It’s time, once again, to recap some of the top stories from this week on the Outbound Call Center Community. There’s no debating the dynamic and forward-looking nature of the call center industry, and the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season has undoubtedly reminded businesses of the importance of such continued growth and adaptability.
Looking to stay ahead, Aspect (News - Alert) Software, a provider of customer interaction management and workforce optimization solutions, has signed a new partnership agreement with Moxie Software, a provider of customer knowledge management and collaboration solutions. Under the agreement, Aspect will merge its contact center solutions with Moxie’s digital customer communication and knowledgebase applications.
"As more and more people move to Web and text-based channels other than voice for service, we want to make sure we provide our enterprise customers with the tools they need to deliver differentiated customer experiences. Moxie's chat and knowledge base applications will help us meet and exceed the demanding requirements of our customers," said John Amein, vice president of product management at Aspect.
Of course, companies must be prepared to deliver high-quality customer service all year round. A study released by Arizona State University and Customer Care Measurement and Consulting (CCMC) reveals that U.S consumers are more dissatisfied than ever with both the products and services they purchase. Insofar as customer service for these products is concerned, 56 percent of respondents report getting “absolutely nothing” after filing a complaint – 9-percent more than in 2011. The report notes that this breeds even more resentment in customers, on top of their already jaded attitudes.
“The moral of the story: Don’t invest in improving your customer service unless you’re going to do it right,” said Mary Jo Bitner, executive director of the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University. “If a company handles your complaint well, then you typically become a more loyal customer. However, if they don’t, then you become 12 percentage points less brand loyal than if you never complained at all.”
In just such an effort to do customer service right, CRMnext next released new advanced customer telephony integration (CTI (News - Alert)) for its cloud customer relationship management (CRM) solution. Offering integrated reporting, easy escalations and context sensitive screen popping, the CTI integration will serve to optimize users automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR) and outbound predictive dialing systems.
“Having the advanced CTI integration functionality will ensure that representatives are under less pressure, since a holistic view of all relevant information is readily available,” said Dr Manoj Kumar, product architect CRMnext.
Such representatives may find themselves working from home sooner than later, at least those working in the United State, says a new Ovum report released this week. According to the report, the number of home-based contact center agents in the U.S. will rise next year, accelerating the already brisk growth rate of at-home agents. Ovum (News - Alert) points to the flat growth in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry as a major driver of such a trend.
“In 2014, the tight margins related to the provision of traditional front-office services will be the most frustrating aspect of doing business in the contact center outsourcing space,” said Peter Ryan, Ovum’s Principal Analyst, Global IT Services. “Ovum recommends that enterprises should seek vendors that offer a mix of delivery models and have strategic capabilities in place. Vendors, on the other hand, need to invest in talent and technology, and determine the optimal mix of delivery models to stay ahead.”
Be sure to keep tabs on these and other developments in the industry by visiting the Outbound Call Center community daily. And, of course, check back in every weekend for our Week in Review!