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Technologies for Customer Service Outsourcing

Technology has played a vital role in customer service outsourcing. Rapid advancements in information and communication technology have led to a boom in call centers across the world. Call centers use a variety of technologies to support contact with a customer.

Prosci research, a firm that researches call centers, conducted a survey of 120 contact centers and found that email is the most commonly used medium for customer contact. The survey findings have been tabulated in Table 1 (numbers do not add up to 100 as the survey participants were not limited to one option).

Table 1: Technology Usage Level in Call Centers Source: Prosci Research
Technology Percent of respondents
Email 62
Voice response systems 61
Quality monitoring systems 53
Computer telephone integration 51
Call logging systems 49
Contact Management tools 46
Workforce management tools 43
Wallboards / reader boards 42
Advanced network services 38
Knowledge-base tools 35
Predictive dialers 18
Web-enabled call center 18
Multimedia queues 13
VoIP 9
Speech recognition 7

Various technology options are available to an outsourced customer service center and the selection of technology that will be used by the center needs to be done intelligently. The technology used should give the call center a competitive edge over other vendors. According to Intel, the technology used in an outsourced customer service center should provide the following six essential requirements:

  1. Availability: The applications and services should be available during the specified time of operations. The system should also be available to the customers without making them wait for a long duration.
  2. Manageability: The system should be easily reconfigurable and should enable the center to quickly customize the applications for any new services and scripts requested by the client.
  3. Quality of Service: The voice and data services should be reliable and should have a pre-specified quality level.
  4. Redundancy: There should be adequate protection against system failures and data loss. Adequate back-up plans in case of any system failures should be made so that the operations are not hampered.
  5. Scalability: Modular increments in the system capacity should be feasible.
  6. Security: Ttechnologies used by the center should ensure prevention of loss and theft of client data.