Contact centers face a number of challenges beyond simply answering customer calls. Among them are improving customer satisfaction, increasing the number of calls resolved at the first attempt and ensuring agents comply with regulations. But chief among these, my research into contact center analytics shows, is the mandate to reduce the average length of time it takes to complete calls.
One of the problems in the contact center and IT worlds is that terms mean different things to different people. Take “contact center” for example. The meaning was clear when it was just the call center because people knew it was a place that centralized the handling of customer phone calls. It became the virtual call center when calls were distributed over multiple sites. Then it became the contact center because some companies started to ask agents (a term that is interchanged with customer service representative, customer service agent and the like) to handle forms of interaction other than calls – e-mail, letters, chat and others. Now “center” has lost relevance as interactions are handled by the “best” person in an organization, whether in a formal center or working at home; indeed the agent may be in-company or working for a third party that provides outsourced interaction-handling services. This situation makes the term “contact center analytics” imprecise because what is really required is interaction-handling analytics.
A few weeks back I wrote about how NICE Systems was venturing into the back office and my surprise that the core smart desktop product it had acquired with eglue, while a key part of this initiative, seemed to have disappeared as a stand-alone offering. Since then NICE has corrected my impression, pointing out that the product is still available in pretty much the same form as always. The problem is that you have to look hard to find it because it has been renamed Real-Time Process Optimization. If you follow this link, you won’t see confirmation that this really is the eglue product, but I assure you it is.