Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Shaping future Contact Centre Research - a call to action

I would like to congratulate the Professional Planning forum for producing another truly great conference. I attended some fantastic workshops, was surrounded by 600+ like-minded members and truly saw innovation being practiced in all corners of the UK contact centre industry. Of course this particular conference was special for me personally as I finally got my hands on the coveted piece of glass that is the Innovation Award. 2nd time of trying I am extremely proud and delighted to be part of an LV= team that took the Innovation Award for Strategic Collaboration. You can read all about it along with all the Award finalists’ case studies at http://planningforum.co.uk/Awards.


One particular workshop that got me truly excited, mainly because it hits a mark very close to my heart, was the discussion and call for establishing a formal academic research agenda that will help move operations forward, by providing new insight for policy decisions and strategic development of core support capabilities in the customer contact industry. 

This agenda has been long in the waiting, in fact if you search for dedicated contact centre journals and research papers you find very few. Perhaps this is because actually the contact centre industry is relatively young in comparison with other more traditional industries or perhaps it is because most existing research sees contact centres as one part of the wider service sector. Either way if we can get this agenda tabled with UK organisations truly engaged I believe this could deliver significant benefits.

I have signed myself up and of course am hoping I can ensure Workforce Planning gets a worthy section of this agenda, because if contact centres have been poorly served by research then this pales in comparison with research for Workforce Planning. 

This initiative is being lead by Tim Moruzzi (Course Director at the Ulster University) and John Casey (Operations Director at the PPF). Either I am sure either would be happy to field questions or volunteers for people who might be interested in getting involved.


In the meantime take this thought away, what workforce planning questions remain unanswered that you think would make good academic research subjects? Even better post them on here and I will ensure they get tabled!!