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The Evolution of the Contact Center

The Evolution of the Contact Center

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 08/07/07 -- The evolution of the contact center into one of the primary interaction points for customers has accelerated the need for companies to provide accurate, timely and consistent responses to customer inquiries. Those companies who strive to differentiate themselves when it comes to customer service are increasingly turning to Intelligent Contact Centers as a way to both provide quality responses to customers and alleviate competitive pressures. In a recent survey conducted by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), 97% of Best-in-Class companies that strive to improve call center quality report an increase in customer satisfaction. In fact, a large percentage of BIC companies report improvement in several key call center measurements, including cost per contact and first contact closure rate.

A large percentage of companies surveyed identify the need to remain competitive in the industry as the top pressure forcing them to implement Intelligent Contact Centers, with nearly 50% of both BIC and Industry Average companies citing this concern. With the exception of Laggard companies, who rank closure rates as their primary pressure, the need to improve first contact closure rate is identified by a large number of Best-in-Class and Industry Average companies as the second most pressing business concern causing them to implement different call center technology solutions.

BIC companies are addressing these pressures in a number of ways. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of BIC companies utilize online searches for customer data to allow all facets of the business to have access to the most dependable, correct and timely data on customers and their inquiries. Compared to the 28% of Laggards who employ similar solutions, Best-in-Class companies are ahead of the curve when it comes to disseminating customer data across business channels to improve customer satisfaction and ultimately remain competitive. Furthermore, although only 38% of BIC companies currently utilize BI/Analytics to identify areas in need of improvement, 41% plan to do so.

"Providing dependable, accurate and well-timed data across all channels is critical to enhancing the customer experience," says Alan Hubbard, SVP Customer Management Technologies Group at Aberdeen. "In order to achieve Best-in-Class status, companies must implement knowledge management solutions to enable agents and customers to accurately retrieve answers to customer support issues and inquiries in a timely manner."

The research educates companies on the benefits of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating key customer data in order to enhance the customer experience in the call center space and remain competitive in the industry. The report also provides the results BIC companies have seen across several key metrics after employing Intelligent Contact Centers and compares these results to those of the Industry Average and Laggards companies who have pursued different strategies.

This report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Astute Solutions and Aspect. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4131

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2007 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
260 Franklin Street
Boston, Massachusetts  02110-3112
Telephone: (617)723-7890
Fax: (617) 723-7897
www.aberdeen.com

Media Contact:

Alan Hubbard
Aberdeen Harte-Hanks
(617) 854-5301
[email protected]

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