Puneet Jetli, president and Co-CEO of the wonderfully-named company Happiest Minds, recently shared some thoughts around the subject of customer expectations and entrepreneurs.
Specifically, as he put it, “customer expectations are changing,” and entrepreneurs need to catch up. This isn’t a new message, but Jetli has some valuable insights to add to the ongoing discussion.
Disruptive technologies, as he says are always good opportunities for the industry. And whereas grizzled old-timers still sit around campfires at night talking about the Internet revolution in the late 1990s, Jetli sees a new wave around what he calls the "consumerization of IT.”
Recently officials of Spectrum Corporation featured their call/contact center monitoring software aids in Contact Center Activity Monitoring (CCAM), a subset of Unified Contact Center Reporting (UCCR).
“CCAM,” company officials explained, “is the process of collecting data from the call center applications. The challenge for many contact centers is not the data that is generated but getting access to the data and being able to do something with it.”
Sure -- after all, generating data is useless unless you’re accessing all your data and you know what to do with it once you do. Of course that’s where the challenge comes in -- few companies have that completely mastered.
Spectrum officials explain how their process uses different methods to extract data from siloed systems and warehouses. There are many benefits to this, primary amongst them the fact that it allows users to monitor many call center applications and extract data from these siloed systems. Custom built applications and spreadsheets can be monitored and data extracted so unique data can be used, and investments made in custom built applications are not lost.
According to a news article, in the Rochester, New York Democrat-Chronicle, the popular notion of call center jobs always going to places like India or The Philippines isn’t telling the whole story.
In 2012, the Democrat-Chronicle reports, “DialAmerica plans to move to larger space on Brighton-Henrietta Townline Road and add to its staff by as much as 40 percent.” Verizon Wireless' Henrietta call center employs about 1,200 people, up from 900 five years ago and 100 in 2000, the article points out, adding that “Pioneer Credit Recovery employs some 1,000 at its Wyoming County operations in Perry and Arcade, about double what it did a decade ago.”
Part of the repatriation is due to local government giving tax breaks to business process outsourcing companies to relocate to their areas. Part of it is due to companies deciding to give genuine American English-speaking customer assistance to customers tired of trying to decipher thick foreign accents. And part of it is simply the expansion of the call center industry.
The Democrat-Chronicle reports that “between 4 percent and 5 percent of the workforce in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut works in call centers,” citing industry research firm Contact Babel's 2011 U.S. Contact Center Decision-Makers' Guide.
Amdocs, a telecommunications provider, recently noted in a blog entry by Naomi Weiser recently noted that two shoppers recently bought $100,000-plus Ferrari and “a new home via eBay subsidiary PayPal’s mobile app on Cyber Monday.”
Don’t try this at home with Mommy and Daddy’s smartphone, kids.
Most of us use smartphones to purchase more, uh, modest items. Songs on iTunes, for example. But we’re heading towards big ticket territory, Weiser writes, noting recent findings from data research and analysis firm comScore show that in September two-thirds of all smartphone owners made more substantial purchases on their phones.
British retailers Argos, ASOS and Debenhams are trying to find ways to sell their products through mobile apps. American retailers like Toys R Us, JC Penney, Lowes, and Best Buy are testing such approaches as giving store reps mobile phones to help shoppers instantly compare prices and match them when necessary, Weiser says.