This month we take a look at a new development which will shortly be coming out with Version 11.  We are very excited about it and have decided to lift the wraps. It is not a new idea, but one that has been badly neglected in the marketplace. Not any more.

The development was prompted following a trip by our CEO to a Japanese partner running a contact center in Tokyo.  A supervisor was explaining how Japanese customers hate getting calls from people they don't know, but are very amenable to speaking with and buying from someone they have already dealt with in the past.  In other words, they feel they have a personal relationship.

This concept makes perfect sense. People buy from people that they like or feel relaxed with - which is likely where there has been a successful sale in the past.

Now switch to how contact centers often work today.  When it comes to matching agents with customers, the emphasis, by far, is on finding the best skilled agent as opposed to our tale above, where the customer wants to speak to the right agent - i.e. the agent that he last had a successful outcome with.

The best skilled agent could do a good job, but if we can get the right agent on the call, then we should expect a much better outcome.  It is just a no brainer.

Sytel is now developing the ability for customers to talk to the right agent.  Using skills-based routing to decide which is the best skilled agent, is still the way to go when we have no customer history.  But as soon as we start building up detailed session histories for customers and have access to other data, such as detailed outcomes recorded in a CRM, then we can focus on identifying the right agent.

And it doesn't stop there.  Once we have knowledge of the right agent for a customer, future incoming sessions from the customer can be directed straight to that agent, without any fuss.

These ideas will be heresy to some contact center managers who will be scared of losing control to their agents as in some cases, they build up their own mini businesses!

No worries, no one needs to implement these ideas.  Supervisors can carry on as they do at the moment, if they want.  But for those that do want to change, there is the scope not just to make customers happier, but, crucially, make the agent's job more interesting and rewarding - and when that happens they are going to perform better - and be less inclined to leave.  And if you are a contact center manager reading this, don't worry, you are never going to lose control.  You are just going to make the experiences of agents and customers better!

We will keep you posted on the release date.