Contact Center Love - Part Three

In the first two installments of this series I focused primarily on the end user who doesn’t have much, if any, exposure to a contact center.  In this article I would like to make a case for contact centers getting some love inside their own organization.

If your business has a contact center, ask yourself, “What is the role of my center?”  Hopefully, you come up with some immediate answers.  The obvious ones to me include:

  • To resolve billing or other non-technical issues our customers may have
  • To sell potential customers on our products
  • To support our customers technically
  • To collect outstanding A/R

And a few that are a bit more strategic:

  • To ensure customer satisfaction in order to drive more business in the future
  • To support and enforce our brand and marketing efforts
  • To provide good enough customer satisfaction but to do it as efficiently (read cheaply) as possible (for the record, loyalty is rarely earned with minimum effort)

And finally the often forgotten but extremely valuable:

  • To improve internal process and procedures
  • To collect and distribute information gained from customer interactions (i.e. Product improvements, new market opportunities, competitive information, identify customers that could be used in testimonials, white papers, etc.)

These last two are more difficult to implement because they require strategic thinking and experience to understand what information is of value to your organization.  You shouldn’t depend solely on your lower level management to understand the strategic importance and to have the necessary experience to implement these kinds of initiatives.  You will likely need to lead the effort to ensure they are trained on what to look for, given the appropriate tools and processes, and shown the value it provides to the company.

If done correctly, you will not only improve your customer loyalty but your agents' loyalty as well.  Great agents cannot be plucked from any old tree.  You need to grow and nurture them.  If you enable them to be a part of implementing your company’s strategy you will be amazed at the amount of ideas and information you'll have at your fingertips.