Executive Interview : 2015 / 2016 - Interview With Sunil Kappal from R Systems
The year 2015 is quickly coming to a close and we at ContactCenterWorld.com wanted to investigate further into the year that was and peer into the future for what lies ahead in 2016. We spent some time with Sunil Kappal from R Systems to discuss the industry.
In your opinion, what has been the greatest challenge the contact center industry has faced in the last 12 months?
The challenge of becoming a profit center from a cost center.
Why do you believe has this been a challenge?
Lack of vision in terms of augmenting new processes which are more customer centric. Lack of data driven decisions and approach.
In 2016, what do you think will be the top priorities in the contact center industry for each of the following: a) Contact Center Directors b) Company Executives c) IT Directors d) Human Resources Directors
A) Top priority for Contact Center Directors should be to make data driven decisions and steer the company towards its financial goals.
B) Company Executive’s top priority should be growth which can be achieved by injecting technological innovation into the DNA of the organization.
C) IT Directors should act as enablers in terms of integrating technology with the vision and mission of the organization to achieve its financial goals by introducing Big Data driven technology that can act as a tool to harvest data to gain insights and enabling the Contact Center Directors and Senior Leadership to carve out competitive advantage. Another focus area for IT Directors should be cyber security.
D) Human Resource Directors' top priority should be to act as a consumer of data provided by the IT teams in creating processes and procedures reducing staff turnovers and encouraging employee retention and satisfaction.
What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the industry over the next 12 months?
Big Data for sure, it has got something for everyone.
What impact have "external events" even had on your company, and how have you adapted your business?
Competition and ever changing dynamics of the contact center industry has been a major impact and the only answer in my opinion to such a situation is "diversification.” By diversification I mean exploring other avenues within the contact center industry where one can add value by mapping organizations capabilities and offerings with the demand of the industry and designing a "Go To Market Strategy" to reduce if not mitigate the risk of losing a company's grip on its market share.
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.
I think I feel more empowered as a customer and thanks to all the Data Scientists of this world who are integrating data resources from all the nooks and corners of the internet to come up with studies and tests that shows how important a customer is to an organization.
The biggest example is related to a Healthcare contact center where the introduction of Social Channels helped to improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. In the wake of the "Affordable Care Act", a lot of Healthcare Service Providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente resorted to various Social Channels to address their Member grievances and to be on the top of the issues. Their ability to integrate Social Channels into their Member handling DNA system helped these companies to reduce administrative costs by channeling the call flow from their contact centers to the Social Channel resulting in cost reduction and improved profit margins.
How do you intend to improve your contact center in 2016?
I am a great believer of W. Edwards Deming’s quote “In God we trust, rest everyone bring data” and in today’s data driven world we can only experience the bliss of better and improved performance by utilizing the data and devising data driven approaches.
What contact center technology or other innovation excites you the most right now?
HR Analytics, Network Optimization Models and Data Driven Work Force Management techniques.
What has been the most important contact center related conversation topic in 2015 and what are your views on this?
Being a Healthcare Consultant I have heard only one discussion within the contact center world in the entire 2015 is "How to design a meaningful KPI" and one can easily understand having no KPI's is still better than having a KPI with no impact. In my opinion this kind of discussion only surfaces when Senior Leadership relies more on its gut feeling than on the data. Therefore, I believe all the decisions should be made keeping the historic data into consideration.
Can you share a great story of service you received when contacting a contact center in the past year? If so, please share!
I have yet to come across a great service experience. All the call center reps. across the globe sound scared and submissive as they are themselves not sure what or how they have to tackle a tough situation. This also indicates poor training throughout.
What do you think will be the buzz word/focus for the contact center industry this year?
Big Data is here to stay and there will be a lot of discussions around emerging technologies like Speech/Interaction Analytics that are really helping many contact centers in improving their performance by answering a very simple question "what are the topics that are driving repeat calls in my contact center?"
Lastly, what do you think 2016 holds for the industry?
I am a positive soul and I truly believe if the emerging technologies like Speech Analytics, Big Data, Skill Based routing etc. are used to their full potential we really stand a good chance to rock the world with awesomeness. Otherwise this industry will continue to remain a "one trick pony" i.e. "our customers call us and we simply respond!!!"
ContactCenterWorld.com is the Global Association for Contact Center and Customer Engagement Best Practices and is the largest networking group for contact center industry professionals with over 145,000 professional members. Founded in 1999, ContactCenterWorld.com helps members improve service, performance, reduce costs, enhance sales and employee engagement.
About the Top Ranking Performer Awards
The annual Top Ranking Performer Awards was established in 2006 and is regarded by some as the Olympics of the contact center world as companies from all around the world compete for these prestigious awards and recognition. The 2016 awards are open already – details at www.ContactCenterWorld.com/worldawards
About the Top Ranking Performers Conferences
The annual Top Ranking Performer Conference was co-established in 2006 to run alongside the Top Ranking Performer Awards and is the most recommended industry conference in the contact center World. Delegates from all over the world attend and hear best practices shared by those who run centers. 4 events are run annually – one in Asia Pacific, one in Europe and 2 in North America – details at www.ContactCenterWorld.com/conferences
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About R Systems, Inc.:
R Systems, an offshore software development company provides software development outsourcing, Outsourced Product Development, onshore and offshore software product development, offshore software testing services, software IT product development and BPO services operating from more than 10 development centers worldwide.
Published: Wednesday, December 23, 2015