Not long ago a true call center was setup more like an answering service filled with customer service reps (CSR’s) that answered incoming calls to address basic questions and follow account instructions. The traditional call center was sometimes looked at as a necessary evil to handle transactions whether that was buying a product, providing account information, people calling to pay their bills or dealing with customer service issues. The hopeful result of this interaction would be customer satisfaction, resolution and return business; however, our world is rapidly changing with the ever evolving introduction of new technology. The introduction of customer interaction through email, web chat, social media, etc. have all now been categorized as call center functions.
In addition to these latest technologies agents are now being asked to go above and beyond their typical job function of receiving calls and handling relatively simple requests to now being required to serve functions of sales and marketing though outbound dialing, technical support and even sometimes tier 2 or 3 customer service problem resolution.
Take the new technology plus increased job functions and instead of the long-established “Call Center” companies have now transitioned the terminology to “Contact Center”. Part of this is powered by the fact that customers want to choose the best preferred method to reach your company. When a company starts to transform their call center into a contact center you are immediately focusing on the customer experience by giving more choices of contact to your customers.
Now you have a situation where there are new technologies in place that can enhance your customer experience by placing tools in the contact center agents’ hands that allow them to more seamless handle each interaction and also become more thorough at the same time. How does a company know when to implement these changes and how it will positively and/or negatively affect your company? The best way to begin this transition of thought and technology choices is to align your contact center to the greater goals of the company.