What is a Contact Center?
What It Is
A contact center is a central point in an organization where your customer contact channels, such as telephone, email, text, chat, fax, Text Telephones (TTY), web or mail, are managed. For telephone activities, a contact center can handle in–bound only calls, out–bound only calls, or both, depending on business requirements. Contact centers can be any size, from just a few workstations to more than a thousand, and can be located in single or multiple sites.
Why It's Important
Contact centers are the most common medium for two–way communications between customers and organizations. They:
- support your corporate strategy;
- influence overall customer satisfaction;
- allow customers to inquire about your products and services;
- provide insight on new requirements or business opportunities;
- gauge customer satisfaction; and
- provide a focal point for customer input, giving you clear information on where you need to improve.
Four major contact center components:
- Network Access enables customers to contact you and includes telephone network circuits, Internet connections, toll–free, and long–distance services.
Contact Center Facilities can either be physical (one location that houses all your technology, workstations and staff) or virtual (customer service personnel who work in several small centers, or from their homes). It’s a good idea to have facilities in different locations to handle overflow, longer operating hours, or provide emergency backup.
Telephone, Computer Hardware and Software respond to incoming contacts, route them to the right resources to handle them at the right time, and collect, store, and disseminate information as necessary. These systems also provide recorded messages, perform recording and monitoring functions, and produce vital reports to enable the oversight and management of the contact center. Depending on implementation, these systems may reside inside the contact center facility (physical) or outside of the contact center facility (virtual).
- Customer Service and Support Staff are needed to sustain operation of the contact center. The majority of contact center operating costs will reside in employing customer service representatives/agents, supervisors, quality monitors, site managers, trainers, technical specialists, security personnel, and human resource personnel.