Nick Applegarth, EMEA Managing Director at Envox says you don’t have to search far to find someone with a beef about contact centres.
“Call waiting times, labyrinthine automated routing systems with no exit and long menus that offer everything but the department you actually want are familiar – and frequently justified – grievances.
When it comes to automated speech there’s the additional gripe that the system doesn’t understand what the caller is trying to say, plus the perception that organisations are cost-cutting at the expense of customer service, or simply being slippery and evasive by replacing live agents with machines (not so much ‘talk to the hand’ as ‘talk to the technology’).
These days there is no excuse for poor call handling. Unlike five years ago, you can no longer point the finger at flaws or limitations in the technology because it’s now robust, effective and very flexible. Today’s speech recognition technology actually does what it says on the tin. If the system’s not working, it’s because it’s out of date, poorly designed, badly managed or all three.
But there are still enough bad examples out there to give all contact centres a bad name. The plus side of this situation is that with a little effort it’s easy to stand head and shoulders above the crowd and delight your customers by answering their calls the way they would like them to be answered.