Outbound Call Center Featured Article

Research Shows Telecom Equipment Plays a Key Role in Success of Contact Center

August 11, 2008

There are many things that a contact center manager will rely on to drive performance and success within the center. Software-based solutions will be implemented to streamline operations; skills-based recruiting will be implemented to attract the right candidates; and KPIs will be established to measure performance and identify areas for improvement.

While many of these things will go a long way in contributing to the success of the contact center, research has shown that relying on outdated telecom equipment can have the opposite effect.

Coleman Parks completed research on behalf of NB Data and found that 56 percent of U.K. businesses are using telecom equipment that is more than three years old. In terms of technology, three years is more than a lifetime and this creates an environment where agents cannot use video conferencing and they are tied to a desk.  

Another 64 percent of respondents believed that using a cordless handset would increase productivity levels. The results of the study indicated that increased freedom of movement would allow users to be more flexible and efficient as they could answer calls no matter where they were.

While this may be true, the contact center agent relies on their desktop applications to support customers on the phone and such flexibility may or may not contribute to increased productivity. On the other had, basic information calls routed to specifically trained agent could prove to be those where flexibility is allowed.

The lack of video conferencing capabilities contributes significantly to the contact centers ability to train and coach agents efficiently. The study found that the lack of such equipment had a negative effect on productivity.

Gary Basso, director at NB Data, said in a company statement: “As businesses continue to weather the current financial storm, UK companies cannot allow for poor equipment to hamper sales efforts and customer service. It is critical that organizations use resources that will get the most out of their staff.”

Companies throughout the world rely on their contact centers to support the customer base and empower the business to continue to grow. Without the proper equipment and applications in place, the center may deliver less than satisfactory performance, which can put the company at risk of creating customer churn.

While there is no one rule that applies in all contact centers, it is safe to say that outdated equipment can lead to reductions in productivity, which can drive up the costs of operation. Given that the contact center can easily be the main source of capital drain on a company, the investment in solutions that drive cost efficiency are worth consideration.
 
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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan�s articles, please visit her columnist page.

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