Think of these 3 phrases:
• Contact Centre
• Communication Centre
• Call Centre
What images do they conjure up? Rooms full of people in small cubicles chattering away on headsets? 2,000 seat off-shore facilities filled with people reading from call scripts? Or small teams of dedicated individuals dealing with enquiries received across a variety of channels?
Well to be fair you’d be right in all of these cases as fundamentally they mean the same thing - or rather they are variances on a theme. The main differences would be in the type of work and projects they undertake.
The contact management industry includes a vast array of operations of all shapes and sizes serving just about every sector and marketplace you can think of. Some businesses operate in-house contact centre departments whilst others prefer to outsource to experienced professionals.
When outsourcing any contact management operation the question is how do you find the right partner – do you need a call centre, a contact centre or a communication centre?
Well this comes down to a number of factors some of which may include:
•Through which channels do your customers want to talk with you?
It’s important to think of it in these terms rather than through which channels do I want to allow my customers to talk to me. If you’re not engaging with them on their terms you risk alienating a significant portion.
•How many calls/contacts/enquiries do you receive and how long does it take to deal with each of them?
•What experience do you want your customers to have?
For example, a high volume, quick and easy, churn through calls may not be what you want to expose your customers to…
•What level of knowledge and expertise do the enquiry handlers need – about product; service; sales; etc.
All customer contact operations can be successfully outsourced, but your selection of the right partner is crucial. Get it wrong and you may not have too many customers to worry about anyway!