Neal Topf, President of Callzilla, speaks with ContactCenterWorld.com about the outsourcing picture following the change in the Filipino and U.S. elections and what that holds for the industry. Topf also touches on why finding and retaining the right people in your contact center continues to be the industry's greatest challenge in the following interview.
ContactCenterWorld: In your opinion, what has been the greatest challenge the contact center industry has faced in the last 12 months?
Neal Topf: The greatest challenge without a doubt is recruiting, hiring, training and retaining talent across the contact center. Hands down, it's the hardest and most critical challenge we face because it directly impacts customer experience and customer satisfaction.
ContactCenterWorld: Why do you believe has this been a challenge?
Neal Topf: Contact centers do a poor job of creating a career path for our employees. We do a poor job of defining our objectives, explaining why they are important, creating a path to achieve these, and compensating around these objectives to incentivize the right behaviors.
ContactCenterWorld: What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the industry over the next 12 months?
Neal Topf: Automation, Chatbots, self-service, migration to social media from traditional communication channels.
ContactCenterWorld: Do you feel the service you personally get as a customer is better or worse than it was a year ago?
Neal Topf: As mediocre as ever.
ContactCenterWorld: How do you intend to improve your contact center in 2017?
Neal Topf: Better training, better tools to train, better alignment between management and the team around corporate strategy and customer experience/QA.
ContactCenterWorld: What contact center technology or other innovation excites you the most right now?
Neal Topf: Automation and Chatbots.
ContactCenterWorld: What has been the most important contact center related conversation topic in 2016 and what are your views on this?
Neal Topf: Satisfaction. Wow. Delight.
ContactCenterWorld: What advice would you give to other executives in the contact center industry?
Neal Topf: Focus on what can be controlled: customer experience, resolution, satisfaction.
ContactCenterWorld: What do you think will be the buzz word / focus for the contact center industry this year?
Neal Topf: The new FCR - Future Contact Resolution. I coined this term while speaking on a panel about First Contact Resolution.
ContactCenterWorld: Regarding the change in governments in places like the US and the Philippines - do you see this is good or bad for the contact center industry in those countries and why?
Neal Topf: The change in the Philippines government is favorable for contact center work migrating to U.S. near-shore and to the U.S. on-shore.
ContactCenterWorld: Lastly, what do you think 2017 holds for the industry? (Good or bad and where/how etc.)
Neal Topf: Increased complexity with little improvement in resolution, satisfaction, or customer experience. More channels but more distraction and confusion.
Callzilla is an customer experience-focused contact center boasting high quality omni-channel, customer-centric solutions, in both English and Spanish.
Published: Monday, January 30, 2017
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