Waaay Beyond the Call

IT’S BEEN YEARS since your call center morphed from a simple phone-based organization into a multichannel, multimedia, multitasking behemoth. And you’re still being asked to, in that dreadful phrase, “drive new revenue”! What’s a contact center manager to do?

We would have asked for advice from the contact center execs we know, if they hadn’t all been made redundant or moved to India (just kidding). Seriously, the best revenue-generating tips we’ve come across recently are the following, from Forrester Research Inc.: (1) Invest in areas that provide a strong ROI. Your goal should be to install applications that improve efficiency while cutting costs. (2) Ship non-critical activities offshore. Try what’s known as “best-channel sourcing,” or finding the best location for agents based on what customers want and how complex the transaction is. (3) Invest in agents. Enough said. (4) Integrate with business units. Don’t stay mired in the IT department. (5) Bump up support for remote agents. An IP network enables you to use home-based agents instead of offshore labor. (6) Ditch IVR and install speech self-service. VoiceXML and SALT speech applications are becoming more affordable.