Ear to the Ground at Contact Center 2011

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Ruth Lochary

Tuesday was the first full day of the Contact Center Conference and Expo 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve met a wonderful variety of contact center staff and leaders and I had the opportunity to attend several excellent sessions. I could write for a long time trying to recap the various sessions, but you’d get bored with that! Instead, I’ve pulled three things that stuck out to me today.

First, there has been LOTS of talk about social media and what we should be doing with it in our contact centers. Over and over though, I keep hearing one theme – Customers are saying, “give me consistent answers across all channels.” Your phone calls, emails, facebook posts and tweets need to all support the same message. That’s easier said than done given that the channels don’t always belong to the same part of an organization. I don’t have the secret key to this challenge. I’m hearing that it’s something we’ve all got to be aware of and work to figure out for our organizations.

Second, we all have agents in our organizations. Most of us have some type of quality program to help measure the work those agents do. I heard something today that really made me think – “QA is really brand management.” Think about that for a minute. Your QA staff listens to what your company (i.e. your agents) says to your customers hundreds of times a month. How would you change your QA form if you wanted to measure how well your contact center is supporting your company’s brand? That was a paradigm shift for me!

Finally, on the technology front, it’s always interesting to talk about new tools folks are using to improve their contact centers. Here was a bullet that really jumped off a slide at me today: “Proactive outbound calling is the hot new differentiator.” Hmmm…do you offer this to your customers?

If you’d like to see more of what’s happening at the conference, check out the website www.contactcenter2011.com and click on the “Live” box.


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