As a primary customer touchpoint, the contact center has enormous potential to provide other business units with valuable intelligence and support. This can include input on customers, products, services and processes — information that, when captured, identified, assimilated and turned into usable knowledge, can literally transform an organization’s ability to identify and meet customer expectations and demands.
The benefits can be significant and varied. For example, consider the impact 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. For example, 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 even help the organization boost market share.
- Serves as an early warning system for potential legal troubles. Product
defects, reactions to food or prescription drugs, security holes discovered in a company’s website, inaccuracies in warranty statements or customer invoices — the list could go on for pages, and the contact center is often first to hear of these issues. Having strong, collaborative ties to other areas of the organization is a prerequisite to handling them as quickly and effectively as possible.
- Helps research and development (R&D) identify customer needs and the organization’s competitive advantages and disadvantages. In many ways, focus groups, market research and traditional broad-based surveys are no match for the intelligence the contact center can capture through interactions with hundreds or even thousands of prospects and/or customers. This input can ultimately help the organization focus on providing better products and services to specific customer segments and influencers — favorably influencing costs, revenues, market share and the organization’s reputation and brand.
- Enables the organization to improve self-service capabilities, based on the specific assistance the contact center provides to customers who opt out of or need help with these systems or apps. This lowers the costs of providing customer service, and can also boost customer satisfaction and ensure that the center has the capacity to focus on issues that really require or benefit from agent involvement.
In short, when the contact center has an eye on the larger implications of quality and innovation, it will have a positive impact on the entire organization’s workload, productivity and quality.
Excerpt from Call Center Management on Fast Forward by Brad Cleveland.