This is the beginning of the end for the contact centre. For half a century now companies have used contact centres when they had more customer calls or IT helpdesk queries than they could handle, or when they wanted to outsource customer service or technical support to a specialist, leaving them free to focus on their core business.
It was a simple model and it worked, after a fashion, but there are now changes afoot that will soon consign the notion of contact centre service to the history of business, alongside the typing pool, the fax machine and the final salary pension.
A handful of outsourced business process providers are transforming this sector through the introduction of business process improvement (BPI). Where the traditional contact centre provided a simple service, they now offer a partnership that adds value.
The value is genuine. There are significant outcomes for clients who are enjoying cost reductions and revenue gains that in many cases run into the millions. So, what is this BPI and how do we achieve it?
Business process improvement
Before work begins on any campaign the BPI function analyses existing client processes and identifies opportunities for improvement in the quality or quantity of output. It then creates training aids to close any gaps in skill levels, implements any necessary technology enhancements, and then maps out the processes needed to achieve desired outcomes.
It is generating remarkable returns not only for clients but also for the outsourcers in the form of agent retention, client retention and acquisition, cost reduction and revenue generation.
Quite simply, more and more companies are discovering that it is not enough to transfer your processes to a contact centre supplier. The contact centres of tomorrow will need a detailed understanding of their clients’ businesses and have the capability to drive innovation and transform those processes for the better. They will not only execute the existing work procedures but they also bring added value, through the implementation of BPI.
It is good for outsourcers and good for their clients but it is the death knell for the simple contact centre.