“We need to start with the user experience in mind and then if the technology doesn't quite work, we can change that. But it’s a mistake to start with the technology,” says Bill Clancy, Associate Director, Datacom.

In the final year of his Bachelor of Technology studies, Bill decided to get a part-time job working in a tech company’s call centre.

That part-time tech support role with our contact centre business, Datacom Connect, was a success: 18 years, three countries, and nine job titles later, Bill is still with the company and is now part of Datacom’s leadership team.

Until recently, the majority of Bill’s roles at Datacom have been focused on the operational side of the company’s contact centres.

From his first job providing Microsoft tech support, Bill worked his way up to a knowledge manager role and then team manager before heading overseas to establish contact centres in Malaysia and the Philippines (since divested from the business).

Photo of William Clancy in front of the Sydney harbour bridge

After five years, Bill returned to Australia and he says it was a particularly proud moment when he took up the role of general manager of operations for the business.

“It was one of those moments when you are conscious of how far you’ve come. I had started out working in a call centre and then 12 years later I was managing the whole operation, and in that same time [Datacom] had grown from three or four hundred people to more than 2,500 people.”

Back in Australia, Bill then helped lead the company’s change of focus from the delivery of technical support on behalf of corporates to the delivery of better customer experience (CX) for large-scale government clients.

Reimagining the service desk and CX technology

Now, Bill has taken on another challenging new role. It’s a role that sits somewhere between the technical and the CX side of the business and is focused on rethinking how to serve Datacom’s customers.

“I'm playing a half technical, half customer experience role, and I'm trying to design solutions for the customers that blend the best of both worlds.”

One of the first tasks on Bill’s list is shaking up traditional service desk models.

“With a lot of traditional call centres the focus is on revenues and call volumes but we’re dealing with government clients and with New Zealand and Australian citizens who are trying to access important services, so the focus has to be on solving experience problems.”

Bill says truly responsive artificial intelligence (AI) virtual assistants, that can solve customer problems rather than provide copy-and-paste answers, is how the team is looking at improving employee experience through a modern service desk offering.

“It’s really exciting to be focused on creating something that doesn't exist in the market. I'm using almost two decades of contact centre experience to think about how we can take technology and resolve the real pain points. A lot of companies, Datacom included, have struggled to build great solutions because they start with the tech rather than thinking about the experiences of the people who will be using the tech.”

Finding new challenges

Some of Bill’s millennial contemporaries find it strange he has worked in one company for his entire career, but he says he has been motivated to stay by Datacom’s culture.

“There’s a real culture around developing people within the organisation and giving people a go in different roles, perhaps even before they're ready, but in a really supportive environment where it is OK to fail fast and learn as you go,” says Bill.

“I have always felt like I’m getting opportunities to step up and challenge myself that, potentially, I would not have got in another company.”

The value that Datacom places on building strong long-term relationships with customers and doing right by them, even when it’s hard, is another thing Bill really values.

“That commitment to getting it right for customers is something that I hold core to my values and it’s one of the reasons I’m still here. The Datacom value ‘thrive together’ isn’t just about our internal teams, it’s about the way we work with our customers and partners.”

“One recent example of that commitment to customers saw a group of us come together to stand up a COVID support hotline for a government client in just a couple days.”

Over the last 18 months, Bill says prolonged lockdowns, minimal travel, and working from home all took some adjusting to, but it has also given him extra time to focus on some existing hobbies and to develop some new ones.

His many (possibly too many according to his wife) much-loved guitars have had a bit more use, he’s perfected his artisanal bread recipes and sourdough starter, grown his vintage record collection, and started fixing old hi-fi stereos.

“Spending so long with Datacom, and evolving with the business, has made me really aware of the importance of balance in my life. Lots of things change, different challenges come up and the best way to be ready is to look after yourself, keep learning, and try to find some balance.”

Related industries
Professional services
Related solutions
Contact centres Customer experience