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The way that businesses interact with customers is changing. An increasingly sophisticated array of tools, systems and processes now define customer relationship management for large organizations across the world. While the expectations of high standards and good service increase at the customer end, there is also a burgeoning need from business to yield better information from customer transactions and engagement.
For organizations relying heavily on call center environments, these two trends can often create pressure points in the customer relationship. Customers expect seamless, informed interactions with call center operatives, while call center professionals endeavor to provide timely and accurate information to meet customer requests.
The Portrait Customer Insight Research 2010 highlights key trends in call center-driven customer relationships that can help to inform future call center strategy and also define the wider issue of the business-customer relationship. While an encouraging number of businesses rely on real-time ‘decisioning’ (RTD) to create value in customer engagement, many sophisticated call centers fail to do so. Moreover, existing systems and processes surrounding call center integration, customer brand building and customer insight are identified as important issues, many of which are cited as in need of improvement over the next 12 months.
The research shows call center strategists describing a high level of efficiency in the call center environment, but also recognition that the customer world is changing, with the need for strategy to change alongside it. Customers may not expect to be sold to, but they expect to be understood and for their needs to be met at all times. For progressive organizations this represents an opportunity to build loyalty and revenues at all levels of customer engagement. However, the research shows that realizing this opportunity and creating customer ‘excellence’ is still some way in the distance for most businesses.