2009 seems to be a rather tough year for call centre websites, with a real drop off in quality, mainly as a result of publishers finding it harder to make ends meet during the recession.
There are a few gems, though, if you choose to look around.
Here is our annual pick of the best call centre web sites.
1. Service Untitled
This site has been one of my real finds of the year. It is a blog focused on customer service and the customer service experience. It delivers good quality common sense advice on how to deliver better customer service. It has a layout that is simple and uncluttered with easy-to-read advice.
2. Google Call Centre News
If you are looking for up-to-date call centre news then the Google Call Centre news feed is for you. Google scan the local papers and news feeds to bring a wide range of stories. I’m amazed by how many other websites simply copy (and paste) Google call centre news stories and pass them off as their own work.
Call Centre News Feed
Contact Centre News Feed
3. Customer Management Insight
Customer Management Insight was formed as a result of UBM moving the printed Call Center Magazine publication online. There is a good range of management, technology and operations articles as well as a number of different blogs. I was quite amused by this comment in one of the blogs – “When speaking with a vendor rep about their product, be sure to keep a close eye on their lips – if they are moving, there is a 99% chance that the vendor is lying.”
[Please note that since going to press, we have received notice that UBM “have actually stopped publishing that digital magazine recently”. It looks like another call centre magazine bites the dust. – Editor]
[A further clarification from ICMI – While ICMI no longer distributes a monthly digital magazine, we still publish the same useful and insightful content on a regular schedule right on our website in our Resources & Insight pages , where we also offer the archives to our past issues. – Editor]
Billed as “thoughts, observations, rants and raves from the front-lines of call center quality assessment”. This blog by Tom Vander-Well has consistently delivered high-quality help and advice from the world of Quality Assessment. I had the rare chance to meet Tom during his recent visit to the UK. A really nice guy, Tom is really passionate about the world of Quality Assessment and has built up a really nice following.
5. Call Centre Helper
We did not include Call Centre Helper on last year’s top 10 call centre websites, thinking that it would be a bit obvious to add ourselves to our own list. In the past year we have had quite a lot of feedback about this, and so we have reluctantly added ourselves. After all, we are the most popular call centre magazine in the UK.
6. Call Centre Clinic
If you are looking for a call centre press release feed then Jon Snow’s website has it in abundance. Most of these require you to sign up for his email newsletters. Jon has tried to widen the site in the past year and has added a range of vendor-written articles.
7. Call Centre Voice
Call Centre Voice is a UK-based discussion board for the call centre community. Its styling is starting to look a bit long in the tooth, but it has got quite a wide back catalogue of questions and answers. It is particularly strong on answers to technical questions.
8. Call Center Cafe
Once you get past the over-commerical layout there is some good information buried in this site. The layout and speed spoil what for me would otherwise be a very good read. Lots of short readable articles that are varied and interesting.
9. Envision Blog
Although this is a vendor site, Envision have done a pretty good job with their blog. Sure there is some advertising for their products, but they have got a number of interesting articles listed. Visually the site cries out to have a few images added.
The once-mighty CCF website has has also dropped back in quality over the past year. The printed magazine has been cut from a monthly to a bi-monthly publication. The Twitter feed seems to be a key priority these days, but the website features a few news stories each week as well as a few recent articles. Overall the web site seems to be more of an advert channel for Call Centre Expo, and other money-making schemes from the CMP stable.
The following sites we included last year have been dropped off.
Contact Centre World – www.contactcenterworld.com
The site focuses on quantity rather than quality and looks biased towards the US market. The compulsory registration is annoying, with a heavy push towards promoting its own awards.