Not everyone is given the necessary set of talents and skills to engage in customer service, but for those who have them, it is important for them to maintain and improve their skill set to continuously provide good customer service. The market is changing and so are customer’s expectations. To ensure that call center outsourcing solutions providers keep up with the changes and rising customer expectations, companies push their contact center professionals to engage in trainings, seminars and conferences.
Despite the methods employed by companies to maintain their performance, ContactBabel, a research firm focused on the contact center industry, still reports that in 2010, there was an increase in customer complaints towards the way contact center professionals have handled their issues. Steve Morrell, the author of the report, has raised a concern that not all contact center employees possess the capabilities to deal with an irate customer. It will definitely take a long and tedious process for companies to ensure that their agents will be able to handle all kinds of issues presented to them by the customer. The report also suggested that most of the time, contact center agents are unequipped in terms of the necessary materials for them to solve a customer’s problem.
Companies such as TCS and Cognizant are making accommodations towards further aligning training efforts and their services. Tata Consultancy Services (NSE:TCS) greeted 2011 with a new facility which would include numerous classrooms, computer laboratories and accommodation facilities, as well as for housing for 15,000 employees, all of whom would be undergoing all the necessary training for their respective positions. It has been reported that the 82 acres of land was purchased at a price tag of Rs. 1,500 crore, or roughly $330 million. On the other hand, Cognizant (NASDAQ:CTSH), who is opening 2011 with a North American expansion, takes pride in their delivery center model. This model, according to the company’s Chief Financial and Operation Officer, is their key in keeping their talented and skilled employees. It seems that together with this expansion, there will also be facilities built to serve as a venue for employee training.
It is quite clear that contact center companies are becoming more dedicated in investing on their manpower. The drawback for companies however is that while they are now investing heavily in manpower including training, attrition levels have yet to come down. It was reported alongside the company’s recent release of quarterly results on the 13th of January that Infosys (NASDAQ:INFY) is still facing challenges in attrition. The company’s attrition rate in 2010 has risen to 17.01% up from 2009’s 11.6%. This poses a significant challenge, not only to specific companies, but also to the whole outsourcing industry in general.
There is now a renewed focus on how call center professionals conduct business with customers, but really this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a far bigger and more important task that needs to be fulfilled, which is, alongside training the employees the goal is to ultimately, reap the benefits from this investment in people.
Author: Jamee C.