Today, consumers utilize various channels as they move through the sales cycle, usually beginning the fact-finding stage on the web. Consequently, a contact center would be wise to have a few agents who can conduct live web chats or at the very least, respond to inbound customer inquiries via email. After a consumer has bought a product or service, they might use the phone to ring and ask a quick question. Natural speech recognition software can make a big impact on the bottom line; indeed, some industry experts claim that 75% of inbound calls can be handled automatically rather than spending precious time and money on live human interaction. The customer database used in a contact centre should retain all records of the consumer's behaviour in order to facilitate sales and service. For example, if a customer wants a software upgrade, the agent handling the transaction should be able to see the full client history and know instantly which version the client currently has and which latest version will be the ideal next step. Contact centers must incorporate a multi-channel CRM system in order to provide a full service experience and reflect modern buying behaviours.
The European Confederation of Contact Centre Organisations (ECCCO) represents contact centre organisations in countries throughout Europe. Each country has one representative. In the UK it is the Call Centre Management Association (CCMA) and in Ireland it is the Call Center Managers Association. Collectively, the entire group supports one another through sharing of best practices and safeguarding their rights to the appropriate legislative bodies.
The Contact Center Management Conference and Expo is typically held in June in the United States of America. This well organized event includes workshops, networking opportunities, seminars, site tours are even available for attendees to see other call centers and apply best practises to their own. It's an ideal event for call centres managers, contact center managers, call center team leaders, telesales experts, up and coming telemarketers, customer service department heads, people working in outbound marketing and new technology such as a virtual call center.
The non-profit Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) represents over 500 member organisations throughout Australia and helps members stay up to date on industry laws and regulations, particularly as the relate to the heated debate surrounding the Do Not Call Register (DNCR) and its impact on national contact centres. They also offer a number of awards, training seminars and educational courses.