Having worked in the call centre industry for many years, I have seen how technology has enabled centres to grow and offer greater efficiency. However, there is a limit to how far technology will go. It seems ridiculous that a call centre would invest 90 per cent of its budget in technology, with only ten per cent left for the human aspect (MW September 12). What are call centres for, if a customer can no longer have all their enquiries dealt with over the phone? If you’re going to automate everything, you’re neglecting the very fundamentals of what a call centre stands for as a customer relationship tool.
As the article went on to mention, there is a danger of technology devaluing what call centres do, not just by making customers dissatisfied and disillusioned, but from an internal viewpoint. With small investment in training or careers, how will we retain call centre staff and, with them, the future of the industry?
After all, technology can’t identify the anger in a customer’s voice; it can’t deal with non-scr
ipted enquiries; and it certainly can’t up-sell or cross-sell. Those are skills that require investment in the people on the end of the phone.