Contact centre agents and their customers hate slow, outdated systems. So why do some contact centres insist on keeping them? Flog a dead horse and you get tired and frustrated but there’s still no way that horse is going to move!

Typical horror stories resulting from running bogey systems include massive inbound queues, agents who can’t do what their customers ask (eg: phone them back in response to an inbound conversation or twitter message), low first contact resolution scores and long average handling times. In other words – under-performing businesses which risk ruining their reputation.

This is ironic because many businesses deal with risk themselves, so should know what is at stake if they neglect to act.

Of course, what is happening, is that savvy customers are using channels like Web Chat to get around the poor service they receive if they use ‘traditional’ channels – hence their rise in popularity. But this, in fact, only puts more pressure on contact centres because they must integrate those channels; they have to ensure agents can access them all and the right data – otherwise the customer still gets a bad service.

And when a customer gets bad service they complain – and want to speak to someone on the ‘phone!

So neglect traditional channels at your peril. Most importantly:

  • Don’t run systems into the ground if they’re already creaking.
  • Look for a supplier who is agile and flexible enough to provide systems which are the same!

Technology is there to support, not dictate, how a contact centre works – and it can be functional, fast, scalable, easy-to-use and affordable.

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Tech takeaway: It’s false economy to continue running outdated systems that are slow and increase average handling times.

Next time: 30 years: hosted, on site and in the cloud.