Customer Experience Managers Help Hosted Call Centers Boost Satisfaction
June 25, 2012
During the recession, call centers could get away with sub-par customer service. But those days are over.
“Consumers again are demanding a leading customer experience,” said Heather Hurst in a recent blog post for inContact, a hosted call center software provider that offers cloud-based call center routing, self-service and agent optimization solutions. “Those companies that see what their consumers want, and are acting on it, are finding a competitive differentiation.”
Hurst noted that many leading companies are hiring customer experience management (CXM) specialists to beef up customer care and provide a differentiated customer service experience in call centers.
Unlike CRM, which focuses on improving internal process, CXM focuses on the external experience by proactively initiating contact, delivers content, preemptively solving problems and understanding customer preferences, according to a recent article on CIO.com about this emerging area of customer service.
“Often companies make the mistake of looking to automate what's painful for the company instead of looking at what is painful for the customers,” said inContact chief marketing officer Mariann McDonagh in the CIO article.
McDonagh highlighted four ways hosted call centers can effectively utilize CXM.
1. Continually strive to understand your customers from their perspective. Firms, McDonagh said, should “learn what customers really care about and remember that they demand the same experience regardless of what channel—call center, social media, chat, etc.—they use.”
2. Learn what customer interactions matter the most and harmonize them. “Have someone own responsibility for the success or failure of each channel and work together as a team with other channel owners to create a seamless experience,” McDonagh advised.
3. Make CXM an enterprise, not just a departmental, goal. “Customer experience should be a total enterprise goal, not just the purview of the customer service team," McDonagh stressed. “Sales, finance, product development and other teams should all have a role in collecting customer feedback and closing the loop with customers.”
4. Be flexible. “Don't build a customer experience strategy that is rigid and inflexible, but instead approach it as a process that is organic and responsive to changing customer needs and expectations," McDonagh recommended.
Other ways to best-utilize CXM in hosted call centers include defining success so it can be measured properly, starting small and focusing on specific goals, making sure CXM and IT are in synch, and actively engaging in customer experience measurement by listening to calls, attending focus group and building in good feedback loops, according to industry experts polled in the CIO piece.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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