Has your facility fully transitioned from Call Center to Contact Center?

By Sam Weatherby and Kim Vanderland, JLL

 

Creating a seamless, positive customer experience is the primary focus for customer service organizations. Delivering on that promise requires major organizational (and real estate) changes—Kim_Vanderlandincluding the evolution from call centers to multi-channel contact centers. Communication now spreads across telephone, email, live chat and social media interactions. While in the past, many senior executives may have viewed these locations as a cost-center to take calls and help solve problems, today’s contact center is turning into more of a strategic command hub that can provide a competitive advantage.

Gone are the days of customer service reps tethered to headsets answering phone calls. More than half of organizations will soon manage a multichannel contact center with at least eight different forms of contact, according to the 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report. Increasingly, contact centers are managing a rising volume of digital traffic tied to video and web chats, smartphone apps and social media. Recruiting more tech-savvy Millennials to keep pace with the changes is a priority, but attracting them to an area that isn’t traditionally on their radar is challenging.

As the traditional models are evolving, contact centers must alter their look and feel to attract the right talent and create a productive environment that keeps both customers and employees satisfied. What kind of real estate implications are on the line?Weatherby, Sam

  • Choose affordable, yet high-tech, markets. Tight margins require most contact centers to avoid hot urban tech markets. Identifying more reasonably priced pockets of tech talent requires sophisticated analyses, but smart location analysis technology and dynamic screening tools can churn through different parameters to help you target where Millennial talent is clustered and where they are migrating.
  • Nimbleness is a necessity. Above all else, a contact center’s workspace must support adaptability. Work volume ebbs and flows, and customer service solutions are constantly evolving. More Millennials are working remotely, and developments with cloud technology have made it easier to accommodate that structure. How does that translate into the physical space? Contact centers are integrating more diverse space options—a mix of lounge rooms, collaboration areas, recreation space and private rooms that can easily adjust to changing needs.
  • Emphasize the care factor in design. Historically, call centers tend to be high-stress environments that experience high agent attrition rates. Organizations are more strategically considering how workplace design can encourage greater productivity, morale and wellness. Can you offer walking paths or other natural adrenaline boosters to encourage movement so that employees aren’t so stationary? How does natural light play into the space? Are there ways to improve indoor air quality? Thinking through the fine design details can say volumes about how the organization values its employees.

The customer experience depends heavily on happy employees. Contact centers that offer a more dynamic, engaging environment that appeal to Millennials isn’t just good for employee morale, it’s good for the customer experience.