During a recent visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, customer interaction solutions firm Aspect Software's senior vice president for Asia Pacific and Middle East, Jagannath Narendran gave his brief take on the contact centre space in the Malaysian and local markets to Computerworld Malaysia.
Photo - Jagannath Narendran, Senior Vice President Asia & Middle East, Aspect Software.
Could you share some of the reasons behind your plans for Malaysia as well as the challenges in the local contact centre industry?
We have big plans for Malaysia, as the country is one of our leading growth markets in the region. All the customers we have spoken to understand the need to go a step further if they want to provide the ultimate customer experience. The emergence of dynamic, web-based and very public consumer communication channels is thrusting the contact centre space into a leadership role for delivering an excellent experience to these very conversational consumers.
Social media has become an integral part of the interaction landscape that companies cannot simply ignore feedback or comments from their customers via Facebook or Twitter for example.
Organisations that anticipate and adapt to this "relationship revolution' will be better poised to build long-term customer loyalty and value. Companies need a holistic solution that Aspect provides to ensure customers are not lost unnecessarily through negligence or insufficient information at the point of interaction.
The biggest challenge is that companies are struggling to keep up with the vast exchange of information that takes place on the Internet everyday. Customers are always on their mobile devices and it is no longer sufficient to have an efficient call centre alone. Client interaction mediums such as text, email or social media need to be actively monitored consistently to prevent unhappy customers from falling through the gaps.
What sort of short term measures can these companies adopt?
Firms need to take stock of how they are performing at the moment. If they are aware of their shortcomings and strengths from the get-go, this makes implementing and customising an end-to-end solution that fits their needs, a more efficient process.
What other important considerations should be top of mind in today's Malaysian market?
Always ask yourself, "What's next?" At Aspect, we are constantly thinking of ways to move forward. Recently, due to the company's acquisition of Voxeo, this adds a market-leading Interactive Voice Response (IVR) capability to our contact centre suite and significantly advances our cloud delivery competencies. Plus, with our investment in U.K. based e.g. solutions, our back office solutions have been exponentially enhanced to better handle the increasing demand for customers looking to tap into the benefits of integrating contact centre and back office operations.
To widen the scope a little, is there any difference between Southeast Asian contact centre companies and Malaysia?
Southeast Asian companies are facing similar issues. Customers have multiple channels to voice their feedback and concerns. Being able to analyse and translate this information into knowledge and intelligence, companies will be able to provide their customers with an unparalleled customer experience.
We plan to enhance and cement our status as the leading contact centre management software provider in the region. Our latest trip to Kuala Lumpur is indicative of our desire to connect with customers and prospects throughout the region. Although Aspect has 85 percent of the outbound systems market share in Malaysia, we seek to improve that percentage further by adding more value to our clients through the latest software. We have plans to do similar visits to other parts of Southeast Asia in the near future.
What are Malaysian companies finding compelling about your approach?
Firstly, with more than 70 offices around the world, Aspect has the experience and expertise to work with companies from a wide range of industries. Namely: the banking, telecommunications and insurance sectors. Secondly, Aspect provides the company with a holistic solution from customer interaction management and workforce optimisation to back-office capabilities. Thirdly, Aspect has been in Malaysia since 2000 - we know the market and its needs.
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