Ken Reid at Rostrvm Solutions says the consumer has changed and the call centre needs to change to deliver the service the consumer expects.“In a recent, June 2006, study of a typical consumer-to-business call centre undertaken by Rostrvm Solutions we discovered that over 37% of callers used a mobile phone. And over 45% of calls from the call centre were to mobiles.
There is a clear consumer trend towards the ‘intelligent’ telephone, but most of today’s call centres assume that the caller’s telephone is a dumb terminal delivering a speech connection and generating tones to navigate menus. Yet current call centre software makes it straightforward to change call centre practice. For example, at the end of a conversation the call
centre software can automatically send a confirmation email or a text message. If you want to get a quick message to a customer, for example to advise them of a forthcoming delivery, the call centre software can send a text message and customers can send questions by email or text message that are read by software and intelligently routed to the best-qualified call centre agent.
Bringing the consumer’s preferred method of communication into the call centre provides better practice and can reduce costs.Moving forward, as customers adopt Voice over IP on their PC and browsing via the mobile phone we anticipate consumers increasingly using web sites to find the product or service they require. In many circumstances the consumer
will find all the information they need without talking to anyone, but when they do want to speak to someone connecting to the call centre will be a one-click activity. Equally, with the right systems, the call centre agent knows the browsing history and exactly what the consumer is seeking before they answer the call.
The growth of web-based self service means that call centres are changing from dealing with straightforward transactions to an empowered environment with complex interactions. Call centre need instant access to information held in multiple data sources and formats – spoken, web, SMS, email and video.
Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the call centre is that the technology, skills and personal qualities required will be considerably higher than those operating in the traditional, transactional call centre environment.”