Executive Interview : Art Hall From Alvarez & Marsal On The Past Year And What To Expect In 2017
Art Hall, a Senior Director with Alvarez & Marsal in the United States, has a common contact center industry problem on his mind as 2017 unveils itself: How to balance costs with results. He explains more in the following interview with ContactCenterWorld.com
ContactCenterWorld: In your opinion, what has been the greatest challenge the contact center industry has faced in the last 12 months?
Art Hall: Balancing costs with meeting/exceeding service delivery expectations.
ContactCenterWorld: Why do you believe has this been a challenge?
Art Hall: Looking at this problem from a macro-level, companies are being pressured to deliver more shareholder value, particularly public companies. The pressure being placed on companies from activist investors is real. Therefore, companies are being forced to examine their cost structure proactively to ward off potential interest from activist investors to ensure the right cost structure is in place. All departments and lines of business are not exempt from this; sales, general and administration (SG&A) cost examination, including contact center organizations.
ContactCenterWorld: In 2017, 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
Art Hall: a) Contact Center Directors - doing more with less.
b) Company Executives - doing more with less.
c) IT Directors - serving the contact center organization as a customer helping them with an IT roadmap for future contact center investments; paying off all "IT debt."
d) Human Resources Directors - talent management and career pathing.
ContactCenterWorld: What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the industry over the next 12 months?
Art Hall: Investing in application infrastructure and middleware applications e.g. Mashery (Tibco) or Layer 7 (CA Technologies) will help link or unify disparate systems to enable contact centers to present a 360 degree view of the customer to agents and blended channels to customers.
ContactCenterWorld: Do you feel the service you personally get as a customer is better or worse than it was a year ago?
Art Hall: As a customer I believe the experience is the same. It all boils down to people and training.
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ContactCenterWorld: What contact center technology or other innovation excites you the most right now?
Art Hall: Potentially Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics Process Automation (RPA).
ContactCenterWorld: What has been the most important contact center related conversation topic in 2016 and what are your views on this?
Art Hall: Cost takeout and unit benchmarking.
ContactCenterWorld: What do you think will be the buzz word / focus for the contact center industry this year?
Art Hall: Omnichannel and I am sick of it! LOL...sorry...omnichannel and digital.
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About Alvarez & Marsal:
When Tony Alvarez and Bryan Marsal joined forces in 1983, it was with the intent of seamlessly linking operations, performance improvement and value creation to best help companies turn areas of stagnation into growth to achieve sustainable results. This ethos remains at the core of our firm. We are the consulting firm known for asking tough questions, listening well, digging in and getting our hands dirty. We are fact-driven and action-oriented. We move our clients forward, to where they need to be. We are A&M.
Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2017
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