July 29, 2015
A contact center, which has also been referred to as a customer interaction center, is a central point in an enterprise from which all customer contacts can be managed. The contact center typically includes one or more online call centers; however they may also include other types of customer contact.
Additional methods of contact include email newsletters, postal mail catalogs, website inquiries and chats. Information also comes from the collection of information from customers during in-store purchasing. A contact center is generally part of an enterprise’s overall customer relationship management (CRM).
A new study was recently released titled, “Collapse of the Cost Center: Driving Contact Center Profitability”, from a collaboration between the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) and Zendesk, a software development company that provides a cloud-based customer service platform.
The information for this report was taken from a broader global survey, “Moving from Cost to Profit Contact Center Research.” ICMI and Zendesk surveyed 416 respondents in spring 2015, attempting to discover the challenges that contact centers face while they try to transition perceptions from cost-centers to profit-centers.
Although within the corporate view contact centers are sometimes seen as a necessary evil, it is the department that has direct dealings in order to support the company’s customers. Whether they are sending out emails to remind or inform customers about certain deals, or fielding customer calls, the contact center provides what relates to the customer experience.
The report finds that most companies see the contact center as more of a cost center, not really understanding the role they play. This, in part, comes from the idea that about 73 percent of contact centers are not effectively measuring and reporting their service level.
Essentially, the impact that the contact center makes goes a long way toward providing that good customer experience. While, in most cases, this is what makes one stay with a company, unfortunately for the centers, company management is not aware of this.
Justin Robbins, senior analyst for ICMI, said “Contact centers provide unmatched and essential services for organizations, yet their importance is hindered by the lack of visibility their contributions have on a grander scale. Organizations must uncover the opportunities hidden within their operations and take the necessary steps to make their worth apparent.”
One of the things that the report hits upon is schedule adherence. By pushing a contact center representative ensuring that at least 90 percent of their time is being fully utilized, such actions could quickly lead to that person being burnt out. This is the type of employee that will not present the best customer experience. We have all heard expressions similar to “A happy worker is a good worker.” This is what leads to providing a good customer experience, which is a profit for the company.