Are you managing the people or the tech?
Call centres are about the people first; the technology is simply the enabler that helps provide the best customer experience, says Jed Hewson, co-founder of 1Stream.
Technology, when implemented effectively in a contact centre, is a powerful tool. But, what is often overlooked is that call centres are about the people first, and the technology is simply the enabler that helps provide the best customer experience, says Jed Hewson, contact centre technology pioneer in South Africa and co-founder of 1Stream.
It's easy for businesses to get sucked into the technology available and the features it offers, forgetting that managing the people who are using the features is what is going to show a positive return on the investment in the technology itself.
Lost in translation
The old adage, communication is key, is just as relevant in the business world as it is in other contexts. And when it comes to large enterprises, different departments with differing objectives often result in disparate systems and cumbersome processes.
Contact centres can be caught at the heart of this. Not only does this increase the complexity of operations, but it can reduce the ability to monitor and manage people and resources to the best effect. By ensuring all stakeholders are in the loop and aware of each other's requirements, implementing an effective system for a contact centre becomes simple with cloud-based solutions.
It's about understanding and compiling all the requirements. Once this information is at hand, a single system can be identified that incorporates all the requirements and meets the needs of the contact centre and the business.
Of course, things evolve, which necessitates adding new processes and updating systems. In the context of a call centre, this typically means including new media channels through which people can engage.
By doing so and the integration required, complications can be easily introduced into a contact centre operation. If left unmonitored, this can snowball over time, resulting in channels and processes that are all but impossible to report on and manage.
The winning formula in this case is to consolidate operations through one system that can manage all required processes.
Perhaps the biggest culprit of process management challenges in a contact centre is the lack of true oversight of the environment. While there are traditional ways of doing things, the reality is that as we move into a space of multimedia, we need a more holistic approach.
The solution is to take a step back and ask yourself what you are trying to achieve and whether you are on the right track. There are a number of things that can offer useful insight, for example, analysing incoming calls. This can give valuable data on the kinds of support requests coming through and therefore what platforms might be most useful to address these. In addition, assessing tasks and processes across departments and aligning these with the overall business objectives will also help make sure that all teams are working towards a single, achievable goal.
Regardless of the steps taken to achieve the desired outcome, quality and integrity within a contact centre are key, and it's vital to ensure these are managed effectively, and this is where the true benefits of technology can be seen in a call centre.