Contact Centers Emerging from Economic Slump: Report
July 20, 2009
For those companies who have already been dabbling in the contact center industry, the economic outlook is starting to take a turn for the better.
According to new research from contact center integrator ProtoCall One,
contact centers are emerging from the wreckage of the economy and starting to invest in new technology.
ProtoCall One’s survey showed allocated budgets for IT investments in contact centers have largely remained intact as customer service excellence continues to be the key focus of contact center operational strategy. Even companies that struggled the most in the tough economy still understood the importance of treating the customer to high quality service.
Current IT investments for contact centers are focusing on “sweating” the technology already in place. In fact, 64 percent of those surveyed are considering investing to enhance their existing systems in an effort to improve customer acquisition and retention. More than two-thirds of study participants say their main criteria for investing in new technology is to support the customer experience.
Faraz Khan, managing director of ProtoCall One, said: “The survey results paint an interesting picture of the current state of the contact centre industry as the market moves out of the downturn. Contact centers are looking to invest in new technology and IT budgets are available, but any investment needs to marry with existing legacy technology in order to support and improve the customer experience.”
The slump in the economy also affected contact center support. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said their contact center has recently lost IT support staff. Another 21 percent reported IT support has been outsourced.
“With many contact centers losing or outsourcing IT support, it's getting harder for contact centre managers to be able to implement IT projects that are not supporting 'business as usual' activities,” added Khan.
ProtoCall One officials say they have taken a proactive approach to the current recession, offering contact centers
methods for reducing spend in order to weather the economic storm. The company was also recently honored
as the “Best Innovation Partner for 2008 – U.K. and Ireland.”
This latest study out of ProtoCall One certainly highlights hope for the contact center industry, demonstrating that there is peace after the storm. Not all areas will fair as well or recover as rapidly, but a focused strategy will make the emergence from the wreckage that much smoother for the organization.
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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Erin Harrison