April 27, 2017
The qualities of the best contact center consultants are directly tied into the qualities of the contact center itself, and at its core, a contact/call center is a simple thing. It’s a representative of the company answering questions, booking meetings, and generally being as helpful to the customer as possible. The problem is the scale.
Often, contact/call centers are expected to field thousands of calls a day and provide a consistent and exceptional level of customer service to every customer with no noticeable delay. That’s a tough challenge for any organization, and while there are many ways to get the job done, there are always improvements to be made.
For these reasons, many companies reach out to a contact/call center consultant to provide an outside set of eyes to locate inefficiencies, revise strategies, and enact solutions, but it’s difficult to deduce which consultants are the right fit for your organization and which are not.
Though on the surface they may appear similar, not all consultants are the same.
The Best Contact/Call Center Consultants Will…
Have a Mix of Technical and Business Process Experience
The contact/call center operation is a blend of business processes and technology, and the latter should not be ignored. Without a properly deployed VoIP, PBX, or call hosting system in your environment, the contact/call center will be completely unable to field any calls at all.
Yet, the business processes often make the difference between the effective use of this technology and a disorganized customer experience. These two facets of the contact/call center are inexorably linked, and any consultant hired to assist with your contact/call center must have the experience to reflect both of these facets.
If they lack experience with business processes, they may be unable to recognize which technologies or strategies would fit best with your unique needs. Furthermore, they may have tunnel-vision as to what technologies should be used where. The new hot technology on the market may have exceptional capabilities, but they may be capabilities your company doesn’t need.
Alternatively, if the company lacks the technical expertise, you have closed the door to an entire industry of solutions and developers whom might have the applications that solves all your problems. Do not misunderstand. Strategies dealing with the human element of the contact/call center and the customer journey can offer outstanding benefits to a contact/call center and a business at large. However, automation, intelligent routing, whisper-calls, call back features, analytics, and reporting can drastically increase the efficiency of the operation and enable fewer agents to field more calls in less time.
Omnichannel and the Need for Technology
The need for technology in the contact/call center does not end with tools for efficiency. Technology has become fully intertwined with our daily lives, and this has affected the way in which we perceive the customer-company relationship and elevated our expectations of what is considered “good service.” In decades past, a good customer experience may consist of a friendly staff, fair prices, and perhaps a discount to smooth over a customer complaint. That is the bare minimum of what a company must do in “The Age of the Customer.”
Today, a company must be able to communicate with customers across a wide range of channels. Chat, voice, video, email, webforms, Twitter, Facebook, and on and on it goes. Plus, the company must be able to access information from each of these channels at any time while connecting with a customer in any other channel. An email conversation must blend fully into the subsequent phone conversation, and vice versa. It should feel like one ongoing dialogue across multiple mediums.
Omnichannel can only be achieved through technology, and the best contact center consultants recognize this fact and prepare their clients for it.
It’s About Vision
The best contact/call center consultants have vision. They can accurately analyze the operation they see in front of them, account for any unique challenges and variables, and respond with a strategy that accounts for technology and business processes while factoring in the industry trends and shifts in consumer culture. It requires a diverse set of skills, and while most consultants will be helpful to your environment, the best contact center consultants will truly transform your business.
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Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.