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Executive Interview : 2015 / 2016 - Interview With Kimberley O'Brien From Aledium Call Center HR Services
With 2015 coming to an end shortly, ContactCenterWorld.com reached out to some of its members for their thoughts on the year that was and asked them about what they think will be the keys to a successful 2016.
In your opinion, what has been the greatest challenge the contact center industry has faced in the last 12 months?
No different than previous years, the ability to attract and retain employees. The complexity of the agent's job has increased due to advances in technologies ability to handle basic customer interactions, but contact centers continue to need people to drive the increased pressure put on companies in delivering the customer experience.
Why do you believe has this been a challenge?
Contact Centers are typically entry level pay, high pressure (dependent on industry) type positions. With the increased flow of contact centers back to the United States from offshore, has only increased this challenge. The demise of the live agent continues to be overly exaggerated.
In 2016, what do you think will be the top priorities in the contact center industry for each of the following (1 answer for each please): a) Contact Center Directors b) Company Executives c) IT Directors d) Human Resources Directors?
A) Contact Center Directors - Balancing the needs of the overall company, with the expectation of delivering on the customer experience.
B) Company Executives - Further understanding how to utilize their contact center as a customer experience driver and not inhibitor.
C) IT Directors - Recommending and delivering on IT solutions that enhance the customer experience, while providing additional preferred customer touch points.
D) Human Resources Directors - Keeping ahead of the talent curve. Building relationships with the Contact Center team to better understand needs, requirements, and issues surrounding hiring and retention.
What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the industry over the next 12 months?
Continued transition to SaaS Cloud Technology and Omni-channel, with further advances in automated virtual customer self-service options and touch points.
What impact have "external events" even had on your company, and how have you adapted your business?
With labor costs any where from 60%-70% of a contact center's budget, increases the pressure on us to deliver our programs and services. We've adapted by further defining and expanding our business model to insure we offer our clients a fully integrated contact center human capital solution.
Do you feel the service you personally get as a customer is better or worse than it was a year ago? Please share some examples to illustrate your view.
About the same. I personally have always felt it's dependent on the industry and reputation of the company. I'm pleasantly surprised when I get great customer service from my mobile phone provider, and I always receive great customer service any time I call Southwest Airlines. Bottom-line, a lot of companies talk delivering a great customer experience, few are up to the challenge.
What contact center technology or other innovation excites you the most right now?
We work with a company that provides adaptive-understanding technology, virtual assistant and speech and language solutions that I feel really enhance the customer experience by dramatically improving the customers ability to access information or questions through their own preferred channel of communication.
What has been the most important contact center related conversation topic in 2015 (this year) and what are your views on this?
The movement of the contact center to a customer engagement center. Maybe its just a new term, but regardless of what it's called, how can a company transform it's contact center organization to better deliver on the customer experience from a people, process and technology standpoint?
What do you think will be the buzz word / focus for the contact center industry this year?
As previously mentioned, continued progress to a true customer engagement center. What can be done on the people, process, and technology side that truly differentiates a company in how they provide the overall customer experience?
Lastly, what do you think 2016 holds for the industry?
Continued growth and pressure on delivering exceptional customer service. A real need for experienced contact center supervisors, managers, and executives who are leaders and not just facilitators. And as always, the white elephant the room, how to attract and retain an agent workforce in such a competitive employment environment?
Today's Tip of the Day - Workforce Management Strategy
About Aledium Call Center HR Services:
Aledium specializes in customized call center recruiting solutions. Our Call Center Response and Call Center Talent programs and services deliver results at all levels in a call center organization. The core principles of Aledium were first founded in 2006. Over the past 10 years, Aledium has evolved into a specialized single-source call center human capital and talent management solutions company. "We truly are the only company in the industry that provides comprehensive, targeted, programs and services that are fully guaranteed to lower your call center's overall human capital and talent management costs." With 60% or more of a typical call center's budget allocated to staffing and recruiting costs, you need alternative/proven methodologies to maximize your investment in people; without sacrificing quality and the customer experience.
Published: Monday, December 7, 2015