MECC’14, Major Themes Crystallizing

Dominick KeenaghanFrom our vantage point, 2014 in the region has gotten off to a stellar start with many customer-oriented projects and initiatives being observed across all sectors including government, telcos, healthcare, utilities, oil and gas, real estate and commerce in general.  As such the need for regional organisations to “raise their game” as far as customer interaction is concerned has never been higher and to this end MECC ’14 will carry the tagline of “Building World Class Customer Contact Capability”.  This theme not only emphasizes the idea that customer contact practices can be improved but also reinforces the concept that whilst the region continues to make impressive progress in many areas, it is time to apply these same notions of world class-ness to customer service.

A case in point in the optimization of call centre resources.  A reality that seems to go over the heads of many senior decision makers is that people generally make up around two thirds of a call centre’s operating costs.  As such, operations managers need to ensure first and foremost that the performance and results from their staff are maximized and allocate their time and actions accordingly.  Instead, we constantly see organisations shy away from this responsibility because it is “easier” to focus on other areas, including technology, where the overall spend is much, much less.  “People make the difference” is so much more than a nice-to-hear mantra and with agents in particular, you are putting your organisation’s most important assets, customers, in their hands.  Need some proven personnel improvement ideas here?  Check out our following articles on agent recruitment, empowerment, and motivation – I am sure you will feel inspired to make some changes.

When it comes to staffing, of particular interest in the Middle East is the subject of Outsourcing; here there is definite room for both improvement and market expansion.  The latter, in many cases, is made possible through new value creation possibilities, eg. extending credit card sales to card delivery services, but this is only possible if the client and the Outsourcer have built a “trusting” relationship (based on mutual recognition of relationship contributions) and rarely if “cost reduction” is the only metric driving the relationship.

“Building better Contact Centre Outsourcing relationships” is a major theme of MECC ’14 this year and to this end will include a special conference track dedicated to Outsourcing and featuring success stories from some of the region’s top Outsourcers, the media support of the acclaimed UK-based Professional Outsourcing magazine (including free subscription to their monthly magazine and subject-specific supplements) and a special area of the MECC ’14 Exhibition dedicated to Outsourcers.  All of the region’s top Outsourcers will be present at the show, and in true MECC fashion, they will all be offering some unique deal or package to help get relationships started.  Anyone of these could save you a fortune in monetary and/or other benefits, so be sure to connect up with them.

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