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the Internet becomes a viable, practical method of transacting
business and exchanging information, savvy organisations will
take advantage of their Call Center resources to extend and
refine customer service. We are in the midst of an astounding
transformation in the way organisations serve their customers.
Every day we have a new breed of Call Centers emerging.
a Call Center in the networked economy calls for the latest
technology to access up-to-date information enabling the company
to establish, build and manage customer services. The most important
challenge is to train the agents to manage customer relationships.
do the customers want? What factors lead to customer loyalty?
What is the organisation doing to integrate e-commerce and Call
Centers? After all 'Call Centers' is the front-end for an e-commerce
today's fast moving world it is easy to lose sight of the most
important ingredient in a Call Centerthe people. Finding
and managing the right people plays a critical role in creating
and implementing a successful customer service strategy. Call
Centers have evolved into the strategic core of the enterprise.
They have to be staffed with agents who can effectively handle
multiple complex transactions and provide unparalleled service.
The success of the Call Center depends on the agents' ability
to communicate effectively via phone, fax, e-mail or real time
chat. All of these require a different set of skills.
Call Centers today face a problem of high labour turnover. The
job of an agent is often viewed as merely an entry level position
that the sooner you get out of there, the quicker you will rise
to be a star somewhere else. This negative perception and lack
of awareness and recognition of the Call Center's value starts
with the senior management. Career pathing and motivation can
be a solution to this problem. It also leads to high performance
levels. Career development programs are often an effective measure
curbing agent attrition. The longer the agents remain in the
Call Center, the better the chances are that they will become
supervisors or managers, meaning that the center will continue
to be run by veterans who truly understand the dynamic environment.
call after call can be very repetitive and often results in
early agent burnout and turnover. The problem is that Call Centers
focus too strongly on call statistics to please the management,
and not enough time on involving agents in projects and decisions,
or on creating career paths.
Call Centres have started to realise the importance of training.
Karrox Technologies Ltd.'s e-Customer Relationship Management
(e-CRM) training is as intensive as its recruitment practices.
The program, which has been designed in association with Algonquin
College of Canada, lasts 6 weeks and consists of classroom and
domain training. The training covers modules like customer care
services, stress management, communication skills, contact center
procedures and telemarketing. The program can be cutomised to
suit the Call Center's specific requirements.
is the process of sales, marketing, service and support within
an organisation with the customer as the focal point. Irrespective
of the medium the customer chooses to interact with the company,
a Call Center will always know who they are, and optimise their
experience with the company. The Call Center is the foundation
for customer interaction and draws all company resources on
the customer. It is the moment of truth for the company.
Call Distribution (ACD)
ACD's job is not just to route calls but also manage the information
associated with the calls. It is that single piece of technology
without which the whole edifice of inbound sales, order taking
and customer service will crumble. It allows you to route calls
intelligently. It ensures that that the human resources in a
Call Center are used effectively. ACD helps skill based routing.
Traditional routing was based on equitable distribution of calls
among the available agents and the random nature of incoming
calls. Skill based routing route calls to the agent who is best
equipped to handle the call.
dialing has automated the outbound call process, with the computer
choosing the person to be called and dialing the number. The
call is only passed to the agent when a live human answers.
Most of the non-productive time in terms of: looking up the
number, dialing the number, listening to the rings or engaged
tone, dealing with an answering machine, etc. is completely
Telephony Integration (CTI)
integrates the computer and telecom systems to bring the customer's
phone call along with the relevant data right to the agent's
Voice Response (IVR)
is a computer system that prompts callers to enter information
either through a telephone keypad or spoken word. The caller
then gets some information back or is prompted to enter something
else by a digitised or recorded voice. The IVR is used as a
front end and together with the ACD it can help routing and
enable more intelligent and informed call processing.
right kind of software ensures that the all information can
be retrieved and updated by the agents. This means that the
customer gets the same service each time he calls, regardless
of the agent he speaks to.
and Scripting software can create scripts for different telemarketing
activities like sales, follow-ups or handling difficult customers.
software combines front-end customer interactions with all the
customer data lurking behind the scenes throughout the company.
For the customer, it means no repetition of information as the
agent has information ready on who the caller is and what dealings
they have had in the past. It results in shorter calls, and
better calls that generate higher revenues.