After reviewing the past year and spending considerable time planning and preparing, businesses are enacting plans, employees are feeling motivated and refreshed and there is a renewed commitment to making this year better than the last.
This is also a critical time for businesses to take a step back and consider current partners and vendors in the context of just-set business goals and objectives. It is an opportunity for frank discussion, relationship strengthening and working together to ensure maximum value for both the service provider and you, the client.
If you work closely with a contact center for service, sales, support or other functions, here are a few ideas on how to derive the most value from the relationship in the new year.
- Be true partners – any vendor relationship requires collaboration and extensive communication to be effective. True partnership, however, is something far less transactional. Make sure your contact center is aligned and actively engaging with the business goals that were just set. This requires trust and transparency between the two parties.
Remember, your contact center is the front line of your brand, so it should be connected to it and working side-by-side to build it.
- Realign on metrics – sales, support and service are taking on an increasingly consumer edge. There are fewer lines between how these activities are conducted in business verticals versus how they are carried out with consumers (as evidenced by the Business Marketing Association's merger with the Association of National Advertisers last year), and this more personal paradigm affects the metrics contact centers should focus on.
Call resolution, cost-per-sale and other measures will remain important. However, there is also a need for softer, customer facing metrics such as net promoter scores, that dive deep into customer satisfaction, loyalty and experience.
- Focus on people – internally and externally – a recent Forbes' round up of trends rightly suggests that a people and expert-centric sales and service approach is increasingly important. Education of internal sales and marketing staff should cross over to the contact center channel so that inquiries can be appropriately routed and handled in a timely, hands-on and information-rich fashion.
- Create the contact center feedback loop – big data, and the unstructured, contextual data that contact centers develop naturally, will be of even greater value to businesses. Build integration and systems to allow contact centers to leverage this data in their activities, and a backend reporting pipeline to provide your business with timely, data-based updates on your customers and prospects.
From all of us at DialAmerica, we wish you a very Happy New Year and much success in 2015!