Will Technology Kill the Call Center? (Video)

How Technology is Changing the Call Center
Software Advice recently hosted a Google Plus debate called “Will Technology Kill the Call Center?” Representatives from IntelliResponse, Avaya Inc., Drumbi, and Etech Global Services got together to talk about how technology is changing the way customers get in touch with company call centers.  Each of the panelists was asked the following four questions:

  • How have you seen consumer contact channel utilization change in the last decade?
  • What role has technology played in this change?
  • How might technology impact the way customers contact a company in the future, and the kind of service they receive?
  • Will technology eventually render call centers irrelevant?

Click below to watch the entire video debate:

All of the panelists agreed that the growth of contact channels is one of the biggest ways call centers are changing.  For example, customers now have many different options to get in touch with companies outside of voice communication, such as self service, live chat, and virtual agent support.  This is in large part due to the fact that consumers demand instant gratification, and contact centres must meet those expectations.

However, voice is not going away entirely.  As Laura Bassett, the director of customer experience management at Avaya, puts it, “once a customer gets to voice contact, they are at a crucial juncture in the interaction.  The company needs to be much smarter when they get there.”

Therefore, it no longer makes sense for companies to put the lowest cost, lowest skilled people at the front lines of customer service, as was frequently the case in many traditional call centres.  Rather, a company’s very best, most knowledgeable individuals should be available to provide the high levels of service that customers are demanding.

If the customer service function is outsourced, it should be to an outsourced call center that focuses on providing high quality service rather than the lowest possible cost.

If you have any thoughts to share, feel free to leave a comment on the Software Advice blog at Google+ Debate Results: Will Technology Kill the Call Center?

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  • http://twitter.com/PrimOutsourcing PrimeOutsourcing

    I agreed that technology will change the current status of call centers today but it still different if there is someone that will assist you via phone because instructions are more easy to understand, personal and not time consuming to get the information you need. Rate is still the biggest deal in outsourcing. Companies/Clients outsource to those companies that offers lowest cost even if it didn’t give much skilled people. I suggest, quality over quantity. It’s better to invest and spend money for quality than spending it just for quantity.