*ICCM Attendees Seek Tools to Improve Agent Productivity

Share this content:
CHICAGO -- Call center operators at the International Call Center Management conference here last week were seeking to overcome a labor shortage with new technologies that will make their agents more productive and allow them to improve customer service.


David Vanden Bosch, vice president of customer care at Cogeco Cable Inc., Burlington, Ontario, which has a 210-seat call center providing service, sales and technical support, was impressed with training platforms for agents that are delivered via the Internet.


"I think that kind of training has a lot to offer," he said. "It allows you to do one-on-one, individual training with agents rather than putting them all together in a classroom."


He wryly noted that nearly all the technology vendors on the show floor touted their products' ability to perform customer relationship management.


"Even the headset guys say they are CRM," he said. "It's a pretty widely used acronym."


Former presidential candidate Steve Forbes delivered the keynote address on Aug. 2.


"When you have these kinds of shortages of skilled labor, it forces you to work smarter," he said. "That's not to say you have to work more, but, as managers, you have to learn to use your people better."


Forbes focused on the growing role of contact centers in the wired world.


Most attendees appeared to be interested in technologies that would enable them to incorporate Web usage into their call centers.


"We want to learn more about the Internet in the call center -- things like text chat, collaboration, e-mail management," said Valerie Jones, operations manager of new initiatives at Carlson Marketing Group, Minneapolis.


Bev Stoos, call center operations manager at Carlson, said the company was also looking for software tools to make the agent-monitoring process more efficient. She said one of Carlson's clients, British Airways, is seeking analysis and trend information from the call center.


She noted that monitoring software can help improve productivity by providing tools that can be used to train agents and improve their performance.


By employing new technologies, call center operators hope to serve customers better by using their agents for calls that require extra attention.


Trade show officials expected attendance at the event to be between 6,000 and 7,000. Approximately 6,000 people pre-registered for the conference.
close

Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here