Colin Hay at Puzzel gives his take on how to realise potential in contact centres, to boost the wider organisation.
Most contact centres and those in them work hard. In fact, they are obsessive about efficiency and reduced cost to serve.
But is that the problem? Is too much attention being given to the wrong thing?
While contact centres remain content to act as a dustpan and brush to the rest of the organisation, they will always be under-appreciated and unnoticed for what could be a far greater contribution to brand reputation and corporate effectiveness.
The point is missed when contact centres remain separated from the rest of the business. Except, of course, for the necessary ping pong between front and middle office teams to resolve a customer issue.
Instead, contact centres should be housed at the centre of things.
Why the Sudden Aspiration?
Customer service has a unique perspective.
Marketing holds one-sided conversations, sales tell a story of how it might be, and customer service hears the story of how it actually turned out.
In other words, customer service hears the exam results before the rest of the class.
Seen in this light, the contact centre holds an incredibly important source of feedback for the rest of the organisation to learn from.
Pretty much everything that does and does not work across all customer journeys gets discussed over a call, a webchat, a Twitter session or messaging exchange.
What does the contact centre do with it?
Mark it as a certain type of enquiry and move on to the next one! This is a criminal waste of insight that could be driving the rest of the organisation onwards and upwards.
For this reason, contact centres need to give up on working harder and instead focus on working smarter.
Contact centres can do this by seeing themselves as an ongoing source of insight, to fuel a never-ending cycle of improvement and innovation.
That is a much more useful role to play and therefore transforms contact centre bragging rights in terms of investment and influence.
How Is It Done?
Of course this does not happen by chance. In fact, it is a whole lot more work, but not necessarily requiring a whole lot more resource.
This kind of activity really can become a self-funded transformation as service demand reduces and customer journeys become optimised and better aligned with customer expectation.
The cycle of activity involved can be resourced entirely by the contact centre. However, it is more likely to be a shared activity with central teams which contribute change-management or voice-of-the-customer analytic skills.
For more on this topic, download the white paper: How Often Is Your Contact Centre the Cause of Inbound Customer Contacts?
Or you can visit www.puzzel.com