I don’t think there is any need to push the statement “a great customer experience leads to happier customers, which in turn leads to higher profit” anymore – over the past 20 years we have seen thousands of books and articles, and a multitude of that number in PowerPoint slides, proving time and again that happier customers lead to faster growth, increased share prices against the not-so-customer-centric peer group, more loyalty/less churn, etc. 

However, there is one corner of the company not really benefiting from that insight – customer service, and specifically the contact center. We all know the lovely stories from Zappos and the likes, but in most (more often than not outsourced) call centers the struggle for defending the budget from annual cuts (let alone to support investment) is a daily reality. Why? Isn’t it very obvious that having a good customer contact center is essential in creating a great experience?

A friend of mine the other day had a lovely analogy – he showed a slide of an electric fence to the audience of a fun little workshop, about 50 people. “Who was told by his parents, siblings or friends that this fence would hurt them?” – 50 hands went up. “And who touched it anyway and got a shock?” At least 35 hands stayed up….

Somehow, we feel the need to verify claims ourselves, and not just believe it. Even if the proof of the benefits of a well-funded contact center seem obvious to most of us,  many of your colleagues will need to see and feel it for themselves before they accept the truth. 

I will be running a workshop in German (and if there is sufficient interest also in English) in the last week of June to address how we can address this issue – what are the proof points we can generate to show the organization that the contact center plays a highly profitable role in the overall customer experience. 

This starts with the well known fact that customers who have had an interaction with the contact centre – any interaction – are happier than those who have had no interaction. 

 

Once you have established NPS or a similar KPI within the company as a representative value of (future) customer value, this simple chart will help to start the conversation on the overall value contribution of the contact center

Of course, this is only the very first level. 

Other elements of value contribution by the contact center (which we will also look into during the webinar), are:

  • Increased customer value: sales, loyalty, recommendation
  • Reduced customer handling cost: good contact center interactions reduce the time and effort spent on satisfying the customer
  • Process improvement and cost reduction through customer insights generated (especially through empowered agents capturing insights)
  • Value of data generated in the contact center to rest of organization
  • Actual up- and cross-selling taking place
  • And a few more

I hope I have already given you some points to think about, and look forward to discussing these in more detail with you during our webinar. At the end, you will be able to show your colleagues a few electric fences in your own organization – and challenge them to touch them.