A lot of retailers have suddenly woken up to how valuable their contact centres are, having relied solely on their stores until now, viewing the customer service centre as a necessary overhead to be managed.
This is leading to many of them needing to bring their contact centres and the customer service supporting infrastructure right up to date having underfunded and under developed it for many years.
The pandemic has forced them to close their stores for months on end and move to a digital and e-commerce model where many where either resistant, hesitant or just lagging behind, whether they liked it or not, just to survive and keep trading, and not lose their lunch to the digital natives and pure play operators.
This is presenting a lot of opportunities for many partners and suppliers in the industry, and a lot of people I have spoken to in recent weeks, across Technology & CCaaS, Consulting, Recruitment, and Outsourcing are all reporting a particularly buoyant market right now with retail clients.
It will be interesting to see who really makes success of this in the coming months and years. As ever, many will get it right, but some will inevitably fall by the wayside sadly, as either it was left too late, or poorly implemented.
Some of the organisations are finding they are lacking the capabilities in key people areas, not just the technology and processes, and the challenge here for those of us partnering with and supplying services to these organisations, is to demonstrate our value and share our expertise, experience and knowledge, to enable our learnings to be shared broadly. It benefits us as an industry.
There has been a fundamental shift that ultimately can surely only be good for customers who should further down the line receive slicker service with less effort and for the people engaged in the centre’s who will have better systems to use and improved processes meaning better resolutions and less work arounds.