Have Contact Center Fundamentals Changed?

By Brad Cleveland

Many wonder… will the fundamentals of contact center management change? The good news: nope, they are very much intact and are as important as ever. For example, you’ve got to have a clear strategic plan and a customer access strategy. You need to establish the right supporting objectives, get the right resources in place at the right times doing the right things, and build an organization-wide focus on delivering services. These things have always been important. They are “blocking and tackling,” and they enable you to succeed; without them, today’s time-driven environment will quickly overwhelm your best efforts.

But how is contact center management changing? For one thing, there are new types of interactions. Agents proficient in handling existing workloads may not inherently be comfortable with or ready for new channels. Many organizations are farther along than they think because employees use these tools in their personal worlds; but the right training and tools are necessary to ensure the organization’s brand is being represented appropriately.

Second, because customers often initiate the service process through search or by seeking information in online communities or through self-service systems, the contacts that reach the contact center are more complex and demanding. In many cases, the center is becoming a “level-two” entry point.

Third, job roles are evolving, and agents, analysts, and managers are expected to know more, do more, and have a solid grasp of how to further the organization’s objectives and business results.

Finally, senior managers are requiring better visibility on the results the contact center is producing, and the return on these investments. The best contact centers are becoming increasingly important and powerful strategic assets. And they must. The stakes in today’s economy are higher than ever.

Copyright Brad Cleveland

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