invariably be call queues due to the maths – 20 agents handling 20 calls and 40 people calling equals waiting and queues – how long the wait will depend upon call times of course. When you add more (#Digital) channels then queues are relieved, as those 40 people waiting might chose a different channel, making a shorter wait time for the remaining callers. When the digital channels provide automation too, then customers opting for self service can achieve a satisfactory outcome without delays, not tying up an agent, and at a time that they choose. More free agents then mean more callers get served faster with less waiting.

What’s not to like?!

An intelligent mix of channels with human agents and digital agents and self service options equals a better human experience.

Agents are able to engage with fewer time pressures from lengthy queues, and callers requiring a more human touch, get shorter wait times.

Better customer experience (#cx) and satisfaction, and ultimately less customer churn.

The caveat

When you’re adding #Digital channels and automation, there are some real gotchas if you’re not careful.

Careful planning and testing are important, as is not trying to do everything at once.

Ensuring that you bring all channels together for orchestrating the customer experience is vital, and absolutely avoid the need for any customer to have to repeat their reason for calling or their identification or verification. This means ensuring that your digital conversation (or voice automation) are persistent, with and channel swapping (by design) retaining context.

Building a reseller community – done right

You’re in an organisation that is providing solutions to address a certain business problem, and you’re seeking opportunities to grow your customer base.

You’re thinking that maybe you’ll find some resellers, as that’s a lower cost than hiring a number of new salespeople. The resellers get to sell your offer and you’ll give them a share of the revenue, or sell to them at a “dealer” price for them to invoice their customer and add a margin.

Happy days

Yet who should sell it and why aren’t folks beating down my door to sell my product?

Those that I’ve spoken to haven’t really engaged yet and haven’t heard anything back from them.

Some of them haven’t enough resources to add new products, services or take on new skills at the moment and others have none at all, so they are struggling to get started.

We have a few partners who have signed agreements but haven’t sold anything yet, and I’m not seeing any marketing activity from them.

How do I get this machine moving, as all I have managed to achieve is to divert my energy into trying to find partners and reduce my available time for what I was already doing…

This is not an unusual story, but actually, rather a common experience based on a lack of experience and knowledge. Businesses wanting to identify and develop a channel sales strategy, need to do so with eyes wide open and a good plan.

Often a business gets lured into thinking that hiring a sales partner is less costly than hiring additional sales heads, but this is simply not true. The cost model is merely different.

A sales channel definitely offers a greater opportunity to scale, and also potentially gives access to customers whom you might otherwise expend significant efforts to build a profile with, more easily. But do not think this is the cheapest way of growing sales. It simply is not.

How hard can it be?

There’s so much more to this than a vendor thinking that it’s worth giving it a try…. Because that simply will not end well. Why would a potential partner invest any of their time or effort if you’re not prepared to? If a channel partner gets the slightest whiff that you’re just “giving it a go”, you are toast and you will get nowhere. Do not expect a reseller to damage their hard-earned reputation by introducing your solution if they think you’re not here for the long term to support them, and their customers. It’s not going to happen.

Done well, the channel is beautifully symbiotic and it’s very much the way to scale your business

Need help getting figured out and getting started? Then get in touch with me and I will be able to set you on the right track – here or use the WhatsApp link below.