Jim Close
Jim Close

Member Article

“What’s my line??

Jim Close, CEO of Datapoint, poses the question: contact centres should tear up their scripts to deliver effective customer service?

Contact centres are in the spotlight again as the Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, used his speech to the Policy Exchange last week to argue for the repatriation of overseas call centres to the UK as a valuable means of job creation. Mr Grayling blamed offshoring for poor customer service, stating: “We all know how frustrating it can be speaking to a call centre operator overseas who works from a set script but doesn’t get what your problem is.” This, however, is only half of the picture, and fails to get to the real issue: Technology – Or more appropriately, the frequent lack of it!

After wading through seemingly endless automated options, customers are often left frustrated when the person they speak to doesn’t understand their problem – either because of a language barrier or, even worse, because their query doesn’t neatly fit into the operator’s pre-prepared script. Scripted customer service is dated, inefficient, and generally pretty unsatisfying for the customer. By showing this lack of understanding of what a customer needs, it can give the distinct impression that the company simply doesn’t care about the service it delivers.

This is less of a geographical issue and more one of management and technology. It’s important that contact centres are staffed with knowledgeable, expert advisors, not ‘script jockeys’. No matter its location, the contact centre experience should be as effortless and stress-free as possible for the customer, and there is a raft of new technologies helping to make this a reality. From voice recognition software for performing accurate and secure identification, to contact optimisation tools that enable contact centre managers to accurately plan for peaks and troughs in call volumes, technology is changing customer service for the better.

Contact centres play an increasingly important role in all of our lives but many company bosses seem to view them like black holes into which they begrudgingly release minimal investment. This approach is short-
sighted. A well-optimised contact centre is a real asset, leading to greater customer satisfaction and retention, increased efficiency, and, as a result, differentiating your business and driving growth. Key to this are technologies that allow contact centre managers to construct and control the type of contact centre that best meets their customers’ needs, rather than coercing them into using systems limited by dated technology and that only serve the supplier’s convenience.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jim Close .

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