Agent Motivation

How Sky Business Drives Customer Service Innovation

We recently had the privilege of speaking with Shona Goodlad, Head of Customer Service at Sky Business, about driving service innovation. Sky Business is the B2B division of entertainment outlet Sky TV, focusing on partnerships with hotels, pubs, retail stores, and long-time client of Stella Connect.

Shona, a 6-year veteran at Sky, had a lot of amazing insights to impart and was actually quite candid about some of the challenges her team faces and the ongoing process of improvement.

Tips for Driving Agent Engagement and Celebrating Success

Agent engagement (more likely to be called “Advisor Engagement” at Sky, where agents are known as advisors) is central to Sky’s daily operations. “It has to be part of our business-as-usual activity,” Shona explains to Alex Vlasto, VP of Marketing at Stella Connect. “It needs to be something we focus on all the time.”

Rewards and recognition for great work are baked into how Sky does business. From quarterly bonuses to pizza making parties to gift cards suggested by customers in response to Stella’s real-time surveys, the brand is always looking for new ways to incentivize its agents. Explains Shona, “We very much believe that agent engagement is linked to performance.”

One progressive way Sky is using customer insights to acknowledge wins is by rotating real Stella feedback through each office’s digital screens on a weekly basis. Not only do agents (and their colleagues!) get to see who’s performing well, those same screens feed into head offices where they’re viewed by managers and other executives.

“For some people,” posits Shona, “it’s not about how much money they get from various incentives, it’s about feeling like they got that pat on the back.”
Shona Goodlad
Sky Business


The team has also developed something called Sky Stars, where employees and managers can send digital thank yous to advisors for doing a great job. Says Shona, “All these sort of things work together to celebrate that success.”

How to Set the Right KPIs for Your Team Leaders

When it comes to establishing the right performance metrics, Shona is the first to admit, “We don’t always get it right and we’re continually tweaking things.” For a long time, Sky’s managers evaluated their own team’s performance. Naturally, that led to some concern around “grading your own homework.”

Eventually, the team collectively decided on a set of monthly metrics – number of coaching sessions, number of calls listened to, etc. – linked directly to bonuses. This, says Shona, gave managers reason to focus on the things they constantly found themselves too busy to do. Results improved.

The Coaching Strategies That Drive Measurable Change

The right coaching strategy is still a moving target at Sky Business. Recently, Shona brought all the customer service teams together to help everyone see from a different perspective. “It was really good for my managers to rub shoulders with project managers who might be coaching business analysts and other people who were involved in coaching,” remembers Shona.

Sky follows a multi-pronged approach to coaching. Feedback from Stella Connect plays a huge role in developing strategies around FCR and  service recovery, but the team also spends a lot of energy tackling the barriers to coaching, like lack of time. Shona’s view: “Coaching is listening to people and letting them come up with the solutions themselves.”

Although some of Sky Business’ managers still balk at the sheer volume of time spent on coaching, “I think it’s important sometimes demonstrating to people that [coaching] is so important that we take a whole day out of the business to get you really focused on this,” says Shona.

How to Build the Most Effective Quality Rubric for Your CX Operation

The QA process at Sky Business is almost always in flux. “It’s not easy,” admits Shona, who oversaw a complete reinvention of the process just this year.

When no one could agree on exactly the right approach, consultants were brought in to ensure the business was seeing things objectively. The latest iteration of QA at Sky Business is founded on The 6 Rs:

  • What was the Reason for contact?
  • Was the contact Resolved?
  • Did we make proper Recommendations to the customer?
  • Are we Reviewing our Stella survey results?
  • Are we Recording that data properly?
  • Where does our Relationship with this customer stand?


Stella Connect feedback scores accounting for 50% of the overall QA score and The 6 Rs accounting for the other 50%. This method allows Sky to evaluate both qualitative and quantitative feedback. “We love customer feedback and Stella’s really allowed us to make it meaningful feedback that we can actually action against,” says Shona.

“We see a number of calls that we don’t score particularly well, but the customer was massively satisfied and gave five stars feedback on the advisor!” she says, stressing the importance of never looking at feedback myopically. “Sometimes customers don’t know what they’re missing.”

Workflows for Service Recovery After Subpar Interactions

“Sometimes really positive customer service can come from when something goes wrong,” states Shona. “The Stella real-time feedback gives us the opportunity to recover things and to recover them quickly.” When the issue is clear, moving a customer from dissatisfied to satisfied is simpler.

Subpar feedback can also reveal truths about the way Sky Business should handle potentially sensitive issues. When a customer has a negative interaction based on something outside of Sky’s control such as data protection policies, for example, there’s an opportunity to re-frame and anticipate those issues going forward. “Sometimes it’s not about the advisor, it’s about the process,” explains Shona.

Fine-Tuning Customer Service with Stella Connect

Sky Business uses its Stella Connect feedback to improve engagement, reward excellence, and drive performance goals. There’s no limit to what your business can do with the customer data it isn’t yet capturing…how can Stella help fine-tune your team? See Stella Connect in Action today!