From Contact Center to Engagement Center
The contact center industry has over the past 20 years gone through some significant changes and developments. Many of us have experienced, and been part of, the introduction of new tools, processes, methods and standards that have both responded to changes in customer communication trends and at the same time influenced the entire end-user interaction landscape as well as corporate customer communication strategies globally. We have seen the transition from cost center to profit center, the spread of process optimization, multichannel integration, workforce management applications, quality monitoring tools, industrial improvement methodologies, various performance management frameworks, Six Sigma, Lean, virtual contact centers, COPC, multiple sourcing trends and numerous other developments that have formed the industry into what it is today.
This continuous development and constant improvements have not only contributed to the overall growth of the industry, but it has also elevated customer experience in the value chain; taken its well-deserved place in board rooms, executive meetings and in corporate strategies. This, together with the enhanced management experience, skills, increased complexity of tasks, overall maturity and career opportunities have also changed the general view of the industry. It is not just a job anymore; it is a profession with a very promising outlook. However, despite the past decade´s tremendous progress we are likely to see even more profound and industry defining changes in the years to come. The rapidly changing social and consumer behaviors are modifying service expectations and consequently the requirements on us as an industry, as an outsourcer and as a company.
"The current transition from “contact center” to “engagement center” is challenging in that it requires us to innovate, it requires us to adopt new technology and it requires us to further develop the recruitment, training, coaching and development of our employees."
At the same time, it offers an unprecedented opportunity for us to create the engagement our clients and our clients' customers are looking for. This means engagement driven by the choice of the customer, no matter how and when the customer has chosen to interact with us. This means customer engagement strategies and practices that truly engage the customers in the brand and creates loyalty that will benefit both us and our clients. As the proportion of voice interactions is decreasing, we need to listen to and become part of conversations across social networks as well as traditional communication channels and leverage this when building customer relationships. When looking at management discussions, client conversations and best practice meetings within Transcom, it is evident that we are responding well to the changing needs of this generation's “engagement center”. Below are only a few examples of topics and titles that have recently been presented at conferences, workshops and client meetings held at Transcom:
- Enhancing customer experience by deeper understanding through scientific analytics
- Outstanding Customer Experience Specialists – video interviewing and psychological tests
- The moment of truth – creating Customer Experience through end-user voice analysis
- Customer Experience Management using advanced Six Sigma analytics
- I Transcom Forum Multichannel: Integration strategies for your client
- Smart Digital Ecosystem for Customer Experience Enhancement - a research and innovation program to improve the customer care process
- Training agents in behavioral analysis to improve customer experience
It is events and activities such as the examples mentioned above that support the view that this is really the time for Transcom to shine – as an industry and as a company!