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Multi-media in the Contact Center – Can’t We All Just Get Along?

This post was authored by guest blogger, Arnab Mishra.  Arnab is VP of Products and Solutions at Transera.

In the late 1990’s, customer interactions delivered via non-voice media were all the rage.  Reports touted the death of voice and the rise of email and chat as the preferred methods for customers to interact with businesses.  A decade and a half later, it has become clear that for the foreseeable future media such as email, chat and increasingly SMS and social media are not replacements to the traditional voice call, but instead complements to it.  As a result, the true business challenge is to think about interaction management holistically and not in media-specific silos.  

In speaking with customers, I have observed that the vast majority of enterprises that have deployed multiple media types are operating in a world where these interaction channels are not synchronized.  In most of today’s contact centers, interactions operate in separate silos that require separate interaction routing strategies, separate administration, and in most cases separate agents.  

This inefficient environment is further complicated by the fact that routing and desktop CRM vendors alike have aggressively entered this market.  As a result call centers are being offered certain solutions that are either strong in terms of routing and interaction management strategies but weak when it comes to agent interaction workflows and tools, or vice versa.  

Truly solving the business need in the marketplace requires the fusion of best-in-class routing platforms with best-in-class agent tools.  From a routing perspective, this can only be done by building a routing platform that is open to all media types and easily integrates with agent workflow and desktop tools for both interaction routing as well as administration.

Based on discussions with customers, I believe that vendors in the multi-media space need to stop focusing on grabbing a larger share of customer wallets and invest their time in addressing the true needs of enterprise contact centers.  Towards that end, routing and CRM vendors should no longer view each other as competitors in this market, but rather as partners that contribute valuable and required functionality necessary to provide a robust end-to-end solution.  Transera has delivered such a platform and is deploying it for a large multi-national enterprise in conjunction with leading CRM vendor, RightNow Technologies.

Comments

I could not agree more. In our consulting practice, we perform Call Center Audits as a standard offering. What we find is that our clients have invested money in technology, but they are lagging in terms of process and workflow continuity, particularly across channels. To that end, there is no end-to-end visibility to the customer experience, closing the loop on customer issues, etc.  
 
 
 
Furthermore, there are no clear cut SLAs within the organization when the issue leaves the Contact Center and traverses through the enterprise. What happens? The customer ends up right back in the Contact Center because the issue gets backlogged, and the process has gaps. 
 
 
 
The result is an unhappy customer, and inefficient process, and Contact Center agents who are having to work much harder than they need to to resolve customer issues that should have already been resolved. 
 
 
 
Until companies address these gaps, they can spend all the money they want on technology and on training, but they will still not solve the core issues.
Posted @ Friday, October 15, 2010 5:43 AM by Diane Halliwell
Well, Call centers are really in demand nowadays. Thanks for sharing.
Posted @ Thursday, August 04, 2011 2:55 AM by call centers
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