Insight Into the Minds of My Collegae Contact Center Managers

Photographer: unknown
Photographer: unknown

This blog deals amongst others with my passsion as a contact center manager for social media. Keith Dawson describes the reluctance based on a survey in which 42% of the respondents stated that they are considering investing in the new media.

I do not say that at the max 58% are considering investing the new media. But for a real insight into the minds that might be valuable knowledge.

Nice read to see how operations managers are wrestling with all these new phenomenea.

http://www.crm-daily.com/story.xhtml?story_id=67715

By Keith Dawson

Customers, like the contact centers they connect with, are taking a wait-and-see stance as many new contact channels emerge. It is too early to know whether the next must-use channel will involve Facebook, Twitter, an iPhone application or something completely unforeseen. With so many new options, none have emerged as critical.

Recently, Frost & Sullivan conducted a major survey of contact center practitioners in which we asked them a wide variety of questions about the tools they use, their plans for the future, and the issues that are of concern to them. The results indicate that though they are keeping an eye on developments in the economy, call center managers are trying to consolidate operational gains made in the past several years.

One of the questions asked was what new contact channels are people planning to add during the next twelve to 24 months.

A striking 42 percent of respondents reported that they had no plans to add new customer Relevant Products/Services contact channels — no Web, no collaboration, no SMS.

Just a continuation of the current agenda, which for most centers means handling customers via voice, e-mail and possibly chat.

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There appear to be three reasons for this reluctance to expand into new contact channels.

First, customers are not necessarily demanding them.

Most of the time, customers reach for the traditional modes of contact: they are well trained in using toll-free, IVR and e-mail to initiate a conversation as part of transacting business.

Second, customers, like the contact centers they connect with, are taking a wait-and-see stance as many new contact channels emerge. It is too early to know whether the next must-use channel will involve Facebook, Twitter, an iPhone application or something completely unforeseen. With so many new options, none have emerged as critical. So there is an understandable reluctance on the part of contact center decision-makers to spend on technology to cope with those new channels, at least some consensus emerges on what customers will demand.

Third, and most important, is the awareness that having the technical ability to handle a contact channel doesn’t mean that a company has the business processes in place to deliver good service using that channel. Contact center professionals are a pretty savvy bunch when it comes to marrying technology with the behind-the-scenes people management skills that are required to attend to customer satisfaction. They know that there has never been a magic bullet technology that, when implemented, makes customers happy and encourages them to spend more. It’s the relationship between agent and customer (and all the processes that go into informing that agent at the point of interaction) that makes the call go smoothly, or badly.

As a result, we see contact centers conservatively reluctant to expand the technological menu of choices at a moment when collectively they seem to know they need to improve the effectiveness of their current contact choices. (continued…)

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Read more at http://www.crm-daily.com/story.xhtml?story_id=67715

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