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Call Centre innovation

Thu 1 Dec 2011
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The days of call centres being simply a centralised traffic zone for directing telephony are long gone. They are increasingly the nerve centre of any enterprise and decision makers ignore them at their peril. Sam Williams, vice president for global business development for communications centre specialists Zeacom, has watched the metamorphosis over twenty years from simple call centres to finely tuned multimedia hubs, from which almost everything from simple client enquiries to major social media campaigns can be managed. "The core functionality hasn’t changed,” Williams tells IT Brief, "merely the types of transactions.” He goes on to explain that, much like the changes being seen in the way banks have had to adapt their methods of customer service, call centres have had to shift from simply answering customer demand to providing customer experience. Herein lays the answer to the question of what is new and exciting in call centres and why should decision makers be paying closer attention – and it has less to do with new technology and more to do with using that technology to provide that experience for clients regardless of the type of business or client. "The Orient Express for example,” Williams says, referring to the iconic train that travels through Europe and made famous by Agatha Christie, "asked the question when does the journey actually begin?” It begins, the company decided, at the call centre and every effort is made to ensure this happens for the client. This focus on customer experience, according to Williams, is one of the most exciting and innovative things to happen to call centres recently. The other is the depth of reporting call centres are now able to deliver back to their executives. "It used to be that unless you were a multibillion dollar company who could afford to pay big bucks to get the really big guys on board, call centres were pretty basic. Now, it is possible for all companies including SME’s to gather and keep track of business intelligence, keep track of that business and use it to improve business.”

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