Call centres are one of the prime channels for communication between organisations and their customers. When managed effectively they provide efficient access to necessary information. Such access is at the heart of a successful relationship between clients and businesses – Customer Relationship Management. One of the greatest challenges currently facing call centres is integration with all other customer channels, most notably the World Wide Web.
Z/Yen values call centre and communication systems because they are designed to control risk and reward, e.g., call centre systems can control risk by ensuring that processes for helping customers are followed and by tracking all interactions with customers. Call centre systems can deliver increased rewards by facilitating increased economy, efficiency and effectiveness. As the leading risk/reward professional practice Z/Yen devotes a substantial portion of its work to the effective use of call centre and communications technology.
Z/Yen’s risk/reward methodology is of particular use when beginning to plan call centre systems projects, e.g., analysing utilisation of staff and technology; forecasting demand patterns; specifying, selecting and implementing call centre systems. Z/Yen people are skilled at using strategic planning, project management, modelling systems, systems design, CASE and contact management methodologies. In practice these tools vary from assignment to assignment, but the Z/Yen methodology remains constant at each planning stage, linking business strategy to information systems strategy to ensure appropriate, effective systems.
For one client, a major broadcasting company Z/Yen people were invited to provide consultancy support for their customer management operation. The customer service centre was designed to handle at least 2 million subscribers using over 1,200 workstations connected to 12 large interlinked mainframes. The project was noted for its pressing timescales and client resource commitment difficulties. Our role included establishing a strategy for the functions and systems that were to be provided once the systems were running live and establishing a project management information centre to co-ordinate the various systems.
Two very different call centres, one owned by a national retailer and another an IT company worked with Z/Yen people to forecast call demand and develop a strategy for coping with irregularities in call patterns. Another client, a major regional ambulance service, asked Z/Yen directors to analyse data from the computerised emergency call control system, establish demand profiles and provide a framework to determine optimum resource levels to meet statutory response times. Z/Yen is currently reviewing the effectiveness of a members’ call centre based information service for a national union.
Z/Yen's clients vary from pragmatic, minimalist users to sophisticated, leading-edge technology players, in industries ranging from not-for-profit to government to commercial organisations in, to name a few areas, banking, insurance, R&D, retail, petrochemicals, media, distribution, hardware design, software and even IT outsourcing.
Z/Yen is committed to using call centre systems to improve organisational processes. To this end we work with all our clients to evaluate their work processes and practices and assess how and where technological solutions and new procedures may be utilised to provide a higher quality service to all their customers.