The Contact Centre
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in the Contact Centre at World Vision Australia? What happens behind the scenes after a conversation with a supporter and how are the teams managed to meet the needs of our donors whilst maintaining our commitment to the field?
To assist in my depiction of how the Contact Centre operates we’ll be looking through the lens of a fictional Supporter. Meet Lily. She’s 35, a Primary School Teacher with a young family of her own. She wants to lead by example, demonstrating to her students and young daughter that anyone can be a change maker. Whilst purchasing some Gifts from her local shopping centre, her daughter Rose spots Esther, a young girl from Kenya. Lily agrees to Rose’s request and their Sponsorship Journey begins.
As well as keeping our Supporters on track with their regular contributions our Outbound Team also performs Welcome Calls for first time Sponsors. Touching base early on in the Sponsorship Journey is crucial to maintaining the initial excitement our Sponsors feel when they decide to partner with us. Let’s check in with Lily to see the benefits of taking time to lay down the foundations for a more meaningful relationship with new Supporters.
As Lily is cooking dinner 4 weeks later she hears the phone ring. Answering the phone she is pleased to hear that it’s World Vision. This is her first interaction with the Contact Centre. The Consultant discusses Lily’s hopes for her sponsored child ascertaining Lily’s passion for education.
Ranging from a simple updating of details to initiating Field Queries our Consultants are ready to respond to Supporter queries from 9-6pm every day. During the Christmas period the Inbound Team can receive more than 500 calls per day.
Most supporters who have had the opportunity to visit their sponsored child in their own community not only view this as the highlight of their Child Sponsorship Journey but also a life changing experience.
Knowing that it is possible to visit her sponsored child Lily has been planning a family holiday to Africa for the past year. Rose and Esther have been exchanging letters for some time and the whole family is excited by the prospect of seeing World Vision’s work in action. Lily makes contact with the Sponsor Visit team who begin to make the arrangements for her visit by liaising with the National Office in Kenya to confirm logistics and travel costs. The Sponsor Visits Team is also able to recommend reputable accommodation for Lily’s family and the visit is a success!
Whether it be listening to a disgruntled supporter providing feedback, or informing a Sponsor of the death of their Sponsored Child, the Feedback & Retention team get down to the nitty-gritty of sensitive calls and interactions. This specialised team administers all things retention endeavouring to resolve queries and find solutions to strengthen Supporter relationships. When a Supporter calls in to cancel as well as offering alternate options to maintain the partnership, Consultants from this team try to reconnect donors with the values that prompted the initial commencement of their support. Supporter feedback is addressed and recorded by consultants in the form of email correspondence.
As our Supporters grow to be more tech-savvy we have seen a dramatic increase of traffic into the Digital Space and Social Media platforms. Our Digital Conversationalist Tim is often the first to know how the general public feels when an important news story breaks concerning World Vision. As well as assisting Supporters with queries about our work, Tim responds to all those who choose to engage with us on our Social Media platforms. By replying to comments and questions online, Tim helps to educate Supporters on issues of poverty and advocate for our work by explaining World Vision’s stance on important topics.
Here in the Digital Space we monitor the Service Inbox responding to Supporters who react to EDM’s and contact us via email. Depending on Campaign Activity the Digital Team responds to an average of 2,000 – 3,000 emails per month. For the past three years the Digital Team has been refining our Live Chat presence to provide Supporters with an efficient and friendly service on line.
If you’re wondering where Lily wound up I like to think that she continued her partnership with World Vision and went on to sponsor many more children. Perhaps as a result of the positive presence World Vision had whilst she was growing up, Rose participated in the 40 Hour Famine and later became a World Vision Youth Ambassador!
I hope that my depiction of the Contact Centre has illustrated the diversity of interactions our Supporters can have when they make contact with us. Consultants across all Channels have the opportunity to positively impact a Supporter’s outlook, ultimately reinforcing our work in the field.