The term ‘call centre’ is often met with wariness. After all, most consumers today think of call centres as the home of cold calls and pushy telemarketers. Yet, the reality is that many of the United Kingdom’s call centres are instead home to welcoming customer service agents for some of the countries largest brands.
The call centre has changed drastically since its origins in 1960’s Birmingham, at which point they were mundane facilities packed with beige cubicles and a plethora of paperwork. Instead, most call centres now offer an open planned layout and are packed with ever-changing technology.
Exploring the historic and current state of call centres does, however, offer little to business owners. Instead, we must look at what a future call centre will look like and how it will function. Those who do so, will be ahead of the crowd and the demands of future customers.
Whilst it is almost a certainty that call centres will grace the landscape of our cities for decades to come, the individuals who fill the seats within will change. More specifically, modern call centre employees will demand greater mobility as more parents look to work from home and the 24/7 nature of customer service increases.
Dated telephone systems often require somebody to be physically sat at the handset to utilise it properly, especially if it integrates with a CRM of sorts. Therefore, modern telephone systems are now offering more seamless mobility through VoIP technology. Future telephone systems will give greater focus to some of the weaknesses that mobile telephone systems offer, including security vulnerabilities and poor integration with numerous applications.
VMWare is one communication system which is tackling some of these big weaknesses. In fact, when partnered with the correct handset, like those offered by Mitel, they can only help strengthen security but also aids efficiency with server consolidation.
Whichever architecture you select when choosing your businesses telephone system, there is no doubt that it must be one which supports greater mobility. Not only will this be essential to handling the increased demands of customers but also meeting the needs of an ever-changing workforce.
Believe it or not, telephones did not become common sight within call centres until the 1970’s. Since this decade, however, telephones have been at the heart of both B2B and B2C communication.
Today, on the other hand, both video calling and online live chats are chipping away at the telephones dominance. Not only are more consumers online than ever before, but they are demanding a higher level of customer care than ever before too.
Of course, it is the modern computer which enables both of these communication channels to be used within call centres. Therefore, the call centres of the future may not be ‘call centres’ but instead ‘communication centres’ or ‘relationship centres’. Whilst the classic telephone, although more secure, will play a pivotal role in these centres, video calls and online live chat will also play an increasingly prominent role.
There will of course be other channels of communication which your customers adopt. However, ensuring that you have the infrastructure in place to handle these two channels is important now. If you don’t already, then new technologies will need to be introduced and employee training undertaken.
Now that we’ve outlined a couple of changes we expect to see in call centres over the next couple of years, it is time to test whether you’re ready! The team at Opus Telecoms can help you ensure that your telephone system offers both maximum mobility and security. We’ll also be able to work with you in exploring other communication channels and how they can be integrated.