Saw a tweet from Mila D’Antonio of 1:1 Media that said a recent report from Frost and Sullivan written by Keith Dawson says most contact centers are not planning to drop headcount this year.
That’s good to hear.
Yeah, sure, we’re in a recession and of course companies are finally getting it when it comes to the importance of retention, customer satisfaction, etc. That’s the obvious positive implied here.
But I think we can all remember all too well how in the last downturn less than a decade ago – the very fast and (in some cases) disastrous move towards call center outsourcing. Satisfaction levels dropped along with the costs.
I haven’t read this report, but I expect that people are simply understanding that call centers are cost centers. As much as CRM and other technologies made big promises to turn call centers into profit centers – that is simply not the case. (Now, can you leverage your existing call center infrastructure to create and enable sales outreach – of course. But your support reps should primarily be doing just that.)
As an analyst, I was long predicting that VoIP, Asterisk, SaaS and other low-cost infrastructure and application options would signal a new era of call center growth. But the first part has to be the continued dedication by businesses towards staffing strong and steady call center operations.
It looks like that part of the plan is in place according to Dawson.