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Survey Shows Regulations Have Negative Impact on Contact Center Industry

October 17, 2007

The contact center industry threw up significant resistance to Do Not Call Registries and other regulations that limit the amount of outbound communications that an organization can facilitate. While many felt that the implementation of these regulations would destroy the industry, others felt the industry would find a way around the obstacle.

According to the findings from the US Contact Center Operational Review 2007, conducted by Altitude Software and ContactBabel, the Do Not Call Registry is having a dramatic impact with more than 40 percent of respondents acknowledging a reduction in their outbound calling. More than half of this number reported big reductions in outbound activities.

The report also highlights lost CRM opportunity as only 26 percent of contact centers surveyed engage in proactive customer service and only 11 percent actively cross-sell or up-sell to existing customers.

There also appears to be a clear technology gap as only 45 percent of contact centers use basic dialers and 55 percent use predictive and progressive dialers, better suited for legislative compliance and for sensitive CRM calls.
”The do not call registry is part of the general social and political drift towards allowing consumers and businesses the right not to be contacted by companies,” said Steve Morrell, principal analyst at ContactBabel, in a company statement.
 
“This underlines the extent to which contact centers are failing to make an intelligent use of the available technology to deliver proactive customer service which can be a strong brand builder as well as an effective call avoidance tactic.”

The contact center can be used to proactively contact affected customers or groups as a form of goodwill. For instance, these contacts can be made when service disruptions are anticipated or when they can pursue customer satisfaction follow-up after service fulfillment. Such an approach can prevent inbound call peaks, allow for better staffing and resource management and increase customer satisfaction.

”It’s not enough to just comply with the letter of the law, you need to mitigate consumer complaints by proactive list management practices,” says Mark Lepko, President, North America, for Altitude Software, in a company statement.

“The ability to automate daily outbound campaign analysis will provide added assurances that newly registered consumers to DNC lists will not be generating complaints to federal and state agencies.”

The U.S. Contact Center Operational Review 2007 is divided into seventeen separate sections each detailing a segment of the call center industry including Speech Technology, CRM, Outsourcing, Salaries and Recruitment, and many other HR, technological and business process areas. The Outbound and Call Blending chapter is available at http://www.altitude.com/ and http://www.contactbabel.com/.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
 
 

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