Thoughts from the 1st Global Contact Forum


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Last week, I attended, and was fortunate to speak at, the 1st Global Contact Forum, hosted by Instituto Mexicano de Teleservicos.  The event drew a broad collection of contact center folks primarily from Mexico and Latin America.   However, twenty one countries across 5 continents were officially represented among the participants. 

So, after Delta Airlines lost my luggage on the leg from Atlanta to Philadelphia and left it out in the monsoon on Friday, I was able to salvage a few notes and scraps of paper from my bag.  From that, along with my cloudy memory, here’s what I think were my key (albeit, random) observations and takeaways (disclaimer: reading runny, smudged ink is not my core competency)

  • In talking with Rodolfo Salazar he confirmed my opinion that Mexican and Latin American contact center industry is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1-1.5 years behind the US market in developing social CRM strategies and tactics for leveraging social media as an effective service and support channel. 
  • In my talk on social CRM, I asked a question: “how many people have engaged a company for service via a social channel?”  About 20% of the audience had.  In response to the question ” how many of your contact centers provide service and support through social channels?”.  To that, about 5% raised their hands. 
  • In contrast, in a study that just came across my email this morning that surveyed US contact centers, 35% indicated they provide support via social channels.  Does that seem high to you?
  • Interestingly, the focus of discussions, presentations and hallway chatter was on providing near-shore contact center alternatives for US-based companies.  It got me wondering, if all these contact center BPOs are chasing the US market, who’s providing in-country service to their local customers?
  • Speaking of near shore opportunities for US-based companies, every Spanish/English bi-lingual contact center ought to be developing a strategy for taking advantage of the labor arbitrage opportunities available through the Latin American market.  Culture, language and proximity all make me wonder why more aren’t jumping across the Rio Grande
  • Tod Famous from Cisco gave a thought-provoking presentation and demo on their social CRM platform.  Many of the large enterprise vendors are developing and planning some initial release of such platforms this year, addressing challenges of workflow, multi-channel integration and unified communications.  I’m wondering what the response will be from vendors such as Radian6, Visible Technologies and the other “pure play” monitoring platforms  
  • IMT put up a bunch of video interviews on YouTube with conference speakers, including this one with yours truly This should give you a good overview of the conference topics and landscape of this exciting market. The full list is in the “related videos’ list on this link.

As my preparation for this conference was the driver for me to start seriously researching the Latin American contact center market, I’d be interested to hear your perspective on the future.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Barry Dalton
Telerx Marketing
Consumed by the pursuit of delightful service. Into all things customer loyalty and technology. My current mission is developing new service channels and the vision of the contact center of the future.


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