Much as a holiday often can't stop call center operations in general, nor can it stop the flow of news in the call center services market. There was plenty of news to emerge in this field this week, even though it had been shortened by Memorial Day, and with a weekend at hand once more, it's time to take a step back and consider the impact of all that news on call center operations. So settle in, take a breath, and let's run down all the high points of the week that was with our Week in Review coverage!
First, we had a look at a changing movement in terms of customer demand. A recent study from IntelliResponse showed that fully 59 percent of respondents were looking for a relationship with call centers that was described as “efficient, transactional,” while 24 percent were looking for a kind of “friendship” in which personalized service was the order of the day. With increasing numbers of new means to reach a call center, changes not only in the means of contact but also the style were clearly called for.
Next, we had a look at the role that interactive voice response (IVR) plays in small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The use of an IVR system can help improve call center responsiveness by helping to get the incoming callers to those best suited to help said callers. Specific IVR systems offer different functions, such as the Genesys (News - Alert) IVR, which can offer reminder notices, shipment notifications, and several other features.
Recurring business is vital in nearly any business; old customers are more likely to spend than new customers, and are generally more willing to shop than new customers. But there are means to keep old customers in and shopping, ranging from things like loyalty programs that reward referrals to notifications of special deals specifically focused on the old customer as opposed to drawing in the new customer.
Then we took a look at Gold Mountain and its recent successes in the call center. Started by Hank Seevers, a man who was himself a victim of call center downsizing when Wyndham Hotels cut its call center workforce in 2009, the company recently clear the 250 employee mark, putting it on a list of just 53 companies on the Springfield Chamber of Commerce's lists of firms with that number of employees. Seevers credits his employees' ability to provide great customer service as a driver of that success.
Finally, we had a look at Consumer Cellular's plans to augment its call center services. Recently rated as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States by Inc. magazine, this formerly small mobile carrier is now being mentioned in the same breath as Verizon (News - Alert) and Sprint on some quarters. Its new plan, however, is to augment its call centers in the Phoenix, Redmond, and Portland locations, with plans to hire as many as 200 more people through the end of 2014.
That was the week that was in call center services, and even with a short week, we still had a lot to consider thanks to the efforts of our global online community, who was right in the thick of things looking for the biggest news in the field to bring right back here. So be sure to join us back here next week for all the latest news, and every weekend for our Week in Review coverage!