Chief Customer & Commercial Officer
Claire is our customer journeys and assisted sales expert, having launched honeybee for Dixons Carphone. Her passion is to help clients define, configure and launch their own unique customer journeys while ensuring the operational success of their new tools. Previously Claire was the Customer and Trading Director at Carphone Warehouse, Innovation & Marketing Director at Kerry Foods and VP of Customer Loyalty at T-Mobile.
The other day, I came across a report albeit not a very recent one (Collapse of the Cost Center: Driving Contact Center Profitability), by International Customer Management Institute, 2015 which points out that over 62% of contact centers were thought to be perceived as a cost center by their organizations.
Way back in the early part of this century Channel 4 News ran a campaign focused on how contact centres were having a detrimental effect on the life of those who worked in them. Shamed as ‘dark satanic mills’ by the Blake-quoting reporters, the contact centres at the time were presented as little more than the modern-day equivalents of the Victorian workhouse.
Some business commentators have recently argued that the traditional contact centre is finished. Robots, voice recognition and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are all creating an environment where customers will no longer need to speak to a human when they need help – the robots will be faster and better.
I beg to differ. The technology is getting better no doubt, but I believe the role of the contact centre agent is becoming more important than ever for brands that want to build a better relationship with their customers. With an increasingly complex customer journey, this ability to empathise and connect is more important than ever.
This whitepaper explores how the roles of contact centres agents has changed over the years from just being cost to sales department to creating profits by being a part of sales process. Contact centres have opportunities to get closer to the customer as the process of handling customer enquiries is becoming more complex.