Your primary reason for setting up a contact center is to provide a conduit for you to have more personal contact with your customers. An expected service from your customers in the whole spectrum of industries; whichever you may belong to.

The beauty of it is your customers can request and receive service at the touch of a keypad from any phone. The benefits for yourself are you get to collect data and immediate feedback from your end users and in the process, acquire a higher number of customers.

The horrific and beastly side of the contact center is that it may prove to be a risk where you are opening yourself to the possibility of losing thousands of customers EVERYDAY!

The horror stories of contact centers are well documented and rampant in a multitude of mediums. For every good story you hear about a contact center, you hear a hundred horrible ones. Stories of state-of-the-art multi-million dollar IVR system keeping customers in queue for an eternity; then taking customers round the mill, spending tens of minutes riding the ferris wheel of the IVR menu. Subsequently, the customer is put on hold where the hold music’s much louder and more irritating than your prime time TV commercials.

Inadvertently, the focus to correct this issue is naturally to look at technology to deploy a technical solution. Intuitive voice recognition software that allow customers to bypass the keypad menu, on hold content that is personalized to the customer and of course if needed, on hold music that’s relevant and set at a pleasant volume.

Ironically, even with all the corrections in place your customer numbers don’t increase. Marketing’s latest CSS results indicate there is displeasure still among the masses of customers. Panic stricken, you dive into all the data generated from your ACD. How many calls were taken? What day/hour/minute/second? How long are customers put on hold? What was individual agent performance? All the data seem sound and targets are met. Technology is no longer an issue. Time to look at the other dimension of a contact center that may turn your contact center from beauty to beast… the PEOPLE. Specifically, analyzing quality of service that is being provided by your agents.

Hence, the emergence of focus into the most important area of measure of quality for any successful contact center, Customer Experience Quality.

This is a two-part article. Kindly view part two for the conclusion.

IVR – Interactive Voice Recording
CSS – Customer Satisfaction Survey
ACD – All Calls Distribution

Ken Ng
CEO/Senior Managing Consultant