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2012 Holiday Contact Center Tech and Trends: The Gifts That Keep on Giving

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November 05, 2012

2012 Holiday Contact Center Tech and Trends: The Gifts That Keep on Giving

By Allison Boccamazzo, Managing Content Producer

While people everywhere begin drafting their holiday gift lists, contact center managers too seem to have a few things in mind to better improve their call and contact centers. While some contact center trends are outdated, there are others that some are eagerly waiting to see in the near future. I was able to recently speak with David Baker, VP of Servion, who detailed some contact center trends and technology to both look out for and nix.

The first trend Baker is crossing his fingers for is the rise of computer telephony integration (CTI (News - Alert)). Additionally, a problem Baker hopes to see better resolved as we near 2013 is “the option to get a callback from an agent when your queue is longer than you want to hold for.”

“I have to say that I am still amazed that in 2012, we have cars that run on batteries but we still have contact centers operating like it is 1990,” says Baker. “Who really likes listening to music on hold or hearing, ‘Your call is important to us, please hold for the next available agent…?’ If my call was truly that important to you, then you wouldn’t be putting me on hold in the first place!”

Adding contact center agents doesn’t necessarily help the problem, either. “Technology allows you to deliver those experiences, whereas adding staff is more like putting a temporary band-aid on a much bigger problem – it won’t solve anything in the long run.”

One thing you can do in support of this trend is implementing a call back option with your existing interactive voice response (IVR) system, which will “give your customers the choice of whether or not they want to wait on hold or schedule a callback at a later time or on a different number,” Baker explains.

Consider the vast majority of individuals who work a standard 9-5 shift Monday through Friday; this demographic may understandably prefer to be called back later in the evening at home rather than on their office or cell phone. Callback features should be sophisticated enough to handle such requests.

“Why every contact center doesn’t have this capability along with CTI still baffles me to this day,” Baker says. “CEO’s say they want to cut costs, increase customer service and increase revenue, but I have to wonder if that is really true when they could do all three of those things by implementing this technology in their contact centers.”

Bottom line: CTI technology will significantly increase your business’ customer service, lower costs per call and increase overall sales as a result of the amount of repeat business you will get. In other words, as Baker cleverly puts it, “CTI is the holiday gift that will keep on giving throughout the year.”

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