Key Take Aways from Call Center Week 2013!

Together, itelligence, SAP and Covington Creative jointly sponsored and exhibited at the 14th Annual Call Center Week, the largest and most comprehensive gathering of high-level call center professionals. Held in Las Vegas on June 10-14, 2013, the event offered a forum for executives focused on the customer experience to come together and discuss innovation in a multi-channel environment.

Billed as the industry’s top call center event, Call Center Week 2013 in Las Vegas did not disappoint.  Over 1,500 attendees participated in the 5-day event.  This was the first event for itelligence to showcase its recently announced partnership with Covington Creative, an SAP-certified implementation partner for SAP Business Communications Management.  Both itelligence and Covington Creative showed attendees how to deliver measurable results in the contact center, including increased first contact resolution, better customer service scores and lower abandonment rates.

SAP’s best kept secret?

Many attendees were surprised to learn that SAP offers a comprehensive contact center solution, perhaps making Business Communications Management one of SAP’s best kept secrets!   itelligence and Covington Creative participated in the Call Center Week Demo Drive, which provided attendees the opportunity to see short, impactful vendor demonstrations in 10-minute blocks of time.

Together with SAP, the 2 companies also sponsored a VIP networking luncheon, in which attendees engaged in meaningful discussions around the challenges in a modern-day contact center, trends they are witnessing, social media insight in the contact center, and issues that outsourced call centers are experiencing.  Attendees were also surprised that SAP is not just for big companies, and that the majority of SAP customers are in the small-to-midsized business (SMB) space.

Key Takeaways

  • More than ever, companies are positioning the contact center as a primary vehicle for enhancing the customer experience, and to build competitive advantage.  Much of this is driven by the “always on” digital age, in which the customer is king 24×7.  The difference between winning and losing a customer can be a single, bad experience away.
  • Many companies are challenged to deliver a comprehensive customer service experience due to siloed systems, lack of integration, multiple user interfaces, and more than one “version of the truth.”
  • Social media and sentiment analysis continue to grow in importance for companies who desire to understand the voice of the customer, yet solutions to aggregate such content do not integrate tightly with existing CRM/Customer Service applications to provide a unified agent experience in a single user interface.
  • Many point solutions exist to address specific pain points in the contact center, but very few can be considered fully integrated solutions.  Most solutions must be stitched together with custom programming or middleware, thereby driving up the total cost of ownership.
  • The trend toward home-based agents is growing in many industries, and companies are eager to find solutions that provide.

SAP Differentiators for BCM

The contact center industry is a mature industry, with many players offering similar functionality (i.e. “me too”).  Integrated IVR, skills-based routing, presence services, CTI, statistics monitoring, blended agent support (e.g. voice, email, chat), call recording, and remote agent support are now the minimum cost of entry into this industry.  Certainly there are many best-of-breed vendors who offer excellent solutions in one of more of these areas.

The challenge for vendors in this space is not only to solve a handful of key pain points, but to do so while providing a seamless business process flow, in a single user interface.  Tales abound of agents opening 6-8 different application screens to service a single customer.  For example, they may use separate applications to route and retrieve calls; to take an order; to open a service ticket; to search a knowledge base; to find a customer invoice; to check order status; to chat with a customer in real time.

SAP Business Communications Management drives end-to-end, integrated business processes, allowing agents to focus on providing an outstanding customer experience, rather than how to navigate the next screen.   SAP BCM integrates natively with SAP CRM, SAP ERP, and is able to integrate with virtually any CRM application, including Salesforce.com.   Consolidated administration, management, and control give contact center supervisors the tools and insight they need to manage operations effectively.

Itelligence engaged with many attendees, and will be meeting with several following the show for in-depth conversations and demonstrations to show how SAP Business Communications Management can address the challenges of the modern contact center.

Do you share the challenge of linking your communication tools with business processes?  Does this impact customer satisfaction?  Does it increase your costs in the contact center?  Do you know how, when, and why your customers contact you?  Does your contact center give your business a competitive advantage?

Itelligence would like to hear your story.

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