Contact Center Transformation Featured Article
The Three Steps to Contact Center Transformation
March 15, 2013
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
Many contact centers fight the good fight: keeping customer satisfaction high while trying to put out fires in the contact center – you know the kind: shrinking budgets, high turnover, training, schedules out of alignment. While this piecemeal approach may help keep the worst at bay, this reactive approach isn’t very good for ensuring that customer relationships are handled in an ideal manner and that the outcome is always the best possible one.
This ideal approach is the result of something called “contact center transformation,” an across-the-board restructuring of the way the call center carries on operations, essentially “curing” all its previous ills in one initiative.
According to West Interactive (News - Alert), there are three steps to contact center transformation (though notice I didn’t say “simple” steps). These steps are proactive engagement, intelligent self-service and first-call resolution.
Proactive engagement. This steps starts with capturing critical data about customers and how they prefer to interact with your company, writes West’s Brian Cooper. Next, this important information can be integrated with other systems that would be bolstered with the intelligence – think CRM systems, your marketing databases, and other systems of record that you leverage to track, monitor and improve operations. By understanding the best way to reach out to customers, you can build a more proactive relationship that provides customers with what they want, yet at the same time you can avoid annoying them. This step may include finding compelling ways to induce customers to opting into proactive, outbound notifications in their preferences.
Intelligent self-service. Self-service isn’t just to provide customers with information in an automated way. It’s also a great way to collect pertinent intelligence about them and their preferences. When a customer engages with an IVR, visits a spot on your Web site or uses a mobile app, he or she is providing data that will help you build a better customer relationship for that individual.
First-call resolution. The most critical step in call center transformation – and the first two steps have led to this point – is first-call resolution. Nothing hurts a customer relationship faster than an inefficient interaction with multiple transfers, conflicting information, waiting on hold and receiving wrong or unhelpful answers.
“Measuring and effectively managing FCR has been a challenge in contact center operations for many years,” writes Cooper. “As customers become less and less tolerant of poor customer service and switching products and service providers has become easier and easier, it’s critical to ensure that proper focus and investment are placed in resolving the FCR issue.”
Many of today’s contact center solutions offer an array of tools to boost first-call resolution. West Interactive offers a series of tools that can help contact centers collect the type of intelligence required to begin contact center transformation. But the company’s real talent is in helping clients use these tools to build the type of contact center most companies can just dream of: highly efficient contact centers that gather intelligence to make the best possible decisions about how to route, handle and answer customers to effect both first-call resolution and, ultimately, a complete transformation of the contact center operations.
Edited by Rich Steeves
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