Contact Center Solutions

By Stan Baldwin
Updated: August 19, 2011

Before a “solution” can be built or bought, it is wise to accurately describe the “problem” to be solved. The technologies available within a contact center system enable an impressive, and potentially expensive, array of tools to be deployed. By first clearly assessing what “problems” your company needs to address, the best fit solutions can be chosen. If the task at hand is hauling hay from the field to the barn, an Italian sports car would not be the best solution. Unfortunately, for many organizations, both determining just what needs to be done and how best to do it is nowhere near as obvious.

When assessing the problem(s) to be solved consider:

Through which media do your customers interact with your business? Which ones are most effective in your industry or with you products or services? Even if customers seem to want to use everything from texting to snail mail, it may not be a good investment to try to accommodate all paths of communications.

Which departments or portions of your business need to be directly involved with the customer? The characteristics of your product or service may dictate which company resources are needed to address the majority of customer issues, which ones are critical? Are they geographically distributed? Will incoming contacts and outgoing contacts be handled by the same staff?

How much direct control (and related direct investment) does your business need? Can an effective contact center be created and supported by your IT team, or would the flexibility of a web-based service be more desirable? A related issue, how frequently performance needs to be measured, can affect both the complexity and management of the system.

The scope and complexity of Contact Center solutions have grown rapidly, as companies have experienced the tangible business benefits of integrated customer management system. The agenda of major topics to be explored at an up-coming industry conference include:

Performance and Productivity
Social Networking
HR Challenges and Solutions
Cost Management
Customer Service
Sales Strategies
IT and Technology Developments
Workforce Planning

The benefits organizations want their contact center solutions to deliver are across an equally broad spectrum. First and foremost is the need to make the customer experience as pleasant and productive (for the customer) as possible. Directly related is the need to control the associated costs and be able to relate costs to levels of customer satisfaction.

Longer term and strategic goals contact center data can support include product or service planning, efficient staffing and training, plus investment in facilities and R&D. Whether on-premise or cloud-based, a contact center has become a fundamental component for business success.

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