In our latest MERJE Meets - which comprises interviews based on expert market insights from a host of senior business leaders - we caught up with Peter Stanyard. Peter is the Multi-site (UK & Offshore) Operational Lead for global IT company Tech Mahindra, which since diversifying into BPO and leveraging tech to help deliver strong results, has never looked back…
Peter prides himself on championing people and has become a reassuring port of call for clients, as well as overseeing governance and risk, while unlocking stellar employee performances.
Peter brings a proven track record and a huge amount of skill and experience to Tech Mahindra, having delivered customer and commercial benefits and experience across multiple channels and industry sectors, with the ability to bring to life multi-channel improvements. He is also passionate about social and environmental responsibility.
In addition to this, Peter has enjoyed a varied career pathway - mainly through contact centre roles - which encompassed quality assurance, operations, client services, values alignment and vendor management.
So, let’s chat to Peter to gather his expert opinions about the current state of play in the contact centre industry.
First things first, can you tell us a bit about the primary factors currently affecting the contact centre market?
The current economic squeeze is really affecting the sector. We’ve found that people are choosing to move for small, incremental pay rises due to financial pressures and hardship. This is creating a roundabout of staff attrition which means that maintaining stable team numbers has proven challenging.
"The wider industry needs to move away from the perception that it’s low paid with only low skill roles on offer"
If you could see one headline about the contact centre market in 2023, what would it be?
How and why people are still vital to customer interaction. They’re not just machines.
What are the current challenges affecting BPO and how do you think they can be tackled or met head on?
It’s important to make the industry more attractive as this will open up access to talent. The wider industry needs to showcase the ability to progress, provide alternative career paths within it, and move away from the perception that it’s low paid with only low skill roles on offer.
In your opinion, is digital transition paving the way for digital transformation?
Yes, it certainly is when it comes to straightforward queries so that a customer’s time and effort is minimised and staff can focus their energy on more complex matters.
Having successfully delivered a range of customer and commercial benefits as part of your job, what do you find are the most rewarding elements of your role?
The most rewarding element is always how I can improve the lives of our front-line teams. This is everything from their working environment to their mental health and wellbeing, as well as reducing any friction which arises from a tricky customer interaction - as this can be hard to navigate - while recognising great work and rewarding it.
"Being ambitious and trying to do your best works wonders"
What steps does Tech Mahindra take to be sustainable as a business and where does your passion for social and environmental responsibility stem from?
We try to do as much as we can but there’s always more we could do and that’s what we’re ultimately aiming for. I, for one, actively encourage schemes like community volunteering days and taking books into local schools. This helps to raise awareness that we all should be striving to help the people around us. I live locally to where I work, so this increases my drive to give back to the surrounding community.
How important is it to mentor emerging talent? What advice would you give to them?
It’s so vital. I never really had a formal mentor, but have encouraged it with as many people as I can cope with who ask for my time. Setting clear goals is usually a great starting point and then we go from there.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 16-year-old self?
Don’t bother with college or university. Being ambitious and trying to do your best works wonders.
If you could instantaneously gain a new skill, what would it be?
Something to help me switch off! Also, I haven’t an artistic bone in my body so a hobby along those lines to get the creative juices flowing.
I tend to prefer peace and quiet or exercise when I’m away from work so I don’t listen to podcasts.
Climbing mountains and I’m currently in a mid-life crisis learning MMA!
Desert island disc:
Funky Town by Lipps. It harks back to memories of my gran’s house, playing the cassette (what are they?!!) and dancing around the yard.
Many thanks to Peter for taking part in our MERJE Meets series! Find out more about him and his industry expertise on LinkedIn.