Contact centres will need home-based resources to meet festive demand

UK consumers are bracing themselves for a long wait and frustration this Christmas as contact centres struggle to predict and cope with surges in demand and increased staff absence in the run up to 25 December. Consequently interaction management software provider Exony (www.exony.com) recommends increased use of home and outsourced resources to keep customer service levels high at the busiest time of the year, and to deal with product enquiries after the festive period.

Contact centres represent the frontline for the majority of brands, and are the first point of contact for customers. With consumer spending expected to top 2006’s £16.9 billion (Source: Deloitte) meeting Christmas customer service demand is critical for all sectors, particularly retail, where over 40 per cent of annual turnover occurs in a matter of weeks. Customers are increasingly voting with their wallets when faced with poor customer service, with 76 per cent of consumers recently stating that they would stop doing business with an organisation following a bad experience (Source: RightNow/Harris Interactive). The festive season is one of the busiest times for contact centres in terms of call volumes, and high levels of staff absenteeism ensures that it is one of the most challenging, Exony warns.

To help cope with demand and ensure consistently high-levels of customer service are delivered, contact centre managers need to increasingly look at using home-based workers and outsourced resources. Home-based contact centre agents are an additional resource that can be pulled into assist with operations as required in real-time, operating as part of a Virtual Contact Centre (VCC). The number of home-based agents is a trend that has gained significant momentum in 2007, and is expected to continue growing each year by 36.4 per cent until 2012 (Source: Datamonitor).

“Competition is so intense today that consumers rightly demand world-class customer service. To meet these high expectations, companies wanting to build repeat custom cannot deliver anything less than exceptional service,” said Rex Dorricott, CEO and co-founder of Exony. “Christmas is the busiest time of the year for retailers, so to prevent lost business it is vital that contact centre managers have the flexibility to bring in extra resources to meet changing demand. If companies want to excel then they must look beyond the walls of the traditional contact centre. Only then can they avoid turning their brand into a turkey.”

Virtual Contact Centres allow operational and business managers to balance agent skills with current and future customer demand across the whole organisation. They enable a company to incorporate agents from multiple sources, such as home and back office workers, third party outsourced agents and staff in other geographical areas.

Exony’s white paper, “Virtual Contact Centres and Homeshoring: Driving the Benefits Home”, can be downloaded from http://www.exony.com.

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About Exony
Exony is the leading provider of interaction management software for virtualised customer contact operations. Exony Virtualized Interaction ManagerTM (VIM) enables operators of virtual contact centres to measure customer interaction experience, efficiency and effectiveness and manage available resources through making immediate tactical or planned strategic changes.

Built on Exony’s experience and understanding of virtualised customer interaction, VIM incorporates four modules - Reporting and Analytics, Resource Management, Connect and Service Management, all within the proven Exony Virtualization Framework for security, partitioning and user interaction.

Exony Virtualized Interaction Manager empowers virtualised customer contact operations for organisations across Europe and North America including Affiniti, Alliance & Leicester, BT, Cable & Wireless, France Telecom, HBOS, HSBC, La Poste, Microsoft, National Australia Group, Nectar, Transport for London, UK Home Office, Verizon, Virgin Trains, Virgin Media and Vodafone.

For more information please contact:

PR Contacts
Sam Grace/ Chris Lee
Rainier PR
+44 (0)20 7494 6570
exony@rainierpr.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 2nd November 2007