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Is Your Call Center Reaching Everyone?

June 23, 2014

While every company’s approach to customer service is different, a majority of companies follow a similar pattern in that they operate the contact center as almost a free-standing entity separate from the rest of the organization. While this may have served a purpose once upon a time, in these days of multichannel marketing, omnichannel customer support and social media engagement, this isolation of the customer support process simply isn’t cutting it.

In a recent article for Business2Community,’s Eric Thomas writes that it’s critical for organizations to dump twentieth century organizational charts that mandate that marketing and customer service work isolated from one another, as each department can make the other’s job easier and achieve goals faster.

“When marketing and customer service teams work together, it solves one of the age-old problems of customer service being unaware of the special promotions that the marketing team advertises,” writes Thomas. “At the same time it also solves a new problem that occurs today, when poor customer service results in a problem for the social media marketing division of the department.”

The importance of social media in the marketing, advertising and customer support functions has taken many people by surprise. Customers, to the dismay of regressive companies and the delight of progressive companies, have become social media customers. They expect service via social media, they get their company news via this channel and they won’t hesitate to review products and complain (or rave) via this channel when inspired to do so. This means a complaining customer isn’t an island anymore: he or she is also hundreds or even thousands of social media connections. Social media gives customers more power today.

For this reason, it’s critical that customer service and marketing work hand-in-hand, says Thomas.

“Customer service helps retain the customers that marketing spent their budget obtaining in the first place,” he writes. “In addition, spending some of the budget on customer service results in making existing customers happy, which is less of a cost than acquiring new customers.”

To truly succeed in today’s intensively customer-focused business environment, customer support or retention initiatives cannot start or end in any one department. Customer service training and emphasis needs to come from the top or the organization, and it must be intelligently linked to every department and every employee. Ensure there are powerful lanes of communication and processes in place between advertising, sales, marketing, social media support and marketing and the contact center. Otherwise, customers may feel like they are dealing with one company with six different heads: it’s frustrating, it wastes their time, and it loses companies what might otherwise be important opportunities to delight customers. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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