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The Dramatic Evolution of the Call Center

May 26, 2015 / Rich Fox

Call centers have evolved dramatically in the past 10-15 years from the traditional stigma of a “sweat shop” room full of people on the phone. The call center is more appropriately now called “contact center” due to the many different communication channels now handled by those teams. These specialized teams now interact with customers via email, web or mobile forms, and instant chat. Even social media interactions like a Facebook post or a tweet are now routed to a contact center agent for proper handling.

Many organizations have embraced sophisticated CRM (customer relationship management), voice of the customer, and customer experience strategies where the customer becomes the central focus of the organization. Since the contact center is the face of the organization to the customer, they now serve as the strategic central hub for marketing, branding, and customer engagement.

At the same time, there has been a proliferation of technologies that have empowered organizations to link or embed telephony capabilities directly into the business applications used every day by the contact center staff. This has empowered the contact center staff with new tools to greatly improve the customer experience. Moreover, these technologies have given organization’s tremendous insight into their customer demographics. Which customers are more profitable? Should pricing of certain products or customer segments be increased? Are certain customer prospects or promotions more likely to drive sales?

Given the cultural shifts and the technology advances, many non-traditional teams have embraced call center technologies to advance their goals. At Evolve IP, we have customers doing incredible things with their contact centers. For example, one customer has nurses on the phone speaking with customers whose cardiac monitor is alerting them to anomalies, specialists at a national plumbing supply retailer responding to contractors, and 24×7 response teams aiding international travelers who are traveling in the US and need help with a medical emergency. Modern organizations that embrace these capabilities have used the rich insights gathered to drive organizational change, revamp processes/training, and related strategic initiatives focused on enhancing the customer experience and differentiating themselves from their competitors.

We have implemented hundreds of customers who have been able to transform their organization through the application of new technologies. In most instances, it’s an evolutionary journey and not an overnight revolution. Customers need to consider the cultural change management that is associated with any organizational change which employees naturally resist. A concerted effort to educate and embrace the employee is critical to the success of any significant process, compensation, or technology change. Employees need to understand the changes, how they impact the organization, and gradually eased into new behavioral expectations.

For many organizations, these changes occur over a period of time with different milestone steps towards the ultimate vision. One of the benefits of Evolve IP’s delivery model is that our teams are available to guide our customers through the initial implementation and then for years down the road. Because organizations’ needs change over time, we stand ready to help our customers leverage technology to derive business value.

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Categories: Contact Center
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