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Are You Using Your Hosted Call Center to Define Your Customer Service Brand?

November 19, 2012
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

In the realm of the customer service industry, an endless number of companies like to tout their focus on quality care, but how many are actually hitting the mark? It’s one thing to say you’re going to put the customer first, it’s quite another to actually build your strategy around this initiative. In the hosted call center space, defining the customer service brand is key to maintaining a competitive advantage, customer retention and growth in new markets.

Hosted call center provider, inContact, is a firm believer in the development of the customer service brand. In fact, Mariann McDonagh, inContact CMO, stressed in this inContact blog that service must be something exceptional and extraordinary. It must brand you.

This is a critical point as products in a variety of industries are rapidly becoming commoditized. At the same time, many of the traditional methods for providing service to customers are less and less relevant. Customers will no longer settle for the standard 800 number. Instead, they want a relationship, a community, a place they feel they are wanted and belong.

To further explore this concept, Tom Hoffman (News - Alert) with 1 to 1 Media joined inContact at ICUC 2012, the hosted call center provider’s annual user conference to discuss the customer community is considered the strongest in the industry. inContact is positioning itself apart from the competition, working with its customers to define the contact center of the future and clearly establishing what it means to be successful in this age of the new customer.

Hoffman’s interview, featured in this Hoffman’s Hotseat video, McDonagh shares her insight on opportunities for positioning customer service as a competitive differentiator and the steps organizations can take the brand customer service.

“It’s key that your service is exceptional and something that really defines you,” McDonagh told Hoffman. She also points out that companies need to think about what they want to represent about their brand through the way that they serve. It’s important to look at what customers are experiencing now, what they feel, what the desired end state should be and how to get there.

McDonagh also shared that as of late, there’s a lot of talk about feelings and emotion, something you don’t typically hear in the customer conversation. Instead, the idea of the brand really becomes the power of how people relate and connect to what a company does. Zappos, for instance, delivers happiness. In taking that focus, Zappos can focus on creating happiness, something that will draw the customer in again and again.

Realistically, however, companies can’t just decide they want to be Zappos and get there the next day. Instead, they need to figure out who they are as a company and how they can communicate that in their customer service initiatives. By doing so with the hosted call center capabilities, each customer touchpoint blends with this strategy and creates a whole new experience for the customer.

In today’s market, it’s no longer good enough to focus on metrics and measurements. Customers are defining the brand and if their experience isn’t stellar, the brand may not survive.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

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