Q&A: How Teleflora Makes its Contact Center Bloom
In a recent interview with Call Center IQ online content editor Shawn Siegel, Telefora vice president of operations Amas Tenumah discussed the emerging trends, technologies and seasonal challenges impacting his contact center. Tenumah will be a presenter at CCIQ’s 8thCall Center Summit, taking place January 22-25, 2013 in Orlando, FL.
Shawn Siegel, Call Center IQ: Teleflora deals with unusual seasonality in its business. Are there any recent technologies that have helped you overcome that challenge?
Amas Tenumah: I'm not sure the technologies we use are all that recent; in the end, what we have done is tried to capitalize on advances in existing technology. One specific area [involves] remote agents. Technology now allows us to deploy a remote force spread out across the US in ways that are very unique to our needs without any drop in quality of service versus brick and mortar. As we grow that piece, we are also looking at making sure the remote agent environment is at least as social as our brick and mortar environments, and there are a lot of emerging technologies in that space that will make that process easier.
Siegel: Can you describe some of the successes Teleflora has made incorporating Web 2.0 into the contact center?
Tenumah: The more we have incorporated web chat, and social technology channels into the contact center support strategy, the more these mediums become relied upon by customers to reach us. Web chat specifically is a channel that continues to track well in customer satisfaction scores and in cost-per-contact. A few years ago, we didn't have an emerging channels team, today we can bring in these disparate customers using different platforms into the contact center and meet their needs in a way that we never could before.
Siegel: Can you discuss any specific lessons you've learned from past call center conferences that you've been able to put into practice?
Tenumah: As I contemplated our multi-channel agent environment a couple years ago, attending one of these events allowed me to vet my thinking on the topic, and discuss results from similar shops that had been down that road. Quite frankly, that insight greatly informed our final roadmap.
Siegel: Looking towards the future, what excites you about the call center industry?
Tenumah: I like what is happening in the area of social CRM. There are more and more tools becoming available that allow the contact center to integrate social channels into the contact center to give it context. The ability to put that customer’s tweet in context, by linking it to their last email, call and order history will be commonplace.
Another exciting thing is the maturity of voice and data analytics in the contact center space. I think of contact center analytics as teenagers in terms of maturity, which is a big deal. One practical area may be that the days of "randomly" sampling calls may be over; today the technology can tell us exactly what is on every call, email, text and chat log in a few clicks in a format that is meaningful, contextual and actionable.
Amas Tenumah will be presenting "Strategies for Handling Calls During Seasonal Peak Volumes" at the 8th Call Center Summit, January 22-25, 2013 in Orlando, Fl.