This is a sponsored guest post from UJET, written by Justin Robbins.
Maybe you’ve heard that contact centers provide three levels of value to a business: cost efficiency, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and strategic value. The first two sound straightforward and easy to measure – but what about that last one?
“Strategic value” is when the contact center provides valuable customer intelligence that enables a business to improve its products, processes, and services.
Here’s a look at some of the ways that you can quantify the strategic value of the contact center for your own business.
Did you know that your contact center can be an early alert system to both positive and negative economic events?
Every day, your customers are providing feedback on why they’re buying or not buying. Think about it – you’re (hopefully) capturing moment-by-moment insights on increases or decreases to demand through the ebbs and flows of contact volume. You likely already have immense data available on the drivers of revenue, expense, and customer lifetime value.
But, unless your finance department comes looking for it, much of it never leaves the contact center’s systems and dashboards. It’s up to you to change that!
Build a partnership with your finance team, create a custom report that provides the indicators of greatest importance to them, and engage your team in actively thinking about, and contributing to, providing proactive financial insights.
2. Human Resources
Spoiler alert: most people don’t dream about a career as a contact center employee, but that doesn’t mean it should be a meaningless, miserable experience. In fact, the contact center agent experience should be quite the opposite. If you want to create a great customer experience, you first need to create a great employee experience.
The contact center can be a prime development ground for organizations to identify and prepare employees for growth within the organization. It provides an effective foundation for understanding the business’ customers, products, and services. Some businesses even require new hires in departments like marketing and operations to spend time training in the contact center.
Looking to demonstrate strategic value to HR? Track and improve the contact center’s role in building a talent pipeline.
Ever feel like Marketing is totally out of touch with what happens in the contact center? It’s probably not intentional, but a natural result of working in silos and missing opportunities for cross-department collaboration.
So how do you address the problem? By finding ways for the contact center to provide Marketing with relevant customer insights.
Here are a few examples:
Customer Survey Insights
Are you maximizing the impact of the data captured in your customer surveys? One of the best ways to build equity with Marketing is to share what you’re hearing from customer surveys. Marketing teams can gain insight on potential problems with their messaging, learn why customers are or aren’t buying products, and uncover other intelligence that might otherwise never reach their desk.
Demographic And Persona Validation
Marketing teams often spend extensive resources to research and identify their targeted personas and demographics – but are they reaching those people? The contact center has the potential to capture all sorts of customer data that could validate or challenge the organizations beliefs around their ideal customer. A collaboration between the contact center and marketing teams on this type of initiative can transform how businesses message, train, and serve their customers.
Uncover Customer Trends
The average contact center is hearing from hundreds or thousands of customers, and potential customers, every single day. Across all these interactions are opportunities to uncover trends on likes, dislikes, needs, wants…you name it. Sadly, much of it comes and goes without any intentional effort around collecting, understanding, and acting on it. Strategic contact leaders understand this and do something about it.
One of the best ways to get started is to partner with Marketing to help them address their top priorities. Ask them what they’re looking to learn or better understand about your customers, agree on some data points that would be good indicators of success or failure, and get to work. Chances are high that the contact center can help to reveal some of the answers they need!
Unique Brand-Building Experiences
Have you ever thought of your contact center employees as marketing assets? If not, you should!
The interaction between a customer and a contact center employee will do one of three things:
- Reaffirm the brand’s marketing (deliver on expectations)
- Undo the brand’s marketing (degrade expectations)
- Enhance the brands’ marketing (exceed expectations)
When it comes to the average relationship between marketing and the contact center, a common, and totally unintentional, outcome of many interactions is an undoing of marketing efforts. If your agents are caught by surprise by a new product release, unclear about the terms of a promotion, the fine print, or customer expectations, they put themselves at a disadvantage.
Imagine, however, if the opposite was true – the contact center employee wasn’t just prepared to deliver on expectations but, instead, was there to enhance the experience.
What would it look like to collaborate with Marketing on campaigns to ensure that they extended beyond the billboard, commercial, or ad? Companies who take this approach experience higher conversion rates, improved employee satisfaction, and an elevated brand perception in the marketplace.
How To Get Started Right Away
From helping manufacturing teams uncover quality and production problems, to identifying product differentiation opportunities for Research and Development groups, to supporting legal teams during crisis communications, there’s opportunity for the contact center to provide strategic value to virtually every part of a business.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Make sharing information in a clear, timely manner a top priority.
- Don’t try to boil the ocean. Focus first on the area where you believe you can make the greatest impact.
- Perfection shouldn’t get in the way of progress. You’ll refine the system over time – just get started.
Learn more about how to turn your contact center into a “profit center” by watching UJET’s on-demand webinar “3 Contact Center Decisions That Drive Profitable Customer Experiences.”