Does the term “call centre” have a negative connotation?
In many ways, absolutely. Customers think of call centres and they often think of long wait times, people that can’t answer their questions directly, a significant journey to even find a human being to talk to, and the chance that the person you reach won’t communicate well in your language and more.
Now, you might think it’s curious that Conectys — a company with 11 global delivery centres, i.e. call centres for customer experience and moderation needs — would write a white paper on why call centres are bad and hellacious places to work.
That’s not what we’re doing.
We believe that call centres are headed to a new future. First of all, we shouldn’t be calling them “call centres” anymore. We prefer the term “contact centre.”
Secondly, in the summer and fall of 2020, we worked on a deal in Europe with a governmental agency. There are certain connotations to government work too — slower-moving, bureaucratic, hierarchical, etc. So, on the surface, you might expect a deal between a contact centre company and a governmental body would be very old-school and compliance-driven. In some ways, it was. But as the deal evolved, we realized that the governmental organization saw a much bigger, newer need for a contact centre. They wanted a partner that was:
- Able to work from anywhere
- At scale and adding new facilities
The last bullet has been a common requirement for contact centre partnerships for years now, but the other ones are newer. On this deal, for example, the government body was concerned that we could help answer citizen questions across a variety of mobile tools, notably WhatsApp because they increasingly saw a youthful audience heading in that direction.
We’ve thought of contact centres as stodgy rows of desks and people on headsets for a generation or more now. Are they becoming young, hip, strategic places all of a sudden? Perhaps. And this is a guide to what partners want out of contact centres now, and where the BPO model is heading as a result.