Thursday, April 30, 2009

Design and the Contact Centre

It's a hectic week, which is why I haven't had a chance to blog until now about the radio program I heard on Sunday night.

I was listening to the BBC's "In Business" program and it was one of those thought provoking epiphanies. The program was focused on how design should influence business and there's a good summary on the presenter's blog.

Now, design is something that manufacturers think about for products, but how many contact centres consider it? When we think of customer experience, it tends to be owned (if at all) by the marketing department. Yet, as Peter Day's program makes clear, customer experience could be tackled by designers equally well or perhaps better.

A brief think about Apple and their design led approach suggests that there might be a lot of merit to this approach. I would argue that Apple is not that technically superior to most of its competitors (though it is very good), but that Apple are light years ahead of the competition in looking at design as a way of driving the whole customer experience. Yet until Apple started getting serious market momentum, most of IT was led by a marketing based approach to features and functions.

What really interests me is what would happen to the contact centre if it were to take a design led approach to it's functions. I think it's something I should spend more time thinking about. IT seems to tie in very well to two other subjects dear to the blog's heart, brand and process (see posts like: "Barclays, silent calling & we've been here before... " for brand and "System Integrators write interesting things about contact centre for the downturn!" for some thoughts on process).

In the meantime, though, it's off to catch the 6am flight to Edinburgh.

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