Posted by Ayo Dahunsi
While in college, I worked in a call center as a part-time customer-service agent. It's amazing that 10 years later I find myself back in the contact center industry. As I recall my first call-center experience, I reflect on how much things have changed. This is what comes to mind:
- It is no longer a CALL center but a multi-channel CONTACT center, where an organization connects with customers based on their preferences: through voice, chat, email, social media, and online. Modern centers do more than just take phone calls!
- Customers DO NOT want to CALL contact centers anymore. Instead, they prefer to visit FAQ sections of companies’ websites, initiate chat sessions, post comments on companies’ social-media pages, SMS/text, or simply ask friends and acquaintances. Calling is a modern customer’s last resort.
- It is all about the CUSTOMER. Consequently, a modern agent has to know how to engage customers on their terms: from responding to tweets on Twitter, to posts on Facebook, to updating a FAQ section and even uploading video demos - all to make sure that customers get what they want, when they want, and where they want it.
- Virtual Agents. In the past, all agents had to work out of a call center. Modern technology allows companies to be more flexible in scheduling workload and in attracting more candidates - limited office space is no longer an issue.
- Outsourcing was just starting to be a “thing” when I was in college. It now allows companies to focus on their core businesses and allows business-process-management (BPM) organizations. such as HGS, to focus on enhancing the customer experience while improving quality and reducing costs.