Transforming the Contact Center


Emerging companies share common customer service profiles regardless of their industry.  Customer service in the early stage of corporate development is either non-existent or is an unorganized hodge podge of resolution processes.  Even well established companies venturing into new businesses, face the startup's unique customer service challenge.  Unlike traditional brick and mortar businesses, where high levels of service are the price to "play the game", quality customer service can still provide a competitive advantage in new markets and many e-businesses.


Most companies are experiencing an increased demand for customer services, through multiple media sources and are finding it necessary to expand their operations in ways never though of before.  How do you take a customer care operation from nothing (or very small) and grow it to meet the needs of your business?  How do you avoid throwaway investments?  How can you have a champagne customer care operation on a beer budget?  Careful planning to capture customer care requirements, utilizing all of the features of the technology you have, and spending your strategic technology investments on the right technology THE FIRST TIME, are the hallmarks of a successful customer care organization.


In today’s world, much of the service provided by a business is accomplished on a web page.  At some point, however, all companies face the need to provide human based service through a contact center.  Companies who are building their customer interaction center from scratch typically go through three distinct phases of development: 

· Basic services

· Traditional call center services

· Enterprise customer service.


Through each of these phases, the "services" to be provided, the quantity and quality of "staff" to provide these services, the "technology" required to deliver these services, and the "processes" used to resolve customer issues develop and change.  It is possible to have a roadmap to ensure investments, both dollar and human resources, at each phase can evolve to support the next phase.  Additionally, at the speed of e-business, these investments must be implemented quickly, thus this roadmap can eliminate missteps that delay the deployment of customer services and smoothly move the operation to a point of excellence.  Quickly moving through the first two phases enables the e-business to focus on those more advanced customer services required to distinguish a company in their niche. 

Customer Service for Emerging Companies


This article originally appeared in Customer Inter@ction Solutions , May 2001 issue pp.  Updated in January 2007 .




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