Call Center Keynote Touts Channel Integration

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DALLAS -- Companies must integrate the different channels through which they make contacts with customers and enhance customer contacts with all available data, the keynote speaker told the crowd at the Call Center '99 Conference and Exposition here on Tuesday.

In many companies, customer queries that come through the mail, fax, phone and Internet are all handled by different groups of employees with different levels of training, said Donna Fluss, research director for the customer service and support strategies practice area of GartnerGroup.

"Currently the quality of service the customer receives is completely dependent upon the channel through which the customer chooses to contact the company. What we need to do is fuse together all channels to leverage all the customer information throughout the organization," she said. "Build a service environment that supersedes organizational structural and technical barriers to better serve the customer.

Ways to achieve this include standardizing how customer information is defined in a company's database and investing in training and compensation to attract and keep customer contact center managers who have technical business and political savvy.

Approximately 3000 attendees were expected at the conference.

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