TMCnews Featured Article
Survey Shows Call Centers Are 'Exiting Survival Mode'
By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet
A recent study from call center management software provider Knowlagent shows that call centers are "exiting survival mode" and are once again looking to make investment in technologies that can help improve the customer experience and boost customer loyalty.
The company's 2010 benchmark study "The Post-Recession Call Center - The Focus, The Spend & The Case for Talent Management," based on a December 2009 survey of more than 100 call centers, measures the impact of the previous 18 months on call center operations. The survey also asked where call centers will focus improvements and investments in the coming year.
The majority of respondents said they had no plans to reduce headcount or slash budgets in 2010. Instead, they plan to do more with what they already have or make additional investments with high discretion, the survey finds.
Those looking to make investments to improve operations are most likely to look at technology, first, followed by process automation and increased training. A little over half of respondents said they plan to increase training and coaching in 2010, while 44 percent said they plan to either increase or maintain the frequency of agent communications.
'The biggest challenge coming out of the gates will be getting a jump on the competition using the same processes and tactics,' said Matt McConnell, Knowlagent CEO, in a release. 'To truly improve performance and better serve customers, you have to strategically manage the people who manage your customers.'
One notable "micro-trend" revealed by the survey is that centers with more than 500 agents largely favor home-based agents and outsourcing. Other tactics covered by the survey include reducing headcount, increasing headcount and increasing self-service.
To access a copy of the survey results, click here.
Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard