Supply Chain Management Blog
With an ever-expanding range of choices (whether it’s in ice cream flavors, a new car or an insurance policy) nothing seems more challenging than choosing one over the other. After all, by opening one door, another closes. Not making any choice, however, keeps every door closed.
In the retail industry, it’s hard to go 5 minutes without someone on the business side of things mentioning the word “omnichannel.” In this environment, omnichannel means exactly what one would expect: utilizing many different channels in the pursuit of getting your products into a consumer’s hands.
A major component of a successful business operation for both retailers and manufacturers lies within the returns process. As e-commerce orders continue to be shipped out at increasing rates day after day, it is important that your returns management processes are fully optimized to take on the brunt of whatever volume may come its way in the event of a product mishap – and a strong contact center will be instrumental to that process.
Often when people think of the words “contact center” they immediately think of a bank of cubes, featuring people wearing headsets, lined up and answering calls, texts and e-mails from irate consumers looking for help with a particular product. From the business side, it’s often not seen as valuable work – more of a “have to have” requirement of doing business.
Well, those views couldn’t be more outdated.
The contact center is a critical component to every business. After all, it is as close to a face-to-face interaction a customer will have with a company outside of an in-store purchase, and any poor experience could have your customer walking away for good. Despite the importance placed on the contact center, managers are constantly pressured to cut costs in this area.
While many of you may be familiar with my blogs on contact centers; you are probably not familiar with my love for soccer. I’m a loyal supporter of FC Utrecht. The club was established in 1970 from a merger between Elinkwijk, DOS and Velox. It plays in the Dutch Eredivisie competition and every now and then plays European competitions.
You may be saying, “That’s great, but what does that has to do with his job as Global Director CRM Solutions at ModusLink?”
In a recent article, the Belgian Metrotime magazine claimed that on a weekly basis, a person spends around 10 minutes in contact with a contact center. While that is the average amount of time, it is much higher than I initially expected. That was until I broke the ten minutes down to all the different ways customers can be in touch with companies today.
For a strong—and above all loyal— customer relationship, today’s organizations need to have an excellent customer engagement center staffed with highly trained, internationally oriented people who can effortlessly switch between customers’ preferred communication channels, whether it be website, telephone, Twitter or Facebook.
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