By harnessing what’s learned from interacting with customers, contact centers (call centers) have enormous potential to provide valuable intelligence and support to other parts of the company. Consider the value when the contact center:
- Helps operational areas or manufacturing units pinpoint and fix quality problems, which boosts customer satisfaction and repeat purchases, reduces costs associated with warranties and repairs and prevents unnecessary contacts to the organization.
- Helps marketing develop more effective campaigns. Having a better understanding of what customers need and want, and ensuring that marketing efforts target best prospects can improve response rates, reduce relative marketing costs, and help the organization boost market share.
- Serves as an early warning system of potential legal troubles. Product defects, vulnerabilities discovered in the firm’s web site, inaccuracies in warranty statements or customer invoices—the call center is often first to hear of these issues.
- Helps research and development (R&D) identify customer needs and the firm’s competitive advantages and disadvantages. Though they remain useful, focus groups, market research and traditional broad-based surveys simply can’t capture the depth and quality of intelligence that comes from interacting with customers on a day-by-day basis.
- Enables the organization to improve self-service systems, based on the specific assistance provided to customers who opt out of or need help with these systems. This not only lowers the costs of providing customer service — it can also boost customer satisfaction and ensure that the contact center has capacity to focus on issues that really require or benefit from agent involvement.
In sum, when the contact center has an eye on the larger implications of quality and innovation, it will positively impact the entire organization’s workload, productivity and quality.