A Growing Market?

By Kevin Fogarty Print this article Print

A look at the changing landscape of call center technology and practices.

Exony is only one of a group of vendors that develop specialized CCPM products. Others include Aim Technology, Aspect Software, Enkata, Merced Systems and Verint Systems. Performance management. Fluss says, relies on specialized data-access and reporting tools from relatively mainstream vendors, such as Business Objects,
SPSS, Cognos and Hyperion.

While the market for CCPM accelerated during 2007, awareness and demand for the whole category of tools still lags behind business-intelligence and reporting tools that more obviously give contact center operators an advantage in dealing with customers, Fluss says.

Good data integration is critical to any contact center, but comes in two distinct flavors, according to Sami Akbay, vice president of product management and marketing at real-time data replication and integration vendor GoldenGate Software, which runs half a dozen contact centers in different parts of the world.

“First it’s important to have 24-hour continuous support, so the ability to pass information from one call center to another is critical,” he says. “Customers want support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but they also want to talk to the same person they talked to last time, who knows their systems and their problem. But if they can’t talk to Joe in one call center, you’d better make sure his twin brother Jim knows what Joe told the customer and how to address the problem.”

The other level of data integration is designed to allow contact center agents to upsell customers based on their past activity. Customers who call a cable company to buy pay-per-view access to a soccer game will be much more likely at that time to buy a subscription to all the games than they would be the next day, Akbay says.

“When I call [the company], I’m engaged and interested. If [company employees] have to wait 24 hours to find out that I might be interested in this other product and they call me, I’ll be doing something else and may not be interested at all,” he says.

“Of the companies we talked to, even those that really hated their vendor said they would never run a contact center again without a CCPM,” Fluss says. “It was a striking finding. It’s still hard to know which indicators to pay attention to; even with CCPM, you have to think through your KPIs. But CCPM makes it a lot easier.”

Respondents to DMG’s survey said the payback time for a CCPM system was generally between six months and 12 months, and that the quantifiable benefits would eventually equal two to three times the original investment.

This article was originally published on 2008-04-10
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