Woven’s CEO Paula Constant features, as a champion of women in leadership, in ‘Her Majesty The Queen: the Official Platinum Jubilee Pageant Commemorative Album’. If you didn’t manage to get your hands on a copy of the book, here is her featured article!
Getting to know you
With a creative workforce, tech know-how and a bespoke approach, Woven is transforming customer-services, one contact at a time
Woven is on a mission to deliver excellent customer service. The private equity-backed outsourcing company provides a range of premium companies with bespoke people- and technologyled customer experiences, from chatbots and social media monitoring to video shopping and crisis-response techniques. Under CEO Paula Constant, who joined in 2020, Woven’s profits have increased by 70 per cent in 18 months, with robotic automation rates for more than 90 per cent of customer transactions. Constant has achieved this through innovative technology and an inspiring, collaborative “people programme”. “I have built a leadership team who quite simply want to make a huge difference to the experience of working in a customer contact centre,” says Constant. “We want to think radically differently about every aspect of their role as a ‘professional communicator’. The job is intense, with our staff handling 90 customer contacts in one day.” Constant seeks to make a meaningful difference to the working day and to bring fun to the floor. “We deliver training through music, art, drama and sport and look for imaginative ways to connect what is important to our staff to what is important to our customers,” she says. Constant is adamant that actions on sustainability and the environment go beyond token efforts. “The bottom line is that most contact-centre outsourcing businesses put very little effort into staff engagement, the environment or the community,” she says. To counter this, Woven places emphasis on staff mental health through mindfulness yoga, diversity training avatars, social inclusion awareness, and impactful initiatives that play on the Woven brand, such as an initiative to transform crisp packets into blankets for the homeless and crocheting fidget blankets for dementia support groups.
Prior to Woven, Constant had worked in banking and telecommunications, and in 2016 won a Leader Award from FDM Everywoman in Technology. She has earned renown for galvanising large workforces to get behind huge shifts in customer experience and automation. She attributes her success to a gritty working-class upbringing. “I am the daughter of a single-parent nurse who gave up her dream of becoming a doctor to raise two girls. She encouraged such incredible self-belief. She devoted herself to a life of service, selflessly.” It is these qualities of selfless service that Constant most admires in The Queen. Having two young sons, Constant believes that role modelling leadership in work and in the community is a critical part of being a parent. “I take my children to work, we talk through the challenges I’m facing, and they understand the impact that Woven makes in the world,” she explains. She also has a degree in music and once worked as a concert pianist. Today, she channels this musical knowledge into providing free after-school choir lessons for state-school pupils in south London. “It’s important for my family to see that I make time to build the local community, too,” she says. As Woven grows, Constant is bringing her holistic approach to new territories. The company is acquiring overseas in order to expand into the Asian and US markets, while improving the lives of hundreds of locals. “We are still a good size to be able to wrap ourselves around our customers and provide personalised service,” she says. “We want to ensure that, as we expand, we maintain that level of personal attention and customer innovation, both to our clients and our workforce.”