Proving The Payback From Multichannel Virtual Contact Centers

Proving The Payback From Multichannel Virtual Contact Centers

Cray, John

There are many benefits of a true multichannel virtual contact center:

* The ability to have local presence in multiple locations to satisfy language or other geographic needs.

* The ability to minimize costs via a number of methods:

-Reduced staffing costs through use of offshore locations with lower salaries and facilities costs;

-Reduced staffing costs by handling out-of-hours interactions in other locations;

-Minimized telecom charges via business rules that get calls answered locally if skills are available;

-Minimized telecom charges by allowing customers to use lower cost Internet communications globally via e-mail, instant messaging and Web chat; and

-Minimized cost of ownership by centrally managing the entire global, virtual environment from a single desktop.

* The ability to increase customer satisfaction via a number of methods:

-Intelligent virtual routing to select the best qualified, soonest available resource, regardless of location;

-Reduced hold times and abandon rates by distributing interaction load across multiple locations; and

-Promised service commitments by managing service levels universally across the virtual environment.

* The ability to retain agents by allowing them to work at home.

* The ability to provide management visibility and control of the entire global environment from one unified interface.

* The ability to easily support acquisitions of other companies and contact centers through seamless integration into the global, virtual environment.

In order to implement an enterprise-class virtual environment that delivers on these benefits, certain contact center functionality is required:

* A true, unified virtual queuing and routing system that simultaneously queues any customer communication to all skilled agents, regardless of location. Note that this is superior to “look-ahead” routing schemes in that it truly minimizes hold times and maximizes the skills matched to the customer’s needs.

* Complete switch, application and site independence, allowing disparate locations/facilities (such as those acquired from other organizations or departments) to be blended into the seamless global environment.

* Centralized administration and reporting tools with unified views and control of the entire global network.

* An extensible system, easily allowing the addition of users and locations.

* Excellent levels of fault-tolerance and disaster recovery, protecting against component failure, site failure or network failure in a truly automated system.

By John Cray, Vice President, Products, Apropos Technology

Copyright Technology Marketing Corporation Oct 2004

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