Elevating the Traditional COE Model with a Virtual Community of Excellence

By Sandy Ellis

Despite the magnitude of global challenges and distractions over the preceding eighteen months, company leaders continue to seek how best to operate, grow and transform their business.

A common pre-pandemic practice was to establish a Center of Excellence (COE) in a physical location that was staffed by subject matter experts. The experts had easy access to supporting resources and corporate sponsors. When an organization has the time and resources to implement a COE that is thoughtfully designed to achieve specific business outcomes, it can result in numerous benefits upon reaching a level of maturity. Unfortunately, many firms have experienced significant business disruption forcing a reprioritization of valuable resources to go toward survival mode, versus investing in evolving business practices.

Well before Covid-19 forced corporations to consider virtual solutions, Activus Connect was already there. Our company is founded on sound principles across people, processes, and technology designed exclusively to support a 100% work-from-home business model. From day-1 we knew a better way to access expertise in creating a virtual Community of Excellence for service delivery. Let’s look at a few of those crucial areas we interjected into our business model.

Aligning Core Values with Expected Outcomes

There is a multitude of studies providing ongoing evidence that positive employee engagement drives healthy business results.

When employees, we call ours “Ambassadors”, are genuinely part of a workplace community, they are much more invested, loyal, and more prone to be physically and mentally healthy. These factors, coupled with clear expectations, provide an organization with motivated employees who genuinely desire to perform at their best.

At Activus Connect, our entire business is grounded in #ElevatingExperiences through our cohesive value system of being passionate in delivering service from the heart, conducting all interactions with integrity, respect, and authenticity, and having fun together in the process.

Intentional Processes and Technology Designed for Virtual

In early 2020, nearly every company globally was forced to quickly transition its workforce to a virtual-based environment. For customer service and support positions, this transition was especially troublesome for organizations that had yet to explore the mechanics of establishing virtual-based operations. Out of urgency and need, many companies reacted by quickly retrofitting their internal approach and hoping for the best. The result – exhausted technicians around the globe, working endless hours to set up and troubleshoot a rapidly designed solution. Many opted to deploy corporate-based systems for ease and speed to enable basic level connectivity and sustainment of minimal operational capabilities.

Other firms who were “experimenting” with a work-from-home model pre-pandemic fared only slightly better. It has become evident that many companies, at best, did not build their processes to scale quickly. At worst, they did not tailor their infrastructure and operations to a purely virtual environment. This method has caused disruptions across service delivery functions, spanning from recruiting and hiring challenges to training gaps to poor employee engagement and performance, all negatively impacting #CX and, ultimately, the brand’s reputation.

Yet during this time, Activus Connect continues to lead the virtual services industry in the U.S. As an exclusive work-from-home service provider, our approach has always been to enable individuals, processes, and technology specifically designed to ensure the delivery of exemplary services. SmartVirtual™ is our proprietary platform that fuels our business with a real-time community of support, encouragement, mentoring, and celebration incorporating various engagement channels. It is organic, authentic, and impactful, empowering Activus Connect to deliver 100% of our services, consistently exceeding our client’s quality targets.

Strong Corporate Stewardship

It is not uncommon for companies to tout, and even market, #CSR strategies and initiatives. According to the Governance and Accountability Institute, 2020 S&P 500 Flash Report, 90% of companies on the index published sustainability / responsibility reports in 2019. In theory, this approach helps a company to publicly share its values and inspire employees and customers to “feel good” on behalf of the company’s stated efforts. But as a stand-alone tactic, within an overall effort to create a healthy corporate culture, this strategy can fall flat.

A strong #CSR program can drive many benefits such as reducing carbon footprints, improving #HX practices, and charitable giving through time and investment, to name just a few.

Companies that are thriving, despite the many real and significant challenges all companies face, have one major element in common – being a good steward. These firms have created a culture that promotes serving the needs of the business, employees, customers, stakeholders, as well as the communities in which they operate. Although individual systems and processes are likely in place, they are aligned with the company strategy that incorporates promoting good stewardship in every circumstance guarded by checks and balances that promote the organic and healthy operation of the firm in accordance with its stated objectives.

Accordingly, brands that can execute on a well-designed virtual Community of Excellence will have a strategic business advantage. They will be actively engaged in a fluid channel of insights across the human experience #HX. Activus Connect incorporates these valuable insights to create a flourishing eco-cycle of continuous improvement across every touchpoint – with our employees, #AX, our clients and their customers, #CX, and within the communities in which we live and serve, #CSR.

To learn more about Activus Connect and the numerous benefits of our SmartVirtual™ platform, visit us https://activusconnect.com/lets-connect.