Some businesses need a contact center overhaul

    Company call centers are designed to handle a large number of customer inquiries, but some are falling short in certain areas.

    Forbes contributor Anthony Leaper recently highlighted the importance of modern call centers when handling customer inquiries. The writer noted that a run-flat tire on his car, which is supposed to last for 50 miles, fell apart after only six. Leaper contacted the company and found that the service was not acceptable and he was told by the customer representative that there was no immediate response available to rectify the situation.


    The writer asserted, however, that the issue with the call was not with the customer rep, but rather the company's overall call center software.


    "The call center software provided [the representative] with only so many options and scenarios - and none of the scenarios seemed to encompass a situation where, because of a worldwide shortage of tires, a costly and luxurious car might be rendered inoperable for several months," Leaper wrote. "[The representative] explored all the options that the systems presented her, but none of the options enabled her to do what she wanted very much to do, which was to make me happy."


    Leaper asserted that there were a number of options available to address his tire situation. For example, the company could have provided spare tires or charge him for new ones. However, this was not the case with the call center, and the customer representative's response because of the software limitations.


    The writer concluded that the employee was exactly who a company wants in a customer representative, but without the right call center tools, her impact will never reach its full potential.


    Call centers also offer important data


    While many companies believe their call centers should be helpful for addressing customer problems, they can serve many other purposes. A recent CIO report revealed that some businesses turn to data mining analytics tools to retrieve valuable consumer information that once went unnoticed.


    The news provider reported that Tony Filippone, HfS Research executive vice president, noted that several trends are driving the call center change, including increased demand from social media and other online outlets.


    "Contact centers already have rich data and basic analytical capabilities. New solutions have to be proven better, otherwise the advanced analytics will be dismissed as too 'fuzzy,'" Flilippone said, according to CIO.



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