Raving Fans - 4 Principles of Customer Centric Contact Centers

Posted by Linda Caudle

2/18/13 4:07 PM

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A highly competitive market dictates the need for an improved customer experience, and a customer-centric contact center, made possible when you collectively work smarter, not harder. Effectively implementing these principles may prove highly advantageous to the profits and growth of your business.

PERSONALIZATION IS KEY

While the practice of market segmentation has existed for decades, a new breed of contact center software technology opens a new world of marketing and branding possibilities to your business. The underlying premise of segmentation is that your customers can be organized into different demographic types often referred to as “buckets”. Consumers that belong in the same bucket often have similar needs or a common response to a given marketing approach.

That way of thinking about and categorizing your customers is now considered to be far too broad in how it’s applied to unique consumer needs. Contact center software provides a deep well of data to organizations that use it to narrow their business and branding initiatives in a much more precise way. In many cases, customer service solutions can be customized to the individual which lets them know how truly important their business is.

At the end of the day, being customer centered is about treating your customers as the individuals they are, not merely as a name or a number that belongs in a bucket with other similar buyers. By achieving a high level of personalization, your contact center or business can create a genuinely memorable customer experience.

Simple tactics including addressing that person by their name are helpful but nothing compares with building and maintaining a detailed knowledge base. By documenting the history and attributes of a specific client relationship, those that represent your business can immediately understand that person’s preferences, buying habits, and any present or past customer care matters that may have impacted that relationship.

BEGIN BY LISTENING TO YOUR CUSTOMERS

In order to fully understand what your customers want (and why they want it) you’ll want to invest in contactl center software in order to collect and analyze the massive amount of data those programs can handle.

Contact Center technology aggregates rich information from many sources including:

  • sources within your organization such as call recordings
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems
  • surveys of customer satisfaction levels
  • proprietary enterprise databases

POWERFUL AGENT MOTIVATIONS

Analytics are a set of software applications which permit contact center managers and key stakeholders to efficiently make critical decisions and determine subsequent actions. Such programs provide a deeper understanding of a customer’s underlying motivations in a way that simply cannot be accomplished without this powerful technology.

Contact center software enables:

  • organizing and processing a vast amount of voice and recorded data interactions
  • spotting trends in both business challenges and opportunities alike
  • repetitive patterns that emerge from cause-and-effect relationships
Leveraging this invaluable set of data enables both growth and revenue by informing relevant action (or reaction) in the context of your overarching business goals.The knowledge gleaned in this way can move your call center agents away from putting out fires to providing proactive care and outreach to customers.

Alternately, what’s learned through powerful call center analytics programs can equally be applied to preventing account loss or even creating marketing plans that are well suited to the personal interests or needs of the buying public. Conversely, a failure to fully utilize the actionable insights that your customers provide only perpetuates a corporate environment of reactivity and undue stress.

QUANTIFYING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS

It stands to reason that superlative customer care is the natural byproduct of fully understanding their value to your organization. Determining that value is a process of quantifying the present value of those relationships also known as the “lifetime customer value” metric. Contact centers that have committed themselves to operating from a customer-centered perspective require solid and ample data needed to first determine that lifetime value.

Constructing the lifetime customer value means:

  • Arriving at the cost of acquiring a new customer
  • Knowing the average rate of purchase by customers
  • Evaluating the frequency of repeat sales
  • Determining how long they typically remain as your customer
  • The rate of customer defection referred to as “churn”

You’re now familiar with the key elements involved in becoming an enterprise that actually abides by the principles of customer centricity; principles that, while simple in premise, are clearly not easy to implement. For that reason, the organization that does commit itself to superior customer care stands to win both market share and the well-deserved accolades of its raving fans.

Credit: Dick Bucci of The Pelorus Group

Topics: contact centers

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