The contact centre is the first line of customer service and customers will form their initial opinions of a business from this experience. It is essential that customers are routed to the correct agents who can fulfil their request as fast as possible. First-time resolution is every contact centre manager’s prime objective: the more calls that are handled accurately, the more revenue the business makes.
Increasingly, contact centres are leveraging IP technology to enhance their customer services, improve sales performance and streamline branch office operations.
Traditional contact centres are centralised, tied to a fixed location and not easily integrated into back-office systems. However, with IP telephony, organisations can extend corporate phone features and IP-based applications to employees regardless of location, which encourages better communication and collaboration.
Both the underlying IP voice network and the contact centre application are seen by users and callers as one seamless system. However, call centre agents can be located anywhere. Of particular interest at the moment is the concept of teleworking, where users are provided with the same communication capabilities in a small office or home office as they would be if they were based in the corporate headquarters.
Teleworker technology allows the easy addition of agents to the call centre for peak periods, alleviating the need for agents to travel or increase the physical size of the call centre.
The perception of a contact centre is that it is a large bustling department in a head office. However, this is not the case with IP, and small companies now have the flexibility to operate a contact centre with just a few people while portraying the image that they are a large global company.
The multimedia contact centre – using email, fax and phone – is now stepping up to the next level, using real-time communications on the agents’ desktop combined with real data, which can be integrated into CRM and ERP applications – a true next-generation application.
Contact centres are increasingly becoming the primary method for customers to contact an organisation. By enhancing customer-service levels and implementing productivity-enhancing management tools, contact centres can help boost revenue growth and build success.
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